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.