German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday voiced “disgust” at statements by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Berlin on the Holocaust, amid a growing outcry in Germany and Israel.
At a joint press conference with Scholz on Tuesday, Abbas, 87, was asked if he would apologise on behalf of the Palestinian gunmen who carried out the Munich Olympics hostage-taking in 1972 that ended with 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed.
Abbas did not give a direct reply but instead compared it to the situation in the Palestinian territories, and accused Israel of committing “50 massacres, 50 Holocausts” against Palestinians since 1947.
“I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmud #Abbas,” Scholz wrote on Twitter.
“For us Germans in particular, any relativisation of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
Scholz himself also drew fire for failing to immediately condemn Abbas’ remarks at the press conference, which ended following the Palestinian leader’s statements.
“One would have liked (Scholz’s) clarification to be more immediate,” wrote Spiegel magazine.
In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also condemned Abbas’ remarks.
“Mahmud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ’50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie,” wrote Lapid on Twitter.
“Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him.”
Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan described Abbas’ words as “appalling”.
He added that the German government “must respond appropriately to this inexcusable behaviour done inside the Federal Chancellery”.
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