PA Holocaust distortion: The Zionists “exaggerated” the number of Holocaust victims
- "The most prominent incident of genocide is what has happened and is still happening to the Palestinian people”
Holocaust distortion is Holocaust denial’s ugly cousin that has been willingly adopted by the PA. Instead of denying the Holocaust outright, the PA now “only” distorts the horrific scale of the attempted genocide against the Jews, denying documented historical truth.
A regular columnist for the official PA daily exemplified this in a recent column that protested the inclusion of Holocaust studies in Arab curricula.
Even while acknowledging the Holocaust as a real event in history and mentioning Anne Frank as “one of hundreds of stories of the Holocaust, which tell the suffering of the Jews in the period of Nazi rule,” columnist Ramzi Oudeh minimized the number of Jewish victims, accusing the “Zionists” of inflating numbers to create support for the establishment of the State of Israel:
“Without commenting on the Zionist exaggeration of the [number of] victims of the Holocaust in order to obtain the world’s sympathy and support for the Zionist state, we do not deny that the Holocaust is a fact.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 5, 2023]
The writer repeated the baseless claim that Jews have overstated the number of victims later in the article, claiming that there is no Holocaust denial in the Arab region but only opposition to “the exaggeration in the number of its victims”:
“The main excuse for this haste (i.e., of Arab states including Holocaust studies in their curricula) to satisfy the Zionists was a struggle against denial of the Holocaust among members of the Arab region. This is a baseless excuse, as no one – including the Arabs – denies the Holocaust, even if some of them oppose the exaggeration in the number of its victims or its circumstances.”
The allegation that the Jews inflated the number of Holocaust victims is not a new PA invention. Already in 1984, now PA Chairman Abbas wrote in his thesis "The Other Side: The Secret Relations between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement" that the number of murdered Jews was “a few hundred thousand”:
Mahmoud Abbas: "Having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiation table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over. However, since Zionism was not a fighting partner -- suffering victims in a battle -- it had no escape but to offer up human beings, under any name, to raise the number of victims, which they could then boast of at the moment of accounting…
It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement...is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions -- fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand."
(Translation by the Wiesenthal Center)
[Mahmoud Abbas: "The Other Side: The Secret Relations between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement", Feb. 15, 1984]
Abbas’ thesis is taken as fact in the PA, as was illustrated by an official PA daily columnist who wrote that Abbas’ book “exposed the great lie” of 6 million murdered Jews:
“[Abbas’ book] emphasized that there is an exaggeration of the events of the Nazi Holocaust, and also exposed how the Zionist organization invented the myth of 6 million killed Jews, which it described as ‘a great lie’.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 30, 2021]
One of the definitions of Holocaust distortion by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is:
“Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources.”
Columnist Ramzi Oudeh further minimized the Holocaust when arguing that Arabs don’t need to learn about it because other “cases of ethnic cleansing” have taken place since. Among these he included the alleged “genocide” of Palestinians as “the most prominent incident of genocide”:
“We do not deny that the Holocaust is a fact. However, as Arabs we are not required to include it in the school curricula, or even in the museums dealing with this human tragedy, as for the last several hundred years dozens of cases of ethnic cleansing have been committed in the world, such as the genocide in Armenia at the start of the last century, or the genocide against the Tutsis in Burundi (i.e., the Rwandan genocide) at the end of the last century. It may be that the most prominent incident of genocide is what has happened and is still happening to the Palestinian people at the hands of the Zionists for more than 70 years.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 5, 2023]
Others in the Arab world are also against teaching the Holocaust to students. Official PA TV broadcast a former Lebanese minister stating his opinion that inclusion of Holocaust studies in Arab curricula is “unfortunate”:
Former Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transportation Ghazi Aridi: “Unfortunately – I say this with full sincerity – there are Arabs who intend to approve a Holocaust studies program in their schools, and to turn this topic into a foundational chapter in their studies, under the headline of the Abraham Accords.”
[Official PA TV, From Beirut, Jan. 13, 2023]
The following is a longer excerpt of the column in the official PA daily:
Excerpt of a column by Ramzi Oudeh, Secretary-General of the International Academic Campaign against Israel
Headline: “Teach your children about ECAAP (i.e., an invented acronym of “Ethnic Cleansing and Apartheid Against Palestinians”) and resistance to the occupation!”
“Many people were moved by the story of the young German Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family, whom the Nazi forces persecuted and arrested them in their hiding place in Amsterdam, and in the end they were murdered in the Nazis’ detention camps. Frank wrote her memoirs (sic., she had kept a diary), and they have been translated into more than 65 languages. Her hiding place became a museum and a pilgrimage site for those who oppose the policy of ethnic cleansing and identify with children in wartime. This is one of hundreds of stories of the Holocaust, which tell the suffering of the Jews in the period of Nazi rule.
Without commenting on the Zionist exaggeration of the [number of] victims of the Holocaust in order to obtain the world’s sympathy and support for the Zionist state (sic., the number of victims of the Holocaust is very well documented), we do not deny that the Holocaust is a fact. However, as Arabs we are not required to include it in the school curricula, or even in the museums dealing with this human tragedy, as for the last several hundred years dozens of cases of ethnic cleansing have been committed in the world, such as the genocide in Armenia at the start of the last century, or the genocide against the Tutsis in Burundi (i.e., the Rwandan genocide) at the end of the last century. It may be that the most prominent incident of genocide is what has happened and is still happening to the Palestinian people at the hands of the Zionists for more than 70 years. The studies of Ilan Pappé (i.e., anti-Zionist Israeli historian and former member of the Jewish-Arab communist party Hadash) and Benny Morris (i.e., Israeli historian) are among the most important scientific testimonies to the systematic ethnic cleansing by the Zionist forces in 1948…
The problematic matter that spurred me to write this article is not the Holocaust in and of itself, for as I wrote above, I do not deny it, but rather [it is] the direction taken by one of the Arab states that are competing among themselves over normalization [with Israel]. It imposed on its students to learn about the Holocaust as part of its curriculum, and not only that, for recently a Holocaust museum was established in this state (refers to the United Arab Emirates, one of the states to sign the Abraham Accords; see note below -Ed.). The main excuse for this haste to satisfy the Zionists was a struggle against denial of the Holocaust among members of the Arab region.This is a baseless excuse, as no one – including the Arabs – denies the Holocaust, even if some of them oppose the exaggeration in the number of its victims or its circumstances.
There is no doubt that putting the Holocaust into the curricula must relate to the need to reject ethnic cleansing of the members of any people or religion in the world. On the other hand, it must connect this massacre [the Holocaust] to the Zionist movement’s success in exploiting the Holocaust and increasing its danger in order to frighten the world’s Jews and encourage their immigration to Palestine, so as to colonize it and avoid the danger of eradication. This is at a time when Israel has committed ECAAP (i.e., an invented acronym of “Ethnic Cleansing and Apartheid Against Palestinians”) of the most severe level for 70 years, while murdering the Palestinians and uprooting them in cold blood. It is also necessary to connect the nature in which the Zionist movement exploited the Holocaust to blackmail the world’s states and forced them to pay billions of dollars as compensation to the Jewish victims, to the fact that it denies the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees, whom it uprooted from their homes, and whom until now it opposes their return and refuses to compensate them!
It may be that many schoolbooks in the world contain moving stories about the Holocaust, such as the story of Anne Frank, but it is a duty to also put content in these schoolbooks about the Zionist ECAAP and the legitimacy of the resistance to the occupation.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 5, 2023]
Israeli peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain (the Abraham Accords), Sudan, and Morocco – an agreement normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was announced on Aug. 13, 2020, under the mediation of US President Donald Trump. Following the UAE, Bahrain reached a similar peace agreement with Israel, as was announced on Sept. 11, 2020. The agreements were signed at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020, by Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. Pursuant to the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE will discuss bilateral cooperation on a number of topics. In exchange for the agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its previously announced plans to apply Israel's civilian law to parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley as per the Trump peace plan. The US announced that “Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.”
On Oct. 23, 2020, Sudan also formally agreed to normalize relations with Israel. Israel reached a similar normalization agreement with Morocco on Dec. 10, 2020.