human rights watch

söndag 25 oktober 2015



 The Mufti meets Himmler, head of the SS

Historians have quite rightly pointed out that the extermination of the Jews of Europe was well underway by the time the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, met Adolph Hitler in 1941. 

But most disturbing is that, among the  chorus of political opponents and Palestinians accusing Netanyahu of distortion and even ‘Holocaust denial’, there are those who are irresponsibly introducing another  dangerous distortion into the historical record.   They are whitewashing the Mufti’s active  role in WW 2 and his enduring legacy of genocidal antisemitism.

I repeat,  Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu was wrong. However,  it is beyond doubt that the Mufti did everything possible to encourage the Final Solution. When the Nazis wavered, he ensured that expulsion was not an option. Each time a German was bribed to free Jews from the camps, the Mufti intervened to block the deal. He sabotaged the exchange of at least 1,200 Jewish children for German PoWs and sent them to their deaths. He was indirectly responsible for condemning millions of Jews to death by making sure the gates to a safe haven in Palestine were firmly shut.

Exiled to Baghdad by the British, the Mufti helped engineer a pro-Nazi coup in 1941 and the resulting ‘Farhud’, Iraq’s ‘Kristallnacht’, in which up to 600 Jews may have been murdered. Had the Nazis won the war,  the Mufti, who as a captain in the Ottoman army would have witnessed the Armenian genocide, would have become a major player in the extermination of the Jews of Palestine and the Arab world – an objective for which he sought approval at his famous meeting with Hitler in November 1941. He had detailed plans for incinerators near Nablus.  He laid the groundwork for the Holocaust of the Jews in the Arab countries. 

According to Dr Yosef Sharvit of Bar Ilan: “A similar process to what happened in Europe took place: discriminatory legislation, robbing Jews, establishing ‘Judenraete’ (Jewish Councils), establishing work camps and in the end they were to have established death camps as well.”

The Mufti was the tip of an Arab and Muslim pro-Nazi iceberg – some 60 Arab acolytes joined him in Berlin as guests of Hitler. He was not just a propagandist – although his broadcasts had a huge impact. As  the leader of the Arab world, he commanded immense support for his pro-Nazi antisemitism.

 So popular was Hitler that a favourite slogan in the Arab world at the time was:’Allah in Heaven, Hitler on earth.” The Fuehrer was known as Haji Hitler. Some even claimed that Hitler was an Egyptian.

My mother, growing up in Baghdad in the 1930s, was mortified to learn that the family’s Muslim gardener had named his new baby Hitler.

Fifteen times more Jews than Arabs in Palestine ( there were half as many Jews) fought Hitler alongside the Allies.

Those who claim that Bibi singled out the Mufti from among hundreds of Nazi fellow-travellers and antisemites to ‘delegitimise’ the Palestinian cause ‘for political gain’  are engaging in ‘Mufti denial’.

How many antisemites went as far as the Mufti and recruited tens of thousands of Muslims to his three SS Balkan Muslim divisions? They committed crimes so unspeakable that Yugoslavia demanded that the Mufti be indicted at the Nuremberg trials. According to Dr. Yosef Sharvit,  the Mufti was even considered a greater Nazi criminal than Adolf Eichmann.

The failure of the Allies to bring the Mufti to trial meant that the Arab world was never de-nazified. Instead, 2,000 Nazi war criminals were given shelter in the Arab world, there to take antisemitism to stratospheric heights.

Antisemitism is not a by-product of the Arab-Israeli conflict: it has deep ideological roots. The Mufti’s alliance with the Nazis and with the German-funded Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928,  was not a mere matter of anti-colonial expediency. Their legacy of religious bigotry is still with us today, in the beheadings committed by Da’esh in Iraq and in the stabbings on Israel’s streets.

Some good may come out of the current controversy: more people may be moved to focus on the Mufti’s hugely significant role, a role that academia and the media have hitherto been inclined to ignore or downplay.

Read article in full

Some useful links: 

Dr Edy Cohen on Youtube (Hebrew) 

The Mufti and the Holocaust revisited: Ben Cohen  (Algemeiner)

Arabs and Nazis by Elliott Green (Think -Israel) 

Mufti advised Nazis by Wolfgang Schwanitz (Middle East Forum) 

Is Netanyahu really wrong?  by Sheri Oz (Times of Israel) 

Haj Amin al-Husseini and antisemitism in the Arab world by Sarah Levin(Times of Israel) 

Mufti was an even greater Nazi criminal than Eichmann (Arutz Sheva)

Mufti's initiatory experience in the extermination of European Jewry by Rob Harris (Crethi Plethi)

La croix gammee et le turban (TV review by Veronique Chemla)  


'Mufti was even greater Nazi criminal than Eichmann'

The Mufti was an even greater war criminal than Eichmann,  Dr Yosef Sharvit tells Arutz Sheva, wading into the controversy caused by Prime Minister Netanyahu's observation that the Mufti was to blame for exterminating, rather than expelling the Jews.

"Aside from the inaccuracies, I think that thanks to Netanyahu's words we come out of this with a benefit, because he dealt with the centrality of the mufti who for some reason has been taken off the historical stage in everything related to the Holocaust," said Sharvit.

The historian emphasized to Arutz Sheva that there is great importance in noting the part played by the Arab mufti in the Holocaust.

"When Haj Amin al-Husseini met Hitler in November 1941, he told him that there's a stark similarity between Nazism and Islam," explained Sharvit. "Husseini was responsible for establishing SS units in the Balkans. He was friendly with senior SS commanders, and was responsible for Berlin Radio broadcasts in all the Islamic lands."

"His Berlin Radio broadcasts would always end by calling to slaughter the Jews. He also was among the initiators of the final solution for Jews in the land of Israel, and if (senior Nazi commander) Erwin Rommel would have G-d forbid reached Israel, Haj Amin al-Husseini had a detailed plan to destroy the Jewish community."

Dr. Sharvit stated that the mufti was even considered a greater Nazi criminal than Adolf Eichmann.

"He was a figure known better than Eichmann until he (Eichmann) was brought to Israel" where he was executed, says the historian.

"In essence, he also led the Holocaust of the Jews in the Arab countries. There too a similar process to what happened in Europe took place: discriminatory legislation, robbing Jews, establishingJudenrate ('Jewish councils' - ed.), establishing work camps and in the end they were to have established death camps as well."(My emphasis)

"All of this was stopped thanks to Operation Torch," he said, noting theAmerican and British invasion of French North Africa in 1942.
"Therefore I salute Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who raised to public awareness the centrality of Haj Amin al-Husseini in the Holocaust of the Jews," concluded Sharvit.

Sharvit's support echoes that of Middle East Forum scholar Dr. Wolfgang Schwanitz , who on Wednesday gave Netanyahu historical backing.
"It is a historical fact that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini was an accomplice whose collaboration with Adolf Hitler played an important role in the Holocaust," Schwanitz stated. "He was the foremost extra-European adviser in the process to destroy the Jews of Europe."

In defending his own remarks, Netanyahu quoted the testimony of Adolf Eichmann's deputy at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, who said: "The Mufti was instrumental in the decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The importance of his role must not be ignored. The Mufti repeatedly proposed to the authorities, primarily Hitler, Ribbentropp and Himmler, to exterminate the Jews of Europe. He considered it a suitable solution for the Palestinian question."

Read article in full 

Sarah Levin writes in the Times of Israel: 

"Rather then criticize and condemn Benjamin Netanyahu for his comments about Haj Amin al-Husseini, this is an opportunity for our world leaders and the media to step up and confront the much more important and pervasive issue of Anti-Semitism and xenophobia in the Arab world. Such an exploration may help the public broaden and deepen our understanding of the unimaginable levels of Anti-Semitism plaguing the Middle East and North Africa and the ongoing structural and physical violence directed against Israel. "

More about the Mufti

Mufti ensured that mass murder became genocide

 Of all the articles dealing with the Netanyahu-Mufti controversy, this one by Melanie Phillips in the Jerusalem Post is possibly the best.  She explains that Netanyahu was fundamentally right:   it is thanks to the Mufti's intervention, that mass murder became genocide.

The Grand  Mufti meets Hitler in November 1941

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the role played in the Holocaust by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, he cannot have imagined the reaction he would detonate.

What he said was this: “He [Husseini] flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time; he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he [Hitler] asked.

He [Husseini] said, ‘Burn them.’” In the subsequent global firestorm, Netanyahu was denounced for exonerating Hitler. It was said he had claimed the mufti had given Hitler the idea of exterminating the Jews when the two met in November 1941; that he was cynically trying to tarnish today’s Palestinians; even that he was a Holocaust denier.

His subsequent protest that he had no intention of absolving Hitler of responsibility fell on deaf ears. Even those who acknowledged that the mufti had allied with the Nazis insisted Netanyahu had turned history back to front.
Most of this reaction, however, is at best wide of the mark and at worst quite obscene. For Netanyahu was fundamentally correct.

There can be no doubt he spoke too loosely. He has provided no source for the words he quoted from both Husseini and Hitler at that November 1941 meeting. And he should have acknowledged that the mass murder of European Jews was already well under way, and that Hitler had talked about exterminating the Jews since the 1920s.

But mass murder is not the same as genocide. And the precise moment when Hitler decided to exterminate the whole of European Jewry – the “Final Solution” – has long been disputed by historians.

For even while the Nazis were rounding up Jews for slaughter they were also deporting them – more than 500,000 between 1933 and 1941. And recently unearthed documentary evidence suggests that the mufti and Hitler egged each other on in a mutual genocidal frenzy.

A book published last year, Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang Schwanitz, argues that the mufti’s alliance with Hitler turned the extermination of the whole of European Jewry into a strategic imperative.

As late as July 1941, according to Hermann Göring, Hitler thought the last of the Jews could be removed from Germany by “emigration or evacuation.”
The authors write: “Yet since other countries refused to take many or any Jewish refugees, Palestine was the only possible refuge, as designated by the League of Nations in 1922. If that last safe haven was closed, mass murder would be Hitler’s only alternative.”

Rubin and Schwanitz make clear that the November 1941 meeting between Hitler and Husseini merely continued a dialogue that had started earlier that year about the mufti’s opposition to Hitler’s deportation of European Jews.
“In February 1941, Hitler had received al-Husaini’s proposal for an alliance of which one condition – paragraph seven – was that Germany stop Jewish emigration from Europe. After Hitler promised al-Husaini on March 11 to do so, Germany’s expulsion of the Jews was impossible and only mass murder remained.

“... After agreeing in early June to meet al-Husaini to discuss the issue, Hitler ordered SS leader Reinhard Heydrich on July 31, 1941 to prepare an ‘overall solution for the Jewish question in Europe.’ On October 31, he ended the legal emigration of Jews from German-ruled areas.

But the specific final decision had not yet been taken.”

On November 28, Hitler met the mufti in Berlin. “Behind closed doors, Hitler promised al-Husaini that Arab aspirations would be fulfilled. Once ‘we win’ the battle against world Jewry, Hitler said, Germany would eliminate the Jews in the Middle East, too.” The following day, “he ordered Heydrich to organise a conference within ten days to prepare ‘the final solution of the Jewish question.’” As the book also shows, the mufti was making common cause with Hitler long before 1941. By 1936, he was courting the Nazis for arms and money. In 1940, he sent Hitler a nine-page letter detailing a proposed alliance. The Palestine question, he said, united them in their joint hatred of the British and the Jews. He proposed to make Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Transjordan a single federated state with a Nazi-style system. In return, he wanted Hitler’s help to wipe out all Jews in the Middle East.

Evidence that the mufti played a key role in the Holocaust was provided at the Nuremberg Tribunal by Eichmann’s close associate in the extermination program, Dieter Wisliceny. He said: “The mufti was one of the instigators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and was a partner and adviser to Eichmann and Hitler for carrying out this plan.”

This was corroborated at the tribunal by two witnesses, Andrej Steiner and Rudolf Kasztner, who confirmed that Wisliceny had talked about Husseini in these terms during the war.

Read article in full 

Leading German scholar: 'Mufti advised Nazis '

Some useful links: 

Israel, Nazis and Palestinians by Francisco Gil-White  

Netanyahu was right to draw parallels between Nazis and Arab leaders by Seth Lipsky (New York Post)

Dr Edy Cohen on Youtube (Hebrew) 

The Mufti and the Holocaust revisited: Ben Cohen  (Algemeiner)

Arabs and Nazis by Elliott Green (Think -Israel) 

Mufti advised Nazis by Wolfgang Schwanitz (Middle East Forum) 

Is Netanyahu really wrong?  by Sheri Oz (Times of Israel) 

Haj Amin al-Husseini and antisemitism in the Arab world by Sarah Levin(Times of Israel) 

Mufti was an even greater Nazi criminal than Eichmann (Arutz Sheva)

Mufti's initiatory experience in the extermination of European Jewry by Rob Harris (Crethi Plethi)

La croix gammee et le turban (TV review by Veronique Chemla)  

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar