On Wednesday, European and Israeli officials were overwhelmed with indignation and moralization following remarks made by Mahmoud Abbas during a visit to Germany.
Standing next to Chancellor Olaf Scholz a day earlier, the Palestinian Authority leader accused Israel of committing “50 holocausts” against Palestinians.
Scholz took to Twitter to say he was “disgusted by the outrageous comments” made by Abbas.
“For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the uniqueness of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable,” Scholz said. “I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
Armin Laschet, a prominent right-wing German politician and failed chancellor candidate, even claimed that Abbas’s words were the “most disgusting speech” ever heard in the German chancellery – apparently elevating the PA leader to a place in history worse than Hitler.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid – no doubt keen to divert international attention from Israel’s latest round of killings – quickly intervened.
“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of committing ’50 holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not just moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie,” the man who recently claimed that Israel is not s excuse for killing children in Gaza, declared.
“Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children,” Lapid added. “History will never forgive him.”
Even German state media does not claim that Abbas “denied” the Holocaust – as Scholz charged.
Abbas himself later clarified – no doubt in an attempt to appease the PA’s enraged European payers – that his comment in Germany “was not intended to deny the uniqueness of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century “.
On the contrary, Abbas said he wanted to highlight “the crimes and massacres committed against the Palestinian people since the Nakba at the hands of Israeli forces”.
“These crimes have not ceased to this day,” the AP chief added, with precision.
It is legitimate to debate the usefulness of such comparisons, but they are not uncommon.
The words of Lapid’s father
Indeed, a few years ago, Yair Lapid’s own father, the late Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, compared the daily persecution of Palestinians by Israeli Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron to the persecution of Jews in Europe just before the Holocaust.
“It was not crematoria or pogroms that made our life in the diaspora bitter before they started killing us, but persecution, harassment, stone-throwing, attacks on livelihoods, intimidation, spitting and scorn,” the elder Lapid, then chairman of the advisory board of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel, said in 2007.
In a similar vein, Israeli General Yair Golan compared Israel to Nazi Germany during a speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day six years ago.
“If there’s one thing that frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it’s identifying the shocking trends that occurred in Europe as a whole, and in Germany in particular, some 70 years ago. , 80 and 90 years old, and to find the evidence. trends here among us in 2016,” the general said.
Presumably, learning the lessons of history – as Holocaust memorialists insist we do – means examining and debating contemporary events in light of Germany’s crimes.
As the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, states, Holocaust education “provides a starting point for examining warning signs that may indicate the potential for mass atrocities.”
But according to Scholz, it is prohibited – at least for the Palestinians. Indeed, the German Chancellor’s insistence on the “uniqueness” of the Holocaust seems to be deployed only when useful to protect Israel.
Ukrainian leader downplays the Holocaust
In April, for example, and not for the first time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that the Russian invasion of his country was worse than the Nazi occupation during World War II.
On another occasion, addressing Israeli lawmakers, Zelensky claimed that Russia was implementing a “final solution” against Ukraine, using a term usually reserved for Nazi plans to murder millions of Jews.
According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, German occupiers and their Ukrainian collaborators murdered at least half a million Jews during the Holocaust.
I don’t remember the torrents of outrage from German or European leaders over Zelensky’s brazen downplaying of the German and Ukrainian genocide of Ukrainian Jews and Poles.
If anyone is trivializing the Holocaust, it is European and Israeli leaders, and Zionist organizations who weaponize the memory of murdered Jews to justify the Zionist colonization and occupation of Palestine, and the relentless killing of Palestinians that goes with it. .
As Columbia University professor Joseph Massad observes, “Israeli Zionists have appropriated events in Jewish history, including the Holocaust, for propaganda purposes to assert their ‘right’ to Palestine. – a land on which they had laid their dubious colonial claim half a century before death. genocide.”
“By appropriating the Holocaust, Israel asserts that any recognition of the genocide is recognition of Israel’s ‘right to exist as a Jewish state,’ while any attempt to deny that right is tantamount to denying the Holocaust.” , adds Massad.
Historically, notes Massad, the Palestine Liberation Organization “has always been keen to show sympathy for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and to condemn the Nazis.”
But Israel and its supporters rejected this solidarity because at the time the PLO refused to recognize and accept Israel’s claims to Palestinian land.
Germany’s ‘get out of jail free’ card
To this day, Israel and its supporters dismiss as insincere any acknowledgment of the Holocaust or solidarity with its Jewish victims that is not accompanied by explicit support for the brutal Zionist ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine.
It was Scholz’s indirect way of saying that the memory of the Holocaust belongs to Israel and the Zionists to use politically as they see fit.
For the German elites, unconditional support for Israel’s occupation, murder, persecution and dispossession of the Palestinian people for nearly eight consecutive decades serves as an easy card to “get out of jail free”.
They are feigning a pious atonement, while it is the Palestinians whose lives and lands are being stolen – supposedly as compensation for German crimes.
Joining the attacks on Abbas, EU Vice President Margaritis Schinas affirmed that “the Holocaust is an indelible stain on European history; it erased Jewish life and heritage from many parts of our continent.
He is absolutely right. So, if territory is the appropriate compensation for genocide, why has no European country, especially Germany, offered its own land for a “Jewish state”?
The Palestinians are tired of paying the price for European hypocrisy and genocidal crimes.