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.