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Daily Israel Report

What Palestinians Think of the Holocaust: 'Respect to Hitler'

Canadian documentary-maker reveals simultaneous trends denial and support for the holocaust in Ramallah.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 9/1/2014, 11:10 AM

What do Palestinians think about the Holocaust?

It's a question filmmaker Corey Gil-Shuster asked to random people in Ramallah, the political capital of the Palestinian Authority.

The results were not encouraging.

Respondents typically gave one of three answers. Some did not actually know what it was, or had only a vague idea. The majority, however, either voiced the claim - popular in Arab countries - that the Nazi genocide was exaggerated by Jews for political purposes so that they could do the same to Arabs, or simply said they supported what Hitler had done because, as one smiling woman shared, "Jews are evil".

One of the most remarkable aspects of the interviews was not so much those who expressed their support for the holocaust ("All respect to Hitler!" answered one man), but those who claimed they were experiencing precisely the same levels of brutality as Jews had faced under Nazi persecution, even as they shopped or sat freely smoking in cafes - a far cry from the deprivation and cruelty of European ghettos and concentration camps.

"So where are the concentration camps and the gas chambers?" an astonished Gil-Shuster asked one man, who said that Palestinians were suffering something "close to a holocaust" as he manned a stall brimming with sweets and drinks.

The video was part of a Youtube series called "Ask an Israeli, ask a Palestinian", in which random Israelis and Palestinians are asked their opinions or feelings on a wide variety of topics.