The Mufti was an even greater war criminal than Eichmann, Dr Yosef Sharvit tells Arutz Sheva, wading into the controversy caused by Prime Minister Netanyahu's observation that the Mufti was to blame for exterminating, rather than expelling the Jews.
"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.
"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."(My emphasis)
"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 Binyamin 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
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Sarah Levin writes in the Times of Israel:
"Rather then criticize and condemn Benjamin Netanyahu for his comments
about Haj Amin al-Husseini, this is an opportunity for our world leaders
and the media to step up and confront the much more important and
pervasive issue of Anti-Semitism and xenophobia in the Arab world. Such
an exploration may help the public broaden and deepen our understanding
of the unimaginable levels of Anti-Semitism plaguing the Middle East and
North Africa and the ongoing structural and physical violence directed
against Israel. "
More about the Mufti