Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The error in raising the Mufti's role in the Holocaust

Sar Shalom

Many have set the record straight regarding Benjamin Netanyahu's statement about the Mufti's role in the Holocaust in Europe. However, even with Netanyahu's clarification, there is still a problem with his statement. No, I am not saying that there is anything inaccurate or even problematic about calling attention to the Mufti's contribution to making the Final Solution happen in Europe. Rather, the problem is that the Mufti presents an opportunity to highlight Mizrahi Jewish history, and Arab oppression of Mizrahi Jewry. Focusing on the Mufti's crimes against European Jewry forfeits this opportunity, giving the canard that the Jews are a European people more opportunity to live.

As an alternative, Netanyahu could have said that while Hitler was working to annihilate the Jews of Europe, the Mufti was scheming to annihilate the Jews of the Middle East. During the summer of 1941, we got a preview of what the Mufti would have done in the Middle East if he had gained control there the way Hitler had control over Germany. After having fled Mandatory Palestine, the Mufti found his way to Iraq where he led an Arab nationalist coup. Between the time that that coup was suppressed and the British reestablished control in Iraq, followers of the Mufti perpetrated a two day Farhud against the Jews of Baghdad, the vast majority of whom were hardly Zionist beforehand, slaughtering hundreds before the British reestablished order. The only reason the Mufti did not kill more Mizrahi Jews was because blocked from gaining the capacity to do so. Having failed to annihilate the Jews of the Middle East, he turned his attention to Europe where he pushed Hitler to remove his hesitation from annihilating the Jews of Europe.


  1. It is also important that the Jews are a Middle Eastern people. The vignette of the unaccomplished genocide, which was partially aided by the Nazis, drives that home. It can also be used as a link to his part in the actual genocide because he only got involved in it after trying to start a genocide in the Middle East and failing.

  2. How does it highlight the blindness, and does it really matter? Or is this just an internecine exercise of who deserves most sympathy?

    Yes, the Mufti's initial concern was over Jews in his midst, but in the end he wanted ALL Jews dead.

    Just like his brethren Nasrallah: "If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)

  3. School,

    I think that Sar Shalom's point is helpful because it undermines the anti-Zionist notion that Arabs are unjustly paying for the crimes of Nazi Germany. The Palestinian National Movement, as it emerged under the Mufti, was a Nazi movement. It was the Palestinian-Arab branch of Nazism and they were intent on slaughtering the Jews in the Middle East.

    Whatever else Israel is, it is retribution for 1,300 years of abuse and second-class non-citizenship under Muslim imperial rule, culminating in the ongoing Palestinian-Arab incitements to genocide and the blood that continues to flow today.

    Sar Shalom's point undermines the Palestinian Narrative of Perfect Victimhood.

  4. Netanyahu did exactly that, undermining the Palestinian narrative and showing its direct connection to Nazism.

    That is the fact too few know about, and linking to the historical treatment of Jews under Muslim rule, while important, obscures the powerful point he was trying to make in the context of the current Palestinian behavior.

  5. Does it obscure the point or does it bolster it?

  6. Of course pointing out the Mufti's role in the holocaust only makes it that much more attractive to Europeans. What they're irritated about or claim to be irritated about is that a Jew had the temerity to raise the issue at all and that it can't be denied.

  7. Could do both, but why obscure when the main point, alone, is so powerful?

  8. Thanks, Doodad. I'll check it out.