For the sake of peace, Palestinian Arabs must acknowledge their Nazi past

aminal-husaini

The Palestinian Arabs must acknowledge their participation in the Nazi project to annihilate Jews…

By Richard Mather…

During the 1920s and 1930s when the world was reeling from the shocks of the Great War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the ideological thinking of Adolf Hitler and Amin al-Husseini, the leader of the Arabs in Palestine, developed along similar lines, converging with the establishment of the Nazi death camps and the mass murder of Jews.

Following Hitler’s rise to power, al-Husseini was a frequent guest of the Nazis. He made his first approach to the German consul in Jerusalem in 1933. His objectives, as he explained on many occasions to German officials, was to accomplish the final solution of the so-called Jewish problem everywhere. Assurances and promises were given on both sides. In 1937, al-Husseini called on Muslims to rise up against Jews. His 1936–39 Arab rebellion in Palestine was funded and weaponised by the Nazis.

Arab Muslims were quick to ally themselves with Hitler. They used guns and bullets provided and paid for by the Nazis to kill Jews. They attended pro-Hitler marches and rallies. They wrote him fan mail and celebrated his birthday. Hitler himself acknowledged the ideological overlap between Nazism and Islam. Tragically for the Jews, Hitler’s overtures towards the Arabs and the latter’s admiration of Hitler was the platform on which Germans and Arabs built their shared vision of a world without Judaism.

Al-Husseini sought and achieved German backing to eradicate the Jewish people in the Middle East. But his ambitions weren’t restricted to that part of the world. He created a Muslim Waffen-SS unit in Bosnia and visited the Nazi camps in Europe. He also personally intervened to ensure the prevention of Jewish children fleeing Europe for British Palestine. Indeed, the symbiotic relationship between Jews fleeing Europe and the creation of a Jewish sanctuary in Palestine was a nightmare for al-Husseini who wanted the eradication of Jews everywhere. Indeed, he was so paranoid about the possibility of a single Jew living in British Palestine that he wanted his own Nazi death camp in Nablus. (If Hitler had won the war in Europe, al-Husseini would probably have been responsible for implementing the Final Solution in Palestine, with the local Arabs operating the gas chambers. Fast forward to 2015 and you still hear the call to genocide. When Palestinians and their BDS supporters chant that “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea,” they are calling for the mass murder of millions of Israeli Jews.)

After World War Two, the Germans apologised for their central role in the Shoah and made reparations. By contrast, the Arabs never repented. Instead, they vowed to continue Hitler’s mission by invading Israel in 1947-49, 1967 and 1973. Egypt gave sanctuary to several Nazi war criminals who worked with the Egyptian government in a demented effort to destroy the new Jewish state. Hamas’ charter reads like a Nazi tract, with its bizarre conspiracy theories and the desire to kill every Jew in the world. (Hamas, of course, is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has its roots in Nazism.) And the fact that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf are wildly popular in the so-called Palestinian Territories speaks volumes about the long-held Arab penchant for Nazi ideas, tropes and images.

Whereas the Allies deNazified Germany after the war, nobody – not even Israel – got round to deNazifying the Arabs. The Americans and the British broke Germany and Japan and successfully rebuilt those countries. The same should have been done to the Arab regimes that supported the Nazis. Western failure to deal with Arab fascism has been catastrophic. Pan-Arab nationalism, Islamism and Palestinian terrorism are the monstrous offspring of Islam and fascism. The current leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is a Holocaust revisionist. His appointment is symbolic of the West’s post-war mistakes. Can you imagine a twenty-first century leader of Germany expressing doubt about the Holocaust? He or she would be hounded out of office, not acclaimed as a partner for peace.

Palestinian Arabs who genuinely want an end to the conflict with Israel should consider putting down their guns and working with historians as part of a reconciliation process, a process in which they face up to their people’s historic involvement with the Nazis. There can be no trust between Jews and Arabs if the latter refuse to acknowledge their previous (and continuing) role in the genocide of the Jewish people. But recognition and security go hand in hand with truth and reconciliation. So in a gesture of goodwill, the Palestinian Arabs ought to reject the vision of a world without Jews and officially recognise Israel as a Jewish state – a state that has the right to exist within secure borders. Only then will the Palestinian Arabs have made some headway in repenting for their crimes against Jews.

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