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Germany: Tension in the chancellery after Abbas’s statements about Israel’s ’50 holocausts’ with Palestinian victims

“From 1947 until today, Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian villages and towns, in Deir Yassin, Tandoora, Kafr Qasim and many others. 50 massacres, 50 holocausts. To this day we have daily deaths from the Israeli army. Our demand is: Stop! Enough! Let us find peace! Let us look forward, to security, to stability!”.

This statement by the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, during a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, has sparked strong reactions in the last few hours from the opposition and the media, who mainly criticize the fact that Mr. Scholz did not respond during the interview, but also by the chancellor himself, who later expressed his irritation.

As part of the joint press conference, the Palestinian leader was asked if he intends to apologize on behalf of the Palestinians to Israel and Germany for the attack by the Black September organization against athletes of the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

“If we want to keep digging into the past, yes, please! I have 50 massacres committed by Israel, which were recorded in film documentaries: the massacre in Tandoora in 1948, in Kafr Qasim in 1956,” Mahmoud Abbas said and insisted on that trust must be built between the two sides because “that would be much better than any words”.

Government spokesman Stephen Hebstreit, as is customary in the chancellery after four questions, thanked the journalists present and the two leaders left the press conference venue, without Mr Soltz commenting on his guest’s statements. The chancellor, visibly annoyed, hastily shook hands with Mr Abbas and moved ahead of his guest, which is not usual.

“Before the chancellor could rebut this outrageous proposal, the government spokesman had already finished moderating the press conference – as is usually done after the last question/answer – which apparently annoyed Mr Soltz. Then the government spokesman a spokesman told reporters who were still in the room, and of course they couldn’t help but notice the chancellor’s irritation, how angry Mr. Scholz was at the statement and at the fact that he didn’t have the chance to disagree publicly,” he told Bild newspaper. chancery official.

Later, Mr. Scholz himself told the newspaper: “Especially for us Germans, any transformation of the Holocaust into banality is intolerable and unacceptable.”

Germany’s ambassador to Israel (and former government spokesman) Steffen Seibert stressed for his part via Twitter that “what President Abbas said in Berlin, about ’50 holocausts’, is wrong and unacceptable. Germany will not tolerate any attempt denial of the unique dimension of the crimes of the Holocaust”.

Christian Democratic Party (CDU) leader Friedrich Merz, also via Twitter, argued that Olaf Solz should have contradicted the Palestinian president’s statements and asked him to leave the chancellorship.

His predecessor Armin Lassett overdid it, referring to “the most disgusting statement ever heard in the chancellery”.

Bild spoke of an “anti-Semitism scandal in the chancellery” in its editorial commentary, condemning the chancellor’s attitude. “Even the students are told not to be silent when someone denies the Holocaust,” the newspaper pointed out.

“Abbas accuses Israel of Holocaust – Scholz is silent,” commented Der Spiegel magazine.

But even before the controversial question, during the press conference, the very different approaches of the two leaders had become clear.

Mr Scholz criticized Mr Abbas’s declaration of an “apartheid” regime from Israel, saying he did not adopt the term and did not think it accurately described the situation, while opposing full UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian leader called on the European Union and the United Nations to fully recognize the Palestinian state, with the chancellor repeatedly stressing that “Germany still supports a negotiated two-state solution along the 1967 borders,” but at the same time to reject the request for full recognition by the UN, where the Palestinians currently have observer status. “This is not the time to change that,” insisted Mr. Soltz.

Mr. Abbas assured, among other things, that the Palestinian Authority “totally rejects terrorism and violence anywhere in the world”, pointing out that the Palestinians, “although we are exposed to attacks, we insist on peaceful resistance”.

He spoke of 77 years of occupation of Palestine and asked for the protection of the two-state solution, while assuring that he is committed to the organization of parliamentary and presidential elections, which, however, as he complained, Israel is blocking. At this point, Mr. Scholtz pointed out that “if you live in a country like Germany, where elections are held every four years, then you think that since 2006 it has probably been a while and elections could be held again.”

Mr. Abbas also expressed his disappointment that no peace initiative emerged during the recent visit of US President Joe Biden to the region, however he pledged that the Palestinian side would not proceed with unilateral actions.

“There are 700 resolutions from the UN General Assembly and another 90 from the Security Council. I wish all states, but especially the US, to implement one of these resolutions. I would be happy if a resolution was implemented,” said the president of the United Nations. Palestinian Authority.


Source: Capital

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