The Holocaust was a Zionist lie that has been surpassed by subsequent Israeli holocausts, a Hamas founder and leader said in a speech Thursday.
"The lie of the Zionist Holocaust crumbles with countless holocausts committed by the Zionists in Beit Hanoun, al-Fakhoura school and other places in Palestine," Mahmud al-Zahar said at a service commemorating a 2008 Israeli bombing in Gaza that killed 43 people.
The comment is drawing criticism and condemnation. "To compare the atrocities of the Holocaust to the actions of "Zionists" is an affront to truth and history," Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement. "It is an insult to the six million Jews and millions of others who perished as a result of the Final Solution, and to those who fought the Nazis during World War II.
This represents a continuation of Zahar's rabid anti-Semitism. In a November speech, Zahar predicted Jews would be expelled from Israel as they had been forced out of other nations. "The expulsion will come, Allah willing, from Palestine, from the entire territory of Palestine, Allah willing…," Zahar said. "You have no place among us and [Jews] have no future between nations. You are about to disappear, and we are about to emerge victorious."
In October, Zahar met with a Viva Palestina convoy as the group made its way to Gaza. During the 1990s, he attended a rally and fundraiser organized by the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a group convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.