One historian says that ‘despite inaccuracies,’ Netanyahu’s remarks that caused an uproar finally addressed Mufti’s central Holocaust role
By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (ANS – October 25, 2015) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has doubled down on the claim he made Tuesday (October 20, 2015) in a controversial speech to the Zionist Congress, in which he said that Adolf Hitler did not want to annihilate the Jews, but to expel them, and it was Mufti Hajj Amin Al Husseini who convinced him to murder them.
This was reported by www.israelnationalnews.com who stated that the Prime Minister called “absurd” accusations by leftist politicians, that he had absolved Hitler from blame for the Holocaust.
“I had no intention of absolving Hitler for his diabolical responsibility for the annihilation of the Jews of Europe,” Netanyahu told reporters before flying to Germany. “Hitler is responsible for the Final Solution for annihilating the Six Millions; he made the decision.
“By the same token,” he argued, “it is absurd to ignore the role that the Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a war criminal, played in encouraging Hitler, Ribbentrop, Himmler and others, to annihilate the Jews of Europe. There are numerous testimonies to this, including that of Eichmann’s deputy in the Nuremberg trials, not now but after World War Two.”
He said: “The Mufti played a role in the decision to annihilate the Jews of Europe. One must not ignore the importance of his role. The Mufti repeatedly suggested to the authorities he was in touch with, and first and foremost to Hitler, Ribbentrop and others, to annihilate the Jews of Europe. He saw that as a proper solution for the Palestinian question.”
“And Eichmann’s deputy added: ‘The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic destruction of Europe’s Jews, and was a partner and advisor to Eichmann and Hitler in carrying out this plan,’” Netanyahu said.
Sniping back at his critics, he added: “This attempt by certain researchers and certain personages to provide apologetics for the central and important role Hajj Amin Al-Husseini played, is clear. Many other researchers cite this testimony and others, regarding the role played by Hajj Amin Al-Husseini.
“My goal was not to absolve Hitler for the responsibility he bears, but to show that the father of the Palestinians at that time, with no [Jewish] state and no so-called ‘occupation,’ no territories and no settlements, already sought, through systematic incitement, to annihilate the Jews. Regrettably, Hajj Amin al-Husseini is still a venerated figure in Palestinian society, he appears in study books and is exalted as the father of the nation, and this incitement that began then, incitement to kill Jews, continues. Not in the same form, in a different form, and it is the root problem. To stop the murder, the incitement must stop.”
The story went on to say that radical left wing Meretz head MK Zehava Galon accused Netanyahu of whitewashing Hitler in his speech Tuesday at the Zionist Congress.
“Hitler did not want to annihilate the Jews at the time,” she quoted Netanyahu as saying. “He wanted to expel them. And Hajj Amin al-Husseini went to him and said – ‘if you expel them, they will all come here.’ ‘So what shall I do with them?’, Hitler asked, and Husseini answered – ‘burn them.’
“This is not a speech by Jorg Haider,” wrote Galon on Facebook Wednesday – referring to the late Austrian right wing leader, who reportedly associated with Holocaust deniers. “It is not a portion from the doctoral thesis of Abu Mazen,” she added, referencing Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who denied the Holocaust. “This is a completely real quote from the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, behind the podium of the Zionist Congress. Unbelievable.”
“Maybe we should exhume the 33,771 Jews who were murdered at Babi Yar in September of 1941, two months before the Mufti and Hitler even met, and inform them that the Nazis never meant to annihilate them,” she wrote acerbically.
“Maybe Netanyahu should tell this to my Lithuanian relatives who were murdered by the Nazis along with almost 200,000 members of the Jewish community there, also before the Mufti and Hitler met.”
Labor leader MK Yitzhak Herzog made similar accusations against Netanyahu.
In a later story, the website went on to say that Dr. Yosef Sharvit, a historian of the Jewish History and Contemporary Judaism department at Bar Ilan University, spoke to Arutz Sheva [Channel Seven, an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism], on Friday about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments on the Holocaust this week that raised a ruckus.
But according to Sharvit, Netanyahu’s statement was important in setting things in order regarding the history of the Holocaust.
“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.
Holocaust in Arab lands averted
“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, establishing Judenrate (‘Jewish councils’ – ed.), establishing work camps and in the end they were to have established death camps as well.”
“All of this was stopped thanks to Operation Torch,” he said, noting the American and British invasion of French North Africa in 1942.
“Therefore I salute Prime Minister Benjamin 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.”
Photo captions: 1) Haj Amin al Husseini and Adolph Hitler, said by some to be two of the Twentieth Century’s most evil men. 2) German Chancellor Merkel welcomes Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu (Reuters). 3) The Babi Yar massacre. 4) Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES). 5) Jewish children in a German extermination camp. 5) Dan Wooding visiting the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.(
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of some 45 books and has two US-based TV programs and a radio show called “Front Page Radio.”
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