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Has Netanyahu’s revisionism ended the use of the Holocaust as enabler of Israeli injustice toward Palestinians?

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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

As Netanyahu’s Holocaust revisionism continues to find its way around the world, Jewish memory is besmirched. That’s the consensus of the many Holocaust historians and political figures that continue to weigh in on Netanyahu’s misreading of Holocaust history. Buried in the outrage, though, is a deeper issue: Is Netanyahu’s use of the Holocaust to further incite his political constituency against Palestinians what we should focus on? Or is it the fact that many of those who condemn Netanyahu for his Holocaust blunder are also enablers of the destruction of Palestine?

The almost panicked desire to separate the real culprit of the Holocaust, Hitler, rather than an irrelevant side-kick, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is telling. It is also too easy. Separating the two, while important, is a distraction from the real and ongoing culprit in the suffering of Palestinians – the correct, substantial, highly prestigious, well-funded, real history of the Holocaust.

Rather than the historical details of Holocaust history, how the Holocaust functions in relation to Palestine is the issue at hand. Netanyahu’s misreading of the Holocaust pales in significance to how the Holocaust is used to strengthen Israel at the cost of Palestinian life. The question is whether Netanyahu’s Holocaust distortion will bring the real history of the Holocaust back into Israel’s corner or whether his distortion spells the end of the use of the Holocaust in relation to Israel and Palestine. Has Netanyahu inadvertently weakened or even ended the use of the Holocaust as an enabler of Israel’s injustice toward Palestinians?

The Jewish Holocaust narrative supporting Israel in the world has been collapsing for decades. Instead of concentrating on the internal and highly political debate about the Holocaust, we should refocus our attention on Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israeli and Egyptian control of Gaza and United States and European foreign policy in relation to Israel and Palestine.

After all, it isn’t the Holocaust that is displacing and murdering Palestinians today. It’s apartheid.

Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.

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33 Responses

  1. Mooser on October 23, 2015, 12:49 pm

    “The Jewish Holocaust narrative supporting Israel in the world has been collapsing for decades.”

    The present changes the past, and without changing or reducing a single number. The past is as variable, more, than the future. Zionists better figure that out.

  2. Les on October 23, 2015, 3:11 pm

    Guess what kind of people Temple Emanuel has invited to discuss BDS on election day Tuesday November 3 at 7:00 PM? What Jewish Philadelphia lawyer will argue that the efforts of BDS to get international law enforced is illegal?

    David Harris, Executive Director of American Jewish Committee, will bring a global perspective on this strategy that continues to try to undermine the Jewish state across the globe.

    Panel includes:
    Eric Fingerhut, Executive Director of Hillel International
    David Harris, American Jewish Committee Executive Director
    Lauren Rogers, Activist/California College Student

    Moderated by Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson.

    Additional panelists to be announced.

    Jewish BDS supporters owe it to themselves to show up.

    for details:

  3. Kay24 on October 23, 2015, 4:44 pm


    Israel’s Nuclear Advisory Panel Endorses Iran Deal
    Countering Netanyahu, government and most of opposition, nation’s Atomic Energy Commission maintains pact will prevent Tehran from developing nuclear bomb, source says.
    read more:

    Is Booby a loser or what?

  4. Keith on October 23, 2015, 5:24 pm

    MARC ELLIS- “Instead of concentrating on the internal and highly political debate about the Holocaust, we should refocus our attention on Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israeli and Egyptian control of Gaza and United States and European foreign policy in relation to Israel and Palestine.”

    True enough, however, Netanyahu’s outrageous comments were meant to divert attention from this latest Israeli anti-Palestinian pogrom. And so far it seems to be working. Once again the media ignores the present and factual history to engage in speculation about the (former) Mufti and the Nazis. Most people haven’t got a clue, and the media is so biased that this will probably be an extremely effective tactic by Netanyahu. With an honest media, he couldn’t get away with this, however, under present circumstances he can hardly fail. This is what a person with power can get away with in our highly biased doctrinal system. By taking such an extreme (and deceitful) position, Netanyahu allows other Zionists to disagree concerning the Mufti and the Holocaust while simultaneously claiming extensive Arab collusion with the Nazis.

    Over at Norman Finkelstein’s website, he and Mouin Rabbani due battle with former Israeli spokesman now Middle East Forum Director Gregg Roman. It turned into a shouting match with Roman lying repeatedly. But for those unfamiliar with the situation, they will take their cues from an Israel friendly media and the current anti-Palestinian pogrom will be sidetracked by what did the Mufti due and when did he do it, and to what degree are the Palestinians influenced by Nazi inspired anti-Semitism, and to what degree is this causing the current Palestinian incitement to violence against Jews? This is an extremely aggressive propaganda offensive by an Israel confident of its media power and its ability to frame the narrative.

    • light2014 on October 25, 2015, 11:02 pm

      anti-Palestinian pogrom . The Cossacks pogrommed the Jews of Ukraine/Russia unprovoked. The Jews didn’t knife or shell their
      tormentors. Hey Arab! No more Mack the Knife.
      Try A Little Tenderness.

    • light2014 on October 26, 2015, 12:55 am

      aggressive propaganda The Mufti help spread the rumor in the 1920s that Jews were planning
      to destroy the mosques in Jerusalem; over 120 Jews were butchered because of this falsehood.
      An interview with the Mufti can be found in the book “Days of Our Years ” by Pierre van Paassen
      chapter8 pages 359- 373 read the book online
      at The book was reprinted 22 times since 1939.

      • annie on October 26, 2015, 2:05 pm

        from paassen’s wiki page

        From his earliest travels to Palestine in 1925, he saw and developed a regard for the work of the early Jewish immigrants to improve the area’s agriculture and industry. Later he became one of the first non-Jews in America to write favorably about the campaign to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine, and remained a Zionist supporter afterwards. But fundamentally, Van Paassen was a Christian Democratic Socialist concerned, as he put it in his autobiographical Days of Our Years, with the enduring struggle for justice for ordinary individuals.

        what about ordinary arab palestinians? any evidence of concern for their enduring struggle for justice?

        …..In 1933 Van Paassen traveled incognito to the Dome of the Rock, a famous Islamic shrine in Jerusalem. He was accompanied by a British Intelligence officer, and both smeared their faces and hands with burnt cork to give them an Arab appearance. They also wore long white garments to give them a “Hadjihs” appearance. Their evasiveness was a necessity, for nonbelievers were (and still are) not allowed in areas that are considered to be the holiest places in the world of Islam. The purpose of their venture was to get an inside look at the radical movement by listening to what the Mullahs were preaching in regards to the political turmoil that was taking place in then British controlled Palestine.[3] Three years later The Great Uprising took form. This redoubled political violence was in part planned by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem

      • YoniFalic on October 26, 2015, 6:52 pm

        I have never heard a Palestinian use the term Mullah for any kind of religious leader.

  5. truthurts on October 24, 2015, 2:17 am

    misreading, ellis? you sound too unconfortably for me as if your apologizing for netanyahu.
    he’s deliberately maliciously perverting the truth to not only wrongly condemn the mufti but all palestinians in one fell swoop.
    his lies are so disgusting now they”ve quite clearly entered the realm of sociopathy. in fact he’s probaly well crossed that barrier years ago. indeed, one jewish israeli minister whos name escapes me two years ago said he’s psychotic.
    i strongly urge people to read “the last of the semites” by joseph massad(what a name) of columbia u.

    • CigarGod on October 24, 2015, 9:30 am

      Mark is far too polite.
      The term implies good intentions of a statesman.
      Bibi is not a statesman and his intentions remain criminal.

    • Ellen on October 25, 2015, 8:10 am

      Netanyahu’s intentions are to push the emotional buttons to further demonize an entire people…this makes it easier for Zionists to expel and conduct a cleansing of Palestinians, by whatever means.

      And if he has to do it by claiming that a minor bit player –appointed by a British Zionist overlord , btw — ordered the Nazis to genocidal actions against Jews, he’ll do it.

      This is how the most ugly and primitives forms of propaganda and incitement are carried out.

      Netanyahu is, after all, the son of a crack pot “historian.”

      Then again, maybe his blue hair dye is seeping into his brain.

      • Leahj on October 26, 2015, 8:50 am

        ” Netanyahu is, after all, the son of a crack pot “historian.” ”

        Who’s your daddy?

        “…the Israeli prime minister is reminiscent of his father, who said in a 2009 interview that “the Arab enemy is so difficult because his tendency is toward conflict, it’s part of his nature. Enmity is part of his personality and character. That is the personality of the Arab, that he is not willing to reach compromises or agreements. It doesn’t matter what level of resistance he meets or what price he is forced to pay. His existence is that of permanent war.” In the same interview, Netanyahu the elder proposed seizing as much territory as possible, holding onto it by force and levying collective punishment — such as withholding food to entire cities and cutting off electricity and education — on all those who resist. He said even worse things that didn’t make it into print.”

  6. just on October 24, 2015, 10:07 am

    Looking forward to the day when there is a widely read and recognized “correct, substantial, highly prestigious, well-funded, real history of the” ONGOING Nakba.

    In other news: ha, ha, ha:

    “Kerry: Netanyahu Agrees to Cameras on Temple Mount to Show Israel Not Changing Status Quo

    The secretary of state says Netanyahu also stressed Israel’s commitment to freedom of worship on Temple Mount; senior Israeli and Jordanian officials to meet soon to discuss strengthening security arrangements on the holy site.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to install cameras on the Temple Mount, which – operating 24 hours a day – will show that Israel is making no change to the status quo and is not targeting mosques. …”

    read more:

    Yeah, that’ll work… NOT.

    There are already folks that film the criminality and terrorism of the Occupiers, and yet the Occupiers and their supporters deny the truth.

    Now we’ll only get more fakery from the hasbara brigade.

    • CigarGod on October 24, 2015, 10:25 am

      So, The Three Amigo’s come up with camera’s.
      I can’t believe Kerry allowed his name to be attached to the remedy.

      • just on October 24, 2015, 12:44 pm

        Yep, CG~ it gets a bit more psychotic every single day.


        “Holocaust experts shame Netanyahu: “He is as bad a historian as he is a politician”

        … This is not Netanyahu’s first such claim. During a 2012 Knesset speech he referred to Husseini as “one of the leading architects” of the Final Solution. Experts on the Holocaust disagree.

        “Netanyahu said incorrect things,” said Dina Porat, a professor at the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University and the chief historian of Yad Vashem, the Israeli memorial to victims of the Holocaust. “These things did not have to be said. I am waiting and calling on the Prime Minister to come and explain himself in an organized fashion, not to just toss out a sentence, and to clarify what he meant and to recant if he can, because his words can absolutely cause damage,” she said on Israeli army radio.

        Others were even more blunt.

        “I would prefer not to comment other than to say that he is as bad a historian as he is a politician,” said Tony Kushner, a professor of history at the University of Southampton and the author of a number of books on the Holocaust. “If there was any justice in the world, he would leave both professions alone and do something useful with his life.”

        Netanyahu is not alone in seeking to use the history of the mufti’s collaboration to connect Palestinians to the Nazis. Right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman made a similar claim in 2009.

        “The attempt to connect your political enemies to Nazism, the synonym for the ultimate evil, with the aim to defame and disqualify them, is not new,” said Motadel. “The entire debate about “Islamo-faschism” is part of this discourse.”

        “These attempts are meant to defame Palestinians or Muslims more generally by connecting them to Nazism, as the synonym of ultimate evil.”…”


        “Painting Palestinians as Nazis, Netanyahu Incites a Wave of Vigilante Violence

        Netanyahu’s comments about the Mufti were much more than a hysterical lie.

        … Paranoia was spreading peripatetically across the country, with commando units bursting into shopping malls during false alarms while Jews assaulted Jews who resembled Palestinians. As units of the Israeli army poured into Jerusalem for the first time since 1967, riot police took full advantage of authorization to shoot teenage stone throwers with live bullets. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, an architect of the wave of evictions inflaming Palestinians in the east of the city, instructed all Jewish residents who owned weapons to stage armed vigilante patrols, and even embarked on one himself. “Don’t hesitate… If someone is brandishing a knife, shoot him,” urged Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid Party.

        As the violence intensified, a sub-genre of viral snuff films emerged. In one grainy clip, a settler draped a Palestinian corpse with pork as paramedics stood by impassively. Another showed an Israeli man taunting a Palestinian boy as blood poured from his head and he panted for breath after being shot during a stabbing attack. Perhaps the most gut wrenching video captured crowds trouncing on the lifeless body of Haftom Zarhum, an Eritrean refugee who had been riddled with bullets after being mistaken for a Palestinian gunman. “Break his head! Break his head! Son of a whore!” shouted one man as he abused Zarhum’s body.

        By blaming a Palestinian for the Final Solution, Netanyahu has helped his countrymen adjust to the macabre reality. He reassured them that they were not settler overlords or vigilante brutes, but Inglorious Bastards curb stomping SS officers in the woods outside Krakow. And he sent them the message that those Palestinians lurking behind concrete walls and under siege in ghettoes were not an occupied, dispossessed people, but a new breed of Nazis hellbent on Jewish extermination. Netanyahu’s comments about the Mufti were much more than a hysterical lie; they were an invitation to act out a blood soaked fantasy of righteous revenge.”

      • Mooser on October 25, 2015, 1:14 am

        So Nettie is off into “dolchstoss” territory now.

      • CigarGod on October 25, 2015, 9:42 am

        Scary comment, man. I had to go and read the whole wiki.

    • Rodneywatts on October 24, 2015, 12:55 pm

      @just: ‘ Looking forward to the day when there is a widely read and recognized “correct, substantial, highly prestigious, well-funded, real history of the” ONGOING Nakba.’

      So right dear friend! However, at least there is already a wealth of material concerning the pro-nazi Jews of our (British) Mandated Territory of Palestine. Lenni Brenner is the author of the books “Zionism in the age of the Dictators” and “The Iron Wall” Though out of print now. Tony Greenstein did a couple of blogs in 2012 at the time Shamir died:

      The second one is joint with Lenni Brenner. Lenni was able in 2012 to provide for $22 an autographed copy of “51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis” , which he edited in 2002. .

      Tony is still doing his blog on an ongoing basis, and well worth the read.

      Marc– thanks for the article, which has given rise to our comments. The only other thing I would say wrt your last couple of sentences is that imho what is happening is far worse than the Apartheid of SA.

    • italian ex-pat on October 24, 2015, 8:09 pm

      So, cameras are OK, but international monitoring is out of the question?

      Is it because, unlike video cameras, peace-keeping forces cannot be easily disabled?

  7. Boo on October 24, 2015, 1:36 pm

    The right to ask for special treatment because of injuries suffered previously is terminated the moment one starts beating others to death with one’s crutches.

  8. just on October 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

    Yousef Munayyer has a new article up:

    ”Netanyahu’s Holocaust Revisionism Actually Reflects Widespread Dehumanization of Palestinians

    Racist, blame-the-victim language plays an important role in obscuring the violence of Israel’s occupation. …

    … Jeffrey Goldberg, a former prison guard at Israel’s Ketziot prison camp, does something similar at The Atlantic, where in a widely circulated article he argued that Palestinian behavior is not rooted in discontent over Israeli action but rather “something deeper” that is “paranoid” and “supremacist,” as the headline put it. Goldberg seeks to convince the reader that Palestinians don’t trust Israeli intentions because of “paranoia.” He writes:

    Convincing Palestinians that the Israeli government is not trying to alter the status quo on the [Temple] Mount has been difficult because many of today’s Palestinian leaders, in the manner of the Palestinian leadership of the 1920s, actively market rumors that the Israeli government is seeking to establish atop the Mount a permanent Jewish presence.

    Really? Is that why it is difficult to convince Palestinians of the benign intentions of an Israeli state that has in fact dispossessed them of the vast majority of land they held dear? Israel demolished hundreds of Palestinian villages; has built illegal Jewish-only settlements in occupied territory for decades—including in a tightening, noose-like fashion around Jerusalem—continues to ethnically gentrify Jerusalem through a variety of policies; increasingly tolerates growing religious-nationalist calls for an expanded Jewish presence at the Noble Sanctuary; winks and nods at violent settlers who have burned dozens of Palestinian mosques and churches—and despite all this, Palestinians are supposed to simply believe that Israel has no bad intentions for the holy sites because it says so? And if they don’t, it is because they are paranoid supremacists?

    The same racist, blame-the-victim current runs through all three arguments. Each has dressed it up in a distinct way—Goldberg’s in a tweed jacket, Stephens’ in a strait-jacket, and Netanyahu’s in a clown suit—but the same ugliness lies beneath all three, and no degree of couture can make them more appealing.

    These arguments, consciously or unconsciously, dehumanize Palestinians and lay the groundwork for the continued use of state-sponsored violence against them, their families, and their society. It is high time they be called out for what they are.”

  9. just on October 24, 2015, 7:30 pm

    “Can Netanyahu say just what he likes?

    The Israeli leader’s ludicrous lie about the Holocaust comes as no surprise

    A political consultant once related how he lunched with Benjamin Netanyahu, who ordered a hamburger with fries. He was not supposed to be eating such foods – doctor’s orders. As they were finishing up, Bibi’s wife, Sarah, came in, saw the evidence and began to see red. Netanyahu, all righteous indignation, looked her straight in the eye and said he had eaten no such hamburger. The storyteller said he was convinced at that moment that Netanyahu himself believed it.

    If apocryphal, it is definitely in character. Netanyahu regularly embraces bad ideas or even lies so totally that he convinces himself of their rightness. Others start to believe them too. His outlandish idea, uttered in a speech, was that Hitler would have been happy with just expelling Jews if a Palestinian, the then grand mufti of Jerusalem, had not suggested annihilation instead. And they all have a purpose. In each phase of his career, Netanyahu has had a trope that he pushes so aggressively it can drive a citizen crazy. But they are fabulously popular with the public and they keep the headlines on him alone, while making him king of the issue.

    Taking office for the second time in 2009, he began saying “delegitimisation” against every conceivable form of criticism. Israelis can hardly mouth the awkward English word, but it was a powerful and intuitive statement: we’re not doing anything wrong, they just hate us. It’s us against the world. He won a third term. In the third term, Netanyahu turned up the volume on his decades-old obsession with Iran to a fever pitch.

    Each of these Bibi tunes responded to a particular political need. Delegitimisation was his answer and very soon all of Israel’s answer to a torrent of global anger following the first of three wars Israel fought in Gaza – Operation Cast Lead – and the Mavi Marmara incident in which Israel attacked a flotilla that had tried to break the Gaza siege, killing nine Turkish citizens. Iran, meanwhile, was the issue that Netanyahu used to sideline any discussion of the Palestinians and the occupation.

    It is no coincidence that these tropes are rooted in existential threat. Bibi knows it resonates with the (Jewish) Israeli public.

    But now he has really done it, say the critics. He has defiled the Holocaust, which is sacrosanct for the Jewish people, with absurd historical inaccuracies. Even his supporters will wither in the face of this blatant distortion of history, right? Probably not. Netanyahu knows what he is saying and the Jewish Israeli public knows. This isn’t about Hitler or Haj Amin. It’s about incitement – the fourth-term Bibi tune. …

    …Netanyahu knew what he was saying and who he was talking to. He knows how to weather the gasps while winking at a large segment of the Jewish Israeli public that needs to hear his trope. Only Netanyahu, it seems, speaks Israeli.

    Dahlia Scheindlin is a political consultant based in Tel Aviv

    • Comments will be opened later”

    Dahlia surely must understand that as long as Netanyahu’s chief enablers (every US administration, the western MSM, and too many others) allows the lies and echoes his words, well then~ he CAN say anything he wants as he plays the world like fools and continues the Nakba!

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on October 26, 2015, 7:32 am

      I’m not sure she’s aware of too much, given this basic error:

      ” a Palestinian, the then grand mufti of Jerusalem”

      As has been pointed out many times on this site (though obviously Guardian editors aren’t aware of it) at the time of his meeting with Hitler, Husseini wasn’t ‘mufti’ of any type, let alone a ‘grand’ one.

      And interesting, though not surprising, that The Guardian invites Israelis, but not Palestinians, to offer their opinions on Bib’s slander of the entire Palestinian people.

  10. Stephen Shenfield on October 24, 2015, 8:07 pm

    Zionist historiography has always placed great emphasis on the Grand Mufti’s alliance with Nazi Germany as a way of presenting the Palestinians as successors to the Nazis in a recurrent drive to destroy the Jews (“in every generation they rise up against us”). The purpose is to create an association at the emotional level so that Jews can feel that by being cruel to the Palestinians they are avenging the Jews killed in the Holocaust. Netanyahu is pushing the idea a bit further, but it is not fundamentally new.

    • Mooser on October 25, 2015, 1:07 am

      Stephen, that is so disturbing and horrible, from any viewpoint. I hardly know how to assimilate it.

    • Sibiriak on October 25, 2015, 1:56 am

      Some historical details regarding Zionist use of “the Mufti”:

      1992 Aaron Berman, “Nazism, the Jews, and American Zionism, 1933-1948”

      The State Department refused to accept the Zionist position [that the Mufti collaborated in the Nazi extermination of Jews and should be tried as a major war criminal at Nuremburg] and also resisted persistent requests for the United States government to publish the documents that incriminated the Mufti in the liquidation of European Jewry. The AZEC [American Zionist Emergency Council] therefore used its own formidable information apparatus to bring “the facts” to the American media and public.

      Arab attempts to respond to the Zionist charged were not particularly effective. Kahil Totah, executive director of the Institute of American Arab, affairs attempted to put the Mufti’s activities in historical perspective. […] According to Totah, the Mufti, an ardent Arab patriot, had cooperated with the Nazis because he believed a German victory would facilitate the liberation of Palestine from British imperial control. The Mufti was a patriot, Totah said, not a Nazi.

      Historians of the Holocaust have found no substantial evidence to link the Mufti with Hitler’s decision to liquidate European Jewry. However, in the late 1940’s, Zionists and their supporters could find little reason to doubt the charge. They could still vividly remember the bloody and murderous attacks of the Mufti’s followers during the bitter 1936 civil war in Palestine. For the Zionists, it seemed reasonable that the Mufti, whom they believed was a rabid anti-Semite, would transfer his hatred of the Yishuv to the Jews of Europe. Not coincidentally, the attacks on the Mufti and other Arab Nazi sympathizers and collaborationists, effectively countered the claims of Arab lobbyists that they were being made to pay the penalty for a European-engineered crime.

      Attacks on the Mufti were part of a larger pro-Zionist educational campaign aimed at portraying the Arabs leaders of the Middle East as reactionary despots intent on destroying the progressive Jewish experiment in Palestine. Several months before the end of the war, Stephen Wise, Nahum Goldmann. Hayim Greenberg, Rose Halprin, and other members of the American Zionist Emergency Council determined that if a Jewish state were to be created, “the idea that the Arabs’ consent must be obtained….must be broken down.” Accordingly, they decided that AZEC propaganda should stress that the Arabs represented a “reactionary element in the Middle East.”

      Shortly after the meeting of American Zionist leaders, Eliahu Ben-Horin wrote that “Arab social philosophy and the existing forms of Arab society are in harmony with the Nazi-Fascist system rather than with our own democratic ideas.” The Arab rulers in the Middle East, the last remaining bulwarks of feudalism in the world, “fight bitterly against any democratic or civilizing innovation.”

      Meanwhile, Ben-Horin complained, Britain and America continued to support Arab leaders who consistently undermined any possibilities for Arab-Jewish rapprochement in Palestine. The Mufti, for example, had killed many progressive Arabs “who regarded sympathetically the social-economic progress brought to Palestine by Jewish Zionist enterprise.”

      Besides attack Arab leaders as reactionary despots and anti-Semites, American Zionists pressed the point that the Arab masses were unwilling to follow them. Abba Hillel Silver maintained that the “fellaheen”, the peasant class of Palestine, bore no responsibility for the anti-Zionist propaganda emanating from the Middle East. The Arab peasant was not “concerned” about the Jewish settlement of Palestine, while the “feudal lords” of the Arab world knowing that “the establishment of the Jewish homeland means the end of their feudal regime,” attempted to destroy the Zionist experiment. Jewish settlement of Palestine had significantly improved the lives of the Arab population. Citing the work of Walter Clay Lowdermilk, Silver maintained that Palestine could easily accommodate three or four million people. Jews, Moslems, and Christians could all share a prosperous life in Palestine, modernized by Zionists investments of money and sweat. [pp.162-3] [emphasis addd]

      * * * * * * *

      Aside from the polemical works, the strongest case against the Mufti is made by Joan Peters, “From Time Immemorial” [ …] Peters argues that there was “a symbiotic relationship between Muftism and Nazism” and cites the letter from the Mufti urging that the Hungarian Jews not be allowed to enter Palestine, suggesting instead that they be transported to Poland. Raul Hillberg and Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the two historians who have systematically detailed and analyzed the Nazi genocide machine, gave the Mufti no credit for inspiring or significantly abetting the German extermination of European Jewry. […] Randolph L. Brahams definitive study of the extermination of Hungarian Jewry makes barely any mention of the Mufti, only noting that out of deference to him the Germans refused to sanction the evacuation of any Hungarian Jews to Palestine. [p.214] [emphasis added]

    • french_jew on October 26, 2015, 6:23 am

      Beyond that. Part of the Israeli and Zionist discourse has been on the one hand to create false bridges and equivalencies between modern European antisemitism and Palestinian antijewish revolts, by dubbing the Hebron riots of 1929 as “pogroms” for example. Ella Shohat has shown has early Israeli cinema has intended to nazify arabs from the get go. On the other hand European antisemitism and its nazi culmination are de-historicised, they are depicted as just the result of an abnormal evil, hate of jews, with no connection whatsoever to European Modernity, Nationalism and Colonialism. This is understandable of course, since zionism, even in it’s national-religious version, is a product of European Modernity, Nationalism and Colonialism and they would shoot themselves in the foot by doing so.

  11. RobertB on October 24, 2015, 10:07 pm

    Netanyahu’s Record on Inciting Violence Against Palestinians

    Max Blumenthal, author of The 51-Day War:

    “The first time I visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Research Center in Jerusalem, which I believe is funded by the Israeli government and is a, like a requisite stop for any American official who visits Israel, I noticed that the only Palestinian in the museum was on display at the end of the tour. You go through the whole tour of the horrors of the Holocaust, and then on your way out you see a display of the mufti meeting with Nazi officials, suggesting that Palestinians had some kind of direct role in the Holocaust. And then you’re on your way out into a sweeping view of Jerusalem, which is portrayed psychologically as deliverance from thousands of years of Jewish genocide and suffering.

    So this is even present in Yad Vashem. Yad Vashem’s encyclopedia of the Holocaust contains entries for major Nazi officials. Himmler and Goebbels and Hitler, of course. Their entries are shorter than that of the mufti. Why does the mufti receive so much attention in this encyclopedia? Because the history of the Holocaust, in the official narrative of the Holocaust in Israel is heavily politicized to suit the Zionist narrative. It’s a segregationist narrative, and it has been exploited to indict the Palestinians and portray them as the new antisemites.

    So this incitement is present throughout Zionist literature.”

    • Leahj on October 26, 2015, 6:32 am

      Robert, ” Yad Vashem’s encyclopedia of the Holocaust contains entries for major Nazi officials. Himmler and Goebbels and Hitler, of course. Their entries are shorter than that of the mufti.”

      I have a small correction. The editors of the ‘Encyclopedia of the Holocaust’, which was commissioned by Yad Vashem, did devote an inordinate amount of space & attention to the mufti. Their article on him is over twice as long as the articles on Goebbels & Goring, longer than the ones on Himmler & Heydrich combined, & longer than Eichmann’s. But, the piece on Hitler is (just barely) longer than the mufti’s. Of all of the biographical entries in the entire 4 volume encyclopedia, ONLY Hitler’s exceeds the length of the mufti’s, though. And not by much.

  12. MRW on October 24, 2015, 11:51 pm

    Buried in the outrage, though, is a deeper issue: Rather than the historical details of Holocaust history, how the Holocaust functions in relation to Palestine is the issue at hand.”

    It’s bigger than that: it’s how some Jews (invariably pro-Israel, or Israeli) feel they can use the Holocaust to justify anything, and feel entitled to get away with it. And a bunch of even dumber Jews believe them, including the crew of trolls we get on here periodically.

    This Mufti tale came from Edwin Black, didn’t it? Isn’t this what he cooked up and wrote about to make up for The Transfer Agreement, which pissed off the keepers of the faith at the time (early 80s)?

  13. bryan on October 25, 2015, 4:45 am

    I think Netanyahu knows exactly what he is doing with his rewriting of history. He is saying that the Palestinians hate us (and he argues that the Mufti is just a typical Palestinian, and is still widely revered on the Arab street and in Arab school books). Therefore the conflict has nothing to do with the occupation or the settlements. They hate us for what we are not what we do. And those who argue that the dispossession of Palestinians is unjust because the Holocaust was a European crime have it completely wrong. Their dispossession is simply just punishment for their hatred, and no sympathy therefore needs to be extended towards them.

    Nevertheless, Netanyahu is surely entering very dangerous territory, as pointed out by David Mikics: al-Husseini was an inveterate anti-Semite, who acquired his passionate hatred of Jews from the Zionist colonisation of Israel, which led him to agitate for the Holocaust; without him there would have been no Holocaust. Therefore, the Holocaust is directly the result of Zionism, and contrary to the myth that Zionism secured a necessary refuge from enduring European anti-Semitism, it actually caused the Holocaust, and risks a second Holocaust, since the present-day Palestinian supporters of the Mufti are inspired by his life’s work.

    Thank you Netty – you didn’t say it first, but you said it loud and clear: embracing Zionism was the worst mistake Jews ever made.

    See ‘Did Zionism cause the Holocaust? A new biography says Yes’, David Mikics, Professor of English at the University of Houston, The Tablet, February 3rd, 2014,

    And if you think Netanyahu is not foolish enough to embrace the conspiracy theory put forward by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz (“Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East”) then simply read the full text of his 2013 speech at Bar-Ilan:

  14. YoniFalic on October 27, 2015, 7:48 pm

    To tell the truth the Holocaust should be used as as a argument to dismantle the State of Israel and remove the invaders.

    After Auschwitz is it not completely atrocious to found a state in post-Auschwitz genocide?

    It felt really good to write that question, for I have wondered about it every Yom haShoah since I participated in Operation Cast Lead.

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