PA Foreign Minister visits Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

November 21, 2022 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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The ambassador of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to Germany, Leith Arafa, published a photo in which he was seen next to the Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin last Thursday.

Riyad al-Malliki

Arafa tweeted, “We remember the victims of the most heinous crime in human history.”

The leaders of the PA have not been sympathetic to the issue of the Holocaust over the year. They have dismissed it as the “excuse” used to establish the State of Israel at their “expense.”

Some see this as part of a new diplomatic strategy and it comes as the PA has won a few recent victories at the UN. For example, on Thursday, the UN General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Issues Committee — more commonly referred to as the Third Committee — approved a resolution recognizing the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and called on the member states to promote mechanisms allowing the Palestinians to exercise those rights. The resolution passed by an overwhelming majority of 167 countries in favor, five opposed and seven abstentions.

The same committee also passed resolutions extending the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) for another three years.

Riyad al-Maliki’s visit to Germany and comments on the Holocaust came just three months after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen) visited Germany and caused a controversy when he declared that “Israel has committed 50 holocausts against the Palestinians.” Such divisive language has been typical of leaders from the Arab world who try to diminish the Holocaust by claiming that it was not as bad as what they accuse Israel of doing to Arabs for the last 75 years.

At the time, Abu Mazen’s statements provoked widespread criticism and even former German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “Abass to be removed.”

The Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Schulz, also condemned Abu Mazen’s words and said in an interview with the German newspaper “Bild” that “underestimating the value of the horrors of the Holocaust is unacceptable.”

Abu Mazen’s words provoked reactions from Israeli, American, and European officials, and the German police announced that they had opened a preliminary investigation to verify whether his statement constituted a criminal offense.

Riyad al-Maliki has been the Palestinian Authority’s minister of foreign affairs since 2007.

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