Mahmoud Abbas: Outrage over Palestinian leader’s ’50 Holocausts’ remark

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“From 1947 to the present, Israel has committed 50 massacres in Palestinian towns and cities,” Abbas said in Arabic, standing next to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference in Berlin. “50 massacres, 50 Holocausts and to this day there are casualties by the Israeli army.”

Abbas had been asked by a journalist to apologize for the massacre of the 1972 Munich Olympics, when members of the Israeli team were taken hostage by Palestinian gunmen while part of a splinter group of Abbas’ Fatah. party, which led to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, and a West German police officer, after an armed standoff.

September marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Scholz did not respond directly to Abbas on stage, but tweeted later“I am disgusted by the outrageous comments made by Palestinian President Mahmoud #Abbas. For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is unacceptable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
The German Ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, tweeted that“What President #Abbas said in Berlin about ’50 holocausts’ is wrong and unacceptable. Germany will never stand for any attempt to deny the unique dimension of the crimes of the Holocaust.”
Israeli leaders also widely condemned the comment, with Prime Minister Yair Lapid saying:“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of committing ’50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but also 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.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz described Abbas’s words as “despicable and false.” “His statement is an attempt to twist and rewrite history,” Gantz said.

Global figures also criticized the comments. The US State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, Ambassador Deborah E. Lipstadt, described them as “unacceptable,” adding that “disturbing the Holocaust can have dangerous consequences and fuel anti-Semitism.”

Abbas’s staff tried to clarify his comments on Wednesday. “President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirms that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime that has occurred in modern human history,” his office said in a statement.

His response “was not intended to deny the specificity of the Holocaust, which was committed in the last century and which is condemned in the strongest terms,” ​​it added.

“What is meant by the crimes that… Abbas spoke of are the massacres committed by Israeli forces against the Palestinian people since the Nakba, crimes that have not stopped to this day,” the statement concluded. This refers to the establishment of Israel in 1948, dubbed al-Nakba or “the catastrophe” by the Palestinians, after more than 700,000 Palestinians were displaced or fled their homes during the resulting Arab-Israeli war.

This is not the first time Abbas has made comments that are considered anti-Semitic. A doctoral student in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, Abbas wrote a dissertation claiming a secret relationship between Nazis and early advocates for a Jewish state, according to Reuters. His claims resurfaced in 2018, when he said that Jews living in Europe had suffered since the 11th century “not because of their religion, but [but] It was because of their social appeal.”

“So the Jewish issue that had spread against the Jews all over Europe was not because of their religion, it was because of usury and banking,” he said during an opening address at the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the de facto parliament for the Palestinian Authority. Liberation Organization.

Following mass outrage, Abbas later apologized for his comments, saying he condemned anti-Semitism and called the Holocaust the “most heinous crime in history.”

CNN’s Abeer Salman and Amir Tal contributed to this report.

the summary

Syria denies kidnapping or “hiding” US citizen

The Syrian government has denied that it is “kidnapping” or “hiding” US citizen Austin Tice, who went missing in the country a decade ago.

  • Background: Tice, a freelance journalist, was detained at a checkpoint near the Syrian capital Damascus in August 2012 while covering the country’s civil war. US President Joe Biden said last week that the US government “knows with certainty that he is being held by the Syrian regime”. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the allegations against the Syrian government that it “arrested” Tice are false. The ministry added: “Syria reaffirms that any dialogue or official communication with the US government will be public and based on respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and non-interference in its internal affairs. ”
  • Why it matters: Relations between the United States and Syria have been tense since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, and Washington has imposed sanctions on several government officials and militia leaders. It continues to push for a political solution to the war, which has been raging for more than 10 years now. Securing Tice’s release would also boost Biden’s domestic popularity as his administration has come under fire for not doing enough to bring Americans detained abroad back home.

Israel and Turkey to restore full diplomatic ties

Israel and Turkey will restore full diplomatic ties between the two countries, including the return of ambassadors and consul generals to their respective posts, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced on Wednesday.

  • BackgroundTurkey expelled Israel’s ambassador in 2018 in response to the killing of 60 Palestinians by the Israeli military during protests along the Gaza border sparked by the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Israel, in turn, has expelled the Turkish ambassador to Israel. Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Turkey in March, followed by visits by both countries’ foreign ministers, helped to thaw tensions after more than a decade of tense relations.
  • Why it matters: Israel has had better relations with regional countries without any progress towards a two-state solution with the Palestinians. The Biden administration has made it increasingly clear that it sees the Abraham Accords – a series of normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states – as an important part of its diplomacy in the Middle East and has encouraged other regional states such as Jordan and Egypt to to work more closely within its framework.

State Department receives response from Iran to EU nuclear deal proposal, spokesman says

As efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal continue, a U.S. State Department spokesman said on Tuesday that Iran’s response to the latest draft of the Vienna Agreement by the European Union is under threat. has been presented, has received.

  • Background: Last week, EU officials sent the US and Iran what they called the “final text” of a revived deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. On Monday evening, Iran responded in writing to the proposal, meeting a deadline set by the bloc. Although Iran’s written response has not been made public, the country’s chief adviser to the negotiations tweeted that an agreement was closer than ever, but not yet ready. Tehran is seeking assurances that it will be compensated if a future US president withdraws from the pact, a regional diplomat told CNN on Tuesday. The State Department spokesman would not characterize US sentiment in receiving the Iranian response.
  • Why it matters: Attempts to revive the deal, which former US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, have been underway for months, with US-Iran negotiations being brokered by the EU and Qatar. Iran has said a final deal should protect the country’s rights and ensure the lifting of sanctions, which could free up tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues and boost Iran’s struggling economy. And with energy prices skyrocketing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a renewed nuclear deal would help lower prices and pour more barrels into Europe.

what to watch

Iran is seeking assurances that the US will not withdraw from a revived nuclear deal if political disagreements with Tehran arise in the future, Mohammad Marandi, adviser to Iran’s negotiating team and professor at Tehran University, told Becky Anderson of CNN.

View the report here:

Around the region

Authorities say a painting believed to be by Pablo Picasso and estimated to be worth millions of dollars was found during a drug raid in Iraq.

The alleged stolen artwork was discovered on Saturday in the possession of three people in central eastern Iraq’s Diyala province, the state-run Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

The suspects have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the trafficking and transportation of narcotics, according to the country’s Interior Ministry Directorate-General for the Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

“A painting by the international painter Picasso was seized in their possession, estimated at millions of dollars,” Colonel Bilal Sobhi, director of the anti-narcotics media agency, said in a statement to the INA.

He added: “The drug trade is linked to many crimes, including murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape, gang formation, corruption and family breakdown until it reaches the antiquities trade.”

The raid that led to the painting’s discovery was part of the ministry’s ongoing security operations that began in July.

Details about the painting, its history of ownership and how it will be verified are yet to be released.

By Amarachi Orie, CNN

Photo of the day


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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