Yad Vashem Gives Israeli Arabs Material Denying Nazis Ties Of Mufti
Aaron Lerner Date: 20 February 2003
IMRA asked Rachel Fadlon, Foreign Media Liaison at Yad Vashem, if the
material Yad Vashem is providing to the Israeli Arab representatives of
"From Memory to Peace" covers the Mufti of Jerusalem's ties to the Nazis.
"From Memory to Peace" is a group of Israeli Arab and Jewish public figures
who will be visiting Auschwitz.
Fadlon advised IMRA today that the group was provided with two articles that
each mention the Mufti in a few sentences. One was an article by a Lebanese
intellectual while the other was an article written by Israeli Arab MK Azmi
Bishara that was published in Zmanim, Summer 1995.
This is what Azmi Bishara wrote: "The Shoah and everything connected with it
are a European phenomenon... We as Arabs have no connection to it..the
Palestinian national movement at least once considered... making an alliance
with Nazi Germany.This alliance did not come to fruition."
As Elliott A Green notes in an article published in Midstream, (May-June
2001), this is far from the case.
"Bishara conveniently overlooks the fact that the Mufti was active in the
Nazi-fascist domain from November 1941 until the German defeat in May 1945.
The Germans put considerable sums at his disposal to maintain himself and
his entourage, which included other Palestinian Arabs from leading families,
and to set up offices called "Buro der Grossmufti." In return, Husseini made
propaganda broadcasts to the Arab world over Radio Berlin ("Kill Jews
wherever you find them"), recruited Arab troops (among Allied prisoners of
war) for an "Arab Legion," helped organize a Bosnian Muslim SS division
(notorious for atrocities in its own right against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies),
indoctrinated imams from the Soviet Union, and also broadcast in that
direction, exhorting Soviet Muslims to support the Nazis, which some of them
did by joining German-sponsored military units, and even the Einsatzgruppen.
In his discourse, Husseini explicitly identified Nazism with Islam. All of
this surely sounds like an alliance, despite Bishara's apologetics.
Significantly, Husseini urged the Germans to extend the Holocaust to Arab
lands. Concretely, he intervened several times with German and Italian
ministers and Axis satellite governments in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Rumania,
to prevent Jews from leaving the Axis domain. He specifically described
Jewish children as a danger and urged that they be sent to Poland, where, in
his words, they would be under "active supervision." It is likely (if not
certain) that he himself visited one or more murder camps, while documents
demonstrate that members of his entourage did so, escorted by SS officers.
So he was well aware of what happened to Jewish children sent to Poland.
After the war, the Mufti was enabled to return to the Middle East where he
was again acclaimed the leader of the Palestinian Arabs.
This information has long been available in English and Hebrew, etc., for
many years. Researchers who have written on the subject of Arab-Nazi
relations and the Arab-Holocaust nexus include Bernard Lewis, Lukasz
Hirszowicz, Elias Cooper, Daniel Carpi, Jenny Lebel, Joseph Schechtman,
Bartley Crum, and others. Nevertheless, Bishara claims, "We Arabs have no
connection to it" (the Holocaust), also ignoring the presence of other
prominent Arab nationalists in Berlin during the war.
The Palestinian Arab political leadership constituted in the Arab Higher
Committee for Palestine (led by Husseini) demanded throughout the 1930s an
end to aliyah --Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel, which the international
community had juridically erected as the Jewish National Home in 1920 at San
Remo, mandating Britain to implement it (League of Nations ratification
1922). The British violated their mandate by satisfying this Arab demand
with the 1939 White Paper severely restricting Jewish immigration to the
internationally designated Jewish National Home on the eve of Holocaust,
when no country wanted to take in more than a token number of Jewish
refugees, if any. The White Paper effectively doomed hundreds of thousands
if not millions of Jews to die in the Shoah. But Azmi Bishara sees no Arab
connection to the Holocaust. "
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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