A visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp by an official in the Palestinian Authority has sparked outrage among Hamas’ terrorist rulers in Gaza. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated PA media reports about the visit as well as the angry reactions to it.
The visit by Ziad Al-Bandak, an advisor to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Christian affairs, took place on July 27. He laid a wreath at the Death Wall and lit a candle in memory of the Holocaust victims.
The visit was at the invitation of a private Polish foundation promoting tolerance, according toa a report in the Ramallah-based daily Al-Ayyam. Several days prior to the visit, Al-Bandak met with Polish Undersecretary of State Boguslaw Winid.
Al-Bandak's act sparked furious responses from Hamas and Hamas supporters. The movement's spokesman, as well as columnists on websites affiliated with the group, stated that the visit served the interests of Israel, which presents itself as a victim by spreading the "lie" of the Holocaust.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said on the Hamas-affiliated Felesteen.ps website, “The visit helped Israel to spread the lie of the Holocaust, and does not serve the Palestinian cause. It has been clearly proven that the Israeli narrative [of the Holocaust] is fraudulent. [The Israelis] exaggerate what happened in order to garner international sympathy, which for years has come at the expense of the Palestinians.”
Barhoum added that the PA was financially bankrupt and was therefore taking small steps of this kind in hopes of extracting itself from the crisis by winning international sympathy.
Hamas-affiliated columnist Issam Shaur wrote on the same website, “What sort of wisdom was it on the part of [Abbas's] advisor to make this misguided visit, which supports the Jews and their crimes?... Who among us believes that Hitler burned six million Jews? We do not believe it, and neither do the Jews. The entire world is living [with] a hypocritical deception called the Holocaust, and it is even worse when a senior Palestinian official goes to weep over the fabricated remains of the Holocaust while ignoring the crimes of the occupation state and its sins against his own Palestinian people.
“Ziad Al-Bandak's tears, shed openly or not, imply that the Jews are the victims. A senior Palestinian official has testified before the whole world that the Jews' tragedy [actually took place], and we know this is [an act of] perjury that must be rejected. It reflects only the feelings of Ziad Al-Bandak, not the feelings of the Palestinian people towards the terrorist occupation state [called] 'Israel,' which is cordoning Gaza, Judaizing the holy places, and seizing lands [right] in front of 'Abbas and all his advisors, including Al-Bandak [himself].”
Faiz Abu Shamala, who writes on Hamas-affiliated websites, also slammed Al-Bandak for visiting Auschwitz, saying he should have instead visited PA Arab prisoners in Israeli jails and their families.
Abu Shamala wrote in the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal, “The Palestinian people should prosecute Abbas's advisor Ziad Al-Bandak for high treason and punish him for granting official recognition to the Jewish lie that has been refuted by intellectuals and writers, first and foremost among them the French philosopher Roger Garaudy.
“The Palestinian people should punish Ziad Al-Bandak for committing treason, for acknowledging the Jews' right to rule all of Palestine as compensation for their mass extermination at the hands of the Nazis in the camps of Auschwitz and Dachau.
“The Palestinian people should thwart Ziad Al-Bandak's [attempt to] infiltrate [the circle of] Palestinian decision-makers after becoming friendly with the Jews and weeping over their graves.”