Hitler-Mufti confab political football in battle for Jerusalem

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered embassies to use a photo of Adolf Hitler’s 1941 meeting with the Mufti of Jerusalem to counter international criticism over a Jerusalem settlement project, a senior official told AFP July 22. “The foreign minister ordered the distribution of the photo to all embassies abroad as a response to the Shepherd Hotel incident in order to prove a well-known point that the mufti collaborated with Hitler,” the official said on condition of anonymity. Foreign Ministry staff apparently opposed the move.

The US last month summoned the Israeli ambassador to Washington, demanding that the project in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem be halted. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flatly refused, saying Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem is “unquestionable.” The settlement project is slated for the site of the Shepherd Hotel, owned by Jewish-American millionaire Irving Moskowitz. It is on a site known to Palestinians as Karm al-Mufti, which once belonged to Amin al-Husseini, the wartime mufti.

In the US, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations got on the bandwagon, issuing a statement in support of the construction that also invoked the Mufti:

It is particularly significant that the structure in question formerly was the house of the infamous Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseni who spent the war years in Berlin as a close ally of Hitler, aiding and abetting the Nazi extermination of Jews. He was also linked to the 1929 massacre in Hebron and other acts of incitement that resulted in deaths and destruction in what was then Palestine. There has been an expressed desire by some Palestinians to preserve the building as a tribute to Husseini. [JTA, July 21]

Alan Dershowitz also gets in on the act, responding in the Jerusalem Post July 26 to a New York Times piece three days earlier that was entitled “Hamas Shifts From Rockets to Culture War.” Dershowitz entitles his rejoiner “Will Hamas’s new ‘Culture War’ acknowledge its historic ties to Nazism?” Here’s the crux of his argument (if we may so flatter it):

The truth is that the Palestinian leadership, supported by the Palestinian masses, played a significant role in Hitler’s Holocaust.

The official leader of the Palestinians, Haj Amin al-Husseini, spent the war years in Berlin with Hitler, serving as a consultant on the Jewish question. He was taken on a tour of Auschwitz and expressed support for the mass murder of European Jews. He also sought to “solve the problems of the Jewish element in Palestine and other Arab countries” by employing “the same method” being used “in the Axis countries.” He would not be satisfied with the Jewish residents of Palestine – many of whom were descendants of Sephardic Jews who had lived there for hundreds, even thousands, of years – remaining as a minority in a Muslim state. Like Hitler, he wanted to be rid of “every last Jew.” As Husseini wrote in his memoirs, “Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world.

“I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: ‘The Jews are yours.'”

The mufti was apparently planning to return to Palestine in the event of a German victory and construct a death camp, modeled after Auschwitz, near Nablus. Husseini incited his pro-Nazi followers with the words “Arise, o sons of Arabia. Fight for your sacred rights. Slaughter Jews wherever you find them. Their spilled blood pleases Allah, our history and religion. That will save our honor.”

Now, how many things are wrong with this? Let’s count.

1. There are no sources. It appears that the most incriminating chargeā€”the Mufti toured Auschwitz and served as a “consultant” on the Final Solutionā€”emerged from the Nazis themselves. The Palestine Facts website informs us that Adolf Eichmann’s deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) testified at the Nuremberg Tribunal:

The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan… He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz.

Might it not have occurred to Dersh that a Nazi war criminal facing the gallows would have incentive to scapegoat a wog?

2. Even if all these charges are true, it hardly adds up to a “significant role” in the Holocaust. The reactionary Palestinian leadership of the day were useful pawns for the Nazisā€”not masterminds. The Nazis did indeed plan to extend the Holocaust to Palestine if they ever got there, but they intended to do it themselves, not farm out this critical task to Arab proxies. Research revealed two years ago that the SS created a special “Einsatzgruppe”ā€”the elite corps that oversaw the Final Solutionā€”to carry out the extermination of Palestine’s Jews. The Einsatzgruppe waited in Greece in 1942 for Gen. Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Corps to break through British-controlled Egypt and reach Palestine. (Rommel was turned back at the Battle of El Alamein in October.)

3. Even if we accept all Dershowitz’s claims, how does any of this prove Hamas’ “historic ties to Nazism”? Hamas was founded in 1987, and does not trace its leadership back to the Mufti’s Husseini clan, a traditional land-holding elite that the British had been attempting to groom as proxies. (The Mufti was installed as the “official leader” of the Palestinians in a British-instrumented sham election.)

4. The Mufti’s alliance with Hitler was based at least as much on mutual enmity for the British (who had promised Palestine to both the Arabs and Jews, and then seemed in no hurry to hand it over to either) as for the Jews. There were plenty of such alliances based on common enemies in the war years. How come nobody ever gives the Finns a hard time for having been on the wrong side in World War II? Just asking.

On the other side of the coin, the lefty Richard Silverstein in The Guardian Aug. 6 provides some interesting background on the odious Moskowitzā€”a real estate developer with political agendaā€”but he can’t resist committing a clueless political faux pas that will just provide ammo for the Liebermans and Dershowtizes:

In 1985, Moskowitz purchased a political and real estate crown jewel: the Shepherd Hotel, for which he paid $1m. The property had been the headquarters of the Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a leader of Jerusalem Palestinians in the 1940s, who allied himself with the Nazis during the second world war. The state took control of the property decades ago and then sold it to Moskowitz. In one stroke, Moskowitz wrested from Palestinians part of their historic legacy and enabled the settler movement to make inroads into a new Arab neighbourhood.

A “part of their historic legacy”? What, if the Zionist state is demonizing the Mufti, he was therefore a hero? As usual, there is no shortage of cant to go around…

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  1. Hamas = Muslim-brotherhood who collaborated with the Nazi.
    Pardon me but you are perhaps unaware that Hamas is a branch of the Muslim brotherhood that collaborated with the Nazis. Haj Amin al Husseini was an ardent follower of the Muslim brotherhood. Do check your facts carefully. Go to http://www.TellTheChildernTheTruth.com you may learn something you aren’t aware of.

    1. Conceded
      The Muslim Brotherhood is a link between Hamas and the Husseinis, but Dershowtiz didn’t mention them. (Maybe he should hire you.) I’m also not sure about the Brotherhood’s degree of Nazi collaboration. Your link doesn’t work.

  2. Muslim Brotherhood unites with Hitlerā€™s Third Reich
    Please refer to this link for the Muslim Brotherhood historical affiliation with the Nazis.


    And there are ample references to this effect if you just Google about it.

    Also Al Qaeda is another branch created by the Muslim Brotherhood among others. The PLO/Fatah et al are equally part of that radical Islamist umbrella under the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The link agian is http://www.TellTheChildrenTheTruth.com – try it again.

    I could not post a reply to your above message, it won’t let me.

    1. Huh?
      If PLO/Fatah are “equally part of that radical Islamist umbrella under the Muslim Brotherhood” then why are they busy fighting and persecuting Hamas?

      What do you mean it “won’t let you”? There’s an approval queue, you know.

      1. Loosing Power Causes Fatah and Hamas warring – The West Wins
        I think that both of these radical Arabs, Hamas and Fatah, are fighting between them because they want to rule the vast amount of resources given to them by the international community. The leadership of these Arabs now called Palestinians care less about its people but who will access to the money they earn [for their terrorism against Israel] from the international community including the U.S., sadly. History proved so. This political entity, “Palestiniansā€ created by the Arab World with one goal in mind, to destroy Israel. And the Arab world is and has been using these Palestinians as pawns and they will never relinquish said goal. Rest assured. I hope you and others aren’t that naĆÆve about it. Why would this conflict exist for so long despite the ample opportunities and billions of dollars to help these Arab ā€˜refugeesā€™ for 60 years? Show me in history any refugees that received as much financial aid or a fraction of it? None. There were 100,000,000 refugees after W.W. II, none received a thing and if they did they only got it for 6 months but all settled. Israel herself absorbed 2 million refugees of her own people in a place smaller than Denver all of whom have excelledā€¦ā€¦. It is truly a miracle that Israel still exists and excelled in so many ways in spit of the horror she has endured by the Arab World who also mostly came to being after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

  3. God save us fr. the willfully obtuse
    Where do I ever call al Husseini “a hero?” Those are yr words conveniently place in my mouth when I never uttered them.

    You & a number of the rightist CiF commenters don’t seem to understand what a ‘historic legacy’ is. Strom Thurmond & the Ku Klux Klan is as much part of the American legacy as Barack Obama and Martin Luther King. Jefferson Davis’ ancestral home and the seat of the Confederacy is as much part of our historic legacy as the White House. Are we proud of Strom Thurmond of the Ku Klux Klan? No. But do we deny they are part of the fabric of America? No. We concede they were part of our history & try to understand why they appealed to their fellow citizens & how to ensure we never return to the values they represent.

    Is al Husseini part of the Palestinians legacy? You bet. As his former headquarters, is this building an important part of Palestine’s historic legacy? You bet. Does that mean Palestinians must be proud of what he stood for? No.

    My problem with the right wing commentariat is that it is willfully obtuse when it suits them.

    1. God save us fr. obscure acronyms
      What does Common Intermediate Format have to do with it?

      Are you implying I’m part of the “right wing commentariat”? Funny, I’m being relentlessly baited here and on Daily Kos as a dupe of the jihadis. There’s no vindication like getting it from both sides. Keep the abuse coming, y’all.

      1. CiF=Comment is Free
        It’s odd that you linked to my post in the Guardian but didn’t realize that the section in which it was published is called Comment is Free. If you read the comment thread you’ll see that one of the rightist commenters raised virtually your identical objection to my use of the phrase “historic legacy” in terms of al-Husseini’s Shepherd Hotel. Most people who attack my views usually use a disparaging variant of the term “lefty” so I mistakenly assumed you were right-wing. The fact that you aren’t baffles me even more as to what your point was in attacking my piece, since in yr reply you don’t even acknowledge my rejoinder to it.

        1. Reading comprehension problems
          Let’s see. I write a fairly lengthy post overwhelmingly devoted to tearing apart Dershowitz’s Hamas=Hitler formula. It contains one line which actually praised your piece, while calling you out on some unfortunate wording. And for this, I am lumped in with the “right wing commentariat.” I guess for Richard Silverstein, it’s all about Richard Silverstein.

          As for your “point” (if we may so flatter it): In a narrow sense, Amin al-Husseini is a part of the Palestinians’ “historic legacy,” but your use of the term in context sounds uncriticalā€”and obviously was intended to be. This is just a silly game of “gotcha.”

          CiF is not exactly a common acronym. Anyone not a frequent reader of The Guardian is going to think “WTF?”

    2. al Husseini is a Part of the Nazi Arab/Palestinian Legacy
      al Husseini etched his Nazi/Islamomaniac ideology in the Arab/Palestinians society comprised of Hamas, Fatah, Pelp, Islamic Palestinian Jihad, etc. to a point that one can never extricate it from any cell of it apparatuses, sadly. Just check out Fatah and Hamas charters. Google to find it. This political entity, Arab/Nazi Palestinian society, narrative is based on falsehood and derived from its goal to destroy Israel.

      But Richard Silverstein and its ilk, the “willfully obtuse”, that self-proclaimed, “Progressive” regressive Zionist lend a hand to these Islamonazis and perhaps they arenā€™t aware that they are doing just that. I am not sure that these types of Jews, the willful obtuse are even redeemable.

        1. PFLP, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jihadists
          Sorry for the typo, indeed it is never Pelp but PFLP, another faction of the Arab Palestinians terrorist organizations clinging to take power if the so called Palestinian State will come to fruition in the heart land of the Jewish people homeland, Judea and Samaria where the Jewish people were born.

          And there is so many other Arab Palestinians terrorist splinter groups that it is become hard to follow. Simply put bunch of thugs!

          All the best,

  4. no israel

    The existence of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Arab-Muslim is in itself a strange
    Because the Zionist entity is not shared with the Arab world, anything that characteristics such as religion, customs
    Traditions and language. The existence of Israel within the Arab world is a big mistake, and constant tension
    In the Middle East also note since 1948. Such as the entry of foreign objects inside the human body begins
    Body fever, tension and fatigue and to ensure even go out foreign objects.
    To all Arab and Islamic countries to form the Ministry of Defence and one common to all States and the expulsion of the Jews
    From the Middle East. This is the best choice for Arabs and Jews in that one because he Bjrdasiraiil within the Arab world
    Will feel the Arab world would not be true of the world would not be true of the Jewish people will never feel the stability and comfort, but if
    Came out of Palestine, all Palestine greetings to all

  5. no no no israel
    This is the Zionist terrorism
    There is no state called Israel. State of thieves called Israel a basis of the displacement and killing of Innocent nation of thieves basis bloodshed and war And the arrest of people for tens of years to prevent him THE RIGHT TO LIFE. basis steal the land of the Palestinian people And then steal the land of the Arab-Muslim the entire .State of the thieves do not know the law ….. Does not recognize the law of the United Nations, a state that considers itself above the law . the law is the siege of Gaza And the bloodshed and destruction of houses and killing innocent people and occupying the country .This is the Zionist Terrorism State of ISRAEL

    1. Oh, stop beating around the bush
      Don’t be shy. Come on and tell us how you really feel.

      I’m a bit confused. You start by saying “There is no state called Israel.” You close by saying “This is the Zionist Terrorism State of ISRAEL.” So is Israel a hallucination or not?

      Just curious.