Reading Anshel Pfeffer's piece in Haaretz, in which he accuses Bibi Netanyahu of 'overusing the Holocaust' in his US speeches last week, I felt like the character in Moliere's Le malade imaginaire, hurling back the epithet: 'ignorant!':
"Whatever the case, a battle of historical narratives, Holocaust versus Nakba (and it doesn't matter that they are incomparable ), will only perpetuate these claims."
"We don't have to give up on the Holocaust - it is our history and holds central lessons for all human beings - but we have to stop using it as a justification for Israeli policies."
Ignorantus. Ignoranta. Ignorantum.
In the week that we are commemorating the hundreds of Jewish victims of the Farhud, the pogrom perpetrated in Iraq by Arab Nazis in 1941, Anshel Pfeffer's words ring especially hollow. The Farhud is incontrovertible evidence - seven years before Israel was created - that the Arab-Israeli conflict has never been about competing narratives or claims, but antisemitism.
That antisemitism was exported from Nazi Germany to the Arab world with the active encouragement of the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem. It is still with us today.
We know that the Mufti was responsible for tens of thousands of Jewish deaths - both by pressuring the British into closing Palestine's borders to Jewish immigration, and by actively aiding the Nazi genocide.
Now new evidence (with thanks: Eze) of the Mufti's complicity with the Nazis comes from Klaus Gensicke. Karl Pfeifer has reviewed Gensicke's new book, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: the Berlin Years (Vallentine Mitchell), in The Propagandist:
"Gensicke notes that Yasser Arafat and Amin al Husseini were not only related by blood. Arafat continued the legacy of the Mufti. Both Palestinian leaders were devoted to terrorism and fanaticism. As late as August 2, 2002 the Peace Nobel Prize winner Arafat referred to the Mufti as a “hero” and an inspiring symbol in “withstanding world pressure” and remaining “an Arab leader in spite of demands to have him replaced because of his Nazi ties.”
"The Mufti led the “disturbances” of 1936-39, when the number of Arabs murdered by Arabs exceeded the number of Jews murdered by Arabs. The late thirties was the period of England’s appeasement of the Axis. In Palestine this political strategy led to seeking out the bully in the situation, the one most likely to go over to the Axis if not adequately appeased. As such, England appeased the Palestinians with the White book (paper) issued in May 1939.
"The Mufti arrived 1941 in Germany and was received by Hitler on November 28, 1941 in the presence of Ribbentropp and Grobba. The Fuehrer assured the Mufti:
“Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine, which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish interests. […] Germany was resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well.”
Read review in full
Ignorance may be bliss to some, but when its sufferers are 'top' mainstream journalists, the disease can be dangerous.