Mahmoud Abbas Israel remark part of Holocaust trivialization trend - CAM

A new report on Holocaust denial comes as the Palestinian president outraged Germany with his “50 holocausts” comment.

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in Berlin, Germany, August 16, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in Berlin, Germany, August 16, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER)

Just hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s comments in Berlin equating Palestinian suffering to “50 holocausts,” the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) released a report detailing a total of 214 public manifestations of trivialization and appropriation of the Holocaust over the last year.

These incidents relate to statements made between July 2021 and July 2022 by political or other public officials and Holocaust trivialization manifestations made or displayed at public events around the world. The countries that showed the highest rates of Holocaust trivialization were the US, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Canada

The report is titled “Holocaust Trivialization Report: A Burgeoning Threat in 2021-2022 Trend Manifestations and Analysis.” 

Which ideological motivations are behind Holocaust trivialization?

The incidents that have been monitored in the report span 29 countries, based on six ideological motivations: COVID-19 restrictions, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, general political opposition and rhetoric, Russia-Ukraine conflict, sports and climate change.

According to the report, the United States had the largest number of incidents recorded within the past year with 80, or 37.4% of the total. Some 54 of the incidents that occurred there, more than two-thirds of the total (67.5%), manifested themselves in relation to COVID-19 regulations and policies.

Combat Antisemitism Movement Director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa (credit: COMBAT ANTISEMITISM MOVEMENT)Combat Antisemitism Movement Director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa (credit: COMBAT ANTISEMITISM MOVEMENT)

The United Kingdom had the second largest number of incidents reported: 24 (11.2%), most of which were related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were nine Israel-related incidents (37.5%). A fourth were COVID-19 related, the second highest ideological category with six reported.

Germany had the third largest number of reported incidents with 21, making up 9.8% of the worldwide total.

All of the incidents reported from Russia were related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. While Russia made up only 3.3% of the incidents, the seven reported stemmed from antisemitic rhetoric surrounding the war between Russia and Ukraine, which is one of the newest trends in Holocaust trivialization.

Combat Antisemitism Movement's response

Abbas’s comments are an outrageous attempt to downplay the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, and are part of a long-standing position by a man whose doctorate deals with denying central parts of the Holocaust,” CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa said. “While Abbas’s comments are particularly egregious, they are unfortunately part of a growing global trend to trivialize and appropriate Nazi Germany’s crimes against the Jewish people.”

"Abbas’s comments are an outrageous attempt to downplay the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, and are part of a long-standing position by a man whose doctorate deals with denying central parts of the Holocaust."

Sacha Roytman Dratwa

“Allowing Holocaust trivialization to flourish unchecked has regrettably created sanctuaries for antisemitic conspiracies, outright Holocaust denial and other extremist ideologies to spread,” he said. "these trends have created a perfect storm by minimizing Holocaust remembrance and Jewish concerns for safety during an already-resurgent wave of global antisemitism.”

Holocaust trivialization: COVID-19 regulations and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Holocaust trivialization incidents occurred most frequently when having to do with COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine regulations. Some 125 incidents are categorized as relating to COVID-19 pandemic-related health measures implemented by governments around the world, 58.4% of the 214 total number. Some 29 incidents are related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or 13.6% of the total number. These comparisons are employed by anti-Israel activists to distort the history of the Holocaust by falsely linking it to the Jewish state’s treatment of the Palestinians today.

“We call on global leaders and public officials around the world to put an end to the growing trivialization of the Holocaust by condemning and denouncing any and all manifestations, thereby creating a firewall against outright Holocaust denial and rapidly rising antisemitism,” Roytman Dratwa concluded.