German Christians outraged about Holocaust statements President Abbas


Central Europe


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (r.) and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (l.) hold a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on August 16, 2022. Photo AFP, Jens Schlueter

German Christians who consider themselves friends of Israel have reacted with outrage to statements by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, when he visited Federal Chancellery in Germany.

At a joint press conference with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on August 16, the politician declared that Israel had committed "50 holocausts" on Palestinians since 1947. That is reported by Idea. Abbas had been in Germany for an interview and held a press conference afterwards that day, PRO writes.

During that conference, a journalist asked Abbas whether the Palestinians would apologise for the attack on the Olympics in Munich. In 1972, eleven Israeli athletes died during the Palestinian terrorist group Black September attack. However, in reaction to that question, Abbas made his Holocaust statement.

Scholz initially did not contradict the statement. The day after the press conference, however, he tweeted that he was "deeply outraged by the unspeakable statements made by the Palestinian President." Especially for Germans, any relativisation of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable, Scholz wrote.

The chairman of the "Initiative January 27", Harald Eckert from Munich, told Idea that Abbas's statements were "more than grotesque and highly manipulative." It was shameful that "Scholz did not immediately and offensively contradict this lie", he says to Idea. Founded in 2005, "Initiative January 27" is committed to fighting anti-Semitism and strengthening German Israeli relations. Its name refers to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

According to Eckert, this is another example of the highly problematic ambivalence of German Israel and Middle East policy. It threatens to lead to a fatal dead end, he thinks.

"Sponsor of terrorism"

Scholz's condemnation of the statements came too late, Lothar Klein from Dresden responded to the events. Klein is the chairman of the association "Sächsische Israelfreunde" (Israel friends from Sachsen), IDEA writes. According to Klein, Scholz's words are "also meaningless if there are no noticeable consequences." Klein claims that Abbas is a sponsor of terrorism against Israel, referring to Palestinian textbooks, which "incite hatred of Jews" and that the Palestinian government pays "martyr's pensions" to the families of killed Palestinian terrorists. Therefore, the chairman demands that the German government does no longer financially support Abbas until "these grievances have been remedied."


The President of the German Israeli Society (DIG), the former member of the Bundestag Volker Beck from the Green Party, called for "a turning point in Germany's relationship with the Palestinian Authority. He did so in an interview with BILD, Idea writes. Abbas is a "notorious Holocaust trivialiser", Beck stated. According to him, German should no longer indirectly "finance terror against Israel through payments to the autonomy authority."
AfD MEP, Joachim Kuhs, stated in a press release that Germany supports "the corrupt, undemocratic Palestinian leadership with 193 million euros annually and the EU with an additional 257 million euros." The federal spokesman for the "Christians in the AfD" called for an immediate end to the "tax financing of terrorists and Holocaust deniers."

Scholz criticised

Abbas is not only the only one criticised for his statement. Chancellor Scholz is also verbally attacked for his response to Abbas's words. Especially the fact that Scholz remained silent during the press conference after the Palestinian President made his controversial remark, is held against him, PRO reports.

Scholz's spokesman took the blame for the lack of reaction from the side of the Chancellor. At the end of the press conference, he forgot to make eye contact with Scholz, he said according to Evangelisch.de. "I made the mistake of not reacting or not leaving time so that the Chancellor could react", he said.

In response to the fierce critique, President Abbas said on August 17 that he did not want to question the uniqueness of the Holocaust with his statement in Berlin.



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