Germany, Israel Condemn PA’s Abbas Holocaust Remarks

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas attend a news conference, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday. (REUTERS/Lisi Niesner)

BERLIN/YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz voiced disgust on Wednesday at remarks by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that the German leader said diminished the importance of the Holocaust, while Israel accused Abbas of telling a “monstrous lie.”

“For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable,” Scholz tweeted on Wednesday. “I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”

During a visit to Berlin on Tuesday, Abbas accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” in response to a question about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian terrorists.

The German chancellery summoned the head of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Berlin on Wednesday to protest Abbas’ remark, a German government spokesperson said.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid also condemned the comments as a “disgrace.”

“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ’50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie,” Lapid said.

“History will never forgive him.”

A spokesman for Scholz said he has arranged a telephone call with Lapid for Thursday.

Six million Jews, Hy”d, were killed in Nazi Germany’s Holocaust.

Standing alongside Scholz, Abbas referred to a series of historical incidents in which Palestinians were killed by Israelis in the 1948 War of Independence and in the years following.

“From 1947 to the present day, Israel has committed 50 massacres in Palestinian villages and cities, in Deir Yassin, Tantura, Kafr Qasim and many others, 50 massacres, 50 Holocausts,” said Abbas.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa did not include the Holocaust comments in its report of the meeting with Scholz.

However, on Wednesday, it released a statement from Abbas: “The Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history,” and that he did not intend to deny “the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century, and condemning it in the strongest terms.”

The statement came amid an international furor, including heavy pressure from Israeli  Defense Minister Benny Gantz, whose office contacted Abbas to demand that he make a retraction, according to Ynet.

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