On August 24, 2022 Egyptian journalist and politician Osama Al-Ghazali Harb published, in his column in the Egyptian state daily Al-Ahram, an unusual short piece titled "The Holocaust," in which he stressed that the Holocaust was "one of the greatest crimes of mass extermination in human history." Describing the Nazis' organized extermination of the Jews using gas chambers and crematoria, he also emphasized that the estimated number of Holocaust victims is six million, and added that this historical event "no doubt shocks the human conscience throughout the generations."
The column was apparently published against the backdrop of the recent statements of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud 'Abbas, who claimed, during a state visit to Germany, that Israel has perpetrated "50 massacres" and "50 holocausts" against the Palestinians since 1947. Al-Ghazali Harb's piece is especially striking because, following 'Abbas' remarks, the Palestinian and Arab press published many articles supporting his claims. Such articles were also published in the Egyptian press, including by senior journalists Gallal 'Aref, head of Egypt's Press Council, and 'Abd Al-Mohsen Salama, Al-Ahram's editor in chief, who both claimed that 'Abbas was not wrong when he accused Israel of perpetrating a holocaust against the Palestinians.
Osama Al-Ghazali Al-Harb (Source: Masrawy.com)
The following are translated excerpts from Osama Al-Ghazali Al-Harb's article:
"'Holocaust' is a German word 'meaning 'collective burning.' In the context of World War II, it has come to refer to the mass extermination perpetrated by the German leader Adolf Hitler against the Jews of Europe in 1941–1945, which was one of the greatest crimes of mass extermination in human history. Nazi ideology contended that the Germans are a pure race entitled to rule the world and to eliminate or expunge mixed races like the Poles, Gypsies, Jews, Slavs and Africans. According to this ideology, certain groups in society are also subhuman, even if they are Aryans, such as homosexuals, criminals, the physically or mentally disabled, communists, liberals, Jehova's Witnesses and anyone who rejects the Nazi ideology. All of these groups were subjected to horrific extermination. In addition, over 400,000 mentally disabled persons were surgically [sterilized] to keep them from having children, and thousands of disabled, mentally ill and chronically ill people were 'euthanized' by various methods.
"But the gravest crime perpetrated by the Nazis was against the Jews. Shortly after they came to power in Germany in 1933, the Nazis announced a boycott of businesses and institutions owned by Jews in the country. Marking the doors and windows of Jewish businesses and homes became an increasingly common phenomenon, along with slogans that called to boycott the Jews, who were perceived as a disaster that had befallen Germany. The organized extermination of the Jews began in 1941, at the height of World War II, when the Nazis began building facilities for mass extermination using gas. Six such camps were built, all of them in Poland. They all had gas chambers or crematoria, each of which could contain 2,500 people. The prisoners were taken to the camps in trains, after which they were led to the gas chambers [and killed] with cyanide or some other poisonous gas. After they died their bodies were burned in crematoria within the same buildings.
"How many Jews were exterminated? According to assessments, the number was about six million!! That, in a nutshell, is the story of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews, which no doubt shocks the human conscience throughout the generations!"
 Dw.com/ar, August 16, 2022. See also MEMRI TV Clip No. 9761 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas During Press Conference With German Chancellor: Israel Has Committed 50 Holocausts Against The Palestinian People – August 16, 2022.
It should be noted that, in response to the criticism, 'Abbas issued a clarification, in which he said that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern history and that he had not meant to deny its uniqueness, but added that since the Nakba the Israeli forces have continued to perpetrate massacres against the Palestinian people. Wafa.ps, August 17, 2022.
It should also be noted that 'Abbas has previously denied the scope of the Holocaust. In the introduction to his 1984 book The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, which is based on his doctoral dissertation, he wrote that "the number of Jewish [Holocaust] victims could be six million but could [also] be far smaller, even less than a million," and that "the Zionist movement's stake in inflating the number of murdered in the war was aimed at [ensuring] great gains." He also questioned whether gas chambers were used to kill Jews. See MEMRI Special Report No. 15, "Abu Mazen: A Political Profile," April 29, 2003; MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 95, "Palestinian Leader: Number of Jewish Victims in the Holocaust Might be 'Even Less Than a Million...' Zionist Movement Collaborated with Nazis to 'Expand the Mass Extermination' of the Jews," May 31, 2002.
Palestinian television even aired a program about 'Abbas's doctoral dissertation and book. See MEMRI TV Clip No. 6688, "Palestinian Authority TV Lauds President Abbas' Holocaust Denial Ph.D. Thesis, Terror Attacks Launched from Lebanon," July 20, 2018.
In a 2018 speech to the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah, 'Abbas said that the massacres to which European Jews had been subjected from the 11th century until the Holocaust were not because they were Jews, but "because of their function in society, which had to do with usury, banks, and so on." See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7452, " Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: Holocaust, Massacres Of European Jews Due To Their Function In Society As Usurers; Hitler Struck A Deal With The Jews,", May 2, 2018.
 See e.g., Special Dispatch No. 10144 – "Fatah Official: Palestinian President 'Abbas Was Right In Saying That Israel Has Perpetrated '50 Holocausts'" – August 17, 2022.
 See Akhbar Al-Yawm (Egypt), August 20, 22, 2022; Al-Ahram (Egypt), August 22, 2022.
 Al-Ahram (Egypt), August 24, 2022.