The king of Morocco's acknowledgment of the Holocaust has been hailed by Jewish leaders as a bold step. But although the Moroccan king's declaration is a useful counterweight to president Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial, the prevailing impression in the Arab world - and indeed much of the West - is that the Arabs were innocent bystanders while the Nazis slaughtered millions in Europe. (In fact thousands of Jews died on 'Arab' soil as a direct or indirect result of Nazism). More egregious, the myth, ostensibly believed by president Obama, no less, has developed that the Palestinians paid the price for Nazi and European antisemitism when Israel was established on 'their' land.
Nowadays, it is politically incorrect to refer to the Arab association with the Nazis. The Palestinian leader, the Mufti, was the driving force behind the campaign to rid Palestine of its Jews. But Arab propaganda has tried to turn history on its head, accusing Israelis of being the new Nazis - a phenomenon analysed in this report.
The recent debacle over the Shepherd hotel in Jerusalem has a special irony: the property was once owned by the pro-Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem himself. The US administration has backed Palestinian objections to the redevelopment of the Shepherd Hotel, although it has been legally owned by a Jew since 1985, because it is situated in a predominantly 'Arab' district of Jerusalem. This position sends the worrying signal that Arabs can live among Jews, but Jews cannot live among Arabs.
In truth the Arabs were sympathisers, and even actively complicit with Nazism. After the war the Mufti of Jerusalem was wanted for war crimes in Yugoslavia, but the Allies failed to prosecute him as a Nazi war criminal for fear of offending Arab sensibilities.
Below is evidence of the Arab-Nazi connection:
1. Arab discourse against the Jews and the Jewish state has been genocidal in nature since the 1930s.
2. Arab nationalist parties, eg the Baath party, were influenced by a Nazi model.
3. The founders of the Moslem Brotherhood in the 1930s - which eventually spawned groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah - were heavily inspired by Nazism.
4. Arab countries gave shelter to prominent German Nazis after World War 11.
5. The Palestinian leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was Hitler's ally.
Haj Amin Al Husseini became a loyal ally of Hitler and spent the war years in Berlin. He incited anti-Jewish violence in Palestine 1920, 1929 and 1936. Banished (or escaping) to Iraq in 1939 by the British for his role in the Arab revolt, he plotted the pro-Nazi Rashid Ali al-Geylani coup in May 1941. He incited antisemitism and prepared the groundwork for the June 1941 Farhoud progrom which killed some 179 Jews.
6. The Mufti was personally responsible for the deaths of 20,000 Jews murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. He organized the killing of 12,600 Bosnian Jews by Muslims, whom he recruited to the Waffen-SS Nazi-Bosnian division. He personally stopped 4,000 children, accompanied by 500 adults, from leaving Europe and had them sent to Auschwitz and gassed; he prevented another 2,000 Jews from leaving Romania and 1000 from leaving Hungary for Palestine, who were subsequently sent to death camps.
7. The Arabs have fulfilled the Nazi objective of rendering the 'Arab' Middle East judenrein. Nine-nine percent of the Jewish population has been 'ethnically cleansed' from Arab countries. No Jews are allowed to live in Jordan. No Jews can even visit Saudi Arabia. The Jewish community is extinct in Libya. The call to freeze and abandon Jewish settlements in the West Bank has an unpleasant whiff of anti-Jewish racism about it.
Further reading: see articles on this site under the label 'Holocaust in Arab and Muslim countries.'
Arabs and Nazis - can it be true?
Nazi Influence on the Middle East During WWII
Amin al-Husaini and the Holocaust. What Did the Mufti know?
Islamism, Hamas and Al Queda's Nazi Roots
Hamas's historical ties to Nazism
Nazi Roots of Palestinian Nationalism
Hitler wins Fatah primary
The fall of Nazi language - a response
Review of Paul Berman's book, The flight of the intellectuals
When Palestinians go to Auschwitz, by Sarah Honig
The website Jerusalem Posts has a wealth of information in its archive.