Mahmoud Al-Habbash, an adviser to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, defended Abbas’ statement, according to which Israel committed "50 holocausts" against Palestinian Arabs.
An an address that aired on Palestine TV on August 17 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Al-Habbash claimed that “all the leaders of the [Israeli] occupation joined together in attacking Abbas, because he is defending his people and he wants to remind the world of the massacres against them.”
"They want us to forget history, while at the same time they want the world to remember a history which is mostly forged, exaggerated, fabricated, and with no basis in reality. Their forged history is considered to be the truth, whereas our history — which goes all the way to recent days — is considered non-existent and has no credibility,” he stated.
"They are criticizing and attacking the President because he said that Israel and the occupation had committed more than 50 massacres, more than 50 holocausts, against the Palestinians, since 1947 and to this day. They were enraged, they raised a ruckus, and they started a campaign of incitement against the President — a campaign of incitement against every Palestinian, each and every one of us,” charged Al-Habbash.
"Abu Mazen does not represent himself alone. When he spoke, he did not speak on his own behalf — he spoke in the name of all of us. He conveyed what we all feel, and he conveyed the reality of what his entire nation is facing. If Israel had not committed massacres against the Palestinians, then how should we call the war crimes that Israel has been committing against us?”
"When we do not forget what is committed against us, and what is perpetuated against our people — that is not a crime, it is not something unusual, and it is not 'antisemitism,' as they call it. What antisemitism? We are the Semites. Even our names, the names of our cities and of our land are authentically Semitic, because we are the genuine [Semites]. We are the true Semites, the Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Arabs, and the Muslims, who have never left this land, since they settled it. Ever since this land was settled by humans, we have been here, and we have stayed here. Many have passed here and then disappeared and were forgotten by history, but this Canaanite, Palestinian, Arab land has stayed around to bear witness — through its people and its names — to its history," said Al-Habbash.
Abbas made the controversial comments this week during a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Abbas had used the English word "holocausts" when responding to a question regarding the Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games by Palestinian Arab terrorists.
The PA chairman dismissed a question over whether he would apologize for the massacre and said: “I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed….50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts,”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid blasted Abbas over the comments, saying, “Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ‘50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie.”
“Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him,” he added.
Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, also condemned the PA chairman and tweeted, “What President Abbas said in Berlin about ‘50 holocausts’ is wrong and unacceptable.”
“Germany will never stand for any attempt to deny the singular dimension of the crimes of the Holocaust,” stressed Seibert.
A statement from Abbas' office later clarified that he "reiterates and emphasizes that the Holocaust was the most abominable crime that occurred in humanity's modern history."
On Friday, German police opened an investigation against Abbas on suspicion of Holocaust denial.
Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in Germany.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)