Palestinian academics condemn Abbas Holocaust statement

In response to recent statements by President Mahmoud Abbas, a group of Palestinians have​ released an open letter:

We the undersigned, Palestinian academics, writers, artists, activists, and people of all walks of life, unequivocally condemn the morally and politically reprehensible comments made by President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas about the Holocaust. Rooted in a racial theory widespread in European culture and science at the time, the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people was born of antisemitism, fascism, and racism. We adamantly reject any attempt to diminish, misrepresent, or justify antisemitism, Nazi crimes against humanity, or historical revisionism vis-a-vis the Holocaust.

The Palestinian people are sufficiently burdened by Israeli settler colonialism, dispossession, occupation, and oppression without having to bear the negative effect of such ignorant and profoundly antisemitic narratives perpetuated by those who claim to speak in our name. We are also burdened by the PA’s increasingly authoritarian and draconian rule, which disproportionately impacts those living under occupation. Having held onto power nearly a decade and a half after his presidential mandate expired in 2009, supported by Western and pro-Israel forces seeking to perpetuate Israeli apartheid, Abbas and his political entourage have forfeited any claim to represent the Palestinian people and our struggle for justice, freedom, and equality, a struggle that stands against all forms of systemic racism and oppression.

Rashid Khalidi — Sherene Seikaly — Tareq Baconi — Muhammad Ali Khalidi — Zaha Hassan — Noura Erakat — Raja Shehadeh — Isabella Hammad — Lana Tatour — Nadia Abu El-Haj — Bashir Abu-Manneh — Raef Zreik — Leena Dallasheh — Lila Abu Lughod — Kareem Rabie — Mezna Qato — Amahl Bishara — Dana El Kurd — Nadia Hijab — Samera Esmeir — Ahmad Samih Khalidi — Abdel Razzaq Takriti — Maha Nassar — Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian — Huwaida Arraf — Rosemary Sayigh — Areej Sabbagh-Khoury — Tamara Ben-Halim — Yezid Sayigh — Jumana Manna — Nadim Bawalsa — Yousef Munayyer — Omar Qattan — Ismail Nashef — Nu’man Kanfani — Himmat Zoubi — Shahd Hammouri — Hamzé Attar — Hana Sleiman — Haithem El-Zabri — Samir Sinijlawi — Mussa’ab Bashir — Sam Bahour — Huda Al Imam — Bashir Bashir — Joey Ayoub — Michel Khleifi — Layth Malhis — Abdalhadi Alijla — Anis Mohsen — Karam Dana — Omar Dajani — Ubai Aboudi — Issam Nassar — Bassam Massarwa — Zaina Arekat — Bahaa Shahera Rauf — May Seikaly — Jerry Jareer Khoury — Rania Madi — Wesam Ahmad — Refaat Alareer — Omar Jabary Salamanca — Mona Hewaydi — Y. L. Al-Sheikh — Yasmeen Hamdan — Emilio Dabed — Ines Abdel Razek — Basheer Karkabi — Majed Abusalama — Leila Farsakh — Yazan Khalili — Moien Odeh — Hilary Rantisi — Tariq Raouf — Aimee Shalan — Nadia Khalilieh — Linda Kateeb — Bassam Dally — Zahi Khamis — Sami Jiries — Razzan Quran — Nour Salman — Jamal Rayyis — Izzeddin Araj — Tarek Ismail — Susan Muaddi Darraj — Basman Derawi — Rawan Arraf — Asad Ghanem — Assad Abdi — Umayyah Cable — Fahad Ali — Samar Dahleh — Ayman Nijim — Jumana Musa — Miryam Rashid — Helga Tawil-Souri — Leila Shahid — Leena Barakat — Nadia Saah — Hana Masud — Asma Al-Naser — Diana Buttu — Selma Dabbagh — Rana Issa — Riyad Khoury — Nasser Saleh — Said Abu Mualla — Haneen Zoabi — Muayad Alayan — Afnann Egbaria — Khaled Karkabi — Jaber Suleiman — Tarif Khalidi — Pelican Mourad — Ibrahim Fraihat — Basel Ghattas — Wisam Gibran — Fathi Marshood — Radi Suudi — Ahmed Abofoul — Omar Barghouti — Abdelhamid Siyam — Noor A’wad — Lara Elborno — Areen Hawari — Liyana Kayali — Nadia Naser-Najab — Kamal Aljafari — Anthony Broumana — Seema Hejazi — Fady Joudah — Samah Sabawi — Ramy Al-Asheq — Yousef Abu Warda — Khalil Sayegh — Nadim Khoury — Waseem Abu Mehadi — Jonathan Kuttab — Line Khateeb — Abdellatif Rayan — George Abed — Khalil Shikaki — Diana Alzeer — Lena Khalaf Tuffaha — Nadim Rouhana — Bassam Shihada — Hiba Husseini — Majed Kayali — Nahed Schäffer-Awwad — Burhan Ghanayem — Loubna Turjuman — Abeer Al-Najjar — Naseer Aboushi — Yasmeen Daher — Siman Khoury — Amani Barakat — Dimah Habash — George Bisharat — Walid Afifi — Hasan Hammami — Khalil Hindi — Akram Baker — Margaret Zaknoen DeReus — Mazen Masri — Tanya Keilani — Marzuq Al-Halabi — Hanan Toukan — Abdelnasser Rashid — Fadya Salfiti — M. Muhannad Ayyash — Yasser Abdrabbou — Maurice Ebileeni — Rashida Tlaib — Lina Qamar — Oraib Toukan — Rima I Anabtawi — Emad Salem — Mona Khalidi — Mohammed Said Samhouri — Raja G Khoury — Sara Husseini — Nasser Mashni — Jawadat Abu El-Haj — Norma M. Rantisi — Ann Shirazi — Ahmad Shirazi — Suheil Nammari — Nafez Abo-Elreich — Moosa Omar — Karem Sakallah — Farouq R Shafie — Mahmoud Muna — Izzat Darwazeh — Awni Daibes — Nadeem Karkabi — Ra’fat Sub Laban — Lina Ramadan — Gabriel Mifsud — Khaled Hamida — Basma Al-Sharif — Ali Mansour — Falestin Naili — Manar H. Makhoul — Nabil Armaly — Hassan F Hamed — Waleed Karkabi — Nada Elia — Abed Azzam — Hassane Karkar — Ben Jamal

Abbas ’50 Holocausts’ comment draws fire, lame local response as Israel cracks down on Palestinian rights groups

IT’S BEEN quite a week. 7 days after Salman Rushdie was stabbed by an assailant and rushed to hospital where he remains on the critical list, Mahmoud Abbas was drawing fire for comments he made at a press conference alongside German Chancellor Scholz, prompting an investigation by Berlin police.

Abbas claimed that Israel had committed “50 Holocausts” against Palestinians.

The remarks, during a news conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, sparked outrage in Germany, Israel and beyond. Scholz said Wednesday he was “disgusted by the outrageous remarks” made by the Palestinian Authority president.

He also rejected the use of the term ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel.

Police confirmed a report Friday by German daily Bild that Abbas was being investigated for possible infringements of laws making it a criminal offense to downplay or deny the Holocaust.

Abbas’ statement is consistent with replacement theology which denies the involvement of Palestinian leadership in the tragedy under Amin al-Husseini (pictured touring concentration camps with German high command) and the result is Nakba inflation, in which massacres of Jews by Arabs in the Middle East, including expulsion and cession of land owned by Jews, some 100 000 square km of deeded property, is rendered invisible.

Nether remarks by Abbas or Sholz received media coverage in South Africa. Instead, I awoke this morning to press releases from local rights organisations such as South African Jews for Free Palestine (SAJFP), objecting to seven Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations ‘forcibly shut by Israeli raids on Thursday’. A tragic case of injustice versus injustice in which both parties to the conflict feel emboldened to deny the rights of the other?

The reasons offered by Israel seem to be allegations the organizations are being used as ‘fronts for terror activities’. JFP were quick to point out this was a common accusation made during the State of Emergency under apartheid. Whether the result actually translates into apartheid is another matter.

One can only hope the SAJFP is as vocal in its objection to Holocaust denial and will provides readers with an explanation as to why there is currently no Secular Freedom Charter in a struggle which purports to be analogous to the struggle against apartheid.