Olaf Scholz slammed the Palestinian president’s comparison of Israeli policies towards Arabs to the Holocaust
Olaf Scholz (German Chancellor) has condemned a comment made at a joint press conference earlier by Mahmoud Abdul Bas. Scholz had come under fire for failing to challenge the comment on Tuesday, when Abbas accused Israel of perpetrating multiple “holocausts” against Palestinians.
“The outrageous comments made by Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian President, are disgusting. We Germans especially find any relativization or attempt to minimize the uniqueness of the Holocaust unacceptable.” Scholz tweeted in English on Wednesday.
It is disgusting to hear the bizarre remarks of Mahmoud, Palestinian President #Abbas. We Germans especially find any attempt to relativize the singularity and horrors of the Holocaust unacceptable. Any attempt to minimize the Holocaust’s crimes is a violation of my conscience.
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) August 17, 2022
On Tuesday at their Berlin press conference, a journalist proposed that Abbas apologize for 11 Israeli terrorists killings. The president replied: “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.”
While cameras captured Scholz grimacing at this unconventional use of the word “holocaust,” he remained silent at the time.
However, later in the day, the chancellor addressed the ‘holocausts’ comment when speaking to Germany’s Bild media outlet before making his position known on Twitter the following day.
The fact that he failed to address this comment at the press conference sparked a lot of anger in the country.
Christoph Heubner, the executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee (IAC), said he was astonished that “the German side… allowed [Abbas’] Commentaries on Holocaust cannot be ignored”
Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, described Scholz’s silence during the press conference as “scandalous.”
His spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said on Wednesday that the “chancellor regrets that he did not intervene… at the press conference yesterday afternoon.”
Abbas’ comment also came under fire in Israel, where Prime Minister Yair Lapid described the remark as “Not only is it a moral scandal, but it’s also a monstrous lying.”
Mahmoud Abubas’s accusation that Israel committed 50 Holocausts while standing on German soil was not only morally disgraceful, it is a monstrous lie.
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 16, 2022
Also on Wednesday, the Palestinian president clarified that his comment was not intended to “Deny the Holocaust’s particularity.”
This controversial comment was made less than 2 weeks after Operation Breaking Dawn, an Israeli Defense Forces operation in Gaza that targeted the Islamic Jihad militant leader. Massive airstrikes were carried out by the Israeli army on densely populated areas.
Israel says that the attack resulted in 49 Palestinians being killed. According to Israeli authorities, several Islamic Jihad leaders were killed.