Addressing the Zionist Congress on Tuesday the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrated in fine fashion the point made by this blog yesterday in Denying the Holocaust. The Nazi genocide of the 1940s is being used by many in Israel and many supporters of Israel to both legitimise the existence of a Jewish state and to excuse Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and its criminal treatment of the Palestinian people. In an extraordinary attempt to twist the facts of the Shoah Netanyahu stated quite uncategorically that “Hitler did not want to exterminate the Jews…” and that the easily-led Führer was talked into the Final Solution by the non-Aryan Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini.
That al-Husseini was an anti-Semite and a Nazi collaborator is a matter of historical record. He fled the British Mandate for Italy and travelled to Berlin in November 1941 where he had a personal audience with the German Chancellor. He worked against Eichmann’s negotiations with leading Zionists to transfer Jews from occupied Europe to Palestine. He even recruited Yugoslav Muslims into the SS. No one can argue with these facts. Yet, as a Nazi collaborator, al-Husseini was not alone. Genocide in Europe was not possible without the collaboration of hundreds of influential people across the continent – and a number of them were Jews. Many willingly assisted the murderous plans of the Third Reich because of twisted notions of Nationalism, many were committed anti-Semites, others still found it a means of personal survival. Aware of the 1917 Balfour Declaration to give Palestine to European Jews, the Mufti had his reasons for supporting the Nazis.
Kirstie Lawrence (@K_LawrenceBSc) October 21, 2015
Misguided, awful, evil? Without question! The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, an undereducated British appointed puppet, knew what he was doing, and, like every other willing participant in the horror, he bears personal responsibility for his words and actions. To claim that this man strong-armed an otherwise benign German Fascist dictator into the mass murder of whole populations is beyond ridiculous, and to base on this absurdity the collective responsibility of all Palestinians then and now is despicable, but – then – we are talking about Benjamin Netanyahu; a man who has said candidly that he can make the US dance to his tune, and has made it clear that Palestine will never be a state while he is Prime Minister.
ADL (@ADL_National) October 21, 2015
We have to think more deeply about this use of the Mufti narrative in modern right-wing Israeli political ideology. Over the past month a number of friends and social media contacts have introduced the spectre of al-Husseini into discussions as a reason why it is too complicated to adopt a preferential option for Palestine in the present conflict. He is of course the only real Palestinian Nazi, and no one can defend a Nazi. He is in effect the discussion-stopper-general in this historical debate. Yet Israel’s opposition disagree, as do many of the delegates who listened to Netanyahu’s nonsense at the Zionist Congress, and now even the director of Yad Vashem has blasted his words as a distortion of history. None of this is important however, as to Netanyahu the Nazi genocide happened, and it happened not because of Hitler, not even because of al-Husseini; it happened because of the Palestinians.