Sometimes a global leader’s toxicity is clear for several to see. This type of moment arrived for the Palestinian Authority’s (PA’s) Mahmoud Abbas on Aug. 16, when standing alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, he outrageously claimed that Israel had committed “50 Holocausts” contrary to the Palestinians. Granted that dictatorships habitually rule by misdirecting the misery of these subjects, but so gross a distortionand in that venuehad consequences. Scholz later tweeted: “I’m disgusted by the outrageous remarks created by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. For all of us Germans specifically, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any try to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
Although Abbas enjoys diplomatic immunity, German police launched an initial investigation once they received a formal criminal complaint for “inciting hatred.” The Biden administration’s envoy for fighting antisemitism warned such rhetoric “might have dangerous consequences and fuels antisemitism.” The incident occurred despite reports that German officials met with Abbas’s aides prior to the conference and urged Abbas to avoid rhetoric that might be unacceptable in Germany. Most shocking of most, Abbas’ calumny was uttered in reaction to a German journalist asking if Abbas wanted to apologize for the cold-blooded massacre of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich in 1972 by Palestinian terrorists. He didn’t.
Abbas, why don’t we remember, was said to be the pragmatist, the moderate, in comparison to his predecessor. Yasser Arafat’s essentially violent nature and strategy were popular to the planet, as he previously committed innumerable acts of terrorism and cruelty because the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) since 1969. The astonishing simple truth is that the planet suspended disbeliefeven handing him the most undeserved Nobel Peace Prize in historyuntil he shredded their illusions in the orgy of blood and thunder that has been the next Intifada, in charge of the violent deaths greater than 5,000 Palestinians and about 1,400 Israelis.
When Arafat died, and Abbas succeeded him as ruler of both PLO and PA in 2004, it had been hoped by many in the West he would seriously govern as a moderate and pursue peace, yet already in his initial 2004-2005 campaign for PA president, Abbas said he’d shield Palestinian terrorists from Israel and he had no plans to crack down in it. Abbas won a four-year term for the reason that election; 17 years later, no new election has ever been held. Unsurprisingly, the democracy monitor Freedom House rates Abbas’s PA-run West Bank to be Not Free, noting that: “[t]he PA lacks an executive or legislature having an electoral mandate. As the legislature have not functioned since 2007, new laws are introduced via presidential decree… The news headlines media aren’t free in the West Bank; journalists are surveilled and repressed… Human rights groups regularly document allegations of arbitrary detention by PA security forces.” On the other hand, Freedom House designates Israel as Free, finding that “Israel is really a parliamentary democracy with a multiparty system and independent institutions that guarantee political rights and civil liberties for some of the populace.”
In hindsight, possibly the Holocaust denial of the dictator Abbas shouldn’t have already been so shocking. In 1982, Abbas wrote a doctoral thesis at Patrice Lumumba University in Soviet Moscow, titled “THE TRICK Connection between your Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement,” where he asserted that under a million Jews had died in the Holocaust; a later 1984 introduction challenged the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. Horrifically, he alleges that Jewish Zionists joined forces with the Nazis to inflict the Holocaust on European Jewry. Perhaps whenever a famous Holocaust denier denies the Holocaust, he isn’t telling us anything about himself we don’t know. Nevertheless, it really is a significant light where to take into account the consistent antisemitic incitement in Palestinian educational materials and public media.
For individuals who don’t knowfor instance, for all those raised in regimes just like the PA, which distort and deny the Holocaustthe Nazi Third Reich completed an industrialized genocide of all of Europe’s Jews, slaughtering 6 million Jews out of about 16 million then surviving in the planet. Even based on the most optimistic interpretations, the Jewish population hasn’t returned compared to that prewar peak. Meanwhile, by some estimates, the Palestinian population has increased by nine times because the Partition of the British Mandate. Somehow, that is said to be happening while Israel (in accordance with Abbas) perpetrates 50 equivalents of the slaughter of the 6 millionwhich means killing approximately 300 million Palestinians, concerning the current population of america. Your brain boggles.
Yet, in the centre East of today, the mathematically, historically, and ethically challenged Abbas is permitted to masquerade as a statesman, a moderate, and a peacemaker. It really helps him that his domestic opposition, Hamas, is dedicated by charter to Israel’s destruction, as the violent Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is really a pawn of revolutionary Iran, and the forces of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) try to “anti-normalize” the Israeli state. Yet these forces are normally allies as rivals in the poisonous stew that passes for Palestinian politics, as each supported Abbas’s “50 Holocausts” commentnot only in spirit however in content. Which should tell the planet just as much as you can hope to find out about the prospects Israel has for peace with a Palestinian culture that is brainwashed by decades of official Holocaust denial and antisemitic incitement. Israel has about just as much of the opportunity of a peace agreement with this particular band of “leaders” since it does of a joint space program with moon landing deniers. For peace to materialize in the Holy Land, a complete new generation of Palestinian leadership must step of progress.
Bassam Eid is really a Palestinian human rights activist.
The views expressed in this post will be the writer’s own.