Reuters reports that Hamas is furious that a Palestinian who is an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas visited Auschwitz in July. Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said of Ziad al-Bandak’s visit, “It was an unjustified and unhelpful visit that served only the Zionist occupation … a marketing of a false Zionist alleged tragedy.”
Reuters also intimates that Hamas is denying the Holocaust because it is funded by Iran, led by Holocaust-denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is convenient for Reuters, which has always championed the Palestinian cause in its news coverage; Iran can be seen as the real enemy by pulling the strings of Hamas.
But it is not true. Hamas has always denied the Holocaust; in 2000, a Hamas press release read:
This conference bears a clear Zionist goal, aimed at forging history by hiding the truth about the so-called Holocaust, which is an alleged and invented story with no basis. . . . The invention of these grand illusions of an alleged crime that never occurred, ignoring the millions of dead European victims of Nazism during the war, clearly reveals the racist Zionist face, which believes in the superiority of the Jewish race over the rest of the nations.
It’s not just Hamas that denies the Holocaust; Mahmoud Abbas has his own Holocaust-denying to answer for; he wrote in his 1983 book The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement, which was originally his doctoral dissertation:
Following the war, word was spread that six million Jews were amongst the victims and that a war of extermination was aimed primarily at the Jews … The truth is that no one can either confirm or deny this figure. In other words, it is possible that the number of Jewish victims reached six million, but at the same time it is possible that the figure is much smaller–below one million … It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions–fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.
In the book, Abbas also denied that gas chambers were used to murder Jews. Of course, Abbas was also responsible for funding the PLO attack in the 1972 Munich Olympics that murdered 11 Israelis, so he has no problem shedding Jewish blood.
Of course, the BBC and the New York Times conveniently ignored the evidence and praised Abbas at the time; the official BCC News Profile wrote: “A highly intellectual man, Abbas studied law in Egypt before doing a Ph.D. in Moscow. He is the author of several books.” The New York Times joined in, describing Abbas as “a lawyer and historian … He holds a doctorate in history from the Moscow Oriental College; his topic was Zionism.” It makes perfect sense that Abbas would get his doctorate studying Zionism in the home of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
When one Palestinian condemns another for visiting a Nazi death camp, it does seem incongruous; both sides have harbored terrorists who kill and maim Jews with impunity, and the fig leaf of a supposed argument has more to do with their struggle for power than any genuine remorse over the fate of any Jew, let alone six million of them.