Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas caused an uproar on a visit to Germany on Tuesday when he answered a journalist’s query about an apology for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics with a claim that Israel was guilty of perpetrating “holocausts” against the Palestinians.
Speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Abbas was asked about an apology for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes who were taken hostage by terrorists from the radical Palestinian “Black September” organization, as Germany marks the 50th anniversary of the atrocity.
“Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations from 1947 to the present day,” Abbas responded. “Fifty massacres, 50 holocausts.” At no point did the Palestinian leader specify which “massacres” he was referring to, and nor did he mention the Munich massacre, the subject of the question.
German media coverage of the press conference highlighted the country’s sensitivity to the use of the word “holocaust” as a descriptor for events other than the Nazi extermination of six million Jews during World War II.