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Dershowitz allegation that Mufti had 4000 children ‘gassed’ is questioned

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Yesterday Alan Dershowitz–whose picture I’d run here every day if I had my druthers, I think it’s good for traffic– had a piece in the Jerusalem Post saying

that Palestinians assisted the Nazis during the Holocaust, thereby legitimizing the 1947 partition of Palestine to create a Jewish state. Much of the piece deals with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who met with Hitler and was famously anti-Semitic. The Israel lobby is now using Husseini’s former leadership role in Palestinian society to try to blacken Palestinians so that they never have the right to self-determination. 

Jeff Blankfort read the piece carefully and passed along this comment:

Dershowitz’s statement that the Mufti "personally stopped 4,000 children, accompanied by 500 adults, from leaving Europe and had them sent to Auschwitz and gassed," is almost word for word from the FIRST part of a sentence by Raul Hilberg, on p. 504 of the "Destruction of the European Jews." According to Hilberg, "4,000 children, accompanied by 500 adults reached Palestine and for that reason he [Mufti] asked the German Foreign Minister to do his utmost to prevent further immigration from Bulgaria, Roumania and Hungary."

That’s it in 790 pages. There is no any other mention of the Mufti until the end of the book when the American Jewish Conference wanted him prosecuted as a war criminal.

Blankfort feels that Dershowitz made up the second half of the sentence, the assertion that Husseini had the Jews gassed. Blankfort again:

He clearly went to the Hilberg book, and then changed the ending to make his point. Fortunately, I have the book. Hilberg was considered the number one expert on the details of the Holocaust and to his credit he publicly supported Finkelstein in his battle for tenure at DePaul.The Mufti was clearly a Nazi sympathizer who saw the connection with Hitler as a means of preventing Jews from colonizing Palestine but the evidence that he was involved in any way with the Nazi extermination operation does not appear to be there. Dershowitz, taking his cue from Lieberman, probably both of them,Avigdor and Joe,  tries to do his part and sees the quote from Hilberg, because I am sure he has the same book, and gives it a different ending.

I’m not sure where I come down on this. I wouldn’t put it past Dershowitz. It certainly raises a question. I give him the benefit of the doubt; he’s looked at other books or, more likely, ordered his assistants to look at other books. Professor, what’s your source?

Jeffrey Blankfort

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