Archive for the ‘Holocaust’ Category

Indian PM Modi pays respects at Israel’s Holocaust memorial – The Jerusalem Post

OUR FREE DAILY NEWS BLAST

Caroline B. Glick

Our World: Modi and Israels coming of age

Seth J. Frantzman

WATCH: Challenges of the Negev from the air

Susan Hattis Rolef

Think about it: The Labor Party leadership primaries

Naphtali Tuly Weisz

How Christian Zionists can solve the Western Wall crisis

Tillerson: Break with Qatar by KSA, others won’t affect counter-terrorism

Israel expects change in UN voting patterns, Netanyahu says after Africa trip

ISIS claims responsibility for London attack

REAL

ESTATE CLASSIFIEDS

Most Read

Indian PM Modi arrives in Israel for historic visit

Whats next for US-trained Syrian rebels cut off from fighting ISIS?

Britney spears rocks Tel Aviv, but nobody notices

US aircraft carrier off Israel’s coast symbol of freedom, Netanyahu says

Read the rest here:
Indian PM Modi pays respects at Israel’s Holocaust memorial – The Jerusalem Post

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

How The Holocaust Helps Us Understand Independence Day – Forward

One day 241 years ago, John Hancock led a group of patriots in signing a document that quickly became the banner of democracy across the world. As with most holidays, the significance of this anniversary has evolved over time, and today the principles to which those 56 men ascribed their names is often lost amid newer traditions such as fireworks, barbecues and if you watch ESPN competitive eating. This is not to invalidate the understandable yearning for a national day of summer leisure, but it is to say that the Fourth of July has become increasingly dissociated from the enduring values it should represent.

The aimlessness of our civic consciousness is not new in the year 2017, but it is particularly striking in todays national climate. Over the past few years, countless individuals on both sides of the political aisle have bemoaned the flaws in the ideal America, including the demise of free speech and a resurgence in racial rhetoric. In this fractured environment, the country is in dire need of a reminder of the importance of our Founders ideals.

It is a truism that somethings value is recognized by only the absence therefrom, and this applies as fully to a concept like democracy as it does to any physical object. The clearest antithesis of American democracy in modern times is German Nazism. The fascist movement embraced the devil of racial prejudice with an early manifestation in the Nuremberg Laws, which institutionalized bigotry in a largely nonviolent manner. In just a few years, of course, this state-sponsored racism gave way to the most brutal crimes against humanity: the murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other minorities.

Viewed through its opposite, the necessity of American-style democracy is more than supported it is amplified.

When our Founding Fathers championed the cause of liberty, they were focused on suffrage and taxes. Through the lens of the Holocaust, however, we can fully appreciate the constitutional protections and values we enjoy as U.S. citizens.

In Philadelphia, an outdoor Holocaust Memorial Plaza is about to receive a multi-million-dollar expansion to drive home this specific point. Situated within blocks of Independence Hall, where Thomas Jefferson eternalized the message of democracy, the memorial plaza will center around six pillars highlighting the universal lessons of the Holocaust. These pillars will contrast six motifs of the Holocaust with their humane, democratic counterparts, juxtaposing The Master Race and Totalitarianism, for example, with Human Equality and American Democracy. The message is clear: By promoting our countrys values, we can ensure that these tragedies are never repeated.

These American ideals are universal. Our imperfections notwithstanding, the country that these values have helped create has for centuries served as a beacon of humanity in a world too often dominated by irrational hatred and prejudice. It is unfortunate to acknowledge somethings grandeur solely when presented with its antithesis instead of feeling secure while recognizing its beauty.

The crackle of fireworks on July Forth would please military men like George Washington, and many of his compatriots would enjoy good barbecue fare. But if we can weave into our celebrations some gratitude toward those who fought for the democracy we enjoy, it would provide Independence Day with the renewed level of meaning it truly deserves.

Martha Allen is the director of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

See the original post here:
How The Holocaust Helps Us Understand Independence Day – Forward

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

At 89, this Holocaust survivor decided to conquer his fear of jumping from a plane – CBC.ca

For almost all of his 89 years, Elly Gotzof Toronto has looked up at the sky and imagined what it would be like to be able to fly. Now, after his first parachute jump, he knows.

To this day, hiswife Esme says, he constantly marvels atbirds in the sky. “‘Look at them.Aren’t they having a good time? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a bird?'” shequotes him as saying.

Gotz’s love affair with flying started young.

“I had a dream, you see,” he told CBC News.

At eight years old, he was building model planes. At 13, he dreamed of becoming an engineer. And all along, he longed for the thrill of jumping from a plane, scared though he might be of the hard landing.

But in 1944, when he was 16, his family was plucked from a Jewish ghetto in Lithuania and thrust into a life of forced labour in the concentration camps of Germany.

Gotz and his father were taken to the notorious Dachau camp; his mother to another. And on the 12-hour shifts he spent pumping cement, the birds looked very far away indeed.

This past Sunday though, Gotz got his wish.

The now-retired engineerjumped more than 3,500 metres with two friends after resolving to take the plunge on his birthday back in March.

At eight years old, Elly Gotz was building model planes. At 13, he dreamt of becoming an engineer. And all along, he’s longed for the thrill of jumping from a plane, scared though he might be of the hard landing. (SkyDive Toronto)

The fact that it was Canada’s 150th birthday made it as good a time as any, he thought.

“One [is a]60-year-old and I’m in my 90th year, so we thought, ‘We’re 150 years together.Let’s do it!'”

Gotz’saccomplishment is all the morepoignant when you remember that he and his family barely survived their ordeal in the Nazi concentration camps.

He weighed only70 pounds when he was liberated from Dachau. His father’s weight was just 65 pounds.

Back in 1941, he recalled half the population of the Lithuanian ghetto they lived in was murdered in one day. The man responsible, he says, wasHelmut Rauca, wholived in Canada after the war for 32 years.

Rauca was a master sergeant who served in Adolf Hitler’s SS, who was granted citizenship in Canada in 1956 and lived here until the 1980s. Raucawasextradited to West Germany for war crimes butdied awaiting trial.

The war didn’t shake Gotz’s dream of being an engineer.

Despite having never gone to high school, he prepared himself for university, passing a difficult exam in Germany. He wasready to make his dream a reality …that is, until his parents told him they were moving with him to Norway.

“No country wanted us. Canada was pretty closed for Jews. America was closed,” he recalled. His family had relatives in South Africa, but they couldn’t take Gotz’s family at the time. Norway offered to take some Jews, so it was off to Norway.

Learning Norwegian wasn’t too difficult for Gotz. After all, he already knew four languages.

By day, he worked as a mechanic, using the same skills that saved him from outdoor labour at Dachau. The evening was for night school.

And in the meantime, a relative in what was then Rhodesia now Zimbabwe found a way for Gotz to go to university. Before long, he graduated as a engineer in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Along the way, he also met Esme, and the couple had three children. But Gotz wanted out of South Africa.

“I hated the apartheid regime. I hated the whole system there,” he said. So, they made the choice to move to Canada.

“We looked for a country that was democratic and we chose Toronto as being the centre of Canadian manufacturing at the time.”

Here, well into his 40s, Gotz learned to fly.

“I got my own aeroplane and I was flying all over with the family. To Nova Scotia, we flew, and to Miami and I flew on business to Chicago and New York,” he said.

“I loved flying, which I gave up at a proper age,” he said, but he remained too afraid to actually jump from a plane.

So when his younger friend told him earlier this year he’d gone for a jump, Gotzjumpedat the chance to do the same. After all, parachute technology had improved considerably and landings were much more controlled than they had been in the past.

So what was it like looking out of the open door of plane thousands of metres above ground?

“That’s a critical moment, just before jumping out when you face the open aeroplane and the air is rushing by…. And he pushes you out and you fall head over heel and the cold air hits you. That is a moment of fear,” Gotzsaid.

His wife, who watched the jump unfoldfrom the ground, would agree.

Esme Gotz says whenever her husband, Elly, was anywhere, he’d marvel at the birds and wonder what it would be like to be able to fly. (Grant Linton/CBC)

“That’s the first time I felt my heart go pitter-patter. Just thinking, I hope it’s good, I hope it’s good. I hope it’s everything that he dreamed about,” she said.

Gotz swears he was smiling the entire time that is, after the freefall ended and the parachute kicked in.

“The parachute opens and grabs you from behind and then you are floating down and you look at the countryside and it’s beautiful.”

His only fear at that point? Losing his teeth, he said.

Would he do it again? Likely not, says Gotz. “I think it’s a slightly exaggerated pleasure,” he said.

To his wife, the entire idea was a crazy one, but she was on board.

“I love him and I love all his crazy ideas,” she said.

“If he wants to do it at this age He’s not going to die young.What can I say?”

Excerpt from:
At 89, this Holocaust survivor decided to conquer his fear of jumping from a plane – CBC.ca

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Review: Holocaust-theme drama debuts in Alameda – The Mercury News

When we talk about the Holocaust, we often emphasize the importance of never forgetting, lest history repeat itself. If the recent resurgence of neo-Nazis and other white supremacists in the public sphere (rebranding themselves as alt-right) werent enough of a reminder that this can always happen again, targeting people for scrutiny based on religion and national origin has become a major plank of the current administrations policy.

A new play at Alamedas Altarena Playhouse, Nonna and the Dressmaker, is a Holocaust story on a lesser-known front not in Germany or Eastern Europe but in Italy, Nazi Germanys prominent ally, during the months toward the end of World War II when occupying German forces were busily trying to ship all the Italian Jews off to death camps. The story focuses on a pregnant Jewish dressmaker who takes refuge with a Catholic family in Rome.

Written by Mercedes Cohen, Nonna is presented as part of the 79-year-old community theaters Alternative Altarena summer series of two short-run world premieres by Alameda playwrights.

Dressmaker Belle (quietly concerned Briel Pomerantz) has come to the Romano family home to talk about making a wedding dress for their spoiled daughter Maria (a pettish Becky Doyle). When Marias father, Angelo (unassumingly bland Matthew Beall), comes home, he tells the family that a major crackdown is coming immediately and that Belle (whom hes never met till now) will have to stay with them in hiding.

The rest of the family isnt particularly sympathetic to Belles plight. Angelos mother, the titular Nonna (feisty Mary Bishop), says hes being foolhardy and they need to look out for themselves. The selfish Maria doesnt particularly like having a Jew in the house in the first place, but was swayed by the fact that they can pay her less than other dressmakers. We soon learn that everyone in the family is already taking risks that could easily get them in trouble, dealing with the black market or with the partisans, so their cautions about playing it safe dont really hold water. That said, from all we hear people are getting rounded up and executed at the drop of a hat, so the danger is very real.

Though Belle gets a bit stir crazy not being able to leave the house, her confinement seems fairly low-key compared to the famous image of Anne Franks family concealed in a secret attic. Belle has the run of the house and isnt even sent to hide when the police periodically search the premises. They just give an unconvincing excuse about her being a visiting cousin. They even manage to find her a mohel (amiable Joel Jacobs) whos not in hiding, just keeping a low profile.

Joe Mallon is imposing enough as a cold, relentlessly doctrinaire policeman, accompanied by Tom Curtin as his kinder partner, but what sense we get of the real terror going on outside is largely from the young womens romantic partners in monologues from out in the world. Belles husband (rumpled and weary Peter Marietta) reflects aloud on his harrowing experiences working with the partisans as if writing her the letters it would be unsafe to send, while Marias soldier fiance (a boyishly randy Drew Woodson) is increasingly haunted by the atrocities he witnesses.

Director Russell Kaltschmidt makes good use of the space outside Courtney Johnsons cozy apartment set, staging the young mens soliloquies in the aisles or atop an exit door.

Nonna is much less tense than other similar stories. It seems like the family has things pretty well in hand. This is not a tale of historical atrocity so much as the bravery of simple human compassion when society has not only lost such compassion but brutally penalizes it.

If such a thing could be said to exist, its almost a feel-good Holocaust story.

Contact Sam Hurwitt atshurwitt@gmail.com, and follow him at Twitter.com/shurwitt.

By Mercedes Cohen, presented by Altarena Playhouse

Through:July 9

Where: Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High St., Alameda

Running time: Two hours and 5 minutes, one intermission

Tickets: $24-$30;510-523-1553,www.altarena.org

See the original post:
Review: Holocaust-theme drama debuts in Alameda – The Mercury News

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Vandals hang hate speech from NJ Holocaust memorial – New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

LAKEWOOD, N.J. Over the weekend, vandals threw a white sheet over a holocaust memorial that sits in front oftheCongregation Sons of Israelsynagogue on Madison Avenue inLakewood, New Jersey.

Itusedderogatory languageand promoted a white supremacist website. The sheet has since been removed, but flyers that state ‘thieving jews’have also been posted throughout the area with photos of several people recently arrested for allegedly stealing from government welfare programs.

“Anti-semitism has no place in New Jersey,” saidJoshua Cohen the regional director of theNew Jersey Anti-Defamation League. “An attack against the Jewish community is an attack against the entire community.”

The community was rocked last week by a string of arrests. TheFBI raided homes and charged14in allwith falsifying their income to qualify for government benefits.But the New Jersey Anti-Defamation league says those allegations have nothing to do with the defendants’ religion.

“Law enforcement will investigate,” said Cohen. “The community is stronger than these heinous and cowardly attacks.”

Today, children played outside the synagogue and many passing by condemned the attacks.Dr. Solomon Bursztyn has prayed attheCongregation Sons of Israelmany times before.

“It represents theJewish community and there is no place for things like that being done,” said Dr. Bursztyn.

Lakewood Police are reviewing surveillance video for any sign of the vandals.

The New JerseyAttorney General hasoffereda$10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

40.082129 -74.209701

Read the original here:
Vandals hang hate speech from NJ Holocaust memorial – New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Anti-Semitic Banner Found on New Jersey Holocaust Memorial – TIME

Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey

Vandals covered a New Jersey Holocaust memorial with a banner including an anti-Semitic slur over the weekend, according to a photo posted by the state’s chapter of the Anti-Defamation League.

Using a slur for Jewish people, the banner said they “will not divide us.” It also included a link to a website that espouses white supremacy, according to the Ashbury Park Press .

Lakewood, N.J. the town where the memorial is located has a significant Jewish population.

Fliers referencing a recent spate of fraud arrests were also discovered in Lakewood. Seven married couples, including a rabbi and his wife, were charged with misrepresenting their income to improperly receive $2 million of benefits in total, the Associated Press reports.

The New Jersey Anti-Defamation League posted photos of the flyers and banner on Sunday. New Jersey’s Attorney General publicized the $10,000 reward for a successful lead about bias crimes.

Original post:
Anti-Semitic Banner Found on New Jersey Holocaust Memorial – TIME

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

British royals to visit Holocaust sites on Europe tour – The Jerusalem Post

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Prince William and Catherine ‘Kate’ Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are due to visit multiple sites commemorating Holocaust victims and the tragedies of World War II during an upcoming tour of Germany and Poland, Kensington Palace announced Monday.

The royal couple’s five-day trip starting July 17 will include somber visits to the former site of the Stutthof Concentration Camp in what is now Poland, along with stops at the Warsaw Rising Museum and the Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

The pair’s first official joint trip to the European nations will “include time acknowledging the complex 20th century histories of each country,” the palace stated. “At each location Their Royal Highnesses will meet survivors of these periods, who will describe their personal experiences.”

The tour is schedule to begin in Warsaw, where Polish President Andrzej Duda and the country’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda will regally greet the pair.

The camp was the first set up by the Nazis outside German borders in September 1939, and one of the last to be liberated in May 1945.

The royal couple is then due to travel on July 19 to Germany where they will hold a private meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and visit Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate before making their way to the city’s Holocaust Memorial. The duke and duchess are expected to tour the museum and walk through the gray concrete slabs of the memorial dedicated to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The trip will also include various cultural, business, welfare and health related engagements before the royal family members return to the UK on July 21.

According to Kensington Palace, the royal duo’s children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will accompany their parents at a couple of occasions during the tour held at the request of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, also held a royal visit to Germany last year.

Share on facebook

See more here:
British royals to visit Holocaust sites on Europe tour – The Jerusalem Post

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Palestinians, Arabs, and the Holocaust

Introduction

One of the major Palestinian Arab arguments regarding the establishment of the state of Israel is that the West facilitated its founding out of guilt over the Holocaust. Palestinians insist that the Holocaust is a purely Western and Christian crime that has nothing to do with them or other Arabs.1 For example, Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti writes as follows:

Palestiniansand Arabs more generallybear no responsibility whatsoever for the Holocaust, a European genocide committed against mostly European Jews, Roma, and Slavs, among others. It is therefore not incumbent upon Palestinians to pay in our lives, lands, and livelihoods the price for relieving Europes conscience of its collective guilt over the Holocaust.2

Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former Palestinian Authority security chief, asserted on July 24, 2014 that it was the Nazis, not us, who did the Holocaust to them We are paying the price for Europes crimes against them in the previous century.3 Likewise, PLO official Husam Zomlot recently stated that the Nazis were responsible for it [the Holocaust]. The Palestinians had nothing to do with it. The Israelis were responsible for the Nakba.4

This argument is part of the overall Palestinian narrative which maintains that Palestinians are the innocent victims of an injustice inflicted by others, especially Westerners and Zionists. According to Barghouti, the conflict is a colonial conflictbased on ethnic cleansing, racism, settler colonialism, and apartheid,5 and the state of Israel was created through[a] well-planned campaign of ethnic cleansing.6 Thus, the nakbathe tragedy of the Palestinian refugees who were displaced by the war of 1948is entirely the fault of the Zionists and their Western supporters, not of the Palestinians themselves. According to this narrative, in 1948, the Zionists were waging a war of preplanned ethnic cleansing, not a war of self-defense against Palestinian aggressors with genocidal intentions and a history of Nazi collaboration. Therefore, any accusation of genocide and genocidal hatred should be directed only at Westerners and Zionists, not at Palestinians or Arabs.

However, the claim that Palestinians and Arabs had nothing to do with the Holocaust is false. In fact, Arab and Palestinian leaders played a significant role in aiding and abetting the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews in Europe and they hoped to implement the genocide in the Middle East. A growing number of publications, including extensive original, high-quality archival scholarship, proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Among the major authors are: Zvi Elpeleg,7 Klaus Gensicke,8 Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cppers,9 Matthias Kntzel,10 Jeffrey Herf,11 Wolfgang Schwanitz,12 and Barry Rubin.13 A careful examination of this history shows that it is neither fair nor accurate to portray the Arab-Israel War of 19479 as an unprovoked war of aggression by Zionists bent on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs. In fact, it was a war of self-defense against a ruthless, pro-Nazi, and openly genocidal Palestinian leadership that enjoyed enormous popularity among the Arab and Palestinian masses.

The refusal of many Palestinians to face their moral and political failings honestly contrasts with their lip-service to achieving peace with justice in the Middle East. If they cared about justice, they would apportion a substantial share of the blame for the nakba or catastrophe of 1948 to themselves and would admit the existence of widespread Jew-hatred in the Arab and Islamic world and its role in undermining peace between Jews and Arabs from the 1920s to the present.

This essay will present a survey of the historical evidence of Arab and Palestinian complicity in the Holocaust. We shall divide the history into three periods: 1920 1941; 19411945; and 1945 to the present, and explain the relevance of this history to the present day, especially to the failure of the various attempts to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

An important, but not the sole Arab collaborator with the Nazi program of genocide was the founding father of the Palestinian Arab national movement, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. Works by pro-Palestinian apologists either ignore him altogether or mention him in order to minimize or deny his importance. For example, Edward Saids influential book, The Question of Palestine, does not mention al-Husseini at all.14 The American political scientist Virginia Tilley briefly notes al-Husseini, only to dismiss him as unrepresentative and states that he was never a leader of more than a few reactionary Palestinian factions.15 The German historian of the Middle East, Gudrun Krmer downplays al-Husseinis role in the Holocaust.16

In fact, Hajj Amin-al-Husseini was highly influential and extremely popular throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.17 The Husseini family of Jerusalem was one of the most powerful and respected clans in Palestinian Arab society for centuries. The Husseinis claim to be descendants of Hussein, the son of the Caliph Ali and his wife Fatima, daughter of Muhammad.18 For centuries, the Husseinis had held important positions in Palestine, including Mufti of Jerusalem.19 Under the British Mandate in Palestine, due in part to the power and prestige of his family, Hajj Amin al-Husseini served as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and president of the Supreme Muslim Council. Thus, he was the most powerful Arab official in British Palestine and controlled a large budget and a network of patronage that included imams of mosques, judges in the Islamic courts, Islamic schools, and Islamic endowments (waqf).20 By virtue of these two offices, Husseini became the most influential Arab in Palestine.21 In March 1935, the Husseini clan established its own political party, the Palestine Arab Party.22 In 1936, at the outset of the Arab Revolt against the British and the Jews, al-Husseini was elected as head of the Arab Higher Committee, a ten-member committee that included the leaders of all six Palestinian Arab political parties and Palestinian Christians.23

In his testimony before the Peel Commission in 1937, Hajj Amin al-Husseini made it clear that he favored the wholesale expulsion (or worse) of most of the Jews in Palestine.24 Indeed, according to historian Benny Morris, Husseini consistently rejected territorial compromise and espoused a solution to the Palestine problem that posited all of Palestine as an Arab state and allowed for a Jewish minority composed only of those who had lived in the country before 1914 (or, in a variant, 1917).25 This would have meant either the expulsion or the slaughter of the majority of the Jews living in Palestine in the late 1930s. Al-Husseini never wavered from his hard-line rejection of any sort of compromise with the Zionist movement.

An important aspect of al-Husseinis political activity was his outreach to the larger Islamic world. He devoted his efforts to Islamize the conflict with the Zionists. In fact he first rose to prominence during the annual religious festival of Nabi Musa in April 1920 by successfully inciting violence against Jews, thereby increasing his popularity among the Palestinian Arab masses.26 In the early 1920s, al-Husseini embarked on a successful campaign to restore the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which had fallen into a state of disrepair. He traveled throughout Muslim countries in order to raise funds for this effort and brought the issues of Islamic holy sites and the Palestinian cause to the attention of Muslims. By doing so, he enhanced his own status among his co-religionists in and beyond the Arab world. When he addressed fellow Muslims, he often invoked the false and highly inflammatory accusation that the Jews planned to

tear down the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in order to build a Jewish temple on their ruins.27 In 19289, the Mufti again appealed to Islam in order to oppose Jewish efforts to bring benches and partitions to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He repeated his accusation that the Jews were trying to destroy the Muslim holy sites, and, as in 1920, his words incited violence against Jews.28 In 1931, al-Husseini convened a General Islamic Conference in Jerusalem that was attended by Muslim figures from twenty-two countries, including his close friend, the future secretary-general of the Arab League Abd al-Rahman Azzam and the leading Egyptian Muslim intellectual Rashid Rida.29 The conference chose al-Husseini as its permanent president.30

In September 1937, in the midst of the Arab Revolt, al-Husseini organized an all-Arab conference in Bludan, Syria to rally opposition to the Peel Commissions partition plan. The conference was attended by 400 delegates, including 124 Palestinian Arabs. Al-Husseini was not able to attend and did not leave the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as he feared arrest by British authorities for his part in fomenting violence in Palestine. However, it did not stop the delegates from electing him honorary president of the conference.31 The election demonstrates the wide support al-Husseini enjoyed in Arab and Palestinian society. Elie Kedourie notes that quite a number of well-known personalities took part in its deliberations, thus giving its proceedings a semi-official cachet.32 In the Muftis absence, A Proclamation of the Grand Mufti to the Islamic World was read to the assembled delegates.

This document, described by Jeffrey Herf33 and Matthias Kntzel34 as one of the foundational documents of twentieth-century Islamism, uses the Islamic traditionthe Quran, the biography of Muhammad (sira), and the sayings of Muhammad (hadith)to construct the basis for hatred and distrust of Jews qua Jews (not just Zionists). The proclamation begins as follows: Since the earliest days of their history, the Jews have been an oppressed people and there must be good reason for that.35 From the Egyptian Pharaohs to the Roman rulers of Syria and Palestine, rulers have felt compelled to drive the Jews out of their lands to ward off their evil ways and the diseases they introduce (which is the reason that the Jews to this day are called microbes.[note omitted]).36 Al-Husseini then observes that for that reason, the Arabs understand especially well when likewise energetic measures are undertaken in Germany against the Jews and they are driven off like mangy dogs.37

In his proclamation, al-Husseini traces the Muslim war with the Jews to the birth of Islam: The battle of Jews against Arabs is nothing new The Jews hate Muhammad and Islam The battle between the Jews and Islam began when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina and the Jews opposed him there and tried to discredit his teaching.38 According to the Quran (Sura 4:5152), they are the ones Allah has cursed, and whomever Allah curses, you will find no helper for him.39 The Mufti applies this Quranic teaching to the plight of the Jews in 1937: And it can be seen how this curse has come true. The Jews are scattered homeless across the entire world and nowhere do they find true help and support.40 Al-Husseini quotes the Quran, Sura 5:82, which states that the Jews and idolaters harbor the strongest hostility towards those who believe. He also introduces several sayings attributed to Muhammad by Muslim scholars: it will never be possible to see a Jew and a Muslim together without the Jew having a secret intent to destroy the Muslim, and the day of judgment will only come when the Muslims have dealt the Jews a crushing blow, when every stone and tree behind which a Jew has hidden, speaks to the Muslim: Behind me is a Jew. Strike him dead.41 In his peroration, the Mufti concludes: The verses from the Quran and hadith prove to you that the Jews have been the bitterest enemies of Islam and continue to try to destroy it. Do not believe them. They know only hypocrisy and guile Do not rest until your land is free of the Jews42 According to Matthias Kntzel, this speech was distributed in pamphlet form across the entire Arab world, and there is evidence that Nazi German agents helped with its production and distribution.43 In 1938, the Nazis published a German translation in Berlin.44

Jeffrey Herf observes that al-Husseinis 1937 Proclamation, written only four years after the Nazis rise to power and well before al-Husseinis arrival in Berlin, was not a result of the impact of an external force, Nazism, with Husseini a passive receptor. Husseinis text of 1937 and 1938 is evidence that Islamism as a distinct political ideology had begun to take shape as a result of his own intellectual labors and those of other Islamist radicals in the 1930s.45 It also shows that theologically-based anti-Jewish stereotypes and polemics are deeply rooted in the Islamic tradition, beginning with the life of Muhammad himself.46 The Islamic tradition provided the Mufti with ample material to demonize his Jewish opponents and transform the conflict over Palestine into a religious war. He did not need to learn antisemitism from his Nazi allies. As Schwanitz and Rubin have argued, it is wrong to see al-Husaini and his fellow radicals as merely importing European anti-Semitism or being influenced by the Nazis. The two groups ideas developed in parallel from their own histories and political cultures.47 The Muftis 1937 proclamation disproves Virginia Tilleys ill-informed assertion that the Islamic tendency is a recent and still minority twist for a [Palestinian] national movement that, through its first half-century, was overwhelmingly secular.48 It also disproves her equally incorrect claim that Arab rhetoric against the Jews is merely a response to the Jews as a rival national identity and, therefore, not antisemitic in the common sense of the term.49 The Muftis antisemitic rhetoric in 1937 also cannot be explained away as a reaction to the alleged misdeeds of the state of Israel that was established eleven years later. Finally, his audience represented a wide cross-section of Palestinian and Arab society. Therefore, his election as honorary president of the 1937 Bludan conference tells much about the world-view of Arab opponents of Zionism, which incorporated theologically-based anti-Semitism.

In 1937, al-Husseini fled Palestine and went to Lebanon, and in 1939, to Iraq. Zvi Elpeleg recalls that in Baghdad, Haj Amin was welcomed by the leaders of the Iraqi regime with due ceremony and was cheered by the masses.[he] was now reaping the benefit of twenty years of efforts to involve the masses in the Arab world in the Palestinian issue, and to establish himself as protector of the holy sites and a pan-Arab and pan-Islamic leader.50 In Iraq he immediately joined with the pro-Nazi faction and began plotting a coup dtat which took place in 1941 with German assistance. In consequence, British forces invaded Iraq in order to regain control of the country and its valuable oil fields and pipelines.51 The Mufti was the driving force behind the effort to align Iraq with the Axis powers.52 There can be no doubt whatsoever that, but for the Muftis ceaseless political agitation, the coup in Iraq would not have occurred in the first place.53 As al-Husseini and the other conspirators fled before the advancing British troops, there was a massive anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad on June 1 and 2, 1941. One-hundred seventy-nine Jews were murdered and 586 shops and warehouses looted. A committee of inquiry later named Hajj Amin al-Husseini as one of the figures who had incited the riots. Indeed, al-Husseini identified the Jews of Iraq as a fifth column that had subverted the pro-Axis coup.54

Al-Husseini and his Iraqi accomplice, Rashid Ali al-Gailani, made their way from Iraq to Iran and then, via Italy, to Nazi Germany, and arrived in Berlin on November 6, 1941. The Mufti had been in contact with the Nazis for years. As early as 1933, right after Hitler became chancellor of Germany, al-Husseini reached out to the German consul in Jerusalem, assuring him that the Muslims inside and outside Palestine welcomed the new regime of Germany and hoped for the extension of the fascist, anti-democratic governmental system to other countries.55 During the Arab Revolt of 19369, al-Husseini received German funds and weapons. In fact, Nazi funding enabled him to continue the revolt in Palestine until 1939.56 In the summer of 1940, the Mufti sent a letter to Franz von Papen, the Nazi representative in Ankara, congratulating the Germans for their victory over France and soliciting further German support for the Arab cause.57 Osman Kemal Haddad, the Muftis private secretary, traveled to Berlin in August 1940, demanding recognition of the right of the Arab states to solve the Jewish questionfollowing the German-Italian model.58 Haddad was in Berlin again in February 1941, expressing the willingness of the Arab peoples to do their part in helping the Nazis defeat the English-Jewish coalition.59 We have noted that Al-Husseini and his Iraqi co-conspirators also received Nazi aid for their coup in Iraq in 1941. (It was only Hitlers preoccupation with the impending invasion of the Soviet Union that prevented more effective assistance.)60

Impressed by al-Husseinis charisma and his widespread support throughout the Arab world, by March 1941, the Nazis had decided that the primary political route to the Arab world should be via the Grand Mufti and his secretary.61 In May 1941, Hitler authorized the creation of a special military mission under the code name Sonderstab F to serve as a high-level headquarters for the entire Middle East, and this unit maintained contact with the Mufti and al-Gailani.62 Fawzi al-Qawuqji, who commanded the Arab Liberation Army in the 19478 war, served in this unit during World War II. 63 The other major commanders of anti-Zionist Arab guerrillas in 19478, Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, a relative and close associate of the Mufti, and Hasan Salama, also spent the war years in Nazi Germany.64 By July 1941, with a number of Arabs and Muslims in its ranks, Sonderstab F had established its headquarters at Cape Sounion near Athens.65

In the summer and fall of 1941, German strategists were planning the next phase of operations after the anticipated conquest of the Soviet Union, namely, the conquest of British forces and locations in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The utilization of the Arab independence movements, led and inspired above all by Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was to play an important role.66 German strategists were convinced that al-Husseini was the most important leader of the Arabs, and Hitler regarded him as the principal actor of the Middle East.67 In order to secure al-Husseinis cooperation, however, Hitler had to agree to certain basic conditions, one of which was the cessation of all Jewish emigration from Europe. The Mufti did not want any more Jews making their way to Palestine. On March 11, 1941, Hitler agreed to this condition.68 On October 31, 1941, the Nazis ended the legal emigration of Jews from German-ruled areas.69 Up until 1941, Hitler had seemed content to drive all the Jews out of Germany and German-occupied lands, often taking hefty ransom payments in the process.70 But Hajj Amin al-Husseini insisted that Hitler and the Nazis end this method of solving the Jewish question. Thus, mass murder became the final solution.

This was the situation when the Grand Mufti met with Adolf Hitler in Berlin on November 28, 1941. The meeting lasted for an hour and thirty-five minutes. Hitler assured the Mufti that after defeating the Soviet forces, the Wehrmacht would wheel south through the Caucasus into Iraq and Iran and liberate the Arabs. Germanys objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power.71 Immediately after his meeting with al-Husseini, Hitler ordered Heydrich to organize a conference within ten days to prepare the final solution of the Jewish question. This was to be the infamous Wannsee Conference, which was postponed to January 1942 because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Germanys subsequent declaration of war on the United States.72 Rubin and Schwanitz summarize the Arab role in the Nazi choice of genocide for the Jews:

It is logical to believe that the Holocaust was a decision based on fanatical ideology rather than on German self-interest. Of course, Hitlers virulent hatred of Jews and talk of wiping them out had begun in the 1920s. If al-Husaini or some counterpart had not existed, the Nazis would probably have acted in a similar fashion. But the influence of al-Husaini, al-Kailani, and their movements also reinforced, made more necessary, and accelerated a policy of genocide in Europe that the Axiss [Arab] partners intended to spread to the Middle East.73

By the summer of 1942, when Rommels Afrika Korps seemed poised to conquer Egypt and cross the Suez Canal, the Nazis already had completed secret preparations to deploy an SS Einsatzkommando, or mobile killing unit, to the Middle East and North Africa. The instructions to this unit were to take executive measures against the civilian population on its own authorityexactly the instructions given to the Einsatzkommando units that followed the Wehrmacht into the Soviet Union in 1941, where they began the wholesale massacre of Jews.74 The Einsatzkommando Egypt was deployed from Berlin to Athens on July 29, 1942 and waited for transfer to Africa under the command of SS officer Walter Rauff, one of the key officers responsible for the mass destruction of the Jews, the man in charge of the technical equipment for the Einsatzgruppen in the Soviet Union.75 This unit was to be deployed first in Egypt and then, after the conquest of Egypt, in neighboring Palestine, where they would doubtless have been engaged first and foremost in the mass murder of the Jewish population.[note omitted]76 The Einsatzgruppen in Eastern Europe relied heavily on the support of local collaborators. The Nazis had good reason to expect extensive help from such collaborators across the Arab world because as numerous reports had long attested, a vast number of Arabs, in some cases already well organized, were ready to serve as willing accomplices of the Germans in the Middle East.77 German and Western intelligence services reported high levels of pro-Nazi sentiment throughout the Arab world, including Palestine, where the extra-ordinarily pro-German attitude of the Arabs was due primarily to the fact that they hope Hitler will come to drive out the Jews.78 The Mufti, al-Gailani, and Fawzi al-Qawuqji were actively assisting General Felmy, the commander of Sonderstab F at Cape Sounion near Athens, mainly in recruiting of Arabs.79

Al-Husseini also was planning the extermination of the Jews of Palestine and met with Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann for briefings on Germanys solution to the European Jewish question. They secured a promise from Himmler that an advisor from Eichmanns Jewish Affairs department would travel with him to Jerusalem after the conquest of Palestine in order to extend the final solution to that country.80 In 1942, al-Husseini and al-Gailani encouraged their associates to attend Nazi training courses to become proficient in genocide and, therefore, three of al-Gailanis and one of the Muftis associates visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in July 1942. The Nazi officer who led the tour reported that the Arabs were extremely interested in the treatment of Jews at Sachsenhausen.81 Only the defeat of the German army both by the British at El-Alamein and by the USSR in the late summer and fall of 1942 saved the Jews of Palestine and Egypt from extermination.82

Al-Husseini and his pro-Nazi Arab colleagues made other significant contributions to the Nazi war effort and the Holocaust. Jeffrey Herf has meticulously documented the role of the Mufti. According to transcripts from the U.S. State Department archives, al-Husseini was deeply involved in writing and broadcasting Arabic-language pro-Nazi propaganda via leaflets and short-wave radio broadcasts to the Middle East and North Africa. Together with other Arab expatriates, he crafted an enormous body of viciously anti-Semitic propaganda for the Nazis based almost entirely on Islamic sources, above all the Quran and the traditional biography and sayings of Muhammad.83 This propaganda included outright incitement to genocide: Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion.84 The Mufti openly informed his Arab audience that the Nazis had set about annihilating them [the Jews] before it was too late. History will record this action as one of the wisest steps ever taken.85 The world will never be at peace until the Jewish race is exterminated The Jews are the germs which have caused all the trouble in the world.86 The Jews have been the enemy of the Arabs and of Islam since its emergence.87 Tolerance toward the Jews was a stupid plan and a shameful crime against the fatherland and the only legitimate policy was the expulsion of all the Jews from all Arab and Muslim countries. This is the only remedy. It is what the Prophet did thirteen centuries ago.88 The Muftis call for murder and ethnic cleansing would not fall on deaf ears. After 1948, 850,000 Jews were violently driven from Arab lands, stripped of their property and passports. 89 By one estimate, the Jews forced out of just three countriesIraq, Egypt, and Moroccowere dispossessed of land that was more than five times the size of modern Israel.90 (Hajj Amin al-Husseini complained that the Arabs were allowing the Jews to escape alive and again called for liquidation not emigration.)91

The Mufti also played a central role in recruiting Muslims from Bosnia, Albania, and the USSR to serve in Nazi military units and supervised the training of their Muslim chaplains.92 Whenever Al-Husseini learned of efforts to secure the release of Jews from European countries under Nazi control, in exchange for ransom or for the release of Germans stranded abroad at the outbreak of war, he intervened forcefully to prevent the escape of the Jews (including children).93 In his letters to Nazi officials objecting to such exchanges, he proposed that the Jews be sent where they will be placed under strict control, e.g. Poland.94 The Mufti was well aware of the fate of the Jews in Poland. In his memoirs, he admits that his friend Heinrich Himmler had told him in the summer of 1943 that the Nazis already had liquidated some three million Jews.95 As one German official noted, the Mufti was a sworn enemy of the Jews and made no secret that he would rather see them all killed.96

Working with the Nazis, Hajj Amin al-Husseini spread his openly genocidal antisemitic propaganda in Arabic in millions of leaflets and short-wave radio broadcasts from 1942 until 1945. However, it did not turn him into a pariah after the war. In fact, upon his return to the Arab world (specifically, Egypt) in the summer of 1946, he was hailed by the masses as a hero. Pressure from his old friend, Abd al-Rahman Azzam, secretary-general of the Arab League, persuaded Western governments not to prosecute him for war crimes.97 The Husseini clan and its political party, the Palestine Arab Party (PAP), agitated for his return and effectively canonized him for his wartime activities. According to Jeffrey Herf, for the PAP, the Muftis wartime activities were a source of pride, not of shame.98 Quoting from an official report by American diplomats on the state of public opinion in Palestine as of November 1945, Herf writes as follows:

Officials in the American Embassy in Cairo commented on the PAPs prominence. They regarded the party as the most active political organization in the country and [one that] retains the allegiance of the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs. The PAP profited from the great respect and esteem which Hajj Amin al-Husayni enjoys in all levels of society and gave no indication that it wanted or needed unity with other parties or factions. It continued to be the most extreme of all parties in its uncompromising fight against Zionism, never accepting that Jews had any rights in Palestine, and was doing all it could to have Jamal al-Husayni [the Muftis brother and loyal ally]and Hajj Amin al-Husayni returned to lead the Arab cause.99

Herf draws the obvious conclusion. By November 1945, Palestinian Arabs were well aware of the Muftis views, both from his activities and writings in Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s and from his Nazi radio broadcasts and leaflets. Yet, far from bringing his political career to an end, Husseinis wartime actions contributed to his appeal in the postwar years.100 Zvi Elpeleg makes the same point: Haj Amins popularity among the Palestinian Arabs and within the Arab states actually increased more than ever during his period with the Nazis. When he returned to the Middle East from Europe, Arab leaders hurried to greet him, and the masses welcomed him enthusiastically.101 According to Bernard Lewis, in post-1945 Egypt and other Arab lands, a pro-Nazi past was a source of pride, not shame.102 When al-Husseini appeared in Cairo in May and June 1946, U.S. Ambassador Pinkney Tuck observed that the warm welcome was widespread and genuine.103 Klaus Gensicke speaks of the waves of enthusiasm that shook the Arab world on his arrival in Egypt.104 Meir Litvak and Esther Webman note that when the news of his [al-Husseinis] arrival [in Cairo] broke, it aroused a wave of sympathy and enthusiasm, manifested in numerous press articles and pilgrimage to his home.105 The German historian Gudrun Krmer writes as follows: even after the fall of the Third Reich [the Muftis] known involvement with Nazi Germany did not discredit him in the eyes of most Arab nationalists in Palestine and beyond.106 Especially profuse in his postwar praise of the Mufti was Hassan al-Banna, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members were engaged in inciting pogroms against the Jews of Egypt at this time.107 Indeed, al-Banna appointed al-Husseini leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, albeit in absentia, since British authorities would not allow him to enter Palestine.108

With the support of the Arab League Secretary-General Azzam, Hajj Amin al-Husseini resumed his position as the head of the Arab Higher Committee, the official body representing the Arabs of Palestine.109 In fact, the Arab League made sure that the new AHC was composed only of the Husseinis and their allies, with Hajj Amin as president and his brother Jamal as deputy president. According to Benny Morris, the more moderate Palestinian Arabs, led by the Nashashibi clan, were left out in the cold.110 Al-Husseini continued to reject any compromise with the Zionists that might have averted war. The Mufti bluntly stated that, as soon as the British forces were withdrawn, the Arabs should with one accord fall on the Jews and destroy them.[note omitted]111 In March 1948, he told an interviewer in a Jaffa newspaper that the Arabs did not intend merely to prevent partition but would continue fighting until the Zionists were annihilated and the whole of Palestine became a purely Arab state.112 According to Rubin and Schwanitz, once al-Husaini was allowed to reestablish himself as unchallengeable leader of the Palestinian Arabs, this ensured that no compromise or two-state solution would be considered, while making certain that Arab leaders would be intimidated and driven to war.113 The secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam, a friend and champion of the Mufti, was equally recalcitrant. He rejected compromise and insisted that the fate of Palestine would only be settled on the battlefield. You will achieve nothing with talk of compromise or peace, Azzam told UN and Zionist diplomats in 1947. For us, there is only one test, the test of strength.114 In October 1947, Azzam was quoted in an Egyptian newspaper as predicting that the impending war over Palestine will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre.115 Azzam elsewhere reportedly predicted We will sweep them into the sea, a phrase also used by AHC representative Izzedine Shawa.116

Given this background, it is hardly surprising that fear of another Holocaust was a major motive driving Zionist forces to fight in 19478.117 Zionist leaders were well aware that Hajj Amin al-Husseini had supported Hitler and the final solution.118 The Jews of Palestine were outnumbered by Arabs two-to-one within Palestine and by a much larger factor if Arabs outside of Palestine are counted. Most Palestinian Arabs revered someone who had openly called for genocide against Jewsall Jewsand who rejected any compromise regarding Palestine. Furthermore, Hajj Amin al-Husseini had the support of at least three important Arab militia commanders who were fellow collaborators with the Nazis: Fawzi al-Qawuqji, Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, and Hassan Salama. Since the Muftis arrival in Cairo in 1946, they had been planning their campaigns against the Jews of Palestine.119 The secretary-general of the Arab League had made openly genocidal statements and also rejected compromise.

According to Benny Morris, at the outset of the war, Zionist leaders could not know or guess how poorly the Arabs would organize for war or how incompetently and disunitedly their armies would perform. The Jews of Palestine were genuinely fearful of the outcome and the Haganah chiefs assessment on 12 May [1948] of a fifty-fifty chance of victory or survival was sincere and typical.120 The phrase victory or survival is telling. Only victory would ensure survival for the Jews, given the nature and intentions of their enemy. Despite this dire situation, there was no Zionist plan for the systematic ethnic cleansing of Arabs, as Omar Barghouti falsely claims.121 In fact, as we have shown above, the plan for ethnic cleansing in Palestine in 19478 was an Arab plan, not a Zionist one. The Zionist forces won the war of 19471949 at great cost. About one percent of the Jewish population was killed and two percent seriously wounded.122 For the United States today, comparable casualties in a war would mean about nine-and-a-half million Americans killed or maimed. A war that inflicted such casualties on the United States would be cataclysmic, a war for national survival. As such, it would also leave a psychological mark on American society that would last for generations. Thus, it has been for Israel.

The victory of the Zionists notwithstanding, the Mufti continued to enjoy great prestige throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds. His bitter feud with King Abdullah of Jordan, however, meant that he never received the full backing of the Arab League. Nonetheless, the Arab League acceded to his demand for a Palestinian government. In July 1948, the League announced the formation of an All-Palestine Government. In September 1948, Hajj Amin al-Husseini was placed at the head of this government, his brother Jamal al-Husseini was named foreign minister, and another Husseini was made defense minister.123 In September and October 1948, al-Husseini presided over the meeting of this government in Gaza, where he received an enthusiastic welcome from the local residents and refugees.124 The Palestinian Arabs in attendance included heads of local municipalities, members of the national committees, religious and community leaders, tribal leaders and important professional figures. Calling itself the Palestinian National Council, this body unanimously chose al-Husseini as its president and approved the Husseini-dominated All-Palestine Government by a vote of sixty-four to eleven. It also signed the declaration of Palestines independence.125 Inter-Arab feuding and power politics would prevent this government from ever functioning, although it existed nominally until the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964. However, the historical record is clear. When given the chance, the Palestinian Arab community chose as its first leader a proponent of genocide and known Nazi collaborator who neither had renounced his past nor changed his opinions. This government was recognized by six Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.126

Hajj Amins unsavory past did not prevent him from being welcomed repeatedly as a pan-Islamic leader. In 1951, he participated in a World Islamic Congress in Karachi, Pakistan. The congress elected him its president. He attended further Islamic congresses there and his popularity soared in Pakistan.127 During the 1950s, he maintained his connections with armed cells and dispatched terrorists to attack inside Israel, thereby increasing his popularity in Arab countries.128 In 1955, he attended the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in order to encourage support for the Palestinian cause in the developing world. This conference of Asian and African nations was an important step toward creating the non-aligned bloc of nations that has become extremely important to the Palestinian cause at the UN. At Bandung, the Mufti met Chou En-Lai of Red China, who assured him of Chinas support for his anti-colonial struggle.129

In 1954, a year before the Bandung Conference, Hajj Amin published a series of articles in an Egyptian newspaper. These essays later were published as a book which went through at least three printings. There he repeated the same propaganda that he had broadcast during and after World War II:

Our battle with World Jewryis a question of life or death, a battle between two conflicting faiths, each of which can exist only on the ruins of the other.130

The Jews intend to rebuild the Jewish templeon the site of the blessed al-Aqsa mosque.131

The Jews brought about Germanys defeat in World War I. This is the main reason for Hitlers war against the Jews and for his strong antipathy towards them. Germanys revenge against the Jews was harsh, and it annihilated millions of them during the Second World War.132

The Jews were behind the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.133

The Jews have a specific character, the Jewish character that has been their essence since the beginning of their existence. This character is one of the main reasons for their failure throughout their history, and it has caused people to hate and persecute them. One of the most conspicuous aspects of the Jewish character is their excessive arrogance and selfishness There is no end to their greedthey have no mercy and they are known for their malicethey do not attribute any significance to others and do not recognize the rights of others. Therefore nations throughout history have despaired of living with them.134

Reconciliation with the Jews is suicidal for the Arab nation. Peace with the Jews willenable the Jews to expand the borders of their country by annexing vast areas of Arab countries, which they strive to control Through the political and economic ties that the Jews are attempting to form with the Arabs, in times of peace they will spread ideas and principles that contradict the spirit of Islam and Arab civilizationtime and experience have proved that the Jews have no respect for agreements and accords.135

The open expression of these views in the Egyptian press was regarded as acceptable by Egyptian publishers in the mid-to-late 1950s. It did not harm the Muftis standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds. As noted above, it did not prevent him from being welcomed by the African and Asian leaders in Bandung in 1955. It did not prevent the new leaders of Iraq, after the coup of 1958, from welcoming the Mufti repeatedly as an honored guest in Baghdad.136 In May 1962, Hajj Amin served as head of the World Islamic Congress in Baghdad. In the opening speech he issued a call to fight Zionism, which, he alleged, aspired to conquer all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates.137 In October 1962, he headed an official Palestinian delegation to Algeria to participate in Algerian independence celebrations.138 In the early 1960s, he organized Islamic conferences in Saudi Arabia and Somalia.139 Most remarkably, King Hussein of Jordan welcomed Hajj Amin to Jordan in March 1967 and allowed him to come to Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where he was welcomed by the local shaikhs and cheered by the mass of worshippers.140 King Hussein allowed Hajj Amin back in Jordan in 1967, where he headed two successive conferences in Amman, a World Islamic Congress on September 16 and a Muslim-Christian Conference on September 18. These conferences condemned the barbaric and inhuman acts being perpetrated by the Zionists and their desecration of the holy places.141 As late as 1968, Hajj Amin was receiving funds from Saudi Arabia.142

In the last year of his life, 1974, he was invited to attend a summit conference of Islamic countries in Lahore, Pakistan. For many years, Hajj Amin had been the central figure at extra-governmental Islamic congresses. At the 1974 Lahore gathering, however, Yassir Arafat, a new Palestinian leader took the spotlight.143 On December 29, 1968, at a meeting at his home in Beirut, the Grand Mufti anointed Arafat as his successor.144 By late 1968, Arafat was about to take over the PLO. But Arafat would be all the more secure if he received the seventy-oneyear-old al-Husainis endorsement. Al-Husaini gave it after lecturing Arafat for several hours on how he should go about destroying Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian Arab state.[note omitted]145 Arafat and al-Husseini would eventually disagree about tactics,146 but the former was in the front row of mourners at alHusseinis funeral in 1974, where he arrived with tears in his eyes.147 At the funeral, the presence of PLO members was especially conspicuous.148 PLO tributes to the deceased Grand Mufti were effusive in their praise of the great Palestinian leader, the imam of the Palestinians.149 The tributes did not end with the funeral, as Zvi Elpeleg reports:

On the fortieth day after his death, a memorial was held in Haj Amins honor in the Islamic faculty of the Jordanian University in Amman. [King] Husayn directed the Prime Minister, Zaid al-Rifaai, to represent him at the memorial, and the eulogy was delivered by his advisor, Abd al-Munim alRifaai. The Jordanian authorities did their utmost to make the memorial an impressive occasion.150

The tributes continue to the present day. On January 4, 2013, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority spoke at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the Fatah party and praised the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Hajj Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, describing him as a martyr and a pioneer.151 (This is akin to a German chancellor in 2013 praising Adolf Hitler as a martyr and pioneer.)

Praising and emulating the Mufti continues in other ways as well. Palestinian leaders across the ideological spectrum and Islamists of all stripes and nationalities continue to use the vitriolic, paranoid, antisemitic rhetoric of the Grand Mufti, including frequent incitement to genocide.152 For example, at a rally commemorating the anniversary of the founding of Fatah, held in January 2012, the current Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Hussein, the highest Muslim religious official in the Palestinian Authority, appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, was introduced with these words: Our war with the descendants of apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith. The current Mufti proceeded to quote a saying of Muhammad which was one of Hajj Amins favorites: The Hour [of resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. This event was broadcast on Palestinian Authority TV. In his sermons at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the current Mufti has been known to describe the Jews as enemies of Allah.153 In May 2013, Mufti Muhammad Hussein accused the Israeli authorities of planning to build a Jewish temple on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosqueanother of al-Husseinis stock accusations against the Jews.154 On July 24, 2014, in an interview on PA TV, Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub said that it was the behavior of the Jews that led the Nazis to massacre them.155On March 12, 2013, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki spoke on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel, as follows: Those Israelis have no religion and no principles. They are nothing but advanced tools for evil.in my view, Allah will gather them so that we can kill them.156 On May 13, 2005, the official Palestinian Authority TV station aired a Friday mosque sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris in which he argued that throughout history, rulers, including Hitler, have had to expel the Jews because of their corruption and that the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS.157 In January 2013 and in November 2014, the official PA television station ran a documentary that made the following statement, echoing the Muftis 1937 Proclamation to the Muslim World:

Faced with the Jews schemes, Europe could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and control (In 1290 King Edward I issued a decree banishing the Jews [from England].) Following him were France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Spain, and Italy. The European nations felt that they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews. Later the Jews obtained the Balfour Declaration, and Europe saw it as an ideal solution to get rid of them.158

The Palestinian group that most clearly reflects the world-view of Hajj Amin al-Husseini is Hamas, the name taken in 1987 by the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hajj Amin belonged to the Brotherhood and actively supported it throughout his life.159 As German political scientist Matthias Kntzel has pointed out, Hamas is truly the ideological heir to Hajj Amin al-Husseini in the Palestinian community.160 The Hamas Covenant or Charter (1988) is replete with the antisemitic themes emphasized by Hajj Amin: Palestine is a sacred Islamic endowment (waqf) that belongs only to Muslims and every inch must be liberated from the Zionists (articles 11, 14, 15); there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad; peace talks and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce (article 13); there is an international Jewish conspiracy, comprising the Freemasons and the Rotary and Lions Clubs, that controls the world media and finance. This group was the cause of both world wars and the collapse of the Islamic Caliphate, controls the UN, and is behind all wars wherever they occur (articles 17, 22, 28, 32); the Zionist plan knows no limits and seeks to conquer from the Nile to the Euphrates and beyond (article 32); the Zionist conspiracy is behind all types of trafficking in drugs and alcohol and aims to break societies, undermine values,create moral degeneration, and destroy Islam (article 28). The Hamas Covenant cites the hadith about killing the Jews hiding behind rocks and trees that al-Husseini included in his 1937 appeal to the Muslim world (article 7). It also invokes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (article 32). 161

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has asserted in speeches and in a book that the Jews have deserved and provoked all the persecutions and expulsions that they have suffered, e.g. at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh, European Christians, and Adolf Hitler. Al-Zahar has the following message for the Jews: There is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed for annihilation.162

The claim that the Jews deserved the Holocaust has in fact become common among Islamists.163 Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, easily one of the most admired and best-known representatives of Sunni Islam today,164 regarded as the highest religious authority by Hamas and the global Muslim Brotherhood,165 has also asserted that Hitler meted out divinely sanctioned punishment upon the Jews and has called for Muslims to impose a similar punishment, calling openly for genocide (kill them, down to the very last one).166 Qaradawi has also said that the Jews of today bear responsibility for their forefathers crime against Jesus.167 He has presented detailed Islamic legal justification for indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians, in effect, a shariah-based case for genocide.168 In 2010, on official Hamas television, Hamas Deputy Minister for Religious Endowments, Abdallah Jarbu, denied the humanity of the Jews, described them as microbes, and called upon Allah to annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.169 Writer Mukhlis Barzaq, a member of Hamas, stated that the fate of the Jews should be complete killing, total extermination and eradicating perdition. Even in Hamas childrens publication, al-Fatih, one may find the prayer: O God, exterminate the Jews the tyrannical usurpers.170 On May 2, 2014, a childrens program on official Hamas television featured the host interviewing a little girl who said she wished to be a police officer when she grows up, so that I can shoot Jews. The host responded: All the Jews? All of them? She replied: Yes. The host remarked: Good.171 In her study of Hamas leaflets published in its first five years (19871992), Esther Webman notes many themes that also may be found in the writings and speeches of Hajj Amin al-Husseini.172 Many more examples of extreme Jew-hatred from Hamas officials and media outlets could be adduced, including incitement of genocide.173

After the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945, West German society began a painful and ongoing process of self-examination and self-criticism, referred to in German as Vergangenheitsbewltigung, roughly translatable as overcoming the past. It means dealing honestly with the past in order to do better in the future.174 German politicians, teachers, scholars, journalists, and religious leaders came to understand the importance of fighting traditional negative stereotypes of Jews, Gypsies and other minority groups. They insisted upon rigorous standards of evidence in journalism and academic research in order to avoid irrational conspiracy theories and took students to concentration camps, which were preserved as memorials and museums. The teaching of history in German schools did not evade an honest presentation of a shameful past. One may fault the de-Nazification process for not going far enough, but at the very least, the ex-Nazis who survived the war and went on to make successful careers in German society could no longer openly espouse Nazi ideas. If they did so, they faced exposure and ostracism.

Historian Jeffrey Herf has noted a striking contrast between Arab and German societies after 1945. He points out the example of ex-Nazi official Kurt Georg Kiesinger, who resumed his career and even became the chancellor of West Germany in 1966. Herf notes that his success as a politician presupposed that he had publicly abandoned his convictions of the Nazi era and did not advocate either violent anti-Semitism or dictatorship. In contrast, according to Herf, after the war Haj Amin el-Husseini , unlike Kiesinger, did not change his views. Moreover, he did not have to change them as a precondition for continued political prominence.175 More important, Palestinian, Arab and Islamic societies obviously saw nothing wrong with his persona or his world-view.176 In fact, Rubin and Schwanitz note that after World War II the Middle East was the region that was most receptive to Nazis fleeing prosecution in Europe. Some four thousand Nazis found refuge there, while between 180 and 800 escaped to Latin America. Only in the Middle East were Nazis able to continue their careers in government, the military, and propaganda work177 without renouncing their past or changing their opinions. Hajj Amin was not an exception.

The Palestinians mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article may not share the world-view of Hamas and Hajj Amin al-Husseini, but their dishonesty or ignorance regarding Arab and Palestinian history is symptomatic of a society that neither grasps the vital importance of Vergangenheitsbewltigung nor undertakes the hard work that it entails. The following examples show the difficulty of facing the past in Arab society:

Hamas won the Palestinian Authority elections in 2006 and continues to have great support in Palestinian society despite (or because of ?) its violent Jew-hatred and complete rejection of peaceful compromise with Israel. As of July 2014, 35 percent of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza had a favorable opinion of Hamas (and 32 percent in Lebanon, 39 percent in Jordan, 38 percent in Egypt).178 While these figures do not represent a majority, they indicate a large minority. (By comparison, 35 percent of American voters identify as Democrats and 28 percent as Republicans.)179 According to public opinion polls in late August 2014, Hamas actually was favored to win both presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. Moreover, a majority of West Bankers support the use of the violent methods of Hamas in Gaza in the West Bank as well.180 As of late September 2014, polls continued to show a Hamas lead over Fatah in both hypothetical presidential and legislative elections.181 This may be compared to polls showing the Nazi Party winning elections in Germany in August and September 2014.182

Hamas leaders remain honored guests in Muslim countries such as Turkey and Qatar. Indeed, according to Ely Karmon, ever since Turkey invited the Hamas leadership to Ankara back in 2006, Turkeys leadership has neither criticized Hamas violent activities nor succeeded in influencing its strategy, whilst protesting loudly Israels retaliatory actions.183 In the fall of 2012, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal attended the annual convention of President Recep Tayyip Erdogans ruling party in Ankara, where he received a standing ovation.184

The Muslim Brotherhood won the elections in Egypt after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Its teachings are an amalgam of totalitarian, anti-Western and antisemitic ideas and its website published the statement in May 2011: All the nations have dealt with the [ Jewish] character in the same manner: by excising this tumor that has harmed all of humanity.185

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi continues to attract a large audience throughout the Muslim world and his popular show (boasting 60 million viewers)186 on the Al Jazeera network called upon Muslims to punish the Jews as Hitler did, and invoked Allah to kill them, down to the very last one.

In the same January 2013 speech honoring Hajj Amin al-Husseini as a pioneer, PA President Mahmoud Abbas also praised two of the original founders of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, as well as the founder of the Iranian-aligned Islamic Jihad, Fathi Shikaki as our fortunate martyrs.187 On March 2, 2012, Abbas, who frequently is called a moderate, was asked how there could be true reconciliation between Hamas and his Fatah party if one of the parties does not change its ideology. Abbas answered that there are no ideological differences between them.188 Indeed, the various reconciliation agreements between Hamas and Fatah have never required Hamas to alter its ideology or propaganda.

In 2014, Professor Mohammed Dajani of Al-Quds University visited Auschwitz with a group of Palestinian and Israeli students as part of an effort to foster Israeli-Palestinian understanding. (The Israeli students also visited Palestinian refugee camps.) As a consequence of his visit to Auschwitz, Professor Dajani was subjected to abuse, intimidation, and death threats from his fellow Palestinians, and resigned from his university post.189 If this is what happens to a Palestinian educator who merely tries to teach about Nazi war crimes, what would happen to one who spoke honestly about Palestinian and Arab complicity in the Holocaust? The treatment of Professor Dajani is not surprising. As Robert Wistrich has noted, Palestinians and other Arabs have rarely if ever criticized the Muftis complicity in the Holocaust.190

This paper has presented sufficient evidence to refute the common Palestinian argument, stated by Omar Barghouti, that Palestiniansand Arabs more generallybear no responsibility whatsoever for the Holocaust. In fact, we have shown that Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the most influential and popular leader among the Palestinian Arabs from 1920 through 1949, played an important role in the Holocaust that in no way diminished his standing among the Arab and Palestinian masses after 1945. Had Rommel defeated the British in Egypt in 1942, or had Hajj Amin al-Husseini sufficient forces to defeat the Zionists in 19471948, there is no question that many Palestinian Arabs would have participated in a massacre of the Jews of Palestine.

Moreover, the widespread adoption of Hajj Amin al-Husseinis antisemitic rhetoric by Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim leaders shows another kind of complicity in the Holocaust. When Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders say that Hitler gave the Jews the punishment they deserved, they are vicariously participating in and endorsing the Holocaust. When they deny the humanity of the Jews, or refer to Jews as sub-humans (brothers of pigs and monkeys, microbes), or identify the Jews as the source of all corruption on earth, or assert that the Jews are out to destroy Islam, they provide a warrant for genocide. Scholars of genocide note that dehumanizing language is one of the early stages of genocide. According to expert Gregory Stanton, denial of the humanity of others is the step that permits killing with impunity.191 Stanton also observes that the Genocide Convention identifies incitement to commit genocide as a punishable offense alongside of genocide itself.192 From Hajj Amin al-Husseini in the 1930s to the leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood today, dehumanization of Jews and public incitement of genocide have become rhetorical staples of Palestinian and Arab society. Jeffrey Herf has pointed out that Hajj Amin al-Husseinis world-view made him a true comrade in arms and ideological soul mate of Hitler. Their meeting on November 28, 1941 was not a clash of civilizations but a meeting of hearts and minds, and a convergence from different starting points.193 The rhetoric of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood shows that these groups share the same world-view of al-Husseini that made the latter fond of Hitler. Hence, Hamas and the Brotherhood are also Hitlers ideological soul mates. World-views matter: Hitlers world-view led to war and genocide.194 There is no reason to expect less from Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and similar Islamist groups (Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba,195etc.).

The fact that Germany largely overcame its Nazi past after 1945 was an essential step toward reassuring its neighbors that it was no longer a military threat and made it possible for Germany eventually to be integrated into NATO and the European Union, thereby ensuring the peace and security of the continent. Similarly, a more honest and self-critical approach to their own history and culture on the part of Palestinians and Arabs is a necessary condition for peace with their Jewish neighbors. The rhetoric of the Mufti in the 1930s and 1940s shows that Palestinian Arab hostility to the Zionist project was not based simply on a principled defense of the right of national self-determination but on a visceral hatred for Jews. The persistence of such hatred in Palestinian society has done much to undermine efforts at reconciliation and the peace process and has persuaded many Israeli Jews that they have no real partner for peace on the Palestinian side.

New York Times correspondent Steven Erlanger has noted perceptively that the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in 2014 is really just another round in the unresolved Arab-Israeli War of 194849.196 If we pay careful attention to the ideology, rhetoric, and objectives of Israels enemy in Gaza, it is clear that they are identical to those of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the ideological soulmate of Adolf Hitler who led the Palestinians to war in 1948.

* * *

Notes

See the article here:
Palestinians, Arabs, and the Holocaust

Fair Usage Law

July 2, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

New German law curbs hate speech, including Holocaust denial, on social networks – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

BERLIN (JTA) Germanys top Jewish leader has praised a new lawdesigned to curb hate speech and libel on social networks.

The German Parliament passed the lawFriday, in the Bundestags lastmeeting before its summer break. It requires Internet platforms likeFacebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove material with obviouslyillegal content and fake defamatory newswithin 24 hoursof itshaving been reported. Previously, illegal material was reported butdid not have to be removed.

The new law places the onus on the social media platforms to removethe material or be subjected to heavy fines, reportedly of up to about $56million.

Heiko Maas, Germanys Federal Minister of Justice, who had submittedthe proposed law for consideration in March, said the Internet wouldnow be held to the same legal standards as other printed material. A study had shown that major social mediaplatforms were slow to react to reported illegal content includingslander and incitement to hate, as well as Holocaust denial andglorification of National Socialism, all of which are illegal inGermany.

Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, praised the new network law as a strong instrument against online hatespeech, and added that an evaluation period would help determine its efficacy.

In an official statement, he noted that social media has become ahotbed of anti-Semitic incitement, which is easily spread worldwide.Since platform operators generally failed to stick to agreements of a voluntary nature, this law is the logical consequence.

Criticism of the law came from legislators from the Left Party and theGreens, who said they worried about granting Internet companies thepower to set the boundaries for free speech online.

But Schuster said in his statement that curbing hate speech againstminorities or religious groups has nothing to do with freedom ofexpression. The Internet must not become a free space.

World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer had also supported Maas proposed law.

The Bundestag also passed a law that holds customers and notproviders responsible for downloading illegal music that comesthrough their servers.

More:
New German law curbs hate speech, including Holocaust denial, on social networks – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Fair Usage Law

July 2, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Indian PM Modi pays respects at Israel’s Holocaust memorial – The Jerusalem Post

OUR FREE DAILY NEWS BLAST Caroline B. Glick Our World: Modi and Israels coming of age Seth J. Frantzman WATCH: Challenges of the Negev from the air Susan Hattis Rolef Think about it: The Labor Party leadership primaries Naphtali Tuly Weisz How Christian Zionists can solve the Western Wall crisis Tillerson: Break with Qatar by KSA, others won’t affect counter-terrorism Israel expects change in UN voting patterns, Netanyahu says after Africa trip ISIS claims responsibility for London attack REAL ESTATE CLASSIFIEDS Most Read Indian PM Modi arrives in Israel for historic visit Whats next for US-trained Syrian rebels cut off from fighting ISIS? Britney spears rocks Tel Aviv, but nobody notices US aircraft carrier off Israel’s coast symbol of freedom, Netanyahu says

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

How The Holocaust Helps Us Understand Independence Day – Forward

One day 241 years ago, John Hancock led a group of patriots in signing a document that quickly became the banner of democracy across the world. As with most holidays, the significance of this anniversary has evolved over time, and today the principles to which those 56 men ascribed their names is often lost amid newer traditions such as fireworks, barbecues and if you watch ESPN competitive eating. This is not to invalidate the understandable yearning for a national day of summer leisure, but it is to say that the Fourth of July has become increasingly dissociated from the enduring values it should represent. The aimlessness of our civic consciousness is not new in the year 2017, but it is particularly striking in todays national climate. Over the past few years, countless individuals on both sides of the political aisle have bemoaned the flaws in the ideal America, including the demise of free speech and a resurgence in racial rhetoric. In this fractured environment, the country is in dire need of a reminder of the importance of our Founders ideals. It is a truism that somethings value is recognized by only the absence therefrom, and this applies as fully to a concept like democracy as it does to any physical object. The clearest antithesis of American democracy in modern times is German Nazism. The fascist movement embraced the devil of racial prejudice with an early manifestation in the Nuremberg Laws, which institutionalized bigotry in a largely nonviolent manner. In just a few years, of course, this state-sponsored racism gave way to the most brutal crimes against humanity: the murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other minorities. Viewed through its opposite, the necessity of American-style democracy is more than supported it is amplified. When our Founding Fathers championed the cause of liberty, they were focused on suffrage and taxes. Through the lens of the Holocaust, however, we can fully appreciate the constitutional protections and values we enjoy as U.S. citizens. In Philadelphia, an outdoor Holocaust Memorial Plaza is about to receive a multi-million-dollar expansion to drive home this specific point. Situated within blocks of Independence Hall, where Thomas Jefferson eternalized the message of democracy, the memorial plaza will center around six pillars highlighting the universal lessons of the Holocaust. These pillars will contrast six motifs of the Holocaust with their humane, democratic counterparts, juxtaposing The Master Race and Totalitarianism, for example, with Human Equality and American Democracy. The message is clear: By promoting our countrys values, we can ensure that these tragedies are never repeated. These American ideals are universal. Our imperfections notwithstanding, the country that these values have helped create has for centuries served as a beacon of humanity in a world too often dominated by irrational hatred and prejudice. It is unfortunate to acknowledge somethings grandeur solely when presented with its antithesis instead of feeling secure while recognizing its beauty. The crackle of fireworks on July Forth would please military men like George Washington, and many of his compatriots would enjoy good barbecue fare. But if we can weave into our celebrations some gratitude toward those who fought for the democracy we enjoy, it would provide Independence Day with the renewed level of meaning it truly deserves. Martha Allen is the director of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

At 89, this Holocaust survivor decided to conquer his fear of jumping from a plane – CBC.ca

For almost all of his 89 years, Elly Gotzof Toronto has looked up at the sky and imagined what it would be like to be able to fly. Now, after his first parachute jump, he knows. To this day, hiswife Esme says, he constantly marvels atbirds in the sky. “‘Look at them.Aren’t they having a good time? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a bird?'” shequotes him as saying. Gotz’s love affair with flying started young. “I had a dream, you see,” he told CBC News. At eight years old, he was building model planes. At 13, he dreamed of becoming an engineer. And all along, he longed for the thrill of jumping from a plane, scared though he might be of the hard landing. But in 1944, when he was 16, his family was plucked from a Jewish ghetto in Lithuania and thrust into a life of forced labour in the concentration camps of Germany. Gotz and his father were taken to the notorious Dachau camp; his mother to another. And on the 12-hour shifts he spent pumping cement, the birds looked very far away indeed. This past Sunday though, Gotz got his wish. The now-retired engineerjumped more than 3,500 metres with two friends after resolving to take the plunge on his birthday back in March. At eight years old, Elly Gotz was building model planes. At 13, he dreamt of becoming an engineer. And all along, he’s longed for the thrill of jumping from a plane, scared though he might be of the hard landing. (SkyDive Toronto) The fact that it was Canada’s 150th birthday made it as good a time as any, he thought. “One [is a]60-year-old and I’m in my 90th year, so we thought, ‘We’re 150 years together.Let’s do it!'” Gotz’saccomplishment is all the morepoignant when you remember that he and his family barely survived their ordeal in the Nazi concentration camps. He weighed only70 pounds when he was liberated from Dachau. His father’s weight was just 65 pounds. Back in 1941, he recalled half the population of the Lithuanian ghetto they lived in was murdered in one day. The man responsible, he says, wasHelmut Rauca, wholived in Canada after the war for 32 years. Rauca was a master sergeant who served in Adolf Hitler’s SS, who was granted citizenship in Canada in 1956 and lived here until the 1980s. Raucawasextradited to West Germany for war crimes butdied awaiting trial. The war didn’t shake Gotz’s dream of being an engineer. Despite having never gone to high school, he prepared himself for university, passing a difficult exam in Germany. He wasready to make his dream a reality …that is, until his parents told him they were moving with him to Norway. “No country wanted us. Canada was pretty closed for Jews. America was closed,” he recalled. His family had relatives in South Africa, but they couldn’t take Gotz’s family at the time. Norway offered to take some Jews, so it was off to Norway. Learning Norwegian wasn’t too difficult for Gotz. After all, he already knew four languages. By day, he worked as a mechanic, using the same skills that saved him from outdoor labour at Dachau. The evening was for night school. And in the meantime, a relative in what was then Rhodesia now Zimbabwe found a way for Gotz to go to university. Before long, he graduated as a engineer in Johannesburg, South Africa. Along the way, he also met Esme, and the couple had three children. But Gotz wanted out of South Africa. “I hated the apartheid regime. I hated the whole system there,” he said. So, they made the choice to move to Canada. “We looked for a country that was democratic and we chose Toronto as being the centre of Canadian manufacturing at the time.” Here, well into his 40s, Gotz learned to fly. “I got my own aeroplane and I was flying all over with the family. To Nova Scotia, we flew, and to Miami and I flew on business to Chicago and New York,” he said. “I loved flying, which I gave up at a proper age,” he said, but he remained too afraid to actually jump from a plane. So when his younger friend told him earlier this year he’d gone for a jump, Gotzjumpedat the chance to do the same. After all, parachute technology had improved considerably and landings were much more controlled than they had been in the past. So what was it like looking out of the open door of plane thousands of metres above ground? “That’s a critical moment, just before jumping out when you face the open aeroplane and the air is rushing by…. And he pushes you out and you fall head over heel and the cold air hits you. That is a moment of fear,” Gotzsaid. His wife, who watched the jump unfoldfrom the ground, would agree. Esme Gotz says whenever her husband, Elly, was anywhere, he’d marvel at the birds and wonder what it would be like to be able to fly. (Grant Linton/CBC) “That’s the first time I felt my heart go pitter-patter. Just thinking, I hope it’s good, I hope it’s good. I hope it’s everything that he dreamed about,” she said. Gotz swears he was smiling the entire time that is, after the freefall ended and the parachute kicked in. “The parachute opens and grabs you from behind and then you are floating down and you look at the countryside and it’s beautiful.” His only fear at that point? Losing his teeth, he said. Would he do it again? Likely not, says Gotz. “I think it’s a slightly exaggerated pleasure,” he said. To his wife, the entire idea was a crazy one, but she was on board. “I love him and I love all his crazy ideas,” she said. “If he wants to do it at this age He’s not going to die young.What can I say?”

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Review: Holocaust-theme drama debuts in Alameda – The Mercury News

When we talk about the Holocaust, we often emphasize the importance of never forgetting, lest history repeat itself. If the recent resurgence of neo-Nazis and other white supremacists in the public sphere (rebranding themselves as alt-right) werent enough of a reminder that this can always happen again, targeting people for scrutiny based on religion and national origin has become a major plank of the current administrations policy. A new play at Alamedas Altarena Playhouse, Nonna and the Dressmaker, is a Holocaust story on a lesser-known front not in Germany or Eastern Europe but in Italy, Nazi Germanys prominent ally, during the months toward the end of World War II when occupying German forces were busily trying to ship all the Italian Jews off to death camps. The story focuses on a pregnant Jewish dressmaker who takes refuge with a Catholic family in Rome. Written by Mercedes Cohen, Nonna is presented as part of the 79-year-old community theaters Alternative Altarena summer series of two short-run world premieres by Alameda playwrights. Dressmaker Belle (quietly concerned Briel Pomerantz) has come to the Romano family home to talk about making a wedding dress for their spoiled daughter Maria (a pettish Becky Doyle). When Marias father, Angelo (unassumingly bland Matthew Beall), comes home, he tells the family that a major crackdown is coming immediately and that Belle (whom hes never met till now) will have to stay with them in hiding. The rest of the family isnt particularly sympathetic to Belles plight. Angelos mother, the titular Nonna (feisty Mary Bishop), says hes being foolhardy and they need to look out for themselves. The selfish Maria doesnt particularly like having a Jew in the house in the first place, but was swayed by the fact that they can pay her less than other dressmakers. We soon learn that everyone in the family is already taking risks that could easily get them in trouble, dealing with the black market or with the partisans, so their cautions about playing it safe dont really hold water. That said, from all we hear people are getting rounded up and executed at the drop of a hat, so the danger is very real. Though Belle gets a bit stir crazy not being able to leave the house, her confinement seems fairly low-key compared to the famous image of Anne Franks family concealed in a secret attic. Belle has the run of the house and isnt even sent to hide when the police periodically search the premises. They just give an unconvincing excuse about her being a visiting cousin. They even manage to find her a mohel (amiable Joel Jacobs) whos not in hiding, just keeping a low profile. Joe Mallon is imposing enough as a cold, relentlessly doctrinaire policeman, accompanied by Tom Curtin as his kinder partner, but what sense we get of the real terror going on outside is largely from the young womens romantic partners in monologues from out in the world. Belles husband (rumpled and weary Peter Marietta) reflects aloud on his harrowing experiences working with the partisans as if writing her the letters it would be unsafe to send, while Marias soldier fiance (a boyishly randy Drew Woodson) is increasingly haunted by the atrocities he witnesses. Director Russell Kaltschmidt makes good use of the space outside Courtney Johnsons cozy apartment set, staging the young mens soliloquies in the aisles or atop an exit door. Nonna is much less tense than other similar stories. It seems like the family has things pretty well in hand. This is not a tale of historical atrocity so much as the bravery of simple human compassion when society has not only lost such compassion but brutally penalizes it. If such a thing could be said to exist, its almost a feel-good Holocaust story. Contact Sam Hurwitt atshurwitt@gmail.com, and follow him at Twitter.com/shurwitt. By Mercedes Cohen, presented by Altarena Playhouse Through:July 9 Where: Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High St., Alameda Running time: Two hours and 5 minutes, one intermission Tickets: $24-$30;510-523-1553,www.altarena.org

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Vandals hang hate speech from NJ Holocaust memorial – New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV

Please enable Javascript to watch this video LAKEWOOD, N.J. Over the weekend, vandals threw a white sheet over a holocaust memorial that sits in front oftheCongregation Sons of Israelsynagogue on Madison Avenue inLakewood, New Jersey. Itusedderogatory languageand promoted a white supremacist website. The sheet has since been removed, but flyers that state ‘thieving jews’have also been posted throughout the area with photos of several people recently arrested for allegedly stealing from government welfare programs. “Anti-semitism has no place in New Jersey,” saidJoshua Cohen the regional director of theNew Jersey Anti-Defamation League. “An attack against the Jewish community is an attack against the entire community.” The community was rocked last week by a string of arrests. TheFBI raided homes and charged14in allwith falsifying their income to qualify for government benefits.But the New Jersey Anti-Defamation league says those allegations have nothing to do with the defendants’ religion. “Law enforcement will investigate,” said Cohen. “The community is stronger than these heinous and cowardly attacks.” Today, children played outside the synagogue and many passing by condemned the attacks.Dr. Solomon Bursztyn has prayed attheCongregation Sons of Israelmany times before. “It represents theJewish community and there is no place for things like that being done,” said Dr. Bursztyn. Lakewood Police are reviewing surveillance video for any sign of the vandals. The New JerseyAttorney General hasoffereda$10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest. 40.082129 -74.209701

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Anti-Semitic Banner Found on New Jersey Holocaust Memorial – TIME

Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey Vandals covered a New Jersey Holocaust memorial with a banner including an anti-Semitic slur over the weekend, according to a photo posted by the state’s chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. Using a slur for Jewish people, the banner said they “will not divide us.” It also included a link to a website that espouses white supremacy, according to the Ashbury Park Press . Lakewood, N.J. the town where the memorial is located has a significant Jewish population. Fliers referencing a recent spate of fraud arrests were also discovered in Lakewood. Seven married couples, including a rabbi and his wife, were charged with misrepresenting their income to improperly receive $2 million of benefits in total, the Associated Press reports. The New Jersey Anti-Defamation League posted photos of the flyers and banner on Sunday. New Jersey’s Attorney General publicized the $10,000 reward for a successful lead about bias crimes.

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

British royals to visit Holocaust sites on Europe tour – The Jerusalem Post

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. (photo credit:REUTERS) Prince William and Catherine ‘Kate’ Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are due to visit multiple sites commemorating Holocaust victims and the tragedies of World War II during an upcoming tour of Germany and Poland, Kensington Palace announced Monday. The royal couple’s five-day trip starting July 17 will include somber visits to the former site of the Stutthof Concentration Camp in what is now Poland, along with stops at the Warsaw Rising Museum and the Berlin Holocaust Memorial. The pair’s first official joint trip to the European nations will “include time acknowledging the complex 20th century histories of each country,” the palace stated. “At each location Their Royal Highnesses will meet survivors of these periods, who will describe their personal experiences.” The tour is schedule to begin in Warsaw, where Polish President Andrzej Duda and the country’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda will regally greet the pair. The camp was the first set up by the Nazis outside German borders in September 1939, and one of the last to be liberated in May 1945. The royal couple is then due to travel on July 19 to Germany where they will hold a private meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and visit Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate before making their way to the city’s Holocaust Memorial. The duke and duchess are expected to tour the museum and walk through the gray concrete slabs of the memorial dedicated to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The trip will also include various cultural, business, welfare and health related engagements before the royal family members return to the UK on July 21. According to Kensington Palace, the royal duo’s children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will accompany their parents at a couple of occasions during the tour held at the request of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, also held a royal visit to Germany last year. Share on facebook

Fair Usage Law

July 3, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Palestinians, Arabs, and the Holocaust

Introduction One of the major Palestinian Arab arguments regarding the establishment of the state of Israel is that the West facilitated its founding out of guilt over the Holocaust. Palestinians insist that the Holocaust is a purely Western and Christian crime that has nothing to do with them or other Arabs.1 For example, Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti writes as follows: Palestiniansand Arabs more generallybear no responsibility whatsoever for the Holocaust, a European genocide committed against mostly European Jews, Roma, and Slavs, among others. It is therefore not incumbent upon Palestinians to pay in our lives, lands, and livelihoods the price for relieving Europes conscience of its collective guilt over the Holocaust.2 Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former Palestinian Authority security chief, asserted on July 24, 2014 that it was the Nazis, not us, who did the Holocaust to them We are paying the price for Europes crimes against them in the previous century.3 Likewise, PLO official Husam Zomlot recently stated that the Nazis were responsible for it [the Holocaust]. The Palestinians had nothing to do with it. The Israelis were responsible for the Nakba.4 This argument is part of the overall Palestinian narrative which maintains that Palestinians are the innocent victims of an injustice inflicted by others, especially Westerners and Zionists. According to Barghouti, the conflict is a colonial conflictbased on ethnic cleansing, racism, settler colonialism, and apartheid,5 and the state of Israel was created through[a] well-planned campaign of ethnic cleansing.6 Thus, the nakbathe tragedy of the Palestinian refugees who were displaced by the war of 1948is entirely the fault of the Zionists and their Western supporters, not of the Palestinians themselves. According to this narrative, in 1948, the Zionists were waging a war of preplanned ethnic cleansing, not a war of self-defense against Palestinian aggressors with genocidal intentions and a history of Nazi collaboration. Therefore, any accusation of genocide and genocidal hatred should be directed only at Westerners and Zionists, not at Palestinians or Arabs. However, the claim that Palestinians and Arabs had nothing to do with the Holocaust is false. In fact, Arab and Palestinian leaders played a significant role in aiding and abetting the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews in Europe and they hoped to implement the genocide in the Middle East. A growing number of publications, including extensive original, high-quality archival scholarship, proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Among the major authors are: Zvi Elpeleg,7 Klaus Gensicke,8 Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cppers,9 Matthias Kntzel,10 Jeffrey Herf,11 Wolfgang Schwanitz,12 and Barry Rubin.13 A careful examination of this history shows that it is neither fair nor accurate to portray the Arab-Israel War of 19479 as an unprovoked war of aggression by Zionists bent on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs. In fact, it was a war of self-defense against a ruthless, pro-Nazi, and openly genocidal Palestinian leadership that enjoyed enormous popularity among the Arab and Palestinian masses. The refusal of many Palestinians to face their moral and political failings honestly contrasts with their lip-service to achieving peace with justice in the Middle East. If they cared about justice, they would apportion a substantial share of the blame for the nakba or catastrophe of 1948 to themselves and would admit the existence of widespread Jew-hatred in the Arab and Islamic world and its role in undermining peace between Jews and Arabs from the 1920s to the present. This essay will present a survey of the historical evidence of Arab and Palestinian complicity in the Holocaust. We shall divide the history into three periods: 1920 1941; 19411945; and 1945 to the present, and explain the relevance of this history to the present day, especially to the failure of the various attempts to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians. An important, but not the sole Arab collaborator with the Nazi program of genocide was the founding father of the Palestinian Arab national movement, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. Works by pro-Palestinian apologists either ignore him altogether or mention him in order to minimize or deny his importance. For example, Edward Saids influential book, The Question of Palestine, does not mention al-Husseini at all.14 The American political scientist Virginia Tilley briefly notes al-Husseini, only to dismiss him as unrepresentative and states that he was never a leader of more than a few reactionary Palestinian factions.15 The German historian of the Middle East, Gudrun Krmer downplays al-Husseinis role in the Holocaust.16 In fact, Hajj Amin-al-Husseini was highly influential and extremely popular throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.17 The Husseini family of Jerusalem was one of the most powerful and respected clans in Palestinian Arab society for centuries. The Husseinis claim to be descendants of Hussein, the son of the Caliph Ali and his wife Fatima, daughter of Muhammad.18 For centuries, the Husseinis had held important positions in Palestine, including Mufti of Jerusalem.19 Under the British Mandate in Palestine, due in part to the power and prestige of his family, Hajj Amin al-Husseini served as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and president of the Supreme Muslim Council. Thus, he was the most powerful Arab official in British Palestine and controlled a large budget and a network of patronage that included imams of mosques, judges in the Islamic courts, Islamic schools, and Islamic endowments (waqf).20 By virtue of these two offices, Husseini became the most influential Arab in Palestine.21 In March 1935, the Husseini clan established its own political party, the Palestine Arab Party.22 In 1936, at the outset of the Arab Revolt against the British and the Jews, al-Husseini was elected as head of the Arab Higher Committee, a ten-member committee that included the leaders of all six Palestinian Arab political parties and Palestinian Christians.23 In his testimony before the Peel Commission in 1937, Hajj Amin al-Husseini made it clear that he favored the wholesale expulsion (or worse) of most of the Jews in Palestine.24 Indeed, according to historian Benny Morris, Husseini consistently rejected territorial compromise and espoused a solution to the Palestine problem that posited all of Palestine as an Arab state and allowed for a Jewish minority composed only of those who had lived in the country before 1914 (or, in a variant, 1917).25 This would have meant either the expulsion or the slaughter of the majority of the Jews living in Palestine in the late 1930s. Al-Husseini never wavered from his hard-line rejection of any sort of compromise with the Zionist movement. An important aspect of al-Husseinis political activity was his outreach to the larger Islamic world. He devoted his efforts to Islamize the conflict with the Zionists. In fact he first rose to prominence during the annual religious festival of Nabi Musa in April 1920 by successfully inciting violence against Jews, thereby increasing his popularity among the Palestinian Arab masses.26 In the early 1920s, al-Husseini embarked on a successful campaign to restore the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which had fallen into a state of disrepair. He traveled throughout Muslim countries in order to raise funds for this effort and brought the issues of Islamic holy sites and the Palestinian cause to the attention of Muslims. By doing so, he enhanced his own status among his co-religionists in and beyond the Arab world. When he addressed fellow Muslims, he often invoked the false and highly inflammatory accusation that the Jews planned to tear down the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in order to build a Jewish temple on their ruins.27 In 19289, the Mufti again appealed to Islam in order to oppose Jewish efforts to bring benches and partitions to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He repeated his accusation that the Jews were trying to destroy the Muslim holy sites, and, as in 1920, his words incited violence against Jews.28 In 1931, al-Husseini convened a General Islamic Conference in Jerusalem that was attended by Muslim figures from twenty-two countries, including his close friend, the future secretary-general of the Arab League Abd al-Rahman Azzam and the leading Egyptian Muslim intellectual Rashid Rida.29 The conference chose al-Husseini as its permanent president.30 In September 1937, in the midst of the Arab Revolt, al-Husseini organized an all-Arab conference in Bludan, Syria to rally opposition to the Peel Commissions partition plan. The conference was attended by 400 delegates, including 124 Palestinian Arabs. Al-Husseini was not able to attend and did not leave the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as he feared arrest by British authorities for his part in fomenting violence in Palestine. However, it did not stop the delegates from electing him honorary president of the conference.31 The election demonstrates the wide support al-Husseini enjoyed in Arab and Palestinian society. Elie Kedourie notes that quite a number of well-known personalities took part in its deliberations, thus giving its proceedings a semi-official cachet.32 In the Muftis absence, A Proclamation of the Grand Mufti to the Islamic World was read to the assembled delegates. This document, described by Jeffrey Herf33 and Matthias Kntzel34 as one of the foundational documents of twentieth-century Islamism, uses the Islamic traditionthe Quran, the biography of Muhammad (sira), and the sayings of Muhammad (hadith)to construct the basis for hatred and distrust of Jews qua Jews (not just Zionists). The proclamation begins as follows: Since the earliest days of their history, the Jews have been an oppressed people and there must be good reason for that.35 From the Egyptian Pharaohs to the Roman rulers of Syria and Palestine, rulers have felt compelled to drive the Jews out of their lands to ward off their evil ways and the diseases they introduce (which is the reason that the Jews to this day are called microbes.[note omitted]).36 Al-Husseini then observes that for that reason, the Arabs understand especially well when likewise energetic measures are undertaken in Germany against the Jews and they are driven off like mangy dogs.37 In his proclamation, al-Husseini traces the Muslim war with the Jews to the birth of Islam: The battle of Jews against Arabs is nothing new The Jews hate Muhammad and Islam The battle between the Jews and Islam began when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina and the Jews opposed him there and tried to discredit his teaching.38 According to the Quran (Sura 4:5152), they are the ones Allah has cursed, and whomever Allah curses, you will find no helper for him.39 The Mufti applies this Quranic teaching to the plight of the Jews in 1937: And it can be seen how this curse has come true. The Jews are scattered homeless across the entire world and nowhere do they find true help and support.40 Al-Husseini quotes the Quran, Sura 5:82, which states that the Jews and idolaters harbor the strongest hostility towards those who believe. He also introduces several sayings attributed to Muhammad by Muslim scholars: it will never be possible to see a Jew and a Muslim together without the Jew having a secret intent to destroy the Muslim, and the day of judgment will only come when the Muslims have dealt the Jews a crushing blow, when every stone and tree behind which a Jew has hidden, speaks to the Muslim: Behind me is a Jew. Strike him dead.41 In his peroration, the Mufti concludes: The verses from the Quran and hadith prove to you that the Jews have been the bitterest enemies of Islam and continue to try to destroy it. Do not believe them. They know only hypocrisy and guile Do not rest until your land is free of the Jews42 According to Matthias Kntzel, this speech was distributed in pamphlet form across the entire Arab world, and there is evidence that Nazi German agents helped with its production and distribution.43 In 1938, the Nazis published a German translation in Berlin.44 Jeffrey Herf observes that al-Husseinis 1937 Proclamation, written only four years after the Nazis rise to power and well before al-Husseinis arrival in Berlin, was not a result of the impact of an external force, Nazism, with Husseini a passive receptor. Husseinis text of 1937 and 1938 is evidence that Islamism as a distinct political ideology had begun to take shape as a result of his own intellectual labors and those of other Islamist radicals in the 1930s.45 It also shows that theologically-based anti-Jewish stereotypes and polemics are deeply rooted in the Islamic tradition, beginning with the life of Muhammad himself.46 The Islamic tradition provided the Mufti with ample material to demonize his Jewish opponents and transform the conflict over Palestine into a religious war. He did not need to learn antisemitism from his Nazi allies. As Schwanitz and Rubin have argued, it is wrong to see al-Husaini and his fellow radicals as merely importing European anti-Semitism or being influenced by the Nazis. The two groups ideas developed in parallel from their own histories and political cultures.47 The Muftis 1937 proclamation disproves Virginia Tilleys ill-informed assertion that the Islamic tendency is a recent and still minority twist for a [Palestinian] national movement that, through its first half-century, was overwhelmingly secular.48 It also disproves her equally incorrect claim that Arab rhetoric against the Jews is merely a response to the Jews as a rival national identity and, therefore, not antisemitic in the common sense of the term.49 The Muftis antisemitic rhetoric in 1937 also cannot be explained away as a reaction to the alleged misdeeds of the state of Israel that was established eleven years later. Finally, his audience represented a wide cross-section of Palestinian and Arab society. Therefore, his election as honorary president of the 1937 Bludan conference tells much about the world-view of Arab opponents of Zionism, which incorporated theologically-based anti-Semitism. In 1937, al-Husseini fled Palestine and went to Lebanon, and in 1939, to Iraq. Zvi Elpeleg recalls that in Baghdad, Haj Amin was welcomed by the leaders of the Iraqi regime with due ceremony and was cheered by the masses.[he] was now reaping the benefit of twenty years of efforts to involve the masses in the Arab world in the Palestinian issue, and to establish himself as protector of the holy sites and a pan-Arab and pan-Islamic leader.50 In Iraq he immediately joined with the pro-Nazi faction and began plotting a coup dtat which took place in 1941 with German assistance. In consequence, British forces invaded Iraq in order to regain control of the country and its valuable oil fields and pipelines.51 The Mufti was the driving force behind the effort to align Iraq with the Axis powers.52 There can be no doubt whatsoever that, but for the Muftis ceaseless political agitation, the coup in Iraq would not have occurred in the first place.53 As al-Husseini and the other conspirators fled before the advancing British troops, there was a massive anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad on June 1 and 2, 1941. One-hundred seventy-nine Jews were murdered and 586 shops and warehouses looted. A committee of inquiry later named Hajj Amin al-Husseini as one of the figures who had incited the riots. Indeed, al-Husseini identified the Jews of Iraq as a fifth column that had subverted the pro-Axis coup.54 Al-Husseini and his Iraqi accomplice, Rashid Ali al-Gailani, made their way from Iraq to Iran and then, via Italy, to Nazi Germany, and arrived in Berlin on November 6, 1941. The Mufti had been in contact with the Nazis for years. As early as 1933, right after Hitler became chancellor of Germany, al-Husseini reached out to the German consul in Jerusalem, assuring him that the Muslims inside and outside Palestine welcomed the new regime of Germany and hoped for the extension of the fascist, anti-democratic governmental system to other countries.55 During the Arab Revolt of 19369, al-Husseini received German funds and weapons. In fact, Nazi funding enabled him to continue the revolt in Palestine until 1939.56 In the summer of 1940, the Mufti sent a letter to Franz von Papen, the Nazi representative in Ankara, congratulating the Germans for their victory over France and soliciting further German support for the Arab cause.57 Osman Kemal Haddad, the Muftis private secretary, traveled to Berlin in August 1940, demanding recognition of the right of the Arab states to solve the Jewish questionfollowing the German-Italian model.58 Haddad was in Berlin again in February 1941, expressing the willingness of the Arab peoples to do their part in helping the Nazis defeat the English-Jewish coalition.59 We have noted that Al-Husseini and his Iraqi co-conspirators also received Nazi aid for their coup in Iraq in 1941. (It was only Hitlers preoccupation with the impending invasion of the Soviet Union that prevented more effective assistance.)60 Impressed by al-Husseinis charisma and his widespread support throughout the Arab world, by March 1941, the Nazis had decided that the primary political route to the Arab world should be via the Grand Mufti and his secretary.61 In May 1941, Hitler authorized the creation of a special military mission under the code name Sonderstab F to serve as a high-level headquarters for the entire Middle East, and this unit maintained contact with the Mufti and al-Gailani.62 Fawzi al-Qawuqji, who commanded the Arab Liberation Army in the 19478 war, served in this unit during World War II. 63 The other major commanders of anti-Zionist Arab guerrillas in 19478, Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, a relative and close associate of the Mufti, and Hasan Salama, also spent the war years in Nazi Germany.64 By July 1941, with a number of Arabs and Muslims in its ranks, Sonderstab F had established its headquarters at Cape Sounion near Athens.65 In the summer and fall of 1941, German strategists were planning the next phase of operations after the anticipated conquest of the Soviet Union, namely, the conquest of British forces and locations in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The utilization of the Arab independence movements, led and inspired above all by Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was to play an important role.66 German strategists were convinced that al-Husseini was the most important leader of the Arabs, and Hitler regarded him as the principal actor of the Middle East.67 In order to secure al-Husseinis cooperation, however, Hitler had to agree to certain basic conditions, one of which was the cessation of all Jewish emigration from Europe. The Mufti did not want any more Jews making their way to Palestine. On March 11, 1941, Hitler agreed to this condition.68 On October 31, 1941, the Nazis ended the legal emigration of Jews from German-ruled areas.69 Up until 1941, Hitler had seemed content to drive all the Jews out of Germany and German-occupied lands, often taking hefty ransom payments in the process.70 But Hajj Amin al-Husseini insisted that Hitler and the Nazis end this method of solving the Jewish question. Thus, mass murder became the final solution. This was the situation when the Grand Mufti met with Adolf Hitler in Berlin on November 28, 1941. The meeting lasted for an hour and thirty-five minutes. Hitler assured the Mufti that after defeating the Soviet forces, the Wehrmacht would wheel south through the Caucasus into Iraq and Iran and liberate the Arabs. Germanys objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power.71 Immediately after his meeting with al-Husseini, Hitler ordered Heydrich to organize a conference within ten days to prepare the final solution of the Jewish question. This was to be the infamous Wannsee Conference, which was postponed to January 1942 because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Germanys subsequent declaration of war on the United States.72 Rubin and Schwanitz summarize the Arab role in the Nazi choice of genocide for the Jews: It is logical to believe that the Holocaust was a decision based on fanatical ideology rather than on German self-interest. Of course, Hitlers virulent hatred of Jews and talk of wiping them out had begun in the 1920s. If al-Husaini or some counterpart had not existed, the Nazis would probably have acted in a similar fashion. But the influence of al-Husaini, al-Kailani, and their movements also reinforced, made more necessary, and accelerated a policy of genocide in Europe that the Axiss [Arab] partners intended to spread to the Middle East.73 By the summer of 1942, when Rommels Afrika Korps seemed poised to conquer Egypt and cross the Suez Canal, the Nazis already had completed secret preparations to deploy an SS Einsatzkommando, or mobile killing unit, to the Middle East and North Africa. The instructions to this unit were to take executive measures against the civilian population on its own authorityexactly the instructions given to the Einsatzkommando units that followed the Wehrmacht into the Soviet Union in 1941, where they began the wholesale massacre of Jews.74 The Einsatzkommando Egypt was deployed from Berlin to Athens on July 29, 1942 and waited for transfer to Africa under the command of SS officer Walter Rauff, one of the key officers responsible for the mass destruction of the Jews, the man in charge of the technical equipment for the Einsatzgruppen in the Soviet Union.75 This unit was to be deployed first in Egypt and then, after the conquest of Egypt, in neighboring Palestine, where they would doubtless have been engaged first and foremost in the mass murder of the Jewish population.[note omitted]76 The Einsatzgruppen in Eastern Europe relied heavily on the support of local collaborators. The Nazis had good reason to expect extensive help from such collaborators across the Arab world because as numerous reports had long attested, a vast number of Arabs, in some cases already well organized, were ready to serve as willing accomplices of the Germans in the Middle East.77 German and Western intelligence services reported high levels of pro-Nazi sentiment throughout the Arab world, including Palestine, where the extra-ordinarily pro-German attitude of the Arabs was due primarily to the fact that they hope Hitler will come to drive out the Jews.78 The Mufti, al-Gailani, and Fawzi al-Qawuqji were actively assisting General Felmy, the commander of Sonderstab F at Cape Sounion near Athens, mainly in recruiting of Arabs.79 Al-Husseini also was planning the extermination of the Jews of Palestine and met with Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann for briefings on Germanys solution to the European Jewish question. They secured a promise from Himmler that an advisor from Eichmanns Jewish Affairs department would travel with him to Jerusalem after the conquest of Palestine in order to extend the final solution to that country.80 In 1942, al-Husseini and al-Gailani encouraged their associates to attend Nazi training courses to become proficient in genocide and, therefore, three of al-Gailanis and one of the Muftis associates visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in July 1942. The Nazi officer who led the tour reported that the Arabs were extremely interested in the treatment of Jews at Sachsenhausen.81 Only the defeat of the German army both by the British at El-Alamein and by the USSR in the late summer and fall of 1942 saved the Jews of Palestine and Egypt from extermination.82 Al-Husseini and his pro-Nazi Arab colleagues made other significant contributions to the Nazi war effort and the Holocaust. Jeffrey Herf has meticulously documented the role of the Mufti. According to transcripts from the U.S. State Department archives, al-Husseini was deeply involved in writing and broadcasting Arabic-language pro-Nazi propaganda via leaflets and short-wave radio broadcasts to the Middle East and North Africa. Together with other Arab expatriates, he crafted an enormous body of viciously anti-Semitic propaganda for the Nazis based almost entirely on Islamic sources, above all the Quran and the traditional biography and sayings of Muhammad.83 This propaganda included outright incitement to genocide: Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion.84 The Mufti openly informed his Arab audience that the Nazis had set about annihilating them [the Jews] before it was too late. History will record this action as one of the wisest steps ever taken.85 The world will never be at peace until the Jewish race is exterminated The Jews are the germs which have caused all the trouble in the world.86 The Jews have been the enemy of the Arabs and of Islam since its emergence.87 Tolerance toward the Jews was a stupid plan and a shameful crime against the fatherland and the only legitimate policy was the expulsion of all the Jews from all Arab and Muslim countries. This is the only remedy. It is what the Prophet did thirteen centuries ago.88 The Muftis call for murder and ethnic cleansing would not fall on deaf ears. After 1948, 850,000 Jews were violently driven from Arab lands, stripped of their property and passports. 89 By one estimate, the Jews forced out of just three countriesIraq, Egypt, and Moroccowere dispossessed of land that was more than five times the size of modern Israel.90 (Hajj Amin al-Husseini complained that the Arabs were allowing the Jews to escape alive and again called for liquidation not emigration.)91 The Mufti also played a central role in recruiting Muslims from Bosnia, Albania, and the USSR to serve in Nazi military units and supervised the training of their Muslim chaplains.92 Whenever Al-Husseini learned of efforts to secure the release of Jews from European countries under Nazi control, in exchange for ransom or for the release of Germans stranded abroad at the outbreak of war, he intervened forcefully to prevent the escape of the Jews (including children).93 In his letters to Nazi officials objecting to such exchanges, he proposed that the Jews be sent where they will be placed under strict control, e.g. Poland.94 The Mufti was well aware of the fate of the Jews in Poland. In his memoirs, he admits that his friend Heinrich Himmler had told him in the summer of 1943 that the Nazis already had liquidated some three million Jews.95 As one German official noted, the Mufti was a sworn enemy of the Jews and made no secret that he would rather see them all killed.96 Working with the Nazis, Hajj Amin al-Husseini spread his openly genocidal antisemitic propaganda in Arabic in millions of leaflets and short-wave radio broadcasts from 1942 until 1945. However, it did not turn him into a pariah after the war. In fact, upon his return to the Arab world (specifically, Egypt) in the summer of 1946, he was hailed by the masses as a hero. Pressure from his old friend, Abd al-Rahman Azzam, secretary-general of the Arab League, persuaded Western governments not to prosecute him for war crimes.97 The Husseini clan and its political party, the Palestine Arab Party (PAP), agitated for his return and effectively canonized him for his wartime activities. According to Jeffrey Herf, for the PAP, the Muftis wartime activities were a source of pride, not of shame.98 Quoting from an official report by American diplomats on the state of public opinion in Palestine as of November 1945, Herf writes as follows: Officials in the American Embassy in Cairo commented on the PAPs prominence. They regarded the party as the most active political organization in the country and [one that] retains the allegiance of the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs. The PAP profited from the great respect and esteem which Hajj Amin al-Husayni enjoys in all levels of society and gave no indication that it wanted or needed unity with other parties or factions. It continued to be the most extreme of all parties in its uncompromising fight against Zionism, never accepting that Jews had any rights in Palestine, and was doing all it could to have Jamal al-Husayni [the Muftis brother and loyal ally]and Hajj Amin al-Husayni returned to lead the Arab cause.99 Herf draws the obvious conclusion. By November 1945, Palestinian Arabs were well aware of the Muftis views, both from his activities and writings in Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s and from his Nazi radio broadcasts and leaflets. Yet, far from bringing his political career to an end, Husseinis wartime actions contributed to his appeal in the postwar years.100 Zvi Elpeleg makes the same point: Haj Amins popularity among the Palestinian Arabs and within the Arab states actually increased more than ever during his period with the Nazis. When he returned to the Middle East from Europe, Arab leaders hurried to greet him, and the masses welcomed him enthusiastically.101 According to Bernard Lewis, in post-1945 Egypt and other Arab lands, a pro-Nazi past was a source of pride, not shame.102 When al-Husseini appeared in Cairo in May and June 1946, U.S. Ambassador Pinkney Tuck observed that the warm welcome was widespread and genuine.103 Klaus Gensicke speaks of the waves of enthusiasm that shook the Arab world on his arrival in Egypt.104 Meir Litvak and Esther Webman note that when the news of his [al-Husseinis] arrival [in Cairo] broke, it aroused a wave of sympathy and enthusiasm, manifested in numerous press articles and pilgrimage to his home.105 The German historian Gudrun Krmer writes as follows: even after the fall of the Third Reich [the Muftis] known involvement with Nazi Germany did not discredit him in the eyes of most Arab nationalists in Palestine and beyond.106 Especially profuse in his postwar praise of the Mufti was Hassan al-Banna, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members were engaged in inciting pogroms against the Jews of Egypt at this time.107 Indeed, al-Banna appointed al-Husseini leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, albeit in absentia, since British authorities would not allow him to enter Palestine.108 With the support of the Arab League Secretary-General Azzam, Hajj Amin al-Husseini resumed his position as the head of the Arab Higher Committee, the official body representing the Arabs of Palestine.109 In fact, the Arab League made sure that the new AHC was composed only of the Husseinis and their allies, with Hajj Amin as president and his brother Jamal as deputy president. According to Benny Morris, the more moderate Palestinian Arabs, led by the Nashashibi clan, were left out in the cold.110 Al-Husseini continued to reject any compromise with the Zionists that might have averted war. The Mufti bluntly stated that, as soon as the British forces were withdrawn, the Arabs should with one accord fall on the Jews and destroy them.[note omitted]111 In March 1948, he told an interviewer in a Jaffa newspaper that the Arabs did not intend merely to prevent partition but would continue fighting until the Zionists were annihilated and the whole of Palestine became a purely Arab state.112 According to Rubin and Schwanitz, once al-Husaini was allowed to reestablish himself as unchallengeable leader of the Palestinian Arabs, this ensured that no compromise or two-state solution would be considered, while making certain that Arab leaders would be intimidated and driven to war.113 The secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam, a friend and champion of the Mufti, was equally recalcitrant. He rejected compromise and insisted that the fate of Palestine would only be settled on the battlefield. You will achieve nothing with talk of compromise or peace, Azzam told UN and Zionist diplomats in 1947. For us, there is only one test, the test of strength.114 In October 1947, Azzam was quoted in an Egyptian newspaper as predicting that the impending war over Palestine will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre.115 Azzam elsewhere reportedly predicted We will sweep them into the sea, a phrase also used by AHC representative Izzedine Shawa.116 Given this background, it is hardly surprising that fear of another Holocaust was a major motive driving Zionist forces to fight in 19478.117 Zionist leaders were well aware that Hajj Amin al-Husseini had supported Hitler and the final solution.118 The Jews of Palestine were outnumbered by Arabs two-to-one within Palestine and by a much larger factor if Arabs outside of Palestine are counted. Most Palestinian Arabs revered someone who had openly called for genocide against Jewsall Jewsand who rejected any compromise regarding Palestine. Furthermore, Hajj Amin al-Husseini had the support of at least three important Arab militia commanders who were fellow collaborators with the Nazis: Fawzi al-Qawuqji, Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, and Hassan Salama. Since the Muftis arrival in Cairo in 1946, they had been planning their campaigns against the Jews of Palestine.119 The secretary-general of the Arab League had made openly genocidal statements and also rejected compromise. According to Benny Morris, at the outset of the war, Zionist leaders could not know or guess how poorly the Arabs would organize for war or how incompetently and disunitedly their armies would perform. The Jews of Palestine were genuinely fearful of the outcome and the Haganah chiefs assessment on 12 May [1948] of a fifty-fifty chance of victory or survival was sincere and typical.120 The phrase victory or survival is telling. Only victory would ensure survival for the Jews, given the nature and intentions of their enemy. Despite this dire situation, there was no Zionist plan for the systematic ethnic cleansing of Arabs, as Omar Barghouti falsely claims.121 In fact, as we have shown above, the plan for ethnic cleansing in Palestine in 19478 was an Arab plan, not a Zionist one. The Zionist forces won the war of 19471949 at great cost. About one percent of the Jewish population was killed and two percent seriously wounded.122 For the United States today, comparable casualties in a war would mean about nine-and-a-half million Americans killed or maimed. A war that inflicted such casualties on the United States would be cataclysmic, a war for national survival. As such, it would also leave a psychological mark on American society that would last for generations. Thus, it has been for Israel. The victory of the Zionists notwithstanding, the Mufti continued to enjoy great prestige throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds. His bitter feud with King Abdullah of Jordan, however, meant that he never received the full backing of the Arab League. Nonetheless, the Arab League acceded to his demand for a Palestinian government. In July 1948, the League announced the formation of an All-Palestine Government. In September 1948, Hajj Amin al-Husseini was placed at the head of this government, his brother Jamal al-Husseini was named foreign minister, and another Husseini was made defense minister.123 In September and October 1948, al-Husseini presided over the meeting of this government in Gaza, where he received an enthusiastic welcome from the local residents and refugees.124 The Palestinian Arabs in attendance included heads of local municipalities, members of the national committees, religious and community leaders, tribal leaders and important professional figures. Calling itself the Palestinian National Council, this body unanimously chose al-Husseini as its president and approved the Husseini-dominated All-Palestine Government by a vote of sixty-four to eleven. It also signed the declaration of Palestines independence.125 Inter-Arab feuding and power politics would prevent this government from ever functioning, although it existed nominally until the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964. However, the historical record is clear. When given the chance, the Palestinian Arab community chose as its first leader a proponent of genocide and known Nazi collaborator who neither had renounced his past nor changed his opinions. This government was recognized by six Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.126 Hajj Amins unsavory past did not prevent him from being welcomed repeatedly as a pan-Islamic leader. In 1951, he participated in a World Islamic Congress in Karachi, Pakistan. The congress elected him its president. He attended further Islamic congresses there and his popularity soared in Pakistan.127 During the 1950s, he maintained his connections with armed cells and dispatched terrorists to attack inside Israel, thereby increasing his popularity in Arab countries.128 In 1955, he attended the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in order to encourage support for the Palestinian cause in the developing world. This conference of Asian and African nations was an important step toward creating the non-aligned bloc of nations that has become extremely important to the Palestinian cause at the UN. At Bandung, the Mufti met Chou En-Lai of Red China, who assured him of Chinas support for his anti-colonial struggle.129 In 1954, a year before the Bandung Conference, Hajj Amin published a series of articles in an Egyptian newspaper. These essays later were published as a book which went through at least three printings. There he repeated the same propaganda that he had broadcast during and after World War II: Our battle with World Jewryis a question of life or death, a battle between two conflicting faiths, each of which can exist only on the ruins of the other.130 The Jews intend to rebuild the Jewish templeon the site of the blessed al-Aqsa mosque.131 The Jews brought about Germanys defeat in World War I. This is the main reason for Hitlers war against the Jews and for his strong antipathy towards them. Germanys revenge against the Jews was harsh, and it annihilated millions of them during the Second World War.132 The Jews were behind the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.133 The Jews have a specific character, the Jewish character that has been their essence since the beginning of their existence. This character is one of the main reasons for their failure throughout their history, and it has caused people to hate and persecute them. One of the most conspicuous aspects of the Jewish character is their excessive arrogance and selfishness There is no end to their greedthey have no mercy and they are known for their malicethey do not attribute any significance to others and do not recognize the rights of others. Therefore nations throughout history have despaired of living with them.134 Reconciliation with the Jews is suicidal for the Arab nation. Peace with the Jews willenable the Jews to expand the borders of their country by annexing vast areas of Arab countries, which they strive to control Through the political and economic ties that the Jews are attempting to form with the Arabs, in times of peace they will spread ideas and principles that contradict the spirit of Islam and Arab civilizationtime and experience have proved that the Jews have no respect for agreements and accords.135 The open expression of these views in the Egyptian press was regarded as acceptable by Egyptian publishers in the mid-to-late 1950s. It did not harm the Muftis standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds. As noted above, it did not prevent him from being welcomed by the African and Asian leaders in Bandung in 1955. It did not prevent the new leaders of Iraq, after the coup of 1958, from welcoming the Mufti repeatedly as an honored guest in Baghdad.136 In May 1962, Hajj Amin served as head of the World Islamic Congress in Baghdad. In the opening speech he issued a call to fight Zionism, which, he alleged, aspired to conquer all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates.137 In October 1962, he headed an official Palestinian delegation to Algeria to participate in Algerian independence celebrations.138 In the early 1960s, he organized Islamic conferences in Saudi Arabia and Somalia.139 Most remarkably, King Hussein of Jordan welcomed Hajj Amin to Jordan in March 1967 and allowed him to come to Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where he was welcomed by the local shaikhs and cheered by the mass of worshippers.140 King Hussein allowed Hajj Amin back in Jordan in 1967, where he headed two successive conferences in Amman, a World Islamic Congress on September 16 and a Muslim-Christian Conference on September 18. These conferences condemned the barbaric and inhuman acts being perpetrated by the Zionists and their desecration of the holy places.141 As late as 1968, Hajj Amin was receiving funds from Saudi Arabia.142 In the last year of his life, 1974, he was invited to attend a summit conference of Islamic countries in Lahore, Pakistan. For many years, Hajj Amin had been the central figure at extra-governmental Islamic congresses. At the 1974 Lahore gathering, however, Yassir Arafat, a new Palestinian leader took the spotlight.143 On December 29, 1968, at a meeting at his home in Beirut, the Grand Mufti anointed Arafat as his successor.144 By late 1968, Arafat was about to take over the PLO. But Arafat would be all the more secure if he received the seventy-oneyear-old al-Husainis endorsement. Al-Husaini gave it after lecturing Arafat for several hours on how he should go about destroying Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian Arab state.[note omitted]145 Arafat and al-Husseini would eventually disagree about tactics,146 but the former was in the front row of mourners at alHusseinis funeral in 1974, where he arrived with tears in his eyes.147 At the funeral, the presence of PLO members was especially conspicuous.148 PLO tributes to the deceased Grand Mufti were effusive in their praise of the great Palestinian leader, the imam of the Palestinians.149 The tributes did not end with the funeral, as Zvi Elpeleg reports: On the fortieth day after his death, a memorial was held in Haj Amins honor in the Islamic faculty of the Jordanian University in Amman. [King] Husayn directed the Prime Minister, Zaid al-Rifaai, to represent him at the memorial, and the eulogy was delivered by his advisor, Abd al-Munim alRifaai. The Jordanian authorities did their utmost to make the memorial an impressive occasion.150 The tributes continue to the present day. On January 4, 2013, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority spoke at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the Fatah party and praised the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Hajj Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, describing him as a martyr and a pioneer.151 (This is akin to a German chancellor in 2013 praising Adolf Hitler as a martyr and pioneer.) Praising and emulating the Mufti continues in other ways as well. Palestinian leaders across the ideological spectrum and Islamists of all stripes and nationalities continue to use the vitriolic, paranoid, antisemitic rhetoric of the Grand Mufti, including frequent incitement to genocide.152 For example, at a rally commemorating the anniversary of the founding of Fatah, held in January 2012, the current Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Hussein, the highest Muslim religious official in the Palestinian Authority, appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, was introduced with these words: Our war with the descendants of apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith. The current Mufti proceeded to quote a saying of Muhammad which was one of Hajj Amins favorites: The Hour [of resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. This event was broadcast on Palestinian Authority TV. In his sermons at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the current Mufti has been known to describe the Jews as enemies of Allah.153 In May 2013, Mufti Muhammad Hussein accused the Israeli authorities of planning to build a Jewish temple on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosqueanother of al-Husseinis stock accusations against the Jews.154 On July 24, 2014, in an interview on PA TV, Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub said that it was the behavior of the Jews that led the Nazis to massacre them.155On March 12, 2013, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki spoke on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel, as follows: Those Israelis have no religion and no principles. They are nothing but advanced tools for evil.in my view, Allah will gather them so that we can kill them.156 On May 13, 2005, the official Palestinian Authority TV station aired a Friday mosque sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris in which he argued that throughout history, rulers, including Hitler, have had to expel the Jews because of their corruption and that the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS.157 In January 2013 and in November 2014, the official PA television station ran a documentary that made the following statement, echoing the Muftis 1937 Proclamation to the Muslim World: Faced with the Jews schemes, Europe could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and control (In 1290 King Edward I issued a decree banishing the Jews [from England].) Following him were France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Spain, and Italy. The European nations felt that they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews. Later the Jews obtained the Balfour Declaration, and Europe saw it as an ideal solution to get rid of them.158 The Palestinian group that most clearly reflects the world-view of Hajj Amin al-Husseini is Hamas, the name taken in 1987 by the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hajj Amin belonged to the Brotherhood and actively supported it throughout his life.159 As German political scientist Matthias Kntzel has pointed out, Hamas is truly the ideological heir to Hajj Amin al-Husseini in the Palestinian community.160 The Hamas Covenant or Charter (1988) is replete with the antisemitic themes emphasized by Hajj Amin: Palestine is a sacred Islamic endowment (waqf) that belongs only to Muslims and every inch must be liberated from the Zionists (articles 11, 14, 15); there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad; peace talks and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce (article 13); there is an international Jewish conspiracy, comprising the Freemasons and the Rotary and Lions Clubs, that controls the world media and finance. This group was the cause of both world wars and the collapse of the Islamic Caliphate, controls the UN, and is behind all wars wherever they occur (articles 17, 22, 28, 32); the Zionist plan knows no limits and seeks to conquer from the Nile to the Euphrates and beyond (article 32); the Zionist conspiracy is behind all types of trafficking in drugs and alcohol and aims to break societies, undermine values,create moral degeneration, and destroy Islam (article 28). The Hamas Covenant cites the hadith about killing the Jews hiding behind rocks and trees that al-Husseini included in his 1937 appeal to the Muslim world (article 7). It also invokes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (article 32). 161 Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has asserted in speeches and in a book that the Jews have deserved and provoked all the persecutions and expulsions that they have suffered, e.g. at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh, European Christians, and Adolf Hitler. Al-Zahar has the following message for the Jews: There is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed for annihilation.162 The claim that the Jews deserved the Holocaust has in fact become common among Islamists.163 Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, easily one of the most admired and best-known representatives of Sunni Islam today,164 regarded as the highest religious authority by Hamas and the global Muslim Brotherhood,165 has also asserted that Hitler meted out divinely sanctioned punishment upon the Jews and has called for Muslims to impose a similar punishment, calling openly for genocide (kill them, down to the very last one).166 Qaradawi has also said that the Jews of today bear responsibility for their forefathers crime against Jesus.167 He has presented detailed Islamic legal justification for indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians, in effect, a shariah-based case for genocide.168 In 2010, on official Hamas television, Hamas Deputy Minister for Religious Endowments, Abdallah Jarbu, denied the humanity of the Jews, described them as microbes, and called upon Allah to annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.169 Writer Mukhlis Barzaq, a member of Hamas, stated that the fate of the Jews should be complete killing, total extermination and eradicating perdition. Even in Hamas childrens publication, al-Fatih, one may find the prayer: O God, exterminate the Jews the tyrannical usurpers.170 On May 2, 2014, a childrens program on official Hamas television featured the host interviewing a little girl who said she wished to be a police officer when she grows up, so that I can shoot Jews. The host responded: All the Jews? All of them? She replied: Yes. The host remarked: Good.171 In her study of Hamas leaflets published in its first five years (19871992), Esther Webman notes many themes that also may be found in the writings and speeches of Hajj Amin al-Husseini.172 Many more examples of extreme Jew-hatred from Hamas officials and media outlets could be adduced, including incitement of genocide.173 After the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945, West German society began a painful and ongoing process of self-examination and self-criticism, referred to in German as Vergangenheitsbewltigung, roughly translatable as overcoming the past. It means dealing honestly with the past in order to do better in the future.174 German politicians, teachers, scholars, journalists, and religious leaders came to understand the importance of fighting traditional negative stereotypes of Jews, Gypsies and other minority groups. They insisted upon rigorous standards of evidence in journalism and academic research in order to avoid irrational conspiracy theories and took students to concentration camps, which were preserved as memorials and museums. The teaching of history in German schools did not evade an honest presentation of a shameful past. One may fault the de-Nazification process for not going far enough, but at the very least, the ex-Nazis who survived the war and went on to make successful careers in German society could no longer openly espouse Nazi ideas. If they did so, they faced exposure and ostracism. Historian Jeffrey Herf has noted a striking contrast between Arab and German societies after 1945. He points out the example of ex-Nazi official Kurt Georg Kiesinger, who resumed his career and even became the chancellor of West Germany in 1966. Herf notes that his success as a politician presupposed that he had publicly abandoned his convictions of the Nazi era and did not advocate either violent anti-Semitism or dictatorship. In contrast, according to Herf, after the war Haj Amin el-Husseini , unlike Kiesinger, did not change his views. Moreover, he did not have to change them as a precondition for continued political prominence.175 More important, Palestinian, Arab and Islamic societies obviously saw nothing wrong with his persona or his world-view.176 In fact, Rubin and Schwanitz note that after World War II the Middle East was the region that was most receptive to Nazis fleeing prosecution in Europe. Some four thousand Nazis found refuge there, while between 180 and 800 escaped to Latin America. Only in the Middle East were Nazis able to continue their careers in government, the military, and propaganda work177 without renouncing their past or changing their opinions. Hajj Amin was not an exception. The Palestinians mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article may not share the world-view of Hamas and Hajj Amin al-Husseini, but their dishonesty or ignorance regarding Arab and Palestinian history is symptomatic of a society that neither grasps the vital importance of Vergangenheitsbewltigung nor undertakes the hard work that it entails. The following examples show the difficulty of facing the past in Arab society: Hamas won the Palestinian Authority elections in 2006 and continues to have great support in Palestinian society despite (or because of ?) its violent Jew-hatred and complete rejection of peaceful compromise with Israel. As of July 2014, 35 percent of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza had a favorable opinion of Hamas (and 32 percent in Lebanon, 39 percent in Jordan, 38 percent in Egypt).178 While these figures do not represent a majority, they indicate a large minority. (By comparison, 35 percent of American voters identify as Democrats and 28 percent as Republicans.)179 According to public opinion polls in late August 2014, Hamas actually was favored to win both presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. Moreover, a majority of West Bankers support the use of the violent methods of Hamas in Gaza in the West Bank as well.180 As of late September 2014, polls continued to show a Hamas lead over Fatah in both hypothetical presidential and legislative elections.181 This may be compared to polls showing the Nazi Party winning elections in Germany in August and September 2014.182 Hamas leaders remain honored guests in Muslim countries such as Turkey and Qatar. Indeed, according to Ely Karmon, ever since Turkey invited the Hamas leadership to Ankara back in 2006, Turkeys leadership has neither criticized Hamas violent activities nor succeeded in influencing its strategy, whilst protesting loudly Israels retaliatory actions.183 In the fall of 2012, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal attended the annual convention of President Recep Tayyip Erdogans ruling party in Ankara, where he received a standing ovation.184 The Muslim Brotherhood won the elections in Egypt after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Its teachings are an amalgam of totalitarian, anti-Western and antisemitic ideas and its website published the statement in May 2011: All the nations have dealt with the [ Jewish] character in the same manner: by excising this tumor that has harmed all of humanity.185 Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi continues to attract a large audience throughout the Muslim world and his popular show (boasting 60 million viewers)186 on the Al Jazeera network called upon Muslims to punish the Jews as Hitler did, and invoked Allah to kill them, down to the very last one. In the same January 2013 speech honoring Hajj Amin al-Husseini as a pioneer, PA President Mahmoud Abbas also praised two of the original founders of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, as well as the founder of the Iranian-aligned Islamic Jihad, Fathi Shikaki as our fortunate martyrs.187 On March 2, 2012, Abbas, who frequently is called a moderate, was asked how there could be true reconciliation between Hamas and his Fatah party if one of the parties does not change its ideology. Abbas answered that there are no ideological differences between them.188 Indeed, the various reconciliation agreements between Hamas and Fatah have never required Hamas to alter its ideology or propaganda. In 2014, Professor Mohammed Dajani of Al-Quds University visited Auschwitz with a group of Palestinian and Israeli students as part of an effort to foster Israeli-Palestinian understanding. (The Israeli students also visited Palestinian refugee camps.) As a consequence of his visit to Auschwitz, Professor Dajani was subjected to abuse, intimidation, and death threats from his fellow Palestinians, and resigned from his university post.189 If this is what happens to a Palestinian educator who merely tries to teach about Nazi war crimes, what would happen to one who spoke honestly about Palestinian and Arab complicity in the Holocaust? The treatment of Professor Dajani is not surprising. As Robert Wistrich has noted, Palestinians and other Arabs have rarely if ever criticized the Muftis complicity in the Holocaust.190 This paper has presented sufficient evidence to refute the common Palestinian argument, stated by Omar Barghouti, that Palestiniansand Arabs more generallybear no responsibility whatsoever for the Holocaust. In fact, we have shown that Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the most influential and popular leader among the Palestinian Arabs from 1920 through 1949, played an important role in the Holocaust that in no way diminished his standing among the Arab and Palestinian masses after 1945. Had Rommel defeated the British in Egypt in 1942, or had Hajj Amin al-Husseini sufficient forces to defeat the Zionists in 19471948, there is no question that many Palestinian Arabs would have participated in a massacre of the Jews of Palestine. Moreover, the widespread adoption of Hajj Amin al-Husseinis antisemitic rhetoric by Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim leaders shows another kind of complicity in the Holocaust. When Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders say that Hitler gave the Jews the punishment they deserved, they are vicariously participating in and endorsing the Holocaust. When they deny the humanity of the Jews, or refer to Jews as sub-humans (brothers of pigs and monkeys, microbes), or identify the Jews as the source of all corruption on earth, or assert that the Jews are out to destroy Islam, they provide a warrant for genocide. Scholars of genocide note that dehumanizing language is one of the early stages of genocide. According to expert Gregory Stanton, denial of the humanity of others is the step that permits killing with impunity.191 Stanton also observes that the Genocide Convention identifies incitement to commit genocide as a punishable offense alongside of genocide itself.192 From Hajj Amin al-Husseini in the 1930s to the leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood today, dehumanization of Jews and public incitement of genocide have become rhetorical staples of Palestinian and Arab society. Jeffrey Herf has pointed out that Hajj Amin al-Husseinis world-view made him a true comrade in arms and ideological soul mate of Hitler. Their meeting on November 28, 1941 was not a clash of civilizations but a meeting of hearts and minds, and a convergence from different starting points.193 The rhetoric of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood shows that these groups share the same world-view of al-Husseini that made the latter fond of Hitler. Hence, Hamas and the Brotherhood are also Hitlers ideological soul mates. World-views matter: Hitlers world-view led to war and genocide.194 There is no reason to expect less from Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and similar Islamist groups (Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba,195etc.). The fact that Germany largely overcame its Nazi past after 1945 was an essential step toward reassuring its neighbors that it was no longer a military threat and made it possible for Germany eventually to be integrated into NATO and the European Union, thereby ensuring the peace and security of the continent. Similarly, a more honest and self-critical approach to their own history and culture on the part of Palestinians and Arabs is a necessary condition for peace with their Jewish neighbors. The rhetoric of the Mufti in the 1930s and 1940s shows that Palestinian Arab hostility to the Zionist project was not based simply on a principled defense of the right of national self-determination but on a visceral hatred for Jews. The persistence of such hatred in Palestinian society has done much to undermine efforts at reconciliation and the peace process and has persuaded many Israeli Jews that they have no real partner for peace on the Palestinian side. New York Times correspondent Steven Erlanger has noted perceptively that the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in 2014 is really just another round in the unresolved Arab-Israeli War of 194849.196 If we pay careful attention to the ideology, rhetoric, and objectives of Israels enemy in Gaza, it is clear that they are identical to those of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the ideological soulmate of Adolf Hitler who led the Palestinians to war in 1948. * * * Notes

Fair Usage Law

July 2, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

New German law curbs hate speech, including Holocaust denial, on social networks – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

BERLIN (JTA) Germanys top Jewish leader has praised a new lawdesigned to curb hate speech and libel on social networks. The German Parliament passed the lawFriday, in the Bundestags lastmeeting before its summer break. It requires Internet platforms likeFacebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove material with obviouslyillegal content and fake defamatory newswithin 24 hoursof itshaving been reported. Previously, illegal material was reported butdid not have to be removed. The new law places the onus on the social media platforms to removethe material or be subjected to heavy fines, reportedly of up to about $56million. Heiko Maas, Germanys Federal Minister of Justice, who had submittedthe proposed law for consideration in March, said the Internet wouldnow be held to the same legal standards as other printed material. A study had shown that major social mediaplatforms were slow to react to reported illegal content includingslander and incitement to hate, as well as Holocaust denial andglorification of National Socialism, all of which are illegal inGermany. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, praised the new network law as a strong instrument against online hatespeech, and added that an evaluation period would help determine its efficacy. In an official statement, he noted that social media has become ahotbed of anti-Semitic incitement, which is easily spread worldwide.Since platform operators generally failed to stick to agreements of a voluntary nature, this law is the logical consequence. Criticism of the law came from legislators from the Left Party and theGreens, who said they worried about granting Internet companies thepower to set the boundaries for free speech online. But Schuster said in his statement that curbing hate speech againstminorities or religious groups has nothing to do with freedom ofexpression. The Internet must not become a free space. World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer had also supported Maas proposed law. The Bundestag also passed a law that holds customers and notproviders responsible for downloading illegal music that comesthrough their servers.

Fair Usage Law

July 2, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed


Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."