Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas walked back comments made in Germany on Tuesday, 16, accusing Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians.
In a statement released Wednesday, Abbas called the Holocaust “the most heinous crime in modern human history.”
The statement, released by the Palestinian Wafa news agency, added that Abbas did not intend to “deny the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century” and he condemns it “in the strongest terms.”
“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,” the statement said.
Abbas’ original remarks were made during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. With the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli coaches and athletes by Palestinian terrorists approaching, Abbas was asked if he intended to apologize to Israel and Germany.
“If we want to go over the past, go ahead. I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed … 50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 Holocausts,” Abbas replied.
Scholz condemned Abbas in a statement on Twitter, writing, “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.”
Ich bin zutiefst empört über die unsäglichen Aussagen des palästinensischen Präsidenten Mahmoud #Abbas. Gerade für uns Deutsche ist jegliche Relativierung des Holocaust unerträglich und inakzeptabel. Ich verurteile jeden Versuch, die Verbrechen des Holocaust zu leugnen.
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) August 17, 2022
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also slammed Abbas’ comments, calling them a “monstrous lie.”
“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ‘50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one-and-a-half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him,” Lapid tweeted.
Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed “50 Holocausts” while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie.
Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him.
יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 16, 2022
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday reiterated his rejection of Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’ accusation that Israel has perpetrated “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians, according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.
According to the statement, Scholz told Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid during a telephone conversation that it “was important for him to clarify this personally to the prime minister, as well as publicly.”
The two emphasized the importance of ties between Jerusalem and Berlin, and agreed to continue bilateral cooperation in various fields, the statement added.