Frost fell during the joint press conference in Berlin between the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the president of the Palestinian National Authority Abu Mazen. What caused the embarrassment and even an ill-concealed annoyance on the part of Scholz was the response of Abu Mazen to the question of a journalist if he wanted to apologize to Israel on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the terrorist attack of the Palestinian group “Black September” against the team. of the 1972 Munich Olympics. “Since 1947 Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations,” replied Abu Mazen, adding that it is “50 holocausts”. The leader of the Palestinian Authority, therefore, did not answer on the merits but referred to the violence of the Israeli forces against Palestinian citizens, using a word that in Germany touches the conscience of the people. Scholz, in fact, he did not hide the indignation for the reference to the genocide of the Jews, but at the moment he did not respond and the press conference ended – as expected – immediately after with a quick handshake between the two. The statements of Abu Mazen, however, have raised a fuss among theGerman public opinion and not only.
At a distance of a few hoursin fact, the reply from the German Chancellor came dry. “For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable”, commented the chancellor. Bild. Despite this clarification by Scholz, the German newspaper nevertheless spoke of “Anti-Semitism scandal in the chancellery” and criticized the chancellor for not reacting more readily to Abu Mazen’s words. Spiegel also writes of a chancellor “remained silent”. A first back and forth between Scholz and Abu Mazen took place shortly before the unfortunate reference by the Palestinian leader, when the latter had described Israel as a state carrying out an “apartheid system”. “I want to say clearly – the German Chancellor specified – that I do not agree with the use of the word ‘apartheid’ and I don’t think it describes the situation correctly ”. On the front of the recognition of an independent Palestinian state, Abu Mazen he urged the European Union and the United Nations to move in this direction, but Berlin was clear: it is currently not in the plans, even though, as the Chancellor pointed out, Germany continues to support the two-state solution. “L’Palestinian Authority currently has observer status at the United Nations, – commented Scholz – “this is not the time to change the situation”: further steps should be based on a negotiated solution with Israel.
The Israeli reaction was not long in coming. “A monstrous lie”. So the premier Yair Lapid he branded the Palestinian leader’s claims. “Six million Jews they were murdered in the Shoah, including 1.5 million Jewish children. History will never forgive him ”.