The innocent Palestinian myth
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.There is much more.
“…[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 to mythologize.
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....
I am familiar with this history , but Dershowitz puts it in context better than I have seen before. It is a direct hit on the victim strategy that is prevalent in Muslim society when it comes to questions of Israel. The victim strategy is used by Hezballah and Hamas today on actions taken by Israel to defend itself. It will lose its relevance if Israel can be more proactive in pointing it out.