I feel reasonably certain that there is not a single individual on the planet today under more intense political pressure than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
If the guy blinks in the rain he gets smacked around from people throughout the world for not doing it correctly. I have never seen such persistent malice directed toward a western-style political figure. I am not even sure that Richard Nixon received this kind of unending abuse… even at the hands of Hunter S. Thompson. And, the thing of it is, what terrible crimes can you really lay at the guy’s feet?
The man started no wars. Even last summer’s strangely named Operation Protective Edge was a response to thousands of rocket attacks into southern Israel that went on for years without international complaint. His older brother, Yoni, was the lead in the elite Israeli army commando unit Sayeret Matkal that stormed Entebbi, Uganda, saving all those kidnapped people, and the only Israeli to have died in that operation. This makes Benjamin Netanyahu the younger brother not only of an Israeli national hero, but of a Jewish national hero, as well.
Now there is hysteria because he had the audacity to suggest that it was the Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem that convinced Hitler to slaughter the Jews.
The fact of the matter is that the Mufti was all in favor of slaughtering the Jews in the Middle East to the very last man, woman, and child, unless they were willing to submit to Muslim rule, perhaps even then.
University of Maryland historian, Jeffrey Herf, has some words:
In his now famous comments at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on October 20th, Netanyahu claimed that Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Hitler to change his anti-Jewish policy from one of expulsion to one of extermination.
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time [of the meeting between the mufti and the Nazi leader]. He wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu said. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here [to mandatory Palestine],’” continued the prime minister. “‘So what should I do with them?’ He [Hitler] asked,” according to Netanyahu. “He [Husseini] said, ‘Burn them.’”
In the Knesset in 2012, the Prime Minister asserted that Husseini “was one of the leading architects of the Final Solution,” and that “he, more than anybody else, convinced [Hitler] to execute the Final Solution, and not let the Jews leave [Europe]. Because, God forbid, they would come here. Rather that they would be annihilated, burned, there.”
Jeffrey Herf is an important historian of Nazi Germany and he denies that the Mufti convinced Hitler to exterminate the Jews rather than deport them.
Herf is one of the prominent scholars, along with Matthias Küntzel and Paul Berman, among a few others, that is analyzing the connection between Nazi ideology and the rise of Islamic Jihadism in the twentieth-century via organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and their little off-spring such as Hamas and the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL). What he suggests is that Netanyahu overreached in an effort to “push back against efforts to diminish Husseini’s role as a collaborator and ideological soulmate with Nazi Germany.”
As far as I am concerned, good for Netanyahu. It was the Mufti who screamed for Jewish blood in the 1920s for “defiling” al-Aqsa, just as the filthy-footed dictator Abbas does today.
Herf assures us that “while (the Mufti) agreed with Hitler about fundamental ideological issues, he was in no position to have a major influence on decision-making about German policy toward the Jews in Europe.”
Nonetheless, Mohammed Effendi Amin al-Husseini, the Nazi Mufti, was important to Hitler’s plans in carrying out the Final Solution in the Land of Israel and throughout the Middle East. Hitler’s intention was to hand the baton over to Husseini once the Axis powers defeated the Allies in the Middle East.
In his self-defense Netanyahu said this:
My intention was not to absolve Hitler of his responsibility, but rather to show that the forefathers of the Palestinian nation, without a country and without the so-called ‘occupation’, without land and without settlements, even then aspired to systematic incitement to exterminate the Jews.
Netanyahu is correct.
This is not a war over land rights. This is not even a war wherein both sides desire to fight one another. The Jews do not want this fight and are willing to share the tiny Jewish homeland. The Jews in Israel are far more interested in creating computer software, medical technology, good food, unnecessary litigation, and Natalie Portmans, than they are in trying to stave off violently-crazed, Koranically-obsessed Arabs.
The lies that Mahmoud Abbas and others have told in recent weeks about Israel’s supposed desire to somehow infringe on the rights of Muslims to pray at the Al Aksa Mosque have their origins in lies that are now at least 75 years old.
It goes on and on and on and on.
Mahmoud Abbas tells Israeli-Arabs – as Arafat did before him and as the Mufti did before him – that Jews want to conquer Al-Aqsa… which is, frankly, looking more and more like a perfectly dandy idea, if you ask me. In the 1920s, as they have done every decade, they draw the knives against old Jewish women and 13 year old Jewish boys on bicycles. One of the Mufti’s major contributions toward the persecution and murder of the Jews during the Holocaust, aside from encouraging the British exclusion of Jews from “Palestine” with the White Paper of 1939, was his war time radio broadcasts in Arabic throughout the Middle East, calling on his fellow Arabs to launch themselves upon head-chopping sprees against their Jewish neighbors.
As Caroline Glick notes in an article for the Jerusalem Post entitled, Crazy like a fox:
Husseini used his position as well to scuttle British attempts to trade German prisoners of war for Jews. In one such documented episode, in 1943 Husseini appealed to SS commander Heinrich Himmler to cancel a deal to exchange 4,500 Jewish children and 500 Jewish adults from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria to cancel the deal and send the Jews to Auschwitz.
Himmler bowed to his appeal. The Jews were sent to the gas chambers.
Glick also speculates that Netanyahu’s gaffe may have been anything but:
Due to his “gaffe,” every Western media outlet reported on Husseini’s actions. Some even mentioned that in his PhD dissertation, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the Holocaust was both a myth and a joint Zionist-Nazi project. For most Westerners, this is the first they’ve heard of the fact that the Palestinian’s George Washington was a Nazi war criminal.
Like I said, crazy as a fox.
Whatever Netanyahu’s intentions, people must be made to understand that the roots of the Palestinian National Movement are fascistic, violently anti-Semitic, and deeply influenced not only by Koranically-based hatred toward Jews, but also by forms of early-mid twentieth-century anti-Jewish racism of the type that the Nazis excelled at and spread into the Arab world.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Arafat’s uncle and the father of Palestinian-Arab nationalism, may not have convinced Hitler to undertake the Holocaust in Europe, but he was an enthusiastic supporter of the project and hoped to import not Jews, but the Holocaust, itself, into the Middle East.
If the Palestinian-Arabs had gotten their way during World War II there would be very few Jews left in this world. There are, in fact, very few Jews left in the world as it is, mainly due to Muslim and European racist efforts to trim Jewish numbers over the course of many centuries.
There are somewhere around thirteen to fourteen million Jewish souls worldwide, today. If the Mufti had his way there would be none of us left and this is the “George Washington”, as Glick puts it, of the Palestinian National Movement.
The man was a racist and a murderer and his followers were Nazis.
Whatever Netanyahu may have gotten wrong, he certainly has that right.
First published at Israel Thrives
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. Recently he joined Vocal International a news magazine in Brussels, Belgium, as an analyst, writer, and a member of the Academic Board of Trustees. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel, Elder of Ziyon, and at his own blog, Israel Thrives. He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org