Friday, September 28, 2007
A Succot Story
Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Myths
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | 9/28/2007
In his speeches, most especially the one at Columbia University, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad repeats two myths about the Holocaust. The first every
reasonable person knows is a total lie: namely that the Holocaust did not
occur. The second myth, however, is one that escapes critical attention
for the most part, because many people are not aware of its falsity. The
myth is that the Palestinian people and their leadership had absolutely
nothing to do with the Holocaust. The conclusion that is supposed to
follow from this .fact. is that the establishment of Israel in the wake of
the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people was unfair to the Palestinians.
This is the way Ahmadinejad put it in his Columbia talk.
..[G]iven this historical event [the Holocaust], if it is a reality, we
need to question whether the Palestinian people should be paying for it.
.The Palestinian people didn.t commit any crime. They had no role to play
in World War II..
These statements about the role of the Palestinians are demonstrably
false. The truth is that the Palestinian leadership, supported by the
Palestinian masses, played a significant role in Hitler.s Holocaust. The
Palestinian leader at the time was Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufit
of Jerusalem. As Professor Edward Said has acknowledged:
.Hajj Amin al-Husseini represented the Palestinian Arab national
consensus, had the backing of the Palestinian political parties that
functioned in Palestine, and was recognized in some form by Arab
governments as the voice of the Palestinian people..
Husseini was .Palestine.s national leader. and it was in that capacity
that he made his notorious alliance with Hitler and played an active role
in promoting the Holocaust. Here is the true story that Ahmadinejad tried
Shortly after Hitler came to power, the Grand Mufti decided to emulate
him. He informed the German consul in Jerusalem that .the Muslims inside
and outside Palestine welcome the new regime of Germany and hope for the
extension of the fascist anti-democratic, governmental system to other
countries.. In an effort to bring it to his own country, Husseini
organized the .Nazi Scouts,. based on the .Hitler Youth.. The swastika
became a welcome symbol among many Palestinians.
The mid to late 1930.s were marked by Arab efforts to curtail immigration
and Jewish efforts to rescue as many Jews as possible from Hitler.s
Europe. These years were also marked by escalating Muslim violence
orchestrated by Husseini and other Muslim leaders. In 1936, Arab terrorism
took on a new dimension. In the beginning the targets were once again
defenseless Jewish civilians in hospitals, movie theatres, homes and
stores. This was followed by strikes and shop closures, and then by the
bombing of British offices. The Nazi regime in Germany and the Italian
fascists supported the violence, sending .millions. to the Mufti. The SS,
under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler, provided both financial and
logistical support for anti-Semitic pogroms in Palestine. Adolf Eichmann
visited Husseini in Palestine and subsequently maintained regular contact
with him. The support was mutual, as one Arab commentator put it:
.Feeling the whip of Jewish pressure and influence, the Arabs sympathized
with the Nazis and Fascists in their agony and trials at the hands of
Jewish intrigues and international financial pressures..
The Palestinians and their Arab allies were anything but neutral about the
fate of European Jewry. The official leader of the Palestinians, Haj Amin
al-Husseini, spent the war years in Berlin with Hitler, serving as a
consultant on the Jewish question. He was taken on a tour of Auschwitz by
Himmler and expressed support for the mass murder of European Jews. He
also sought to .solve the problems of the Jewish element in Palestine and
other Arab countries. by employing .the same method. being used .in the
Axis countries.. He would not be satisfied with the Jewish residents of
Palestine - - many of whom were descendants of Sephardic Jews who had
lived there for hundreds, even thousands, of years - - remaining as a
minority in a Muslim state. Like Hitler, he wanted to be rid of .every
last Jew.. As Husseini wrote in his memoirs:
.Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to
eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler
for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a
manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the
scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The
answer I got was: .The Jews are yours..
The Mufti was apparently planning to return to Palestine in the event of a
German victory and to construct a death camp, modeled after Auschwitz,
near Nablus. Husseini incited his pro-Nazi followers with the words
.Arise, o sons of Arabia. Fight for your sacred rights. Slaughter Jews
wherever you find them. Their spilled blood pleases Allah, our history and
religion. That will save our honor.. In 1944, a German-Arab commando unit,
under Husseini.s command, parachuted into Palestine and poisoned Tel
Husseini also helped to inspire a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq and helped to
organize thousands of Muslims in the Balkans into military units known as
Handselar divisions which carried out atrocities against Yugoslav Jews,
Serbs and Gypsies. After a meeting with Hitler, he recorded the following
in his diary:
The Mufti: .The Arabs were Germany.s natural friends. They were therefore
prepared to cooperate with Germany with all their hearts and stood ready
to participate in a war, not only negatively by the commission of acts of
sabotage and the instigation of revolutions, but also positively by the
formation of an Arab Legion. In this struggle, the Arabs were striving for
the independence and the unity of Palestine, Syria and Iraq..
Hitler: .Germany was resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation
after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time direct
a similar appeal to non-European nations as well. Hitler. Germany.s
objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element
residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. The
moment that Germany.s tank divisions and air squadrons had made their
appearance south of the Caucasus, the public appeal requested by the Grand
Mufti could go out to the Arab world..
It is fair to conclude that the official leader of the Muslims in
Palestine, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a full fledged Nazi war criminal and
he was so declared at Nuremberg and sought by Yugoslavia as a war criminal
after the war. He escaped to Egypt where he was given asylum and helped to
organize many former Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against Israel.
It is also fair to say that Husseini.s pro-Nazi sympathies and support
were widespread among his Palestinian followers, who regarded him as a
hero even after the war and the disclosure of his role in Nazi atrocities.
According to his biographer,
.Haj Amin.s popularity among the Palestinian Arabs and within the Arab
states actually increased more than ever during his period with the Nazis.
[because] large parts of the Arab world shared this sympathy with Nazi
Germany during the Second World War..
Nor was it merely a hatred of Zionism that animated this support for Nazi
ideology. The grand mufti.s .hatred of Jews.was fathomless, and he gave
full vent to it during his period of activity alongside the Nazis (October
1941-May 1945).. His speeches on Berlin Radio were anti-Semitic to the
core: .Kill the Jews wherever you find them.this pleases God, history and
religion.. In 1948, the National Palestinian Council elected Husseini as
its president, even though he was still a wanted war criminal living in
exile in Egypt. Indeed, Husseini is still revered today among many
Palestinians as a national hero. Yasser Arafat, in an interview conducted
in 2002 and reprinted in the Palestinian daily Al-Quds on August 2, 2002,
calls Haj Amin al-Husseini .our hero,. referring to the Palestinian
people. Arafat also boasted of being .one of his troops,. even though he
knew he was .considered an ally of Nazis.. (If a German today were to call
Hitler .our hero,. he would appropriately be labeled a neo-Nazi.!)
It is a myth therefore . another myth perpetrated by Iran.s
myth-maker-in-chief . that the Palestinians played .no role. in the
Holocaust. Considering the active support by the Palestinian leadership
and masses for the losing side of a genocidal war, it was more than fair
for the United Nations to offer them a state of their own on more than
half of the arable land of the British mandate. The Sudeten Germans got a
September 28, 2007
September 28, 2007; Page A14
You probably haven't seen it reported, but the Guantanamo trial system for
enemy combatants won a big victory earlier this week. A military appeals
court overturned a much-ballyhooed decision in June that had dismissed all
charges against Omar Ahmed Khadr, an al Qaeda operative captured on the
battlefield in Afghanistan in 2002 after killing an American serviceman
with a grenade.
The June decision was widely portrayed as a repudiation of the Bush
Administration's antiterror legal policy, so perhaps this should be
described as vindication. Under the 2006 Military Commissions Act, a panel
called the Combat Status Review Tribunal makes a threshold determination
of whether or not terror detainees are enemy combatants, before they are
moved into military tribunals. Judge Peter Brownback ruled in June that
the Review Tribunal had only screened for "enemy combatants," not
"unlawful enemy combatants," thus giving his court no jurisdiction.
Never mind that "enemy combatant" is defined in a way that is inherently
"unlawful" -- i.e., someone who is part of an international terrorist
organization and engages in hostilities against the U.S. in violation of
the laws of war. The legal hitch was not using the magic word "unlawful."
The appeals panel agreed that the Review Tribunal had not specifically
determined that Khadr was an unlawful enemy combatant, but it also ruled
that it wasn't obliged to. Rather, it said Judge Brownback ought to have
considered the unlawfulness of Khadr's conduct under common courts-martial
procedures, as defined by the Military Commissions Act. To do otherwise,
let alone dismiss the charges, was "contradictory to the statute's clear
structure, wording, and overall intent."
There's little doubt how the coming trial will turn out. There is a video,
for instance, of Khadr preparing explosives to be used against American
forces. But in the media's current terror narrative, it's only worth
celebrating when the Bush Administration's judicial rules are overturned.
When they're upheld, almost nobody notices -- so we thought you'd like to
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