Abbas walked back the comments, but the Munich massacre and Holocaust revisionism are two of the biggest skeletons in his closet.
By Associated Press and Pesach Benson, United with Israel
Germany’s chancellor said Wednesday that he was “disgusted by the outrageous remarks” made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin, accusing Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against Palestinians over the years. Abbas walked back his comments on Thursday amid the mounting furor.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statement on Twitter came a day after Abbas refused to condemn a deadly attack by Palestinian militants on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Instead, Abbas countered by saying he could point to “50 Holocausts” by Israel.
“I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” Scholz said. “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.”
During the Third Reich, the Germans and their henchmen murdered six million Jews across Europe.
Abbas said at a joint press conference with Scholz at the Chancellery on Tuesday night that “from 1947 until today, Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian villages.”
“Fifty slaughters. Fifty Holocausts,” he added.
But as German and Israeli ire piled on, Abbas issued a statement attesting that “the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history” and “stressing that his answer was not intended to deny the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century.”
The statement then said, “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. These crimes have not stopped to this day.”
Reuters reported that the German chancellery summoned the head of the PA’s diplomatic mission in Berlin to protest the PA chief’s comments.
However, much of the pushback in the country was directed at the German premier. On Wednesday morning, Scholz came under fire for continuing to stand by Abbas’ side after he made the remark.
Footage from the event shows Scholz grimacing when the word “Holocaust” was used by Abbas, but not confronting him about the statement.
Friedrich Merz, Scholz’s political rival and the head of the opposition Christian Democrat party (CDU), said that the premier failed by not speaking up.
Scholz “should have contradicted the Palestinian President in no uncertain terms and asked him to leave the [Bundestag],” Merz said.
The remarks came a few weeks before the planned commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Munich attack, in which Palestinian terrorists affiliated with Back September killed 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. Relatives of the slain Israeli athletes said they plan to boycott the ceremony after failing to reach an agreement on bigger compensation from the German government.
The Holocaust and the Munich massacre are two of the biggest skeletons in Mahmoud Abbas’ closet.
Mohammad Daoud Oudeh, also known as Abu Daoud, who masterminded the Olympic attack, wrote in his autobiography that the terror operation was funded by Mahmoud Abbas.
The PA’s ruling Fatah party, which Abbas leads, continues to celebrate the massacre.
While studying in the Soviet Union, Abbas also wrote a doctoral thesis claiming that less than one million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. The Zionists, he insisted, inflated the death toll.
Abbas has more recently claimed in the UN that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves.
Abbas’s remarks drew strong condemnation by leaders across Israel’s political spectrum. Caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid called the comments, “not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie.”
Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, had called Abbas’s remarks about the Holocaust “appalling” and urged the German government to respond to the “inexcusable behavior done inside the Federal Chancellery.”