The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has done what no other leader of Palestine has done, and called the Holocaust carried out during the second World War the “most heinous crime in the modern era.” Abbas offered sympathy for those who were effected by the Nazi plot to cleanse the population. The message coincided with Israel’s day for remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust, called Yom HaShoah, held annually. The acknowledgement of the systematic purging that took place in order to give Israel its statehood should be a major step towards peace between native Palestinians and Israelis. Israel does not see the statement as such however.
Refusing to speak to a government backed by Hamas, a group deemed terrorist by the United States, Israel, and other western states, the attempt of passing along an olive branch by Palestine is being seen as a publicity stunt. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejects the Palestinian statements because Israel believes Hamas aims to do harm upon Jews as a whole similarly to the Nazi’s. Instead of accepting Abbas’ words and furthering the peace process in the region, Netanyahu has decided instead to call Hamas Holocaust deniers with goals to begin another mass killing.
Judging Abbas on previous statements where he questioned the actual number of Jewish persons killed during the largest war crime in human history denies his ability for change. The statements previous noted never denied the severity of the acts regardless of the actual numbers. Israeli leaders also are quick to mention the unification of the two largest Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah, claiming that the Palestinians must choose between peace with Hamas or peace with Israel. The Jewish state has associated the groups as being anti-semitic and have no place in peace talks with Israel. Hamas, Palestine and the likes, have been more anti-zionist than anti-semitic due to the encroachments of Israel into lands not sanctioned by the United Nations charter along with constant persecution of Palestinians in the borders of Israel.
Israel has done very little during the process towards a peaceful region as of late. Palestinian officials have recently accepted the Jewish state as a legitimate state and has done a complete reversal on the acknowledgement of the Holocaust and its severity. Meanwhile, on a somber day of remembrance, Israel demands the native people make more sacrifices for “true peace” all the while denouncing any attempts of friendship between the two governments.
The peace process in the middle east will clearly take much more time even with all the recent strides towards a unified region in talks and ideologies of leaders. While Israel officially deems the Palestinian denouncement of the Holocaust a publicity stunt and a hypocritical claim, in the hearts and minds of the people in the region the statements may be considered much more genuine. A massive shift in the ideologies of the people of the world has sparked mass demonstrations across the globe where no nation seems safe from the ideological revolution taking place as younger, more open minded generations see the injustice in the world.
By Andy Diaz