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August 18, 2022 10:15 am

Wire Services MIA During Palestinian Authority President Abbas’ Holocaust Distortion Press Conference

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shakes hands with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a joint news conference in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas held talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Tuesday.

In a joint press conference afterward, the Palestinian leader was asked by a reporter whether he planned to apologize for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists linked to Abbas’ Fatah party, ahead of the 50th anniversary of their deaths at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Abbas replied: “If you want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters … 50 holocausts.”

Scholz reacted to the remark with a grimace.

During the same press conference, Scholz rejected Abbas’ claim that Israel was upholding a system of “apartheid” between Israelis and Palestinians, saying he does not believe it “correctly describes the situation.”

On Wednesday morning, Scholz released a statement on Twitter condemning Abbas:

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.

It should go without saying that Abbas’ assertion that Israel has perpetrated 50 Holocausts is not only wrong, but also trivializes the systematic and industrialized murder of six million Jewish people by the Nazis.

The Holocaust is unambiguously unique: nothing comparable has ever occurred either before or after it.

To further contextualize Abbas’ comment about a Palestinian holocaust, consider what the PA itself has reported about the Palestinian population growth. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, there were 1.4 million Palestinians when Israel was established in 1948. By 2020, that figure had risen to 13.4 million.

Such facts are of little consequence to Abbas, who has a long dalliance with antisemitism and Holocaust distortion; the latter of which comprised his Ph.D. thesis that claimed the true number of Jewish victims was under one million.

In 2018, Abbas also claimed Jews were targeted by Nazis not for their “religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such.”

Yet Abbas’ Holocaust distortion was not what global wire agencies chose to lead on in their reports of the Berlin press conference.

Reuters, for example, produced a two-paragraph article on Tuesday evening, headlined “Germany’s Scholz rejects word ‘apartheid’ to describe Middle East conflict,” which omits Abbas’ “50 holocausts” comments altogether.

Only on Wednesday morning did the global news service reprint his words in full in a piece that focused on the response to Abbas: “Germany and Israel condemn Palestinian president’s Holocaust remarks.”

The Associated Press on Wednesday summarized the incident thus: “Palestinian President Abbas skirts apology for Munich attack.”

While the AP’s headline is technically correct, the piece that follows fails to note that Abbas has previously honored the Black September terrorists who took part.

In 2020, he described the assassination of three of the perpetrators in Lebanon in 1973 as the “deaths of martyrs” and, as such, his refusal to apologize for the atrocity is hardly surprising.

Equally troublesome has been the silence from international media outlets; the majority of whom have either reprinted the wire agency articles or neglected to cover the press conference at all (at the time of this piece’s publication).

Mahmoud Abbas has frequently billed himself as Israel’s best chance of a “partner for peace” (see here, for example) — the leader who can finally help end the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

However, his comments in Berlin expose who he truly is: a Jew-hating fanatic.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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