The enemy of an enemy. . .
Just reading today about some of the links between the Nazis and the early Pan-Arabist movement. The ties are clear and pretty well-documented. After all, the word Iran translates to Aryan in English. I was interested to learn how far back the ties started.
One of the main collaborators was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and one of the PLO’s ancestors. This is the man whom Yasser Arafat referred to as his mentor and his guide. He was one of the first despots to seek a unified Arab presence (Pan-Arabist), which could be used to drive the Jews from the region. He was appointed Grand Mufti in 1921 and by the end of the 1930s he had effectively silenced any moderate Arab opinions in the territory of Palestine. In the 1940s, the Mufti traveled to Rome and Berlin, offering the services of the Arab nation to the war effort with the stipulation that they “recognize in principle the unity, independence, and sovereignty of an Arab state of a Fascist nature, including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Trans-Jordan (Jordan).” (1) In October 1941, the Nazi government issued a communication from Berlin in which they promised to help in the “elimination of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.” (2) After a personal meeting with Hitler, the Mufti began to work even more feverishly on behalf of the Nazi regime, even appearing on radio broadcasts to make his pleas heard:
“If, God forbid, England should be victorious, the Jews would dominate the world. England and her allies would deny the Arabs any freedom and independence, would strike the Arab fatherland to its heart, and would tear away parts of it to form a Jewish country whose ambition would not be limited to Palestine but would extend to other Arab countries. . .
But if on the other contrary, England loses and its allies are defeated, the Jewish question, which for us constitutes the greater danger, would finally be resolved.” (3)
But even this exhortation and bald-faced anti-semitism pales in comparison to his role in the Final Solution. During the Nuremberg trials, much of this information regarding the Mufti’s involvement came to light. A Nazi official, Wilhelm Melchers testified that Husseini wanted to see “all of them (the Jews) liquidated.” Adolf Eichmann’s deputy, Dieter Wisliceny said that Husseini
played a role in the decision to exterminate the European Jews. The importance of this role must not be disregarded. . . the Mufti repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with whom he was maintaining contact, above all to Hitler, Ribbentrop, and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry. He considered this an appropriate solution to the Palestinian Problem. (4)
The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say that accompanied by Eichmann he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz. (5)
The Mufti’s legacy of literally killing off voices of moderation or dissent and feverishly working to eliminate the Jewish race was passed on to others like Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, who established the Arab world’s first totalitarian state in 1952. Nasser in turn created special anti-Israel Palestinian military units where the likes of Yasser Arafat, Abu Iyad, and Abu Jihad all received their first training and inculcation of Pan-Arabist, anti-Zionist indoctrination. These men would go on to create the PLO, which revolutionized modern terrorism and helped to turn world opinion against the fledgling state of Israel.
In today’s misinformed and manipulated zeitgeist, it is facile to bleat the propaganda that the hatred of Israel by the “Palestinians” is due to Israel’s aggression and their occupation of “Palestinian” lands. But the hatred and militant activism against the Jewish people existed long before the nation of Israel was established. Like most of the “Palestinian” propaganda which is circulated in the media and ivory towers, it defies both logic and history. Much like the Jewish claim to the territory traditionally labeled “Palestine” stretches back much further than Arabian claims, the anti-semitism of the “Palestinian Liberation” movement stretches back much further than the establishment of the Israeli state.
As an early Ba’thist leader wrote of this pre-WW2 period:
We were racists, admiring Nazism, reading its books. . . We were the first to think of translating Mein Kampf. Whoever lived during this period in Damascus would appreciate the inclination of the Arab people to Nazism, for Nazism was the power which could serve as its champion. (6)
Hannah Arendt argues in her seminal work, The Origins of Totalitarianism, that historically totalitarianism is accompanied by the normalization of anti-semitism. As we see the seeds of a totalitarian state rising in Venezuela, already accompanied by a rise in anti-semitism, Ms Arendt’s observation seems to hold true. One can only hope that nations like Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Educador will resist the pressure to join the totalitarian regimes which are hostile to Jews already existing in Iran, Syria, and elsewhere.
Indeed the enemy of an enemy will most often become a friend. I pray that the Lord’s strong arm will continue to protect and sustain His people in these dark times.
(main source: Netanyahu, Benjamin “A Durable Peace”)
- (1) Lewis, Bernard “Semites and Anti-Semites” (New York: Norton, 1986) p 151
- (2) ibid, pp 152-153
- (3) ibid, Mufti quoted on p 155
- (4) Schechtman, J.B., “The Mufti and the Fuhrer: The Rise and Fall of Haj Amin el-Husseini (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965) pp 159-160
- (5) ibid, p 160
- (6) Donohue and Esposito, “Islam in Transition”, Al-Banna quoted p 80