Israel and Germany strongly condemned the statements of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who comparedon a trip to Berlin, Israeli policy towards the Palestinians with the Jewish genocide by Nazi Germany.
The 87-year-old Palestinian leader, in Germany for medical consultations, met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Tuesday to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bilateral cooperation.
At a joint news conference with Scholz on Tuesday, Abbas was asked if he would apologize for the Palestinians who carried out a hostage-taking during the 1972 Munich Olympics that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.
“From 1947 to today, Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian cities (…) 50 massacres, 50 holocausts, and even today there are deaths caused by the Israeli army every day,” Abbas replied in Arabic, who then tried to clarify his words.
“We want peace, we want security, we want stability, we have to develop trust between us,” added the Palestinian leader, while denouncing Israel’s “apartheid” policy.
The fence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, guarded by Israeli soldiers. Photo: AP
“I am disgusted by the outrageous statements made by Palestinian President Mahmoud #Abbas,” the German prime minister tweeted on Wednesday.
“For us Germans, in particular, any relativization of the uniqueness of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust,” Scholz added.
Own Scholz was also criticized for not immediately condemning Abbas’s remarks. during the press conference, which ended after the Palestinian leader’s comments.
“We would have liked the clarification (from Scholz) to have been more immediate,” the magazine said. Spiegel.
“Abbas relativizes the holocaust… and Scholz is silent” headlined the popular newspaper Bild on your website.
Abbas regularly uses the words “genocide” or “apartheid”, as do NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, to describe the occupation and colonization of the Palestinian Territories. But he rarely uses the word “holocaust.”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has harshly condemned the Palestinian leader’s words on the Holocaust. Photo: AFP
This Wednesday, these words provoked outrage in Israel, especially from Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
“Mahmud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ’50 holocausts’ while on German soil is not just a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie,” Lapid tweeted.
“Six million Jews were killed in the holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him,” he added.
Dani Dayan, the president of Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial and museum, condemned these “unworthy statements” and “inexcusable behavior” to which “the German government must respond appropriately.”
Faced with these reactions, President Abbas – who had thanked Germany, urging this country to recognize the Palestinian State – said that he wanted “clarify” your position.
His remarks were “not intended to deny the uniqueness of the Holocaust,” which remains the “worst hate crime of the modern era,” his office said.
“The president did not deny the massacres of the Jews under Nazi Germany, but rather told the world not to lose sight of the massacres inflicted on the Palestinian people,” added Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh.
In Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, a representative of the Munich Jewish community and head of the World Jewish Congress, called for more than just a verbal condemnation of Olaf Scholz.
It is necessary for Germany to make the Palestinian Authority pay “consequences,” he asked.
Source: AFP, with Yann Schreiber in Frankfurt