German chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Israel, and plans to discuss Germany’s “historical responsibility”.
Most people would understand this to mean something like “Germany’s debt to the Jewish People as a result of the Holocaust”. And some would argue that the debt has been paid, or the debt can never be paid, or that the guilty Germans are almost all dead now, or that they should or should not be forgiven.
But there is another aspect of this that I would like to talk about which is alive and contemporary. This is the way Nazi ideology became part and parcel of the Arab, and particularly Palestinian Arab world view, and how this has contributed to their position that any solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict short of another Jewish genocide is unacceptable.
In his book “History Upside Down: the Roots of Palestinian Fascism and the Myth of Israeli Aggression“, David Meir-Levi explains how Hamas’ parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, began a “political and military relationship with Nazi Germany” in the 1930’s, and how its leader Hassan al-Banna was inspired by Nazism.
Of course the most famous Palestinian Arab Nazi — who was closely connected to the Brotherhood — was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who helped raise Muslim armies for Hitler in the Balkans, and who intended to implement the Final Solution in Palestine. Matthias Küntzel writes,
The Mufti’s aim was to “unite all the Arab lands in a common hatred of the British and Jews”, as he wrote in a letter to Adolf Hitler. Antisemitism, based on the notion of a Jewish world conspiracy, however, was not rooted in Islamic tradition but, rather, in European ideological models.
The Mufti therefore seized on the only instrument that really moved the Arab masses: Islam. He invented a new form of Jew-hatred by recasting it in an Islamic mould. He was the first to translate Christian antisemitism into Islamic language, thus creating an “Islamic antisemitism”. His first major manifesto bore the title “Islam-Judaism. Appeal of the Grand Mufti to the Islamic World in the Year 1937”. This 31-page pamphlet reached the entire Arab world and there are indications that Nazi agents helped draw it up. Let me quote at least a short passage from it:
“The struggle between the Jews and Islam began when Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina… The Jewish methods were, even in those days, the same as now. As always, their weapon was slander… They said that Muhammad was a swindler… they began to ask Muhammad senseless and insoluble questions… and they endeavoured to destroy the Muslims… If the Jews could betray Muhammad in this way, how will they betray Muslims today? The verses from the Koran and hadith prove to you that the Jews were the fiercest opponents of Islam and are still trying to destroy it.”
Küntzel shows how today’s virulent Arab antisemitism, as exemplified by the Hamas Covenant, was actually a melding of the “DNA” of anti-Jewish attitudes in traditional Islam with the genocidal hatred of Adolf Hitler (he also shows how the Muslim Brotherhood is the direct ancestor of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups).
The British, by the way, who elevated Husseini to his position in order to damage Jewish and French interests in the Mideast, and who helped Muslim facists escape after WWII (see John Loftus, “The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis, and Al-Qaeda“), also bear quite a bit of “historical responsibility” for what has happened to Jews in the Mideast since the war and what has happened to the US, Britain, Spain, and numerous other nations since 9/11.
The point of all this is that Nazism did not die in Hitler’s bunker in 1945. It lives on in Arab Jew hatred, and this perhaps explains why the Arabs and especially Palestinians have consistently been allergic to a solution of the conflict that leaves Israel in existence.
It also explains why Muslim Jew hatred today, as exemplified by Hamas and Hezbollah, is not limited only to the Jews of the Middle East, but extends to all Jewry everywhere.