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Netanyahu, the Grand Mufti and the Holocaust

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The Grand Mufti Inspects a Balkan Mus­lim Waf­fen SS Unit

COMMENT: It is com­par­a­tive­ly rare to see men­tion of Haj Amin el-Hus­sei­ni in main­stream media. It is even rar­er to see him men­tioned in an accu­rate con­text. Recent com­ments by Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu did noth­ing to improve the cov­er­age.

We have cov­ered the Grand Mufti (as he termed him­self) exten­sive­ly over the years. Hold­ing the rank of Gen­er­al in the Waf­fen SS, he was deeply involved with recruit­ing Mus­lim fight­ing for­ma­tions to fight on behalf of the Axis in World War II.

He also had planned to work with the Ein­satz­gruppe “Egypt” and Walther Rauff to exter­mi­nate Jews liv­ing in the Mid­dle East in the event that Rom­mel’s forces proved vic­to­ri­ous.

The Grand Mufti was also instru­men­tal in block­ing the trans­fer of tens of thou­sands of Jew­ish chil­dren to Pales­tine dur­ing the clos­ing months of the war–elements of the Nazi lead­er­ship were hop­ing to bro­ker their own sur­vival using their cap­tives as cur­ren­cy. In this regard, the Grand Mufti con­tributed mate­ri­al­ly to the Holo­caust.

It is ridicu­lous, how­ev­er, to attribute a sem­i­nal con­cep­tu­al role to Hus­sei­ni vis a vis the Holo­caust, as Netanyahu has done.

Babi Yar Mas­sacre

The Nazi exter­mi­na­tion of Euro­pean Jew­ry was well under­way by the time Hitler and the Grand Mufti met in Novem­ber of 1941.

Recent, dis­turb­ing echoes of that exter­mi­na­tion have elud­ed com­men­tary by Netanyahu.

The OUN/B heirs ele­vat­ed to pow­er through the Maid­an coup have effect­ed a com­bi­na­tion of Holo­caust denial and Holo­caust cel­e­bra­tion.

While pass­ing laws crim­i­nal­iz­ing crit­i­cism of the OUN/B, its leader Stephan Ban­dera and its mil­i­tary com­po­nent UPA, the OUN//B’s role in the Holo­caust has been cel­e­brat­ed.

A street in the Lvov dis­trict has been named in hon­or of the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion (“Ein­satz­gruppe Nachti­gall”) that exter­mi­nat­ed the Lvov ghet­to and Pres­i­dent Poroshenko (like his pre­de­ces­sor Vik­tor Yuschenko) laid a wreath in hon­or of the OUN/B at Babi Yar, the site of famous Holo­caust mass exe­cu­tions. (Most of the exe­cu­tion­ers at Babi Yar were from the OUN/B.)

Netanyahu has remained [pre­dictably] silent about this.

Israelis–with a few exceptions–have remained silent as well.

The world’s Jew­ish community–with a few exceptions–have also eschewed crit­i­cism.

That silence is res­o­nant.

“Israel’s Netanyahu Stirs Out­rage by Link­ing Pales­tin­ian Cler­ic to Holo­caust” by Bat­she­va Sobel­man; The Los Ange­les Times; 10/21/2015.

 If there is one place where the facts of the Holo­caust are rarely con­test­ed, it is Israel. On Wednes­day, how­ev­er, pub­lic debate raged over com­ments by Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu, who claimed that a key Pales­tin­ian cler­ic was a dri­ving force behind Adolf Hitler’s attempt to exter­mi­nate the Jews.

Address­ing the World Jew­ish Con­gress in Jerusalem on Tues­day, on the eve of his depar­ture for a trip to Ger­many, Netanyahu said that Haj Amin Hus­sei­ni, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, had plant­ed the seed of the Holo­caust dur­ing a meet­ing with the Fuehrer.

“Hitler didn’t want to exter­mi­nate the Jews at the time, 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.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ ” he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’ ”

Netanyahu referred to a meet­ing that took place in Novem­ber 1941 between Hitler and Hus­sei­ni, a fierce Pales­tin­ian nation­al­ist and Nazi sym­pa­thiz­er.
Hus­sei­ni, said Netanyahu, had a “cen­tral role in foment­ing the Final Solu­tion,” the pol­i­cy final­ized at the Wannsee Con­fer­ence in Jan­u­ary 1942 to exter­mi­nate the Jews of Europe.

The com­ments caused an uproar Wednes­day morn­ing, infu­ri­at­ing both Israelis and Pales­tini­ans, who charged Netanyahu with rewrit­ing his­to­ry and exploit­ing the Holo­caust for polit­i­cal gain.

“Also the son of an his­to­ri­an must state facts accu­rate­ly,” oppo­si­tion leader Isaac Her­zog said, in a ref­er­ence to the prime minister’s late father, a promi­nent his­to­ri­an.
Her­zog demand­ed that Netanyahu imme­di­ate­ly cor­rect what he called a “dan­ger­ous dis­tor­tion of his­to­ry” that reduced Hitler’s respon­si­bil­i­ty for Israel’s tragedy. Her­zog warned that Netanyahu’s words “fall into the hands of Holo­caust deniers like a ripe fruit,” and mud­dy Israel’s con­flict with the Pales­tini­ans.

“Hitler did not need Hus­sei­ni to order the killing of Jews,” Her­zog added.

“Maybe Netanyahu wants to tell this to my rel­a­tives and anoth­er 200,000 Jews mur­dered in Lithua­nia before the mufti and Hitler met?” left-wing law­mak­er Zeha­va Galon wrote on Face­book.

“I am ashamed for you,” added Galon, who said Netanyahu dis­graced Israel by “drag­ging through the mud” the mem­o­ry of the Jew­ish vic­tims of Nazi atroc­i­ty. The law­mak­er, a fre­quent crit­ic of what she sees as gov­ern­ment recal­ci­trance on the peace process, said “all that’s left for those who can’t work to change the future is to rewrite the past.”

Anoth­er oppo­si­tion law­mak­er, Dov Khenin, demand­ed that the prime min­is­ter retract his words and apol­o­gize for what he called a “dis­tor­tion of his­to­ry that joins the murky wave of Holo­caust denial.” The law­mak­er, who leads a par­lia­men­tary lob­by for Holo­caust sur­vivors, said Netanyahu crossed all red lines in his efforts to “blame the Arabs for all injus­tices of the world and his­to­ry.” . . . .

 

Discussion

One comment for “Netanyahu, the Grand Mufti and the Holocaust”

  1. Inter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal back­ground on this stuff from Uri Avneri, Israeli jour­nal­ist and for­mer mem­ber of Knes­set
    http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2015/10/30/adolf-amin-and-bibi/

    Posted by fred rinne | December 9, 2015, 7:28 pm

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