‘DIS­TOR­TION’ FURY RISKS A GREATER DIS­TOR­TION

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

While Is­rael’s Prime Min­is­ter Benjamin Ne­tanyahu was wrong to say that the Mufti of Jerusalem had given Hitler the idea of the Holo­caust ( Fury grows over Bibi’s Holo­caust “dis­tor­tion” JC Oct 23), it is be­yond dis­pute that the Mufti did every­thing pos­si­ble to en­cour­age the Fi­nal So­lu­tion.

Each time a Nazi was bribed to free Jews from the camps, the Mufti in­ter­vened to block the deal. He ru­ined the ex­change of 1,200 Jewish chil­dren for Ger­man PoWs and sent them to their deaths. He was in­di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of mil­lions of Jews by mak­ing sure the gates to a safe haven in Pales­tine were firmly shut.

Ex­iled to Baghdad by the Bri­tish, the Mufti helped engi­neer a pro-Nazi coup in 1941 and the re­sult­ing Farhud, Iraq’s Kristall­nacht, in which up to 600 Jews may have been mur­dered.

Had the Nazis won the war, the Mufti would have been a ma­jor player in the ex­ter­mi­na­tion of the Jews of Pales­tine and the Arab world — an ob­jec­tive for which he sought ap­proval at his fa­mous meet­ing with Hitler in Novem­ber 1941. He had plans for incin­er­a­tors near Nablus.

The Mufti was not alone — some 60 Arab acolytes joined him in Ber­lin as guests of Hitler. He was not just a pro­pa­gan­dist. As the leader of the Arab world, he com­manded im­mense sup­port for his pro-Nazi an­tisemitism. Fif­teen times more Jews than Arabs in Pales­tine (there were half as many Jews) fought Hitler along­side the Al­lies.

An­tisemitism is not a by-prod­uct of the Arab-Is­raeli con­flict: it has deep ide­o­log­i­cal roots. The Mufti’s al­liance with the Nazis, and with the Ger­man­funded Mus­lim Brother­hood, founded in 1928, was not merely prag­matic and anti-colo­nial. Their legacy of reli­gious big­otry is still with us to­day, in the be­head­ings com­mit­ted by Daesh in Iraq and in the stab­bings on Is­rael’s streets.

Those who ac­cuse Ne­tanyahu of Holo­caust ‘‘dis­tor­tion’’ risk com­mit­ting a fur­ther dis­tor­tion — white­wash­ing the Mufti’s ac­tive geno­ci­dal role in the Sec­ond World War. Lyn Julius As­so­ci­a­tion of Jews from the Mid­dle East and North Africa, Bina Gar­dens, Lon­don SW5

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