Aug 18, 2022
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The story began with an article by former Netnayhu advisor Mark Regev in the Jerusalem Post last published on November 11, the 79th anniversary of  British General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery’s victory over  Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps at El Alamein in the North African desert. Regev claimed the Allied victory “ended the existential threat the advancing Nazis armies posed to the Jews of Mandatory Palestine.” Regev noted that in areas occupied by the Nazis with a native population that was naturally disinclined towards Jews, the genocide of the Jewish population was near total. He gave as tragic examples Ukraine and the Baltic states. In conquered countries that were sympathetic to their Jewish population,  the general populace helped save a substantial section of the Jewish community. Examples of this were Denmark and Bulgaria. 

Regev asked which category would have applied to the Arab Palestinians had Rommel been victorious.

“The available data point in a clear direction. While there would undeniably have been Palestinian Righteous Among the Nations willing to risk their lives to save Jews, there can be little doubt that upon occupying Mandatory Palestine the Germans would have found a collaborationist leadership eager to enlist the local population in the mass killing of the Jews,” Regev wrote.

He went on to relate the well-known connection between Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, and the Nazis.

It is well-documented that all-Husseini requested and received from Hitler a promise not to permit Jews fleeing Europe to arrive in Palestine, a plan that was being initiated by the English and American governments. This undoubtedly led to many Jews being unable to flee and dying in Nazi death camps.

Israel Ambassador Mark Regev (Video capture from Facebook Sussex Friends of Israel)

Research has shown that the Holocaust almost spread to the Holy Land. In 2006, historians at the University of Stuttgart concluded from their studies of Nazi archives that a unit of SS troops stationed in Athens, was tasked with following invading frontline troops in Palestine and then rounding up and murdering about 500,000 European Jews who had taken refuge there as a Middle Eastern aspect of the Final Solution. Al-Husseini and Heimlich Himmler, one of the most powerful Nazi leaders met numerous times to determine how to deal with the Jews in the holy land.

So great was al-Husseini’s hatred for the Jews that he incited the Palestinians in the British Mandate to conduct pogroms. Even when al-Husseini was exiled to Iraq in 1941, he incited violence against the large Jewish communities there.

The admiration al-Husseini had for Hitler was mutual. While he denounced Catholicism as a weak, effeminate religion, Hitler praised Islam as a strong, aggressive, martial religion.

In 1946, Husseini became the mentor of Yasser Arafat, the founder of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the precursor to the Palestinian Authority.

Regev noted that Husseini is still a revered figure in the Palestinian world. 

But this connection to the Holocaust is actively being erased by Palestinian revision of history. Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president, learned at a university in Russia, writing his thesis which was completely a work of Holocaust denial, going so far as to claim that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. 

“Palestinian historical revisionism also includes the contention that the Palestinians are themselves Holocaust victims, claiming that they were forced to pay for Europe’s crimes, losing their homeland so that the West could atone for its sins against the Jews,” Regev wrote, a claim that was echoed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib in 2019. 

Elder of Ziyon, a pro-Israel blogger, reported on the Palestinian response which came from Palestinian writer Amani Qurum in Al Quds.  “It is strange for some Jews when they do not leave an opportunity except to distort facts and formulate lies, and confirm that they are not worthy of coexistence and peace,” Qurum wrote. She went on to deny Regev’s claim that the Palestinians would have acted like other countries that helped the Nazis carry out the Final Solution, claiming that had Rommel won the battle, “Palestine would have become a state like other Arab countries in which Muslims, Christians and Jews will live with dignity and honor.”

Qurum does not deny Husseini’s alliance with the Nazis but claims it was an expedient that was the more likely path for a Palestinian state in the region. 

“Of course, Husseini’s relations with the Germans cannot be denied at all, but they must be placed in their proper circumstances and context. Germany did not occupy Palestine and did not give it to the Jews falsely. On the contrary, Britain and France shared the region as a whole between them as the two largest colonial powers at that time. Within the framework of the game of alliances, isn’t it natural for al-Husseini to bet politically on Germany, only in order to defend Palestine, which colonial Britain unjustly gave to the Jews?”

Elder of Ziyon noted that rather than refute Regev’s thesis, Qurum actually proved it:

“Qurum proves Regev’s main point: Palestinians need to acknowledge their support for a Nazi collaborator, not treat him as a hero. Because of his stature, it is unthinkable for a Palestinian writer to criticize the Mufti, whose hatred for Jews cannot be papered over – he was quite proud of it.”