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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that the most hated man in modern history did not want to exterminate Jews. He was talked into doing it by the forked-tongued Grand Mufti of Palestine, and that was the real story of the genesis of the Holocaust. However, is this claim supported by historical facts, and is this really the time for conspiracy theories, especially those linked to caustic events such as the Holocaust?
Israel has recently experienced a spate of violence within its borders. The perpetrators have been all Palestinian, and this has been responsible for a mass hysteria among the local population. Israel has also been facing increasing international pressure and criticism for its ongoing occupation of Palestine. Israelis, at the moment, are understandably defensive, but Netanyahu has gone too far by placing all of the blame regarding the horrific holocaust on the Palestinians.
Who Was the Grand Mufti of Palestine?
Haj Mohammad al-Hussaini was a Muslim leader in British-controlled Palestine. He was a champion of Pan-Arabism and actively opposed not just Zionism, but also British rule. He was supposedly a key figure in the Nabi Musa riots of 1920 and deadly Arab Revolution of 1936, which left over 2,000 Arabs dead. During World War II, the Mufti had aligned himself with Nazi Germany and the Fascist regime of Italy, even running a propaganda campaign to get Muslims to join the multi-ethnic wing of the Nazi force, Waffen-SS. In return, he requested Adolf Hitler to support the Arab independence movement and oppose the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. That was it! There are no records that the Mufti suggested the extermination of Jews to Hitler, and there are certainly no records that even remotely suggest that Hitler acted on any such advice or instigated the Holocaust as a result.
If Netanyahu wants to look for connections, he should focus on India, with which Israel enjoys friendly relations? The Indian revolutionary Subhash Chandra Bose spent a considerable amount of time in Germany after escaping British persecution in India in 1940. The Nazi regime was very sympathetic to Bose because they thought that an independent India would weaken the British Empire. There could be a Holocaust-related conspiracy theory there if Netanyahu would care to look into it.
Playing the “blame game” is not going to help Israel. It is not going to help the Palestinians either. In fact, such remarks have caused Israel to lose credibility and Netanyahu has become a laughing-stock among the international community. The opposition parties within Israel have not been forgiving of Netanyahu’s blunders either. He has had a hard time defending himself against scathing criticism from the opposition and Israeli press.
Nonetheless, just because the Israeli prime minister has made a gaffe does not absolve the Palestinians of all sin. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. The Palestinian Authority must not be given the carte blanche to incite violence against Israel. They should not be honoring and praising “martyrs” who go into Israel and kill innocent men, women, and children. If there is to be peace in the region, then this vicious cycle of violence must end and the blame games must stop.
Opinion by Farooq Abbasi
Edited by Leigh Haugh
TIME: What Hitler and the Grand Mufti Really Said
Haaretz: Opposition Blasts Netanyahu for ‘Distorting’ Holocaust History
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: WAFFEN SS
Haaretz: Who Was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem?
Image Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons – Creative Commons License