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US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
By Absolving Hitler of the Holocaust, Netanyahu
Has Uncovered His Insanity to the World
By Uri Avnery
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, November 2, 2015
|Netanyahu Absolving his soul
mate, Hitler, of responsibility for the Holocaust!
Adolf, Amin and Bibi
IT IS not very
pleasant when serious people around the world – historians, psychiatrists,
diplomats – ask themselves if my prime minister is completely sane.
But this is happening now. And not only abroad. More and more people in
Israel are asking themselves the same question.
All this is the
result of one event. But people are now looking at many other events -
past and present – in a new light.
Until now, many strange actions
and utterances by Binyamin Netanyahu have been seen as the manipulations
of a clever politician, a talented demagogue who knows the soul of his
constituents and supplies them with ample lies.
Not anymore. A
troubling suspicion is getting around: that our
prime minister has serious mental problems. Is he losing his
IT ALL started two weeks ago, when Netanyahu made a
speech to a world-wide Zionist assembly. What he said was shocking.
Adolf Hitler, he pontificated, did not really want to exterminate the
Jews. He just wanted to expel them. But then he met the Mufti of
Jerusalem, who convinced him to "burn" the Jews. Thus the Holocaust was
The conclusion? Hitler was not so
bad after all. The Germans are not really to blame. It was the
Palestinians who were the instigators of the murder of six million Jews.
If the subject had been different, this speech could be considered as
one of the usual lies and falsifications typical of Netanyahu. Hitler was
really not so bad, the Palestinians are to blame, the Mufti was the
forerunner of Mahmoud Abbas. Just a routine piece of political propaganda.
But this concerns the Holocaust, of the most atrocious events of
modern times, and by far the most important event in modern Jewish
history. This event has a direct bearing on the lives of half the Jewish
population of Israel (including myself) who lost their relatives in the
Holocaust, or are themselves survivors.
This speech was not just a
minor political manipulation, one of those we have become accustomed to
since Netanyahu became prime minister. This was something new, something
ALL AROUND the world there was an outcry. There are many
thousands of experts on the Holocaust. Innumerable books have been written
on Nazi Germany (including one by me). Every single detail has been
researched over and over again.
Holocaust survivors were shocked,
because Netanyahu was really absolving Hitler, and the Germans in general,
of the main blame for the horrendous crime. So Hitler was not so bad,
after all. He just wanted to expel the Jews, not to kill them. It was the
evil Arabs who induced him to commit the atrocity of atrocities.
Angela Merkel did the decent thing and issued an immediate denial,
assuming again the total blame of the German people. Thousands of furious
articles appeared around the world, many hundreds of them in Israel.
This particular utterance of Netanyahu's was not just stupid, not just
ignorant. It borders on the insane.
A MUFTI is a religious
scholar, a high ranking authority in an Islamic society, well above a mere
judge. A Grand Mufti is the highest local religious authority. In Islam
there is no pope.
The Grand Mufti in this story is Hajj Amin al-Husseini,
who was chosen by the British authorities in Palestine for the office of
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. As it turned out, this was a grave mistake.
The man who made the mistake was a Jew – Herbert Samuel, the first High
Commissioner of the British Mandated territory of Palestine after World
War I. Young Hajj Amin was already known as a firebrand, and Samuel
followed the well-established colonial practice of appointing enemies to
high office, to quieten them down.
The Husseini family is the
foremost Hamoula (a lineage of several blood-related extended families -
Editor) in Jerusalem. It has some 5,000 members and occupies an entire
neighborhood. It is one of the three or four most distinguished families
in town, and for many generations a Husseini has been either the Mufti,
the mayor or another dignitary in Arab Jerusalem.
Hajj Amin (hajj
is the appellation of a Muslim who has made the obligatory pilgrimage to
Mecca) was a "trouble-maker" right from the beginning. He saw early on the
danger of the Zionist immigration for the Arab community in Palestine, and
several times incited anti-British and anti-Jewish riots. These came to a
head in the Great Rebellion of 1936 – known to the Jews as "the events" –
which shook the country for three years, until World War II.
During "the events", many Jews and many British were killed, but
most of the victims were Arabs. The Mufti (as everybody called him) used
the opportunity to have all his rivals and competitors killed off. For the
Jews in Palestine he became the symbol of evil, the object of intense
By now, the British, too, had had enough of him. They
chased the Mufti out of the country. He went to Lebanon, but when this
country was occupied by the British in World War II (to drive out the
troops of the French Vichy regime) the Mufti fled to Iraq, which was in
the hands of anti-British and pro-Nazi rebels. When the British
re-conquered Iraq, the Mufti fled to Italy, which was leading the Fascist
"Axis" effort to win over the Arabs. The Mufti, whose main enemies were
the British, acted upon the theory that the enemy of my enemy is my
friend. (At the same time, a leader of the Jewish underground in
Palestine, Abraham Stern, acting upon the same theory, also sought contact
with the Italians and Germans.)
It seems that the Italians were
not too keen on having Hajj Amin around, so the Mufti moved to Nazi
Germany. At the time, the SS was trying to enlist Muslim volunteers for
the war against Russia, and somebody had the bright idea that a picture of
the Grand Mufti with Hitler might be useful.
Hitler did not
like the idea at all. He was a true believer in the race theory, and the
Arabs are Semites – an inferior and detestable race, just like the Jews.
But in the end he was weighed upon to receive this Arab refugee for what
we now call a "photo opportunity". A picture was taken – the only picture
of the only meeting between these two persons. (There are also photos of
the Mufti with Muslim Bosnian SS volunteers).
The meeting was
short, a perfunctory protocol was taken, the Jews appear nowhere in it.
The whole episode was insignificant. Until Netanyahu.
ridiculous to crown the Mufti as the father of the Palestinian nation. In
all my hundreds of meetings with Palestinians, from Arafat down, I have
never heard a good word about Hajj Amin, not even from the wonderful
Faisal al-Husseini, a remote relative. They unanimously described him as a
real Palestinian patriot, but a person with limited education and
narrow-minded outlook, who bears part of the blame for the disaster that
befell the Palestinian people in 1948. The bloodbath he carried out among
the Palestinians in the 1936-1939 rebellion weakened the Palestinians so
much, that when the crucial test came – the 1947 partition of Palestine
and the 1948 war – the nation was devoid of any effective leadership.
The idea that the mighty Fuehrer needed or
heeded the advice of a fugitive Semite in order to decide on the Holocaust
is preposterous. Indeed, it is crazy.
Also, the dates don't jibe. The photo-meeting
took place at the end of 1941. The extermination started immediately after
the conquest of Poland in 1939, and took on its monstrous
dimensions with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in the middle of
1941. It acquired its final, industrial format when Heinrich Himmler, the
SS chief, decided that "one cannot demand of a decent German" to shoot all
this Jewish scum. The Mufti had
absolutely nothing to do with this, and the very idea is
Until 1939, Hitler did indeed further the expulsion of the
Jews, because physical extermination in a peaceful Europe was unthinkable.
But once the war broke out, he saw at once the chance for mass
extermination – and said so quite openly.
SO HOW did this
son of a "renowned historian" come to say this crazy thing?). (This
appellation of Ben-Zion Netanyahu is now de rigueur in the Israeli media,
though I never met anyone who has read his work on the Spanish
Perhaps he heard it from some crackpot hired by
Sheldon Adelson – but even so, the fact that he did not reject it outright
shows not only that he is a complete ignoramus about the most important
chapter in modern Jewish history, but also that he may have some mental
In this light, many others of his decisions now look
different, including this week's decision to take measures to cancel the
"inhabitant" status of tens of thousands of Arab Jerusalemites. When East
Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1967, the inhabitants were not granted
Israeli citizenship, only reduced resident's rights, which deny them the
right to vote for the Knesset. They were graciously allowed to apply for
citizenship individually, but, of course, almost nobody did, since this
would mean recognition of the annexation.
Now I am afraid. If indeed we are governed by a
man with mental problems – just where is he leading us?
Postscript By Uri Avnery:
SOME OF my
friends complained to me that my last article contained – as Churchill would
have put it – a terminological inexactitude.
I wrote that the Jews
were not mentioned at the Hitler-Husseini meeting. That is a gross
exaggeration. Everyone who knows anything about Hitler knows that the
Fuehrer could not utter three sentences without mentioning the Jews.
(Another gross exaggeration.)
The English version of the official
transcript contains a total of about 2250 words. The Jews are mentioned 12
times - three times by Hajj Amin and nine times by Hitler. Hitler used
all his stock phrases, the Mufti used blatant flattery. No one said anything
new. Hitler politely rejected all the Mufti's requests.
Hitler the Jews ruled Britain and the Soviet Union (the US was not yet in
the war.) If Italy and Japan had been on the other side, Hitler would have
added them to the list.
At the time, November 1941, the
extermination by the Einsatzkommandos was already in full swing. Obviously
the Mufti did not know anything about this, nor did Hitler tell him. It was
State Secret No. 1.
The transcript has been known for a long time.
If Netanyahu's preposterous assertions had been true, our super-efficient
propaganda machine would have reminded us and the world every single day.
About the Nazi's' regard for the Mufti: Hajj Amin stayed in Germany for
another four years until the end of the war. Almost nothing is known about
his stay there. Hitler never received him again. That's how important he
By the way, this week Netanyahu was compelled to issue a kind
of denial – the Netanyahu kind. It says that Hitler was responsible for the
Holocaust. Not one single word about the Mufti or the speech that started
the whole mess.
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