Holocaust inversion: Abbas' longtime weapon of choice - opinion

Palestinian Holocaust Inversion will unfortunately not die any time soon, despite the international condemnations. It will just return to the more mundane daily incitement.

 PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY head Mahmoud Abbas gestures during the news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, earlier this month.  (photo credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY head Mahmoud Abbas gestures during the news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, earlier this month.
(photo credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)

Widespread Palestinian violent rejectionism is not built-in, it has been one hundred years in the making. It has been long and strategic, trying less to build the case for a Palestinian national homeland, but using the majority of its time and resources to try and demolish the case, legitimacy and existence of the Jewish national homeland.

From the beginning, Palestinian leaders like Haj Amin al-Husseini were inherently antisemitic. They didn’t hate the Jewish People because of their nationalist aspirations, they hated Jewish nationalist aspirations because the Jews were not to be deemed an equal people deserving of existence, let alone sovereignty.

This is why he could so seamlessly ally himself with Adolf Hitler and proudly state that the Jews were their shared enemy.

However, it was not until after the stunning victory by Israel in the Six Day War when Israel liberated Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and other territories, that Palestinian propaganda received its greatest boost.

While some internal and external critics like to claim that the change in Israel’s international image was because it now occupied territory it did not previously hold, a more accurate understanding shows that this was when the Soviet Union assisted the Palestinian Arabs to build a sophisticated international machinery of rejectionism.

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

Several of the major diatribes against the Jewish State were created at this time by the Department of Propaganda of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the KGB. They even tried to create a pseudo-science called Zionology, such was the shared obsession to defame Jewish national aspirations. It was arguably at this time that the disingenuous attempt to separate anti-Zionism from Antisemitism was formulated.

It was into this shadowy milieu that a middle-aged but rising PLO star named Mahmoud Abbas stepped to achieve his doctorate in what is essentially a vehement denial of central aspects of the Holocaust. His thesis doubted the existence of gas chambers, number of Jews murdered, and accused the Zionist movement of secretly colluding with the Nazis and supporting the genocide of the Jews of Europe.

It was Zionist Inversion, the turning of the victims of the Holocaust, the Jews, into perpetrators, par excellence. Abbas found a highly willing environment not just to entertain his fantasies and conspiracies about Jews, but one that encouraged and assisted.

With this in mind, it really should not be a surprise to hear Abbas, now Palestinian leader, recently claim in front of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, that Israel had perpetrated “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.

This was no mere slip of the tongue. It was probably the most public and prominent Holocaust inversion, but by far not the first from him or his leadership over the years.

Palestinian Holocaust rejectionism 

ACCORDING TO Palestinian Media Watch, which chronicles Palestinian media, education and statements by prominent Palestinian officials, there appears to barely be a week when one Palestinian mouthpiece does not apply the Nazi or Holocaust analogy to Israel or Jews.

Holocaust Inversion is not a side issue for Palestinian violent rejectionism, it is a central pillar.

Firstly, because if its supporters can lower the sympathy for the Jewish people which suffered during the Holocaust then it could remove a barrier to its own brand of extermination.

Secondly, the Nazis were the most brutal and efficient genocides in modern history. By applying the Nazi moniker to Israel, they try and tar Israel with the most extremist murderous tendencies. While few knowledgeable people could possibly believe that, at its worst, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is anything reminiscent of the Holocaust, the Palestinian rejectionist movement knows a whole generation is ignorant of the attempted extermination of the Jewish People during the middle of the last century, they just know it was evil.

Some supporters of Palestinian rejectionism in the west understand the stigma of applying the Holocaust or Nazi analogy to the Jewish State, so have moved over to the apartheid libel which has no historic Jewish connotations and whose meaning has been watered down by international organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

However, those like Abbas will cling on to his Holocaust Inversion until the day he passes from this earth. It is ingrained in him and gave him his greatest academic achievement. It is his weapon of choice against Israel, and his obsession with it is why he could so brazenly utilize it in Berlin alongside a German chancellor.

Abbas’ subsequent clarification or apology was mere window dressing, and this was demonstrated by the fact that his original terminology was defended by his party, Fatah. Munther al-Hayek, a senior Fatah official, said Abbas’s remarks in Germany were designed to “remind the world of the suffering of the Palestinian people, who deserve an apology for the crimes committed against them.”

Palestinian Holocaust Inversion will unfortunately not die any time soon, despite the international condemnations. It will just return to the more mundane daily incitement in the Palestinian media, education system and by PA officials.

It is not a distraction from Palestinian violent rejectionism, but a central part, one whose propaganda was built by the best in the former Soviet Union and embraced by their useful idiots in the West until today.

Like all other forms of rejectionism, it needs to be fought and thoroughly defeated.

The writer is the executive director of World Herut and a member of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency.