During a speech to the World Zionist Conference on Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hitler intended only to expel the Jews from Europe, and that the idea to exterminate them had come from Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian Muslim elder, who served as the Mufti of Jerusalem.
A day later he clarified, “Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust, I think no one should deny … important testimony about the Mufti of Jerusalem, that he told the Nazis to prevent the fleeing of Jews from Europe, and that he supported the Final Solution.”
This relatively harmless observation of history apparently has caused a global outcry from everyone starting with PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders. White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the Obama administration has no doubt who was responsible for the genocide, which involved the systematic murder of six million Jews. These comments, which implicated the former grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the decision to proceed with the Holocaust, amount to inflammatory rhetoric stroking tensions on the ground between Israel and the Palestinians. “The inflammatory rhetoric needs to stop,” Earnest said.
CNN, BBC, Reuters have been all over this story in news reports that read more like Op-eds. His words are described as “shocking”, that “global outrage growing” and from the DailyBeast, my favorite, “Bibi Absolves Hitler for Holocaust”.
The point Netanyahu was obviously making is that Islamic hatred against the Jews predated the State of Israel and certainly predates any talk of an “occupation”. That the Mufti of Jerusalem at the time was a horrible anti Semite, is not a debate. The question is if he was merely cheerleading the holocaust or actually encouraging Hitler’s actions. I personally don’t see the point in Mr. Netanyahu wading into this historical debate, and his words indeed may have been poorly chosen. That being said, this supposed outrage is clearly fake and just an excuse to be “outraged” at Mr. Netanyahu and Israel. They are pretending to be insulted by the cheapening of the memory of the holocaust. In truth however, his words are not “inflammatory rhetoric” that will stroke tensions between Israelis and Palestinians for obvious reasons.
Clearly, there is no issue of incitement on the Israeli side because the Israelis (with ultra-rare unfortunate exceptions) have not been committing acts of terror against the Palestinians. At least 99.9% of Israelis are against randomly attacking Palestinians even when they are being randomly targeted themselves. Nobody with any grip of reality can honestly interpret PM Netanyahu’s words as a nod to violence. The majority of Israeli Arabs, even more so Palestinians in the West Bank however, do support these terror attacks.
Let’s take a look at some recent statements made by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that did not seem to irk anyone.
“Al-Aqsa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.”
“We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
After the murder of the Henkin parents, PLO official Mahmoud Ismail, went on official Palestinian television, PBC, and proclaimed the couples murder to be a fulfillment of “Palestinian national duty”. Such statements encourage the next generation of terrorists to continue with their unending murder. The results have been felt in Afula, Ber Sheba, Hebron, and Jerusalem and throughout the country
Apparently, the PA president openly encouraging Arabs to kill Jews, which is then acted upon on a daily basis, is lumped together with a non-relevant historical statement from the Israeli PM and both viewed as equal inflammatory rhetoric that’s causing “violence”. The Anti-Israel crowd, including the WH and POTUS, seem to be going to extreme length to extract from the PM words that can be interpreted as “inflammatory rhetoric” and then equate it with the real incitement coming from the Palestinian side that causes real violence.
The Obama admin is certainly not outraged at the PM statements regarding the holocaust, it’s the other way around. They dislike the PM and are using his words to try to justify their dislike. This selective outrage is part of a pattern that shows Obamas dislike of Israel and his personal hatred of Bibi that colors his judgement on all matters related to Israel.
Can’t wait till November, 2016.
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I agree that they are looking to to attack him – Clinton will be just as bad however and she may win
Thank you for putting our feellings into words.
“This relatively harmless observation of history”
It has as much truth to it as the meme that there were no Jewish Temples in the Temple Mount and that the Kotel is a Muslim holy place. It was not harmless because it took all the attention away from the terrorist attacks and made Netanyahu look foolish at best and a distorter of history at worse. He should have simply stated the indisputable fact that al-Husseini was a cheerleader for the Shoah with a lot of blood on his own hands and left it at that.
Netanyahu deserves a lot of credit for stirring up the media over his Hitler /Mufti discussion
The tumult back and forth has been so far a wonderful [re]education of the past, for most of the public of all stripes,
younger charedim as much as anyone else.
Hope he digs up some more from the past to start another …
Here’s some potential suggestions:
1) Yossi Beilin’s comment some years ago that his great grandfather and chevra made a mistake in opposing against the 1903 Uganda offer
2)If/How the relations between religious jewry leadership and secular/ist zionism in it’s early years could’ve somehow been handled differently ,lessening the hostility that thereby mushroomed
Where does one submit an op ed to and are there any rules?
Basically, Bibi’s words angers the Arabs, and the world , they cannot face the truth!!!
In the late 70s Rav Yitzchak Hutner, zatzal, sparked a controversy by saying that in his early years the Mufti (and the Arabs in general) got along very well with the old Yishuv and it was only when the Zionists came along and started talking about making a state in which the Arabs would have no part that he (the Mufti) turned against the Jews and urged the Nazis to eliminate them before they could move to Palestine. At that point (in November 41) the Nazis had more pressing things on their minds, like fighting a two front war which was about to be jointed by the US, and needed the Jews (and lots of other conquered peoples) for slave labor and did not consider diverting their resources from the war effort to the Final Solution to be worth it, at that time. But the Mufti made a strong impression on them and so Himmler called the Wansee Conference (Jan 42) to get the bureaucratic ball rolling for the Final Solution. Netanyahu of course glosses over the fact that it was the growth of Zionism that sparked the Mufti’s hatred. It should be noted that in Herzl’s utopian Zionist state Arabs were to be given the same full citizenship rights as Jews, but this was abandoned by later Zionists. Also the Balfour Declaration (which was very carefully worded not to mention a state, only a “national home”) also provided “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, something the Zionists chose to ignore.
Whether or not the Mufti helped Hitler make his decision, the fact is that the Mufti and his cohorts were as complicit in the Holocaust as the Germans. On that score Netanyahu is right irrespective of the nay-sayers.
The mufti convicted in abstentia as a Nazi war criminal. So really Netanyahu didn’t say much new. What everyone is so upset and worried about is that by linking the Palestinians to the Nazis, he is linking them to a way of life that the west cannot tollerate. So they prefer to ignore.
They ought to hash over whether labor socialists with aid from the Weizmann general zionists
were also complicit in the Holocaust
or maybe,however, this is an old topic already
There were at least 8 different options of places of refuge that raised and discussed
2)Alaska (then a Territory)-offered by the US
3)Rhodesia(zimbabwe)-offered by the british
4)Western Australia- offered by the british
5)Curacao-offered by the dutch
And a couple of other places
They were all conveniently nixed by the WZO and WJC for some reason
to post # 7
what about the slaughter in chevron 1929 ???????????????
that was a direct order from the mufty yemac smioi
veh zecroi .????????????? nu wat do u say about that
hua ? 1929
Regardless if what Mr. Netanyahu said was correct or not, this writer is 1000% correct on everything he writes. Where is the world when Abbas incites- directly to violence? The same place they were when his predecessor Arafat did the same thing.
It’s surprising that the Zionist prime minister would bring this up when, of course, it was the Zionist invasion and provocations over the preceding decades that caused the Mufti to become the Angel of Death incarnate, so to speak, for the Jews of Europe, as others have already posted. Prior to the Zionists, the Mufti had no interest in what was happening with Jews anywhere including in the holy land. The Mufti said to Rav Yosef Chaim that it was fine with him if the Jews came to live there, but not if they tried to rule over the Arabs. To Zionists, however, Zionism is above all else, as they explicitly stated during WW II when it meant Jews being denied escape routes due to Zionist objection that those escape routes were not to Palestine.
As to the Chevron massacre in 1929, that was actually a direct result of (Religious) Zionist inflammation of the savages, claiming “Shema Yisrael HaKosel Kosleinu HaKosel Echad”, against the express wishes of the non-Zionist Jews who were already there before the Zionists invaded and who did not want to antagonize the Arabs and got along with them.
The attempts Britain had made to meet what were considered legitimate Arab political demands were interpreted as symptoms of fatal weakness; and British propaganda on Nazi brutality only served to confirm Arab belief in Germany’s strength and the wisdom of being on her side. Thus, even the few proBritish Arab leaders felt obliged to conceal their opinions and to pose as anti – British , in order not to forfeit the support of their following.
Significant evidence as to the way the Arab world felt during the war has been given by an ‘Englishman particularly qualified to speak, Glubb Pasha, Commander of the Transjordan Arab Legion. Discussing the Iraqi revolt of 1941, he wrote:
“The British, of course, always knew we were going to win the war, but at the time of these operations every Arab was perfectly convinced that Britain was finished for ever, and that it could only be a question of weeks before Germany took over Arabia. The Iraqis were perfectly sure of this or they would not have declared war on us…“
In brief, during the six weeks before the fall of Baghdad, every Arab was convinced that we were done for. Every Arab force previously organised by us mutinied and refused to fight for us, or faded away in desertions. The men of the Arab Legion alone not only stood firmly by us, but played a most active, energetic and valuable part in our little campaign.”
(Appendix to Somerset De Chair’s “Golden Carpet”)
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the Lebanon did not declare war on Germany until February 1945, when the end of hostilities was imminent and victory had become absolutely certain. These declarations of war at the eleventh hour were merely formal, since none of these states took any direct part in military operations.
The declarations were obviously aimed at securing seats in the United Nations Organization in the establishment of which at San Francisco only those nations were permitted to participate which had declared war on the Axis before March 1, 1945.
One Arab principality did declare war on Germany as early as 1939. It was Transjordan which was under British mandatory rule and was not independent, having to rely mainly, as it still does, on grants – in – aid from the British Government, which also maintains the country’s military force, the Arab Legion.
Iraq declared war in January, 1943, after the reversal of the fortunes of war at El-Alamein had proved definite.
This declaration was clearly motivated by the need to atone for the stab in the back Iraq had given the Allied cause in 1941.
The general attitude of the – Arab States was a reflection of the long – standing relationship between certain Arab circles and the Axis Powers.
The trips by Arab students to Germany and Italy, the visits of German politicians and agents to the Arab East, the flow to Arab countries of money and of Arabic newspapers and magazines from Germany and Italy, the propaganda broadcasts in Arabic by the radio stations of the Axis – all these activities had over the years created the state of affairs which was exploited during the war. In the case of Palestine, it is by now generally acknowledged that the Arab Riots of 1936 – 1939 were stimulated and subsidized by Nazi and Fascist sources.
The Mufti of Jerusalem through his agent in Geneva, Emir Shekib Arslan, was in contact with Mussolini years before the war. Some of their intercepted correspondence was published as early as 1935 in Arab papers opposed to the Mufti.
In Syria and the Lebanon connections between certain groups of Syrian leaders and the Axis States were of long standing.
There were a number of strong pre-war Arab – Nazi organizations — the Iron Shirts (led by Fakhri al-Barudi of the National Bloc, member of the Syrian Parliament to this day); the League for National Action (headed by Abu al-Huda al-Yafi, Dr. Zaki al-Jabi and others); the An-Nadi al-Arabi Club of Damascus (headed by Dr. Said Abd al-Fattah al-Imam); the “Councils for the Defence of Arab Palestine” (headed by well – known pro – Nazi leaders, such as Nabih al-Azma, Adil Arslan and others); the “Syrian National Party” (led by the Fascist Anton Saada, who escaped during the war to the Germans and was sent by them to the Argentine). The National Bloc, the principal party in Syria, and more particularly the Istiqlal group (headed by Shukri al – Kuwatli, now President of the Syrian Republic) had for many years been openly pro-Nazi.
Before the war, Baldur von Schirach , leader of the Hitlerjugend, visited Syria on a special mission and established close contact with these circles and with the Arab youth organisation.
In Iraq , xenophobia has long been characteristic of the political mentality of the country’s leaders , and even the so – called proBritish group was not entirely free of it. The Army played an important part both in domestic and foreign policy, and it was entirely pro-Nazi before the war. In Iraq, as in Syria, there were a number of pro-Nazi clubs and associations which were in contact with the German Ambassador, Dr. Grobba. Among them may be mentioned the Al-Muthanna Club, founded by Dr. Amin Ruweiha, Said Thabit and others, and the Al-Futuwa Club , which sent delegates to the Nuremberg rallies.
In the early part of the war, Iraqi politicians had relations with the German ambassadors in Baghdad and Ankara. Von Papen’s top contact man with Middle Eastern Arab circles was the well-known Iraqi politician, Naji Shawkat.
At the beginning of the war there were a considerable number of political emigrés in Iraq; most of them had come from Palestine, were violently anti-British and had close connections with the Germans. These included Haj Amin al-Husseini, Jamal al-Husseini, Munif al-Husseini, Daud al-Husseini, Is’haq as-Salah al-Husseini, Amin Tamimi, Hasan Abu Saud, Fawzi Qauqji, Izz – ad – Din ash-Shawa, Is’haq Darwish, Dr. Amin Ruweiha, Salim Abd ur – Rahman, Darwish Maqdadi and many others.
With the help of the Iraqi Government , some of them had become civil servants and teachers in Iraq, and were thus in a position to propagate their doctrines among the masses of the people.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, was the central figure in the group. When he had come to Iraq from Syria in mid-October, 1939, he was received by Nuri Said, then Prime Minister of Iraq, with the state pomp and ceremony usually accorded a visiting hero.
On October 22nd, Nuri Said gave an official banquet in his honour, attended by members of the Cabinet, the Presidents of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Rashid Ali el Kailani, and many other notables. This was the first of a series of similar receptions and celebrations , attended among others, by Taha el Hashimi, Minister of Defence, and Ali Jawdat el Ayyubi, at present Iraqi Minister to Washington.
The hospitality of the Iraqi Government did not end with these banquets. The ex-Mufti was voted voted £18,000 by the Iraqi Parliament and was further paid the sum of £1,000 a month out of the Iraqi Secret Service Funds in addition to the…
Samuel Rolbant, “The Arabs: Politics and People”, Amal Publications, 1948. pp.24-25
The Middle East and Arab Countries: A Collection of Pamphlets].
Issue 11 of The Middle East and Arab Countries: A Collection of Pamphlets].