Press Releases

Abbas’ Outrageous Comments Part of Growing Trend of Global Holocaust Trivialization and Appropriation, Newly-Released CAM Report Demonstrates

August 17, 2022

(Wednesday, August 17, 2022) – Hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ outrageous comments in Berlin equating Palestinian suffering to “50 holocausts,” the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) released a report Holocaust Trivialization Report: A Burgeoning Threat in 2021-2022 — Trend Manifestations & Analysis detailing a total of 214 public manifestations of trivialization and appropriation of the Holocaust over the last year.

These incidents relate to statements made between July 2021 and July 2022 by political or other public officials, and Holocaust trivialization manifestations made or displayed at public events around the world.

The incidents span 29 countries, over six ideological motivations (COVID-19 Restrictions, Israel-Palestinian conflict, General Political Opposition and Rhetoric, Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Sports, and Climate Change).

“Abbas’ comments are an outrageous attempt to downplay the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, and are part of a long standing position by a man whose doctorate deals with denying central parts of the Holocaust,” said CEO of CAM Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “While Abbas’ comments are particularly egregious, they are unfortunately part of a growing global trend to trivialize and appropriate Nazi Germany’s crimes against the Jewish people.”

“Allowing Holocaust trivialization to flourish unchecked has regrettably created sanctuaries for antisemitic conspiracies, outright Holocaust denial, and other extremist ideologies to spread,” he added. “These trends have created a perfect storm, by minimizing Holocaust remembrance and Jewish concerns for safety during an already-resurgent wave of global antisemitism.”

Holocaust trivialization incidents occurred most frequently when having to do with COVID-19 Restrictions and Vaccine Regulations. 125 incidents are categorized as relating to Covid-19 pandemic-related health measures implemented by governments around the world, 58.4% of the total number. 29 incidents are categorized as related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, making up 13.6% of the total number. These comparisons are employed by anti-Israel activists to distort the history of the Holocaust by falsely linking it to the Jewish state’s treatment of the Palestinians today.

“We call on global leaders and public officials around the world to put an end to the growing trivialization of the Holocaust by condemning and denouncing any and all manifestations, thereby creating a firewall against outright Holocaust denial and rapidly rising antisemitism,” Roytman Dratwa stated.

According to the report, the United States had the largest number of incidents recorded within the past year with 80 incidents, or 37.38% of the total. Within the United States, 54 of the incidents that occurred, or 67.50% of the total amount of incidents in the country, manifested themselves in relation to COVID-19 regulations and policies.

The United Kingdom had the second largest number of incidents reported (24 incidents, or 11.21% of the total), most of which were related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel related incidents totaled 37.50% of all incidents (9 reports) reported in the United Kingdom. COVID-19 was the second highest ideological category for incidents, totaling 6, or 25% of all incidents reported.

Germany had the third largest number of incidents reported with 21 incidents, making up 9.81% of the worldwide total.

100% of incidents reported from Russia were related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. While Russia made up 3.27% of the grand total of incidents, the 7 incidents reported stemmed from antisemitic rhetoric surrounding the war between Russia and Ukraine, and is one of the newest trends in Holocaust trivialization.

The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a global coalition engaging more than 500 partner organizations and 1.7 million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred. CAM acts collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.