‘DISTORTION’ FURY RISKS A GREATER DISTORTION
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