Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas gestures during a joint press conference with the Germany Chancellor following talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on August 16, 2022. - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on August 17, 2022 voiced "disgust" at statements by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Berlin on the Holocaust, amid a growing outcry in Germany and Israel. (Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP

The Greens have come up with an unusual proposal for dealing with a delicate state visit. The reason is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who downplayed the Holocaust in Berlin in August – after a complaint, Berlin’s public prosecutor is currently examining whether Abbas is protected from investigations by diplomatic immunity.

“It is unbearable when the Holocaust is relativized in the broadest public in Berlin,” Benedikt Lux, the Greens’ interior expert in the Berlin House of Representatives, told the Tagesspiegel. “Since the facts are clear, I expect the investigation against Mr. Abbas to be concluded quickly. Irrespective of the outcome of the criminal proceedings, however, it would be appropriate to explain to prominent people who have attracted attention by downplaying and denying the Holocaust before their visit to Berlin that this is fundamentally punishable in Germany and that hate speech is not tolerated. The prerequisites for a police threat address have been met.”

In mid-August, Abbas accused the Israelis of multiple Holocausts against the Palestinians at a joint press conference alongside Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). “Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations since 1947 to date,” Abbas said. “50 massacres, 50 holocausts.” The Palestinian President was asked by a journalist if he would apologize on the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Palestinian assassination attempt on Israel’s Olympic team. Abbas ignored this. International outrage followed his trivialization of the Shoa.

If experience has shown that criminal offenses are to be expected from certain persons, the police can warn these persons. The General Security and Order Act states: The police can “inform a person about the legal situation to avert a danger they pose and tell them what measures they would take to avert the danger”. In Berlin, for example, extremists on record before demonstrations and hooligans before football matches are approached by officials to avert danger.