Netanyahu’s Hitler Speech is nothing new

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, claimed at the 27th Zionist Congress on the 20th of October that Adolf Hitler did not want to kill Jews and that he was only convinced to do so by Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the then-Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem, in an extraordinary attempt at whitewashing the Nazi Genocide and Hitler’s culpability in it. You may wish to read the whole speech if you want – if you’re familiar with Netanyahu, it’s the usual -, but here’s the relevant extract:

Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, “If you expel them, they’ll all come here.” “So what should I do with them?” he asked. He said, “Burn them.”

The statement was widely condemned by Holocaust historians, and rightly so. Moshe Zimmermann said the comments essentially made Netanyahu a Holocaust denier. “Any attempt to deflect the burden from Hitler to others is a form of Holocaust denial,” he told The Associated Press. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said that “Netanyahu hates Palestinians so much that he is willing to absolve Hitler of the murder of 6 million Jews.”

Netanyahu’s claim does not need debunking. It never happened. Pure fiction. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to try and link the fate of the Jews under European fascists (and under so-called Western democracies I might add) with Palestinian resistance to Zionist Settler Colonialism. It is such a preposterous position that one can only react to it in disgust.

This is why minor figures such as Al Amin occupied such a special place in Zionist myth-making. To give one example of this obsession, quoting Joseph Massad in an Electronic Intifada piece:

Massad notes that in the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, sponsored by Israel’s official memorial Yad Vashem, “the article on the Mufti is twice as long as the articles on [top Nazi officials] Goebbels and Göring and longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined. The entry on Hitler himself is only slightly longer than the one on Husseini.

As Ali Abunimah recently wrote in his ‘Why is Benjamin Netanyahu trying to whitewash Hitler?‘ piece:

The story of the Mufti has thus become a keystone for the Zionist version of Palestinian history, which leaves out a basic fact: the Zionist movement’s infamous agreement with Hitler’s regime as early as 1933 . The so-called Transfer Agreement facilitated the emigration of German Jews to Palestine and broke the international boycott of German goods launched by American Jews.

Just think about what Netanyahu is trying to do. I don’t know about you, but I always thought that Adolf Hitler was a genocidal monster obsessed with racial purity, not some passive well-meaning and misguided individual who was mysteriously convinced by some Muslim man from Palestine to commit genocide. While it’s true that Haj Amin Al-Husseini was a criminal and an all-round despicable man, whitewashing Nazism in such a way is itself despicable and an insult to those who suffered from Anti-Semitism in Fascist Europe.

It doesn’t take much to realize that Netanyahu is trying to bring up the Holocaust, once again, to justify Zionist dehumanization of Palestinians. Which brings me to my final point, namely that abusing the memory of past suffering is an all-too-common feature of Zionism. There is a parallel to be made between Zionist political opportunism today and in the early years of the 20th century, particularly between the two World Wars and during WWII.

Compare Netanyahu’s 2014 visit to Paris right after the Charlie Hebdo massacre calling on all French Jews to immigrate to Israel with this June 1947 Manifesto by the Jewish League for the Struggle Against Zionism, part of Egypt’s then-Democratic Movement for National Liberation, in which Egyptian Jewish Communists denounced Zionism’s shameless opportunism:

We denounced the Zionists for taking an interest in deported Jews only to the extent that it serves their own narrow egotistical interests, for their refuse to consider any solutions to the problems of these unfortunates [Jewish refugees] other than emigration to Palestine. Thus they prolong the deportees’ suffering for the purpose of exploiting it to Zionist political ends. (Gilbert Achcar, ‘The Arabs and the Holocaust‘)

What can be more insulting to Jews than to assume that you know where they should belong? Isn’t the whole point of condemning anti-semitism based on the principle that Jews have the right, like anyone, to identify themselves? Why can’t a French Jew ‘belong’ to France like any French Catholic, Atheist, Muslim or otherwise?

It was understood back in 1947, just as it is now, that Zionism never shies away from using tragedy for political gains. Its immoral opportunism was denounced in a March 1943 speech in Jaffa by Ridwan Al-Hilu, the Arab secretary of the Palestinian Communist Party:

Anti-Jewish terror in the fascist countries is in reality a criminal act perpetrated by fascism that undermines the Arab cause and helps Zionism. [Zionism] knows this very well; it knows that the liquidation of racism and chauvinism in Europe would entail its own liquidation and that of its projects and ambitions. That is why it welcomes anti-Jewish terror and thwarts all plans that might channel emigration toward a country other than Palestine. This happened, for example, at the 1939 Evian Conference, when, at a meeting of the representatives of the Jews of England, America and Poland, the Jewish Agency opposed all plans that might divert Jewish emigration from Palestine. It was happier to see the Jews remain in Germany, where they are subject to torture, terror, and privation, than to transport them to any country other than Palestine. This clearly shows that Zionism’s concern is not to save Jews from the terror that is overwhelming them; its sole concern is to profit from that terror.  (Gilbert Achcar, ‘The Arabs and the Holocaust‘)

Without such a context, it is easy to be outraged by Netanyahu’s lack of any moral compass. Here is a man who is willing to use and abuse the memory of those Jews that were slaughtered during the Nazi Genocide in order to pander to his Islamophobic, racist and fascist followers. But is it really that unusual? Zionist leaders have repeatedly used the Holocaust to justify the Settler Colonial project in Palestine – the so-called ‘Holocaust Industry‘ –  and continue to do so today.

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  1. ‘In 1933 the German Zionist Federation sought Hitler s patronage: “Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews. . . . Boycott propaganda . . . currently being carried on against Germany . . . is in essence un-Zionist.” Zionism became the only other legal political movement in the Nazi Reich. That same year, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) made the Ha’avara (Transfer) Agreement, undermining the boycott against Nazi Germany. German Jewish emigrants to Palestine had to buy Nazi goods that the WZO sold in the Middle East. In 1937 the Haganah (later the Israeli army) sent an agent to Berlin. They would provide spy intelligence if the Nazis further eased the monetary regulations for emigrants to Palestine. The Zionist-Revisionist movement (today the ruling Likud Party) set up a detachment at Mussolini’s naval academy. He personally reviewed them in 1936. They wanted him to replace Britain as Zionism s patron. In 1941, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (later Likudniks) told the Nazis that they wanted a “Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich,” and offered “to actively take part in the war on Germany s side.” This is the sordid history documented in Lenni Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. This updated edition features a new afterword by the author.’
    http://www.amazon.com/Zionism-Age-Dictators-Lenni-Brenner/dp/0985890991/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1NWNX7PTRABQAFE9YCPE&dpID=51yvUxdU13L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR106%2C160_

  2. Benjamin Netanyahu is just a big bag of wind because he is giving out what is within him as an individual… Making such a statement is Nonessential there is no merits in such dog talk o guessed his ancestors came from Germany so therefore he see the need to defends hitlers actions for the holocaust;his statement makes me sick”I think he himself is a sick and twisted man his evil intentions is just having the best of him.

  3. The Palestinians – which are Christians and Muslims – are today used in an ugly political play by all countries in the region, for example it is not understandable why they are not allowed to work and make money in Lebanon and are still living in incredible poverty and ghettos eventhere. The state of Israel is built on blood and terror, the Haganah did terrorist attacks during the time of the British protectorate, and all this is declared and right and true as a act of liberation by the state of Israel, while the Palestinians – doing equal acts today with similar intention – are declared as enemies of the human world when doing so. All this is only disgusting, but actually this is not standing focus, but I fear if no mutual agreeable and acceptable solution will be found here, there will be never peace in the Middle East. Therefore, Jerusalem should be declared as an international city controlled by the United Nations, which shall be open for all religions, believings or whatsoever. But this is more a dream.

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