Controversial Holocaust Remarks by Leaders: Ahmadinejad and Abbas


The term “holocaust” has resurfaced and sparked strong reactions from Western countries. This comes after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently criticized the event. Much earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did the same.

So, both Mahmoud leaders have questioned the Holocaust, which has garnered criticism for their statements. In the Associated Press edition of December 14, 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad viewed the Holocaust as a myth. He made these comments in front of thousands of people during a speech in the city of Zahedan, in southeastern Iran. In October, he sparked controversy by stating that Israel should be wiped off the map.

“Today, they have created a myth in the name of the Holocaust and consider it above God, religion, and prophets,” said Ahmadinejad. Previously, he had expressed doubt about the Nazi Germany’s killing of Jews. However, this was the first time he publicly stated that the Holocaust was purely a myth. He added that if Europe insisted the Holocaust happened, then they should bear responsibility and face the consequences.

“If you (Europe) committed this great crime, why should the Palestinian people bear the consequences?” Ahmadinejad asked. “Why should Palestinian land be sacrificed for the crimes committed by the West?”

“This is our proposal: If you (Europe) committed this crime, then give up a portion of your land in Europe, the US, Canada, or Alaska to them (Jews) so they can establish a state on those lands,” Ahmadinejad firmly stated.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that these shocking and unacceptable comments would affect European nuclear talks with Iran. The European Commission added that Ahmadinejad’s stance would worsen Iran’s relations with other countries.

Read Also: Why Germany and Israel Are Furious at the Palestinian President’s Remarks on Jews and the Holocaust: 3 Key Facts

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mark Regev also reacted strongly, saying, “The repeated embarrassing statements by the President of Iran clearly demonstrate the thinking of the Tehran government and indicate the extremist policy of that regime.”

A Reuters report from September 18, 2009, contained Ahmadinejad’s comments on the Holocaust once again. He insisted that the Holocaust was a lie used as a basis for Israel’s establishment on Palestinian land.

“The pretext (Holocaust) for establishing the Zionist regime (Israel) is wrong. It is a lie based on mythical and unprovable claims,” Ahmadinejad said to a crowd at Tehran University at the end of the annual Al-Quds Day celebration.

He added that opposing the Zionist regime was a religious and national duty. He warned Arab leaders who were Western allies and Muslim countries about their relationship with Israel, saying, “This regime will not last long; do not rely on it.”

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Ahmadinejad was embarrassing his own country. “We condemn this anti-Semitic attitude. We will continue to oppose it, even in the future,” he said.

According to White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, Ahmadinejad’s statements would only further isolate Iran from the international community. Decades later, the European Union and the United States also expressed strong condemnation regarding the Holocaust issue.

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, they strongly reacted to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s statements on August 24, 2023, during the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting, which was later broadcast by Palestinian television.

Abbas’s speech was translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. BBC News confirmed its authenticity. In his speech, Abbas stated that Jews were targeted by Nazi Germany not because of their religion but because of their social role as moneylenders.

“Many Jewish writers have explained this. When they say Hitler killed Jews because of their Judaism and that Europe hated Jews because of their Judaism, that’s not true. It’s clear they fought Jews because of their social role, not their religion,” Abbas explained.

According to BBC News, Abbas reiterated a long-ignored historical theory, claiming that European Ashkenazi Jews are not descendants of the ancient Israelites but of the Khazars, known as Turkish nomads in the 8th century.

“The truth we must spread to the world is that European Jews are not Semitic. They have no connection whatsoever to Semitism. Eastern Jews are Semitic,” Abbas said, referring to Mizrahi Jews from the Middle East.

The European Union stated that Abbas’s statements about the murder of Jews were incorrect and misleading. The spokesperson for the EU’s foreign relations department called it “an insult to millions of Holocaust victims and their families.”

Deborah Lipstadt, a special envoy from the United States who monitors and fights against anti-Semitism, urged Abbas to apologize for his statements, calling them “statements filled with hatred and anti-Semitism.”

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