Anti-Semitism commissioner does not want to let the thread of talks with Abbas break

Dhe Federal Government Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Felix Klein, has Chancellor Olaf Scholz after the scandal during the visit of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas protected in the chancellery. After meeting Scholz on Tuesday, Abbas said at a joint press conference that Israel had committed “50 massacres, 50 holocausts” on Palestinians since 1947. The Chancellor did not reply to this in the press conference and only later distanced himself from the statements. He was in favor of them criticized by opposition politicians.

Klein said in the “daily topics” of the ARD, from his point of view it was primarily “a communication problem between the Chancellor and his government spokesman”. With the statement of the government spokesman in the federal press conference, everything has already been said. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit had ended the press conference without the chancellor being able to comment on Abbas’ words. On Wednesday, Hebestreit admitted a grave error in chairing the press conference, saying he “did not react quickly enough” to the chancellor to respond to Abbas’s comments. He had to “take responsibility for the mistake”.

Klein doesn’t want to let the thread of the conversation with Abbas break off

Klein emphasized on ARD that “the Chancellor’s attitude towards Israel and Israel-related anti-Semitism is very clear”. The Chancellor is “on solid ground” and will “certainly have the opportunity to comment on this in the coming days and weeks”. It is “perhaps not so ideal when you have an international guest who reacts in a way you do not expect,” said Klein. The scandal could be taken as an opportunity “to see how one can prepare for such occasions”.

Klein spoke out in favor of not letting the thread of conversation with Abbas break. Abbas was “repeatedly noticed with oral and written statements about Israel”. On the other hand, he is the representative of the Palestinians, “and we have to deal with him now.” He hopes that the Palestinian side has also learned “that such statements are unacceptable in Germany,” said Klein.

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai described Abbas’ Holocaust comparison as counterproductive with regard to the Middle East peace process. “Once again it is becoming clear that no progress in the peace process can be expected from this generation of Palestinian politicians. Abbas didn’t do the Palestinians any favors with his appearance in Berlin,” Djir-Sarai told the Rheinische Post. “To make tasteless and historically incorrect claims about the Holocaust in Germany of all places represents a tremendous provocation.” Abbas’ statements were “absolutely unacceptable and downright grotesque”.

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