The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, today called
Israeli retaliation against the relentless rocketing of southern Israel
from Gaza "worse than the Holocaust." This was reported in the Jerusalem
Post.

Of course, the characterization is preposterous.  And not only because the
fighting was touched off by the Palestinian insistence on sending Kassams
across the international frontier.

Now, almost everybody has conspired to characterize Abbas as a civilized
moderate. But the Holocaust accusation against Israel has tarnished
Abbas' gentle facade.  And it has also reminded me (and presumably others)
that Abbas wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on how the Holocaust never
happened. That is, he was a Holocaust denier. This accusation at least
implies that he thinks it did occur, an improvement of sorts.

PS: The rockets that hit Ashkelon this morning were not the rather
primitive Kassams. They were Katyushas, refined and improved upon, as
Steven Erlanger reports in today's Times on-line, by Iran...and
perhaps in Iran.