Netanyahu’s Absurd Holocaust Theory

GUESTSM2By Nehad Ismail.

Adolf Hitler must be laughing in his grave – “Holocaust? Not my fault. If you don’t believe me just ask Benjamin Netanyahu.”

According to the Israeli Prime Minister’s version of Hitler’s inner thoughts –

“I must have been brain-washed by that guy who came to see me from a faraway place they called Palestine. Silly me. I must have been bewitched by his charisma, not to mention his turban. How did he manage to persuade me exterminate the Jews? I eliminated 6 million people at the behest of a Palestinian Sheikh?”

Only the most simple-minded idiots would believe such a scenario.BIBI

Now to the serious stuff:

Netanyahu has placed the blame for the extermination of millions of Jewish people during World War II on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The Israeli Prime Minister told the 37th World Zionist Congress that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews – but was convinced to exterminate them by the Muslim leader, who died in 1974.

He said that the pair met in 1941, and that “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here (to Palestine).’ According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: “What should I do with them?” and the Mufti replied: “Burn them.” This is the scenario as imagined by Netanyahu.

In his book “The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty”, Ilan Pappe the Israeli historian and academic traced the history of the al-Husseini family from 1700 – 1948 and devoted dozens of pages, particularly pages 304 to 341 to Haj Amin al-Husseini and his relations with Germany. He described in meticulous detail the letters, exchanges, and verbal conversations between al-Husseini and Adolf Hitler prior to November 1941 and beyond that date. There is no reference to the conversation mentioned by Netanyahu.

Israeli paper Haaretz told its readers: The Germans have rebutted this absurd claim. It reported:
“A German government spokesman was compelled, again, to declare his country’s exclusive responsibility for the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews”.

The following day Haaretz carried a headline saying: “After the Mufti, will Netanyahu Blame Sweden for the Holocaust?”

According to a NY Times report Israeli historians and opposition politicians joined Palestinians in denouncing Netanyahu. The NYT editorial of 23rd Oct said; “It is outrageous because the only apparent purpose is to demonize the Palestinians and the current leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and to give the impression that their resistance is based solely on a longstanding hatred of the Jews, and not on their occupation by Israel or any other grievance”.
According to Israeli newspapers Netanyahu is not the first Israeli politician to distort the Holocaust for selfish political ends. Both David Ben Gurion and Meanchem Begin used the holocaust for propaganda purposes.

William Booth the Washington Post’s Jerusalem bureau chief wrote: “Mr. Netanyahu has made some efforts at damage control since the speech, but all have only reinforced the impression of a cynical effort to distort history in order to draw a straight line between Mr. Husseini’s Nazi views and the current Palestinian leadership. The Holocaust is not a history to tamper with, and now that he has heard the anguished outcry from people who understand that, Mr. Netanyahu should have the decency to acknowledge that he was wrong and out of line”.

Isaac Herzog, the leader of the opposition in the Israeli parliament, wrote: “This is a dangerous historical distortion and I demand Netanyahu correct it immediately as it minimizes the Holocaust, Nazism and … Hitler’s part in our people’s terrible disaster.”

Zionist Union parliamentarian Itzik Shmuli demanded Netanyahu apologize to Holocaust victims saying “This isn’t the first time Netanyahu distorts historical facts, but a lie of this magnitude is the first.”

Despite the blunder and subsequent criticism, there has been no shortage of cheer leaders for Netanyahu in London and Washington. All you have to do is to scan the twitter pages to find apologists, justifiers, and defenders of the indefensible

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14 Comments on "Netanyahu’s Absurd Holocaust Theory"

  1. To the writer of this article Nehad Ismail, a glaring factual error appears in your article.Ilan Pappe is not a respectable Israeli historian but a notorious extreme left wing anti-Zionist & anti-Israel activist used as a “useful idiot” by various Arab governments, Muslim terror groups, extreme left anarchist groups & neo-Nazi groups all of whom quote him as a source of ” justification ” with which to make anti-Semitic & anti-Israel attacks in the media. I am shocked that Tim Marshall has published an attack on the gaffe made by Israels PM by you using the anti-Israel shill Ilan Pappe as the basis for a disinformation article against PM Netanyahu.

    Hitlers meeting with the Mufti was in Nov.1941 a mere 2 months before the Final Solution was formulated at the Wansee conference in Jan.1942. It might have indeed encouraged Hitler to proceed more rapidly with his plans to exterminate the Jews of Europe but I agree would not have been a deciding factor. As we all know the Mufti went on to raise 2 SS divisions of 20,000 Bosnian Muslims, Palestinian, Syrian & Iraqi Arab volunteers to fight for the Nazis in the Balkans where they were engaged in slaughtering civilians including an estimated 200,000 Jews, Serbs & Gypsies and later many served as concentration camp guards including Auschwitz which the Mufti visited a number of times accompanying Himmler n inspection tours.
    Perhaps its best if I discontinue posting comments on this website since I do not agree with where the editor is going with his choice of guest writers, so I bid Tim Marshall & the sites readers farewell.

    • Dan/Mahatmacoat, it seems you only want the website to publish things with which you agree. That is why many people read certain newspapers – in order to re-enforce their prejudices. That is not the aim of this website. I am no fan of Mr Pappe (now of Exeter University), indeed I think he has spent his lifetime being wrong, however, if a writer chooses to quote him, I will not censor him. Mr Pappe may or may not be, as the New Republic called him – ‘one of the world’s sloppiest historians’, I would not use him to support any argument, but Mr Ismail is entitled to quote him.

    • Dan, it’s sad that you choose to walk away. As a neutral in the debate, I appreciate the different perspective you bring, even if the force of your convictions sometimes seems self defeating.

      I don’t wish to dismiss your ‘shock’ but I think you’re seeing sinister motives where none exist. If you genuinely don’t like the ‘direction’, why don’t you offer an article of your own and then respond to comments as Nehad routinely does? If you have ever tried to run a website you would know that the number of people willing to write articles is hugely exceeded by the number of people willing to condemn, insult, and berate in the comments. ‘Directions’ are rarely by editorial choice but the practicalities of a very few writers submitting a limited number of articles.

      That much said, if you do continue to read, perhaps you can answer me the following which I ask genuinely out of my own ignorance. I have no geographic, family, or political connections to either Israel or Palestine. My knowledge of history isn’t as good as I’d want it to be. However, I think I know human nature quite well and, because I have no religion, I tend to view things through my secular humanism. I will mock, cartoon, or write critically about human or their foibles that catch my eye and the Middle East’s problems seem so very human; the product of history and politics as much as they are about religion. However, extremism on both sides of the debate seem so deeply conditioned that it would require a colossal act of psychoanalysis to even approach the subject rationally.

      So my questions: what exactly does it mean to be anti-Zionist? Is it possible to question or mock Netanyahu and not be considered anti-Zionist? Is it possible to hold a nuanced position about the politics and not be labelled anti-Zionist? Indeed, is it possible to be Zionist (i.e. believe in Israel and all that entails) whilst also believing in the rights of the people stuck in the middle of this bloody mess?

      I would agree that critics on the Left can be unthinking, conditioned, and irrational but would you not concede that that is also true of critics on the Right? How on earth can anybody have a conversation when the parties involved keep walking away from the table or, in this case, what seemed like a reasonable discussion?

  2. nehad ismail - United Kingdom | 24th October 2015 at 1:40 pm | Reply

    I am sorry that Dan has decided to walk away from the website. I quoted Ilan Pappe because his book focuses on the Husseini family and the Mufti’s contacts with Hitler. I met him couple of times at events and at the book launch. I found him a reasonable and well informed man. We are not expected to agree with everyone. This is the nature of politics. However the article quotes from Israeli sources and newspapers such as Haaretz, are they also “useful idiots” anti-Zionists? Are the Washington Post and the New York Times extremely left wing and anti-Israel? I have deliberately refrained from quoting Arab or Palestinian sources.
    So I take it Dan that you subscribe to Netanyahu’s theories and you are entitled to do that.
    Fair enough.
    Enjoy the Sabbath and wish a nice week-end.

  3. Thanks Nehad. Odd this should come up today. I’m half way through Matthias Küntzel’s ‘Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11’ and the book asks (and I think answers) some interesting questions. One of the things that has struck me is how anti-Semitism is product of political strategy, used by both sides. Palestinian opposition to Israel was once more nuanced and, historically, not as pronounced as it is today.

    The Mufti certainly figures largely in the book, though is sumarised at one point: “Neither the Mufti nor the founders of the Muslim Brothers were creations of European fascism. However, both were strengthened by it. Like an elder brother, National Socialism backed up the fledgling slamist movement with catchwords, intellectual encouragement, and money.”

    However to the point: I wonder if Netanyahu is thinking about this extract, which parallels his claim but only in a limited context:

    “The Mufti only ever criticized Nazi policy when he feared that Jews might escape the Holocaust. He was on friendly terms with Heinrich Himmler, whom he admired. Their friendship, however, was strained when in 1943 Himmler wanted (as a propaganda stunt and in return for the release of 20,000 German prisoners) to permit 5,000 Jewish children to emigrate—and therefore survive. The Mufti, who, according to a German government official, “would prefer all of them [the Jews] to be killed,” fought tirelessly against this plan. With success! The children were dispatched to the gas chambers.80 The Mufti showed special interest in reacting to decisions by the governments of Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary to allow some thousands of Jewish children accompanied by responsible adults to leave for Palestine. It would be “appropriate and more expedient,” he wrote promptly to the Bulgarian foreign minister, “to prevent the Jews from emigrating from your country and to send them somewhere where they will be under strict control, for example to Poland.” Another success! Already issued emigration permits were withdrawn, and the salvation of the Jewish children prevented.”

  4. nehad ismail - United Kingdom | 24th October 2015 at 7:28 pm | Reply

    Thanks David. Very interesting. I just would like to say that I have never been a fan or an admirer of the Mufti. He sowed divisions in the Palestinian ranks and was involved in conspiracies in Iraq. He was snubbed by Churchill and by fellow Arabs. In a nutshell he was a divisive figure but there is no hard evidence that he was instrumental in Hitler’s final solution. Isaac Herzog, the leader of the opposition in the Israeli parliament, rejected Netanyahu’s theories and wrote: that the Holocaust had already begun by the time the Grand Mufti visited Germany in November 1941. So the persecution of the Jews had preceded the Hitler-Mufti meeting.

    • Nehad,

      I find it rather disturbing that the only criticism you have of Haj Amin Al-Husseini is that he “sowed divisions in the Palestinian ranks” and “was involved in conspiracies in Iraq”. The man instigated the 1929 massacres of Jews in which 133 Jews were butchered, he was a Nazi collaborator whose efforts led to the deaths of thousands of Jews (as very partially detailed by David), he recruited Bosnian Muslims to the SS and spent several years in the direct service of Germany doing propaganda broadcasts. Do you have maybe some criticism of that as well?

      The fact that “the persecution of the Jews had preceded the Hitler-Mufti meeting” is a total no-brainer. It is clear that Husseini was not “instrumental” in devising the Final Solution, but he certainly played a part in it and was instrumental in deaths of thousands of innocent people.

      Maybe you should read some serious historians as well as Ilan Pappe.

  5. nehad ismail - United Kingdom | 26th October 2015 at 6:52 am | Reply

    Thanks Rafi for the additional information about Haj Amin Al-Husseini. My article is not a biography of the man but about his alleged specific role in the Holocaust.

    • Nehad, you are dodging the issue. I was commenting on your comment, not on your article. You said:

      “I just would like to say that I have never been a fan or an admirer of the Mufti. He sowed divisions in the Palestinian ranks and was involved in conspiracies in Iraq. He was snubbed by Churchill and by fellow Arabs.”

      I was expressing consternation that your only reasons not to be a fan or admirer of Al-Husseini was that he was divisive and conspiratorial. Being a Nazi war criminal doesn’t rank with you as a reason not to admire him??

  6. nehad ismail - United Kingdom | 26th October 2015 at 10:44 am | Reply

    I do appreciate your coming back Rafi.
    Let me put the record straight. I have always condemned all kinds of terrorism, violence, killing call it what you like against civilians. I am on record for condemning Hamas and suicide bombing. From the late 1990s until recently I worked with Jewish friends campaigning for a just lasting peace between Arabs and Israelis. I like to see an end to the conflict so that all the people of Israel/Palestine live in peace permanently.

    I cannot as you might appreciate cater for every eventuality in my articles and comments. People pick and choose selectively and subjectively to support a view point. I can quote you dozens of examples of abuse and violence perpetrated by both sides against each other.

    So let us agree that we all need to work together for a better future for all.

    • Daniel Goldman | 26th October 2015 at 2:24 pm | Reply

      The discussion is Al Husseini. Whilst it is clear to most that Netanyahu got his history wrong on Al Husseini instigating the Final Solution (clearly the German’s were already gearing up at this point to the destruction of European Jewry, but it is wholly germain to the topic and therefore your article, that AL Husseini (as relfected in the official German records, saw himself allied with Hitler in the fight against the Allies (part of the global Jewish conspiracy). It is also historical fact that he awaited the Nazi conquest of the Allies in Arab lands to join with them in the destruction of the Jews in those lands. In addition it is also historical fact that Al Husseini lead the Arab language propaganda efforts on behalf of the Nazis, from German (during WWII). This of course without any debate or historical facts relating to the Mufti’s views and actions enabling and encouraging violence towards Jews well before the State of Israel and of course 67 etc. Bibi was wrong on the history (stupid and childlike error), but we should focus on the role played by Al Husseini in his own right as an anti-Semite and a Nazi sympathiser.

  7. Yes, but you don’t seem able to condemn the Nazi founder of the Palestinian national movement Al-Husseini. OK, I can understand that, it would undermine your article ridiculing Netanyahu and damage your narrative of Jewish aggression and settlements and Palestinian victimhood. However that’s a shame, because the first step to working together for a better future would be to acknowledge the past. Bye.

    • Rafi, Nehad does not have a narrative of ‘Jewish aggression and Palestinian victimhood’. I can’t see where in his writings you find that. He simply took on the one issue that Bibi went way over the top on this occasion, something with which most of the Israeli media and political class agree. They are hardly following the narrative you mention and neither is Nehad.

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