(August 17, 2022 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid early on Wednesday slammed as a “monstrous lie” comments made the day before by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, who claimed following a meeting with Germany’s chancellor in Berlin that Israel had perpetrated “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians.
“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ‘50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him,” Lapid tweeted.
Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed "50 Holocausts" while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie.
Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children.
History will never forgive him.
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 16, 2022
Abbas made the remarks after having been asked whether he intended to apologize to Israel and Germany in advance of next month’s 50th anniversary of the massacre by Palestinian terrorists of 11 Israeli coaches and athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
“If we want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts,” Abbas told reporters on Tuesday during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The mention of the word “Holocausts” drew a grimace from Scholz but no immediate denunciation, according to the Associated Press. Prior to that, Scholz disagreed with Abbas’s assertion that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians constituted “apartheid.”
On Wednesday, Scholz took to Twitter to outline his position, writing: “I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud #Abbas. For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud #Abbas. For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) August 17, 2022
Amid the blowback, Abbas on Wednesday released a statement through official P.A. media condemning “in the strongest terms” the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and their allies against the Jewish people during World War II, an event he described as “the most heinous crime in modern human history.”
The statement then clarified: “What is meant by the crimes that President Mahmoud Abbas spoke about are the crimes and massacres committed against the Palestinian people since the Nakba at the hands of the Israeli forces.”
The Arabic term “Nakba” refers to the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation in 1948.
Following Abbas’ comments, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) released a report titled “Holocaust Trivialization: A Burgeoning Threat in 2021-2022 Trend Manifestations & Analysis,” which detailed 214 public manifestations of trivialization and appropriation of the Holocaust over a 12-month period ending in July.
The incidents related to statements made by political or other officials and Holocaust trivialization manifestations made or displayed at events that together spanned 29 countries around the world.
According to the report, the United States had the largest number of incidents recorded within the past year with 80, or more than a third of the total.
“Abbas’s comments are an outrageous attempt to downplay the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, and are part of a longstanding position by a man whose doctorate deals with denying central parts of the Holocaust,” said CEO of CAM Sacha Roytman Dratwa.
“Allowing Holocaust trivialization to flourish unchecked has regrettably created sanctuaries for anti-Semitic conspiracies, outright Holocaust denial, and other extremist ideologies to spread,” she said, adding: “These trends have created a perfect storm, by minimizing Holocaust remembrance and Jewish concerns for safety during an already-resurgent wave of global anti-Semitism.”
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