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The Palestinian “holocaust” lie

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

In a recent press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said that Israel “committed 50 holocausts” against the Palestinians. While Abbas, other Palestinian leaders, and many supporters of the Palestinians often make accusations to attack and vilify Israel, in this instance one need look no further than the Palestinian Authority’s own publications in order to show that these claims are simply untrue. 

During the Holocaust, the Nazis murdered almost two thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. In 1933 there were an estimated 9,500,000 Jews living in Europe. By 1950, as a direct result of the murder of the Jews by the Nazis, the Jewish population had plummeted to 3,500,000 people. In contrast, since 1948, the Palestinian population in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza has grown by 400%. While in 1948 there were 1,010,000 Arab inhabitants (they were not yet known as “Palestinians”) in those areas, in 2022 the number of Palestinians living in those areas stands at 5,354,656. 

The term "Holocaust" is individual in its nature and refers to the actions taken by Nazi Germany prior to and during World War II, to exterminate the Jewish people. During the Holocaust, the Nazis and their accomplices systematically murdered 6,000,000 Jews.  

Among the actions taken by the Nazis, in January 1942 senior Nazi government officials met in Wannsee to ensure the cooperation of all the relevant departments in the implementation of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” - the name given by the Nazis to their plan to murder the Jews. The minutes of the meeting included a list of European countries and areas and the number of Jews living there: 

[Website of Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center] 

Section A of the list detailed areas under direct Nazi control or occupation, while section B included, among others, neutral countries and countries at war with Germany. 

The website of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum sums up the decimation of European Jewry as follows: 

“According to the American Jewish Yearbook, the Jewish population of Europe was about 9.5 million in 1933. In 1950, the Jewish population of Europe was about 3.5 million.” 

[US Holocaust Memorial Museum, accessed Aug. 29, 2022]  

To state the obvious: At no stage during the Holocaust did the number of Jews in Europe grow in millions. At no stage during the Holocaust did the number of Jews born in the areas controlled by the Nazis exceed, by tens of thousands, the number of Jews who died or were murdered. Rather, the Nazis decimated the Jewish population by murdering 6 million Jews. 

The same cannot be said about the Palestinians living under Israeli control or under the PA. In fact, as statistics published by the PA itself prove, the accusations by Abbas and many other PA and Fatah officials could not be further from the truth.  

To prove this, one need simply consider the number of Palestinians living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria in 1948 and through today.  

According to the First Interim Report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, which was published shortly after the end of Israel’s War of Independence, in November 1949 the population of the Gaza Strip (270,000) and the West Bank (740,000) was in total 1,010,000 Arabs. 

Estimates of the population in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in 1967, before Israel liberated the areas from the illegal occupations of Egypt and Jordan, respectively, suggest that from 1949 to 1967 the Arab population only grew slightly. A 1994 report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development placed the combined Arab population of the areas in 1967 at between 1,230,000 – 1,350,000, and 1,016,400 according to the census conducted by Israel at the time: 

“Population estimates immediately before the 1967 war suggest that there would have been 845,000 to 900,000 people in the West Bank, and between 385,000 and 450,000 in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli 1967 census reported the population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 661,700 and 354,700 inhabitants, respectively.” 

[United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, “Population and Demographic Developments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until 1990” Jun. 28, 1994] 

In other words, during the 19-year-long occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt and Judea and Samaria by Jordan, the population of these areas grew only marginally, if at all.   

In contrast, under Israeli control, from 1967 until the establishment of the PA (1994/5), the Palestinian population in those areas grew substantially. Thus, according to statistics published in 1999 by the PA Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), in 1997 there were an estimated 2,783,084 Palestinians living in Gaza and Judea and Samaria - the “West Bank” (as compared to 1,016,400 in 1967 per the Israeli census referred to above). 

Despite Israel's alleged “50 holocausts,” by 2022, the Palestinian population living in the same area has grown to 5,354,656 people according to PCBS.  

In other words, in contrast to the decimation of the Jewish population of Europe during the Holocaust, since 1948 the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank has grown by almost 400%, most of that since 1967 under Israeli rule. According to the PA’s own statistics, during the 25-year period from 1997 through 2022 alone, the Palestinian population has almost doubled itself, with a net growth of 2,571,572 people. 

The growth of the Palestinian population is clearly reflected in the PA statistics regarding births and deaths. According to the statistics, from 2007 through 2020 there were 1,864,403 live births in “Palestine” – i.e. the different PA districts, including areas under PA control, the Gaza Strip, and areas under Israeli control. 

See chart “Number of Registered Live Births in Palestine* by Region and Governorate, 2007 – 2020” below

In comparison, during the same period, the PA recorded just 167,886 deaths.  

See chart “Number of Registered Deaths in Palestine* by Region and Governorate, 2007 – 2020” below. 

In other words, according to the PA statistics, just during the period 2007 – 2020 there were 1,696,517 more Palestinians born than those who died. Every year during that period, the number of Palestinians born was 10 times greater than the number of Palestinians who died. 

Two additional statistics complete the debunking of the Palestinian claims.  

While the Arabs who live in Israel (as delineated by the lines agreed upon in the 1949 Armistice Agreements) are not “Palestinians”, it is worth noting that their population has also grown substantially. In 1948, the Israeli Arab population numbered approximately 160,000 people. By the end of 2021, according to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, the number of Israeli Arabs had grown to 1,975,200 people. 

As regards the so-called “Palestinian refugees” the picture is also similar. The First Interim Report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, mentioned above, placed the number of Arab refugees at 711,000 people. According to the website of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees.” As of the end of 2020, UNRWA claims there were 5,703,546 “registered refugees.” 

Assuming that the numbers of the UN and more importantly PA’s Central Bureau of Statistics are correct, there is unequivocal evidence that proves that when Abbas and the other PA leaders claim that Israel has conducted one or more holocausts against the Palestinians, they are not speaking the truth.  

[PA Central Bureau of Statistics, accessed Aug. 29, 2022]

[PA Central Bureau of Statistics, accessed Aug. 29, 2022]