Abbas walks back ‘holocausts’ slander but doesn’t apologize

In 2018, Abbas said during a speech in Ramallah that the cause of the Holocaust was bad behavior by Jews, not antisemitism.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas walked back his allegation on Wednesday afternoon that Israel had perpetrated “50 holocausts” against the Palestinian people but stopped short of apologizing for the remark.

In a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Tuesday, Abbas responded to a journalist’s question about the murder of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympics by shifting attention to alleged Israeli human rights abuses of Palestinians.

Rather than acknowledging that the attack was perpetrated and planned by Palestinian terror groups linked to his own Fatah organization, Abbas said that he was happy to “go over the past” because Israeli has committed numerous crimes against the Palestinian people.

“I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed… 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts,” he said.

Abbas’ remarks immediately sparked backlash from Israeli and German officials, with some criticizing German Councellor Olaf Scholz for continuing to stand next to the Palestinian leader after he made the comments.

Scholz’s political rivals attacked him on Wednesday for his failure to push back against the remarks, with one stating that the German premier should have immediately ejected Abbas from the parliament.

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It appears that the media firestorm around Abbas’ remarks has caused him to soften his remarks, as he released a statement via PA-controlled news agency WAFA clarifying his comments.

“President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirm [sic] that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history,” read the statement.

“Stressing that his answer was not intended to deny the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century, and condemning it in the strongest terms.”

But the rest of the statement again targeted Israel, accusing the Jewish state of massacres and atrocities that he claims are still continuing.

“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.”

‘Nakba’ is the Arabic word for ‘catastrophe.’ Enemies of the Jewish state use the term in reference to Israel’s Independence Day, when they instead observe Nakba Day.

In 2018, Abbas said during a speech in Ramallah that what caused the Holocaust was bad behavior by Jews, not antisemitism.

“The Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe [at the time of the Holocaust] was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such,” Abbas explained.

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Abbas’ 1982 doctoral dissertation, titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” alleges that Jews conspired with Nazis to establish the State of Israel.