Saturday, November 07, 2015

Is it Iran’s Middle East now?

From Fathom, Autumn/2015, byJonathan Spyer:


A poster of Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenai at the entrance to an office of the Hashd al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization) in Baghdad. Photo by Jonathan Spyer. .

. . . While the single best organised and most aggressive alliance active currently in the Middle East is the bloc of states and movements gathered around the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the nuclear deal will lead to an increase in Iranian regional ambitions, both the built in limitations of Iranian methods and the sectarian nature of the conflicts in question mean we are not likely to see Iranian domination of the Middle East.

The Middle East is currently in the midst of widespread instability, civil strife and the collapse or contraction of state authority. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Turkey, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Tunisia and Egypt have all experienced major instability over the last half decade. The first four of these areas have effectively ceased to exist as unitary states, and are now partitioned de facto between warring entities, organised according to ethnic, sectarian or tribal loyalty. The Palestinian territories too are divided into areas controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.

In this fractious landscape, powerful regional states are seeking to gain advantage, extend their own power, and diminish that of their rivals.

The collapse of states has in turn brought with it the decline of the national identities which supposedly underlay them, and the growth of sectarian identification as a political factor. The result is the emergence of Sunni-Shia conflict as a major overt presence in the Middle East. In Yemen, in Iraq, in Lebanon, and in a more complex way in Syria, Sunni-Shia rivalries form a central dynamic, which are also important in terms of the geo-strategic rivalries among major states competing in the Middle East.

Perhaps the single best organised and most aggressive alliance active currently in the Middle East is the bloc of states and movements gathered around the Islamic Republic of Iran. Motivated by clear strategic goals and by powerful ideological motivations, and with long experience of subversion particularly relevant to the current period of instability in the Middle East, Iran and its allies are powerful players in the regional contest.

Prior to the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme, signed on 14 July 2015, it had appeared that Iran might be approaching a point of overstretch. Tehran was committed to assist a large portfolio of clients engaged in conflict across the region, at a time when Tehran was itself subject to biting economic sanctions. The continued civil war in Syria and the opening of conflicts in Iraq and Yemen – in which the Iranians were heavily committed – seemed to introduce this possibility.

However, the conclusion of the nuclear agreement – and with it the prospect of release of impounded funds as part of sanctions relief – has immediate implications for the related subject of Iranian regional ambitions and outreach. The precise sum likely to become rapidly available to Iran following the signing of the agreement and sanctions relief remains unclear and disputed. Estimates range from $150 billion (the sum frequently quoted by opponents of the nuclear deal) to $56 billion (the likely sum according to US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew).

But even if one assumes the lower estimate, and combines this with additional sums likely to become available to Iran because of renewed economic ties with the outside world as an element of sanctions relief, it may be concluded that the risk of overstretch, and a consequent inability on the part of Iran to sustain its regional commitments, has effectively disappeared as a result of the signing of the JCPOA.

As a result, Iran is well placed in the current period to continue its practice of supporting proxy political-military organisations in a variety of regional locations, in pursuit of Iranian strategic goals.

Iranian Ambitions in the Arab world

Iran is currently actively supporting proxies in major conflicts in the following areas: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. In addition, there is evidence that Iranian agencies are active among Shia populations – as yet without major effect – in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Tehran also has a strategic relationship with (Sunni majority) Sudan.

Iranian aims

Iran’s strategic goal is to emerge as the dominant power in the Middle East and, eventually, the entire Islamic world. It seeks to roll back US influence in the region and to work towards Israel’s destruction.

At a conference on ‘Iran, Nationalism, History, and Culture’ in Tehran in March 2015, Ali Younesi, a senior adviser on intelligence matters to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, outlined a clear vision for Iranian regional hegemony. Younesi described Iran’s role as ‘protecting the interests of all the people in the region – because they are all Iran’s people … We must try to once again spread the banner of Islamic-Iranian unity and peace in the region. Iran must bear this responsibility, as it did in the past.’ He noted Iran’s past as an empire, and spoke of a ‘greater Iran’ which stretched from the borders of China to the Persian Gulf.

Younesi’s statements are not, of course, a failsafe guide to policy. But the adviser’s much noted speech is a fair summary up of the wide ambitions of Iran.

In practice, Iranian resources appear to be directed to realising this vision in two specific areas: firstly, the establishment of a contiguous line of pro-Iranian entities between the Iraq-Iran border and the Mediterranean Sea, and secondly, extending Iranian influence to the Arabic-speaking side of the Persian Gulf, and subverting the interests of Saudi Arabia in this area.

The former goal has a number of motivating forces behind it. Firstly, there is an obvious strategic interest in reaching access to the Mediterranean, which has been a feature of Iranian and Persian state policy from antiquity.

Secondly, reaching Lebanon gives Tehran an entry point into the Israel-Arab conflict. The Iranians have invested heavily for over 30 years in their client Hezbollah in Lebanon. As non-Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims, the Iranians suffer from a ‘legitimacy gap’ in the mainly Sunni Muslim Arab Middle East. They seek to close this gap through commitment to the destruction of Israel, and in practical terms through the sponsorship of organisations engaged in war against the Jewish state. Access to Israel’s borders is essential for this.

In addition, Iran has an interest in a weak or subordinated Iraq. The Iranian regime fought a bloody war against Iraq in the 1980s, which forms a core formative experience for the regime. To avoid any possible recurrence, Iran has an interest in ensuring a non-hostile Iraq through sponsorship of friendly political players in that country.

With regard to the Gulf, Tehran sees Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council as rivals for power. Tehran lacks the conventional ground and air forces for projection of power beyond its borders. It seeks to overcome this disadvantage through the development of its ballistic missile programme, and through its efforts in asymmetric conflict.

While the Iranians may hope eventually to isolate Saudi Arabia and cause the Gulf states to abandon their links with the US and to instead come under Iranian protection, this moment is far away in terms of the current balance of power because of Iran’s limited military capacities. At present, therefore, the Iranians aim to frustrate any Gulf or US ability to carry out operations in the Gulf or into Iranian territory through the building of a deterrent capacity.

The Iranian practice of harassing international shipping in the Straits of Hormuz and the investment in small boats, coastal defence and UAVs reflects this goal. Because of their limited conventional capabilities, the effective use of proxy warfare has high importance to the Iranians.

So to sum up, Iran’s strategic goal is ultimately to build regional hegemony. In the short term its core goals include maintaining domination of the space between the Iran-Iraq border and the Mediterranean as well as deterring the US and intimidating the Gulf states.

These goals place Iran at loggerheads with those status quo states in the region, most importantly Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry, combined with the collapse of a number of regional states and the growing importance of sectarian identity as a marker of political loyalty, are producing a cross-border sectarian struggle, with Iranian clients lined up against clients of Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Qatar.

This sectarian element is important, because it represents a built-in limit to Iranian potential. As a Shia power, Iran finds it difficult to gain legitimacy among Sunni Arabs or to successfully develop proxies outside of Shia Arab populations, as becomes apparent when taking a closer look at Iran’s main commitments in the region.

The pattern of Iranian success and failure

When assessing how things stand for Iran in the main countries in which it is engaged, an emergent pattern presents itself.


In Syria, Iran has been determined, since the outbreak of the uprising against the Assad dictatorship in March 2011, to preserve the dictator’s rule. Iran and Syria have formal relations of military alliance dating back to 1982. Iranian financial assistance, mobilisation of regional proxies, help in military organisation and now direct provision of military personnel to Assad have been vital in preventing his downfall.

Has the intervention into Syria been a success for Iran and its methods of outreach? Partially. Assad still controls Damascus. But he rules over only about 20 per cent of the entire territory of Syria. There are no prospects of the reconquest of the greater part of the areas lost any time soon. So Iran’s efforts may have kept the dictator in his seat, but the result has not been a return to repressive stability, but rather the effective collapse and de facto partition of Syria, with Assad reduced to the status of a single warlord among others, rather than the ruler of a country.

It is noteworthy that despite Iranian assistance, the direction of the Syrian Civil War appeared to be turning decisively against Assad in the course of 2015. The intervention by Russia, beginning this past September derived to a degree from Russian perception that the current levels of support were not working and that if Assad was to be saved, a more direct involvement by Moscow was necessary. According to some reports, the Russian intervention was the direct result of a visit by Iranian Quds Force commander General Qasem Soleimani to Moscow in July 2015 in which he impressed on Russian officials the increasingly desperate predicament faced by Assad. If this was indeed the case, it is testimony to the limited efficacy of Iranian methods in the Syrian context.


Iraq has a Shia Arab majority, and a traditionally pro-Iranian party (Dawa) is currently in power. Iranian assistance to the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the form of the organising of the Shia militias in the Popular Mobilisation (Hashed al-Shaabi) played a vital role in stopping the Islamic State (IS) advance eastwards in the summer of 2014. The most powerful of the militias are political as well as military organisations. While these militias are officially administered by the Popular Mobilisation Committee, in reality the most powerful of them are directly linked to Iran. The Badr organisation, headed by Hadi al Ameri, and the Ktaeb Hezbollah, led by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, are the strongest of these groups. Both Ameri and al-Muhandis are veteran pro-Iranian Shia Islamist activists, with long and verifiable links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (the latter fought on the Iranian side in the Iran-Iraq war). Both are personally linked to the Quds Force and Qasem Soleimani.

The Shia militias, as both political and military organisations, are the key instrument for Iran in Iraq. Through them, the Iranians are able to directly impact the policymaking process in the country. Yet it is also the case that Iraq remains effectively divided into three component parts; the government controlled area in the south, the Islamic State territory in the centre, and the Kurdish north. Neither the Shia militias nor the Iraqi armed forces appear anywhere close to re-uniting the country, and it is difficult to see how they could do so, given their openly sectarian, Shia orientation.

So in the Iraqi context, Iranian influence is deep, but the result of it is the fragmentation of Iraq, and the Iranian domination of one part of it, rather than the emergence of a strong Iran-aligned unitary Iraqi state.


In Lebanon, the success of Iranian methods of outreach and subversion are most clearly showcased. Hezbollah is the prototype of an Iranian created and supported political-military group. Established by the Revolutionary Guards in the early 1980s, Hezbollah has, since 1990, been the only non-governmental organisation permitted to maintain an armed wing in Lebanon (with the exception of Palestinian groups permitted to carry arms within refugee camps). In 2006, Hezbollah launched a war on Israel without seeking the consent of the official government of the country. In 2008, it crushed an attempt to impose the authority of the central government over some of its activities.

Hezbollah has played a vital role in the Syrian civil war as an ally of Iran. Its personnel are taking an active part in the fighting. Iran and Hezbollah have also sought to take advantage of the chaos in Syria to establish an additional front for operations against Israel just east of the Quneitra Crossing (facing the Golan Heights). So far this has not been successful. Israeli pre-emptive action to prevent this has included the killing of a number of senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah personnel on 19 January 2015.

No challenge to Hezbollah’s military power is on the horizon, though the entry of approximately one million Syrian Sunni refugees since 2011 has undermined the notion of an emergent Shia demographic majority which underlay and deepened the organisation’s strength. There is evidence of efforts to organise among the Sunnis by both Jabat al-Nusra and IS.

There are no physical restrictions on Hezbollah’s freedom of action. But at the same time, the notion of emergent open Hezbollah rule replacing the Lebanese state, and implementing the Iranian system of government in the country is far-fetched. Hezbollah has neither the need nor the possibility of imposing such rule. Iran has implanted a powerful military machine along the border with Israel, giving itself a direct entry to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the ability to intervene to help other allies in need (Hezbollah has also involved in supporting pro-Iranian groups in Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian territories in recent years.) But even in Lebanon, the site of Iran’s greatest success, if Iran was hoping to produce a similar Shia Islamic regime to its own, this appears neither imminent nor likely.


In Yemen, the Iranian ally/client is the Ansar Allah organisation, more commonly known as the Houthis, after the name of the tribe which controls the organisation. The Houthis seized control of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in September 2014. The government of President Abd-al Rabbo Mansour Hadi was forced into exile in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis and their allies then began a march to the south, intending to seize the Gulf of Aden and unite the country under their control.

Saudi and Emirati assistance to Yemeni government forces seeking to prevent this outcome began on 26 March. Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain also joined the coalition against the Houthis. The Houthis, having failed to take Aden City, have now agreed to adhere to a seven point plan brokered by the UN at talks in Muscat, Oman. The plan includes a ceasefire and the return of the government to Sana’a. It is not yet clear if the planned ceasefire will be implemented. But again, we see the pattern of Iranian support resulting in division and renewed conflict, rather than outright victory for the Iranians.


Iran maintains a strategic alliance of long standing with one Palestinian organisation – Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Islamic Jihad was founded in the Gaza Strip in 1981 by activists directly influenced by the Islamic Revolution in Iran. PIJ has remained a supporter of Iran and beneficiary of Iranian aid and support ever since. Islamic Jihad, however, is a small organisation, with no serious ambitions for competing for the political leadership of the Palestinians. In the course of the 1990s, Iran sought to establish a strategic relationship with Hamas, largest and most powerful of Palestinian Islamist groups. This burgeoning relationship was disrupted, however, by the post-Arab Spring rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and then by the outbreak of civil war in Syria. Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood linked group, sought to distance itself from the Iran-aligned Syrian regime, which was engaged in crushing a largely Sunni Arab revolt. The movement transferred its headquarters from Damascus. At the same time, Hamas sought to draw closer to what looked then to be an emergent Muslim Brotherhood regional bloc, centred on Egypt and Qatar.

In the event, no such bloc emerged. But it led to estrangement between Hamas and Iran. As of today, a split pertains in Hamas regarding future relations with Iran, with some elements supporting a return to alignment with the Iranians and others favouring alignment with Qatar and an attempt to repair relations with Saudi Arabia.

During the period of the Second Intifada, the Iranians also maintained contacts with and support for armed elements within the rival Fatah movement. It is likely that these channels of communication and support still exist.


In all areas of Iranian regional ‘outreach’, a common pattern exists. Iranian regional policy is characterised by the establishment and/or sponsorship of proxy political-military organisations. In every case noted, (with the partial exception of Lebanon) the result of the Iranian involvement is not Iranian strategic victory and the constitution of the state in question as an ally of Iran. Rather, Iranian outreach prevents the defeat and eclipse of the local Iranian ally, while ensuring division and continued conflict in the area in question.

This Iranian modus operandi – and its centrality in Iranian regional strategy – as well as the far reaching nature of Iranian goals as outlined above, mean the notion that a post JCPOA Iran can form a partner for stability in the region is deeply flawed, and will quickly be contradicted by the facts.

The export of chaos has the merit, perhaps, of keeping disorder far from Iran’s own borders by ensuring that rivals to Tehran are kept busy engaged in proxy conflicts elsewhere. However, it is difficult to see how it can result in regional hegemony and leadership.

This Iranian penchant for fomenting chaos also places them on a different trajectory to the Russians. This is important, because the Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, from September 2015 has been characterised in some quarters as the birth of a new strategic alliance between Tehran and Moscow. Ibrahim Amin, editor of the pro-Hezbollah al-Akhbarnewspaper, happily called this supposed new bloc the ‘4 + 1’ alliance (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Hezbollah).

But Russia has no interest in strategic support for Islamist proxies in the Middle East. Rather, it seeks powerful state allies, without particular concern as to their internal electoral arrangements or ideological proclivities. The Iranian model of creation and support of proxy Shia Islamist forces contrasts with Russia’s desire for powerful, centralised forces with which it can do business. This means that Russia and Iran have different and even opposed regional orientations, even if there is currently an overlap with regard to the Assad regime in Syria.

As a result of the JCPOA, Iran is likely to increase its support for its portfolio of proxy organisations across the region. The net effect of this will be to increase regional disorder and foment continued conflict. 

However, because of the built in limitations of Iranian methods and because of the sectarian nature of the conflicts in question (which means Iran finds it very difficult or impossible to pursue really lasting alliances with non-Shia Arab clients), it is unlikely that this will result in the attainment by Iran of its strategic goal of regional leadership/hegemony. 

Iran is a spoiler par excellence. But despite its ambitions and pretensions, it does not look like the founder of a new Middle Eastern order.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Setting the Record Straight: Hajj Amin and the Nazis

From BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 318 by Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman*:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Legacies of Hajj Amin al-Husseini’s work are still with us. The broadcasts of Radio Zeissen, the Mufti's propaganda station, resonate in the 1988 Hamas covenant, and indeed still reverberate throughout our region. So do the recurrent references to Nazi imagery and texts in the Palestinian public domain. To demand a proper historical reckoning is therefore not to "demonize" the Palestinian people but to treat them, for a change, as adults capable of coping with a culture of responsibility. 
Amidst the controversy and the invective, an opportunity has now arisen to set the record straight as to Hajj Amin al-Husseini and his role in Berlin. True, he was not the instigator of the extermination: and the record of his meeting with Hitler in November 1941 does not support Prime Minister Netanyahu's colorful depiction of it. Hitler spoke of "Vernichtung" as early as January 1939, and his troops implemented it well before Wannsee. But it is equally misguided to depict the Grand Mufti as a marginal player, or to describe the effort to bring him to justice – dating back to 1946 - as yet another Zionist propaganda ploy. A broad body of evidence, including several significant contributions in recent years by German scholars, proves otherwise.
The leader of the Palestinian people – still venerated today, and his creed still followed by many - was a promoter, a planner and an indirect perpetrator in mass murder. The evidence for that rests on much more than Dieter Wisliceny's story. To dismiss or diminish his role is not only historically wrong: it is ultimately harmful to the prospect of clarity, and perhaps reconciliation, as to the origins of the conflict. It helps sustain a narrative of victimhood about 1948 which ignores the Palestinian leadership's overt intentions, and the Mufti's role in bringing about the fate that befell his people.
In a discourse dominated by "narratives" – which are all too often veiled diatribes, wrapped carefully in subjective pseudo-historical interpretations – it is more important than ever to stay as close as possible to the actual historical record. Not everything is in the eyes of the beholder. Some things actually happened, were documented, and should serve as the necessary foundation for intelligent discussion. All the more so when the impact of the past is still very much with us, as is the case with Hajj Amin al-Husseini's activities in Nazi Germany from November 1941 onwards, as well as his earlier support for the Axis cause.
It is regrettable that Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to offer, in his speech to the 37th World Zionist Congress on October 20, a highly colorful but historically unfounded depiction of the Grand Mufti's audience with Hitler on November 28 1941. But it is equally tragic, even grotesque, that this is being used to ignore, once again, the broad body of evidence on Hajj Amin's complicity in Nazi policy. All too often, even in Israel, this aspect of history has been cast aside – making it easier for the Arab side to advance a version of history in which the Palestinians were the innocent victims of a Jewish onslaught.
The implications of this tendency to dismiss or at least diminish the Mufti's role (even in the new Yad va-Shem Museum, it is given a distinctly marginal place, certainly in comparison with its setting in the previous exhibit) are often overlooked. After all, Hajj Amin – unlike his fellow guest in Berlin, and later Tokyo, Chandra Boze, who broke with Gandhi and urged the Indian national movement to side with the Axis – was not a minor figure in the history of the Palestinian people: he was their predominant leader for more than a generation. His aggressive incitement as to Jewish designs on the Temple Mount still reverberates today; and his party's brutal repression of the more moderate Opposition (Mu'aradah) in the late 30's sealed off any prospect of a compromise based on partition, and set the stage for the tragedies which followed.
He was also unique in retaining his position of leadership after 1945, despite his well-known association with the Nazis. This sheds a distinct light on the circumstances of the war of 1948, and on the innate realization for the Jewish population and leadership, at the time, that this was in some ways the last great battle of World War Two: Jews, some of them survivors, defending themselves against a Palestinian leader (and soldiers, like Kawukji) who came directly from the Nazi side. To say this is not to "attack" the Palestinians – it is simply to invite them to take a deeper look into their own history.
The Mufti's specific role in Berlin, therefore, needs to be addressed: and while any exhaustive study of the issue – based upon the impressive volume of recent well-documented studies, many of them by German scholars, from Matthias Kuntzel onwards – lies outside the scope of this paper, some points must be made. Indeed, the present debate should be seized upon as an opportunity for historical clarity.
It is certainly true that Hitler (and Himmler) needed no goading in matters of murder, and in his Reichstag speech on January 31, 1939 – long before he met the Mufti – the Fuhrer openly warned that if Jewish conspiracies do bring about another war, the result would be the "Vernichtung der Judische Rasse in Europa". Wholesale slaughter was already practiced by the Einzatsgruppen attached to the invading forces in Poland in September 1939 and more systematically in the Soviet Union right from the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.There is no record, moreover, of the purported exchange as depicted in Netanyahu's speech.
None of this, however, should be used to erase the detailed evidence of Husseini's complicity in the Holocaust – which contrary to some recent assertions, goes well beyond the claims made on this subject by Dieter Wisliceny as he awaited trial in Nuremberg (he was ultimately  executed in Bratislava in 1948). One of the most extensive and documented studies of his actions, as well as of his ambitions and petty quarrels, during his time in Berlin can be found in a book privately published in Tel Aviv in 1996 by the former Yugoslav partisan Jennie Lebel (jailed by Tito after the war, she made Aliyah in 1954). She obtained, among multiple other sources, the indictments for war crimes which the post-war Yugoslav government prepared against the Mufti. The book, "Haj Amin and Berlin", deserves greater attention (and some better editing) than it received: it certainly serves to counter any claims about the minor role played by him – and other Arab collaborators with the Nazis – throughout these years of war and extermination.
In several respects, the Mufti was an active participant in the Nazi war against the Jews:
1.     As a promoter of the idea of extermination, including – among many statements and speeches to this effect - his message to Mussolini in the summer of 1940, in which he claimed the "right" of the Arabs at large to solve the Jewish problem in their own lands in line with Axis practices in Europe. This was later translated into his active role in Iraq - where he was involved not only in the Kailani coup but also in inciting for the "Farhud" (pogrom) of June 1941.
2.     As a planner of further extermination, and specifically that of the Jewish population of the Jewish community in pre-state Palestine: specifically, through collaboration of his agents with Einzatsgruppe Egypten, under Walter Rauff (considered to be the initiator of mass killing by poison gas trucks; later charged with the destruction of Tunisian Jewry), which sat in Athens vainly awaiting Rommel's conquest of Egypt and of British Mandatory Palestine.
3.     As the perpetrator – through the active mobilization of Balkan Muslims to three Waffen-SS divisions, including the "Hanjar" (dagger) Mountain Division – of war crimes for which he was later indicted by the Yugoslav government, and sought be the British authorities (the French, as part of a pattern of provocative actions designed to avenge what they saw as their humiliating removal from Syria by British intervention, let him escape after the war through their territory to Egypt, where King Faruq offered him asylum).
It is not some Zionist propagandists but two scholars of American Arab origin, Youssef and Basil Aboul-Enein, in their fascinating study of Axis and Allied intelligence operations during World War II, who offer the following succinct summary: "With his introduction to Himmler, [Hajj Amin] became actively involved in the grotesque campaign against European and Slavic Jews in the Final Solution.”
The past will not go away. What makes this issue so acutely relevant today is not only the incitement over Jerusalem, which triggered the Prime Minister's outburst, but other legacies of the Mufti's work which are still with us. Any reading of the Hamas Covenant, for example – written in London in 1988 – and in particular Article 22, "explaining" all of modern history as a reflection of devilish Jewish designs, proves that the broadcasts of Radio Zeissen, the Mufti's propaganda station (with its relay station in Bari) continued to resonate almost fifty years later, and indeed still reverberate throughout our region. So do the recurrent references to Nazi imagery and texts in the Palestinian public domain.
To demand a proper historical reckoning is therefore not to "demonize" the Palestinian people but to treat them, for a change, as adults capable of coping with a culture of responsibility.
* Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman recently joined the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies as a senior research associate. For the past six years, he served as deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at the National Security Council in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. For 20 years prior to that, he held senior posts in IDF Military Intelligence, and also was Israel director of the American Jewish Committee.
BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

The Iran "deal" has already failed

From MEMRI, 30 Oct 2015, by Yigal Carmon:

What Is The "Iran Nuclear Deal?"
What is mistakenly perceived as an agreement under the title of "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA), that was concluded on July 14 in Vienna, and celebrated by the White House as an "historic agreement," is neither a contract nor even a real agreement between Iran and the P5+1. It is a set of understandings and disputes compiled into a single document.
For example, the JCPOA states that in the event of Iranian violations, sanctions will be re-imposed (snapback). However, the Iranian position, which rejects all sanctions, is incorporated in the same document. In outlining the snapback of the sanctions, Article 37 also stipulates: "Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part."[1] This is not merely an Iranian reservation expressed outside of the negotiating room. It is incorporated into the text of this selfsame document – and one that completely contradicts preceding provisions that stipulate otherwise. Since the parties were unable to arrive at an understanding on this issue in two entire years of negotiations, they decided to resolve this major issue by incorporating this disagreement into the document itself.
The JCPOA is best characterized by bangs and whimpers – by bold prohibitions on Iran that peter out in qualifying terms such as "unless," "except if," and the like.
Why isn't the JCPOA a contract? Because Iran would never have signed any contract with the U.S. – "the Great Satan" – whose demise it seeks. Likewise, it would not have signed any contract with any other party to the negotiations, since it views the sanctions imposed on it by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and by EU and IAEA reports as grievous injustice. By signing such an agreement, it would retroactively legitimize these wrongs done to it.
As Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei frequently reiterates, Iran agreed to negotiations mainly to get the sanctions lifted. Therefore, as far as Iran is concerned, the only acceptable name for this enterprise is "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" – under which each party commits to particular action. It is a joint plan, not a contract.[2]
Has Iran Fulfilled Its Initial Obligation To Approve The July 14 Vienna JCPOA?
The JCPOA includes a timetable and obligations applying to both sides. Within this time frame, both parties had 90 days from July 14 to secure approval for the agreement from their respective national institutions. By "Adoption Day," set for October 19, which has come and gone, the agreement was meant to have been approved by both sides. The EU was to have announced the lifting of its sanctions, while President Obama, on behalf of the U.S., was to have announced the lifting of the U.S. executive branch's sanctions, along with waivers on sanctions imposed by the U.S. legislative branch – that is, suspension, because the president is not authorized to lift them.
Adoption Day was preceded by a farcical UNSC endorsement of the agreement/disagreement, as demanded by Iran. The U.S. volunteered to play errand boy for this undertaking. For its part, the UNSC eschewed discussion on the matter, and passed this historic resolution, No. 2231,[3] on such a weighty historic document in record time – under 30 minutes.
The Western side showed its consent long before October 19; the self-effacing EU member countries did not even bother to discuss the agreement in their national parliaments – and thus confirmed their true status as nonentities. And while the U.S Congress did discuss it seriously, the agreement was allowed to proceed, via a convoluted process that was nonetheless legal and binding.
In Iran, however, following discussion in both its Majlis and its Guardian Council, the JCPOA as concluded and announced on July 14 was not approved. The Majlis ratified something else – a set of recommendations to the government of Iran regarding how it should execute the JCPOA. This hardly constitutes approval of the original document. The Guardian Council, for its part, approved what the Majlis had done; Guardian Council secretary-general Ayatollah Jannati said, on Iranian TV, that his council had approved not the JCPOA but a plan for the government to secure Iran's interests in executing it.[4] Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said the same thing.[5]
Was this a fulfillment of what Iran was obligated to do under the JCPOA? No! Did the U.S. administration insist that Iran approve the JCPOA, as concluded and announced in Vienna on July 14? No! Does the U.S. realize that Iran's ultimate authority to approve laws rests with Supreme Leader Khamenei, and that he has not yet approved the JCPOA? NO! Nevertheless, the U.S. and Europe have chosen to regard what Iran has done as approval – so that the peace process will not be halted.
The U.S. and Europe then proceeded to the first post-Adoption Day phase in the JCPOA timetable: The EU announced that its sanctions would be terminated. President Obama announced that the U.S.'s executive sanctions would be lifted and its legislative sanctions waived; this announcement was not for immediate execution, but in fact advance notice that these measures would come into effect by December 15 – provided that the IAEA would report that Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the JCPOA.
What are these obligations that Iran has to fulfill between Adoption Day and December 15 in order to merit this sanctions relief? The Arms Control Association, which supports Iran and the JCPOA, listed them on its website:[6]
*reducing the centrifuges at Natanz from over 16,000 to 5,060 IR-1 machines, which will enrich uranium to 3.67 percent, and removing the associated infrastructure;
 *reducing the number of IR-1 machines centrifuges at Fordow to 1,000 (328 will operate) and converting the facility for radioisotope production;
*wrapping up testing on advanced centrifuges machines and removing all advanced centrifuges except one IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, and IR-8 machine for testing with uranium;
*storing all dismantled centrifuges under IAEA seal;
*reducing the stockpile of enriched uranium to less than 300 kilograms;
 *removing the core of the Arak reactor and disabling it; and
*instituting the necessary transparency and monitoring mechanisms to implement Iran's additional protocol and the continuous surveillance of key facilities.
Did Iran hasten to meet these obligations? No! The explanation follows below.
Why Has No One Said A Word About Iran's Noncompliance?
Since Adoption Day, no one in the West – not the media, not Capitol Hill, not Israel – has spoken up about the fraud of Iran's alleged "approval" of the JCPOA. Western intelligence agencies and think tanks have also held their tongues. Everyone swallowed the lie, in a spirit of goodwill, in order to allow the JCPOA to proceed, for "peace in our time."
The Republicans should have remembered their revered leader, Abraham Lincoln, invoked by Barack Obama in 2007 when he announced his presidential candidacy at the spot where Lincoln had done so over 150 years previously. After all, it was Lincoln who said, "You cannot fool all the people all the time."
The pro-JCPOA political media have, of course, misled the public by reporting that Iran approved the JCPOA. But even the anti-JCPOA media have failed to rebut this lie. Why? Ignorance, unprofessionalism, and hatred for President Obama blinded them. Here is what they likely are thinking: Obama gave in to Iran on everything. Obviously, Iran is going to approve this piece of "absolute Western capitulation."
However, Iran did not get absolutely everything it demanded, and Obama did not give it absolutely everything it demanded – he held out for a tiny scrap of the U.S.'s initial position, as will be detailed below. That is why Iran would not approve the JCPOA – to Iran, anything less than 100% of what it wants is an injustice.
Why Isn't Iran Rushing To Fulfill Its Obligations And Get Sanctions Relief By December 15?
At this stage, events have taken an absurd turn. Iran has started dragging its feet. Instead of rushing to carry out all the steps to meet its obligations under the JCPOA, it is idling in neutral. It has little time and much to do by December 15. It must dismantle thousands of centrifuges and transfer them to storage monitored by IAEA cameras. It must ship out 9,000 kg of its enriched uranium to a third country, retaining only 300 kg. It must dismantle and pour cement into the core of the Arak plutonium reactor, and transform the facility into a heavy water reactor. It must notify the IAEA of its voluntary acceptance of the NPT Additional Protocol. And more.
But senior Iranian officials are shifting responsibility for initiating fulfillment of these obligations to one another, sometimes with comical effect. For example, President Hassan Rohani sent a letter to Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi instructing him to begin to take the appropriate steps. Salehi confirmed that he had received Rohani's message, but said that it had not stated when he should start doing so. No one wanted to budge without explicit permission from Supreme Leader Khamenei.[7]
Khamenei Issues Nine New Conditions, Blocks Execution Of JCPOA
Now the big secret is out. Khamenei has not approved the JCPOA. And those who pretend that it has been approved – President Rohani, Foreign Minister and negotiator Javad Zarif, and their associates – have been on borrowed time. While they could lie to the West, to President Obama, to Secretary of State Kerry, and to the EU foreign ministers that they can move ahead, they always knew that Khamenei opposed the JCPOA. Now, at the moment of truth, they feared to proceed.
Indeed, it was logical for Khamenei to allow the Iranian negotiators to play along with the P5+1, to see what they could get at no cost to Iran – since it was well known that President Obama was dying for an agreement. But once Khamenei knew that President Obama is standing firm on the last fragment of the original U.S. position, either unwilling or unable to capitulate any further, Khamenei broke his silence. Stepping in in the final act, Khamenei, deus-ex-machina style, dictated, in a letter to President Rohani, nine new conditions for the JCPOA, and declared that if these were not met Iran would stop the agreement.[8]
Actually, Khamenei had issued an early warning in a September 3 speech,[9] in which he said that all the sanctions must be lifted, not suspended, and that if not, there would either be no agreement or Iran would also only "suspend" its obligations. But President Obama did not yield. He cannot override congressional sanctions; he can only issue a suspension via waiver. Politically too, it might be too far for him to go to break his promise of the JCPOA's built-in security mechanism – snapback of the sanctions. Obviously, snapback is possible only if the sanctions remain in place under suspension. Therefore, Khamenei, realizing that the sanctions would remain, also kept his promise and blocked the agreement with new conditions, one of which – i.e. the lifting of sanctions rather than suspension – he knows for sure cannot be met.
How Did The American Media Describe Khamenei's Nine New Conditions?
Khamenei's letter to Rohani with his conditions for the execution of the JCPOA – the publication of which coincided with the days of the Ashura that are of vital religious and national significance in Iran and symbolize steadfastness against the forces of evil – was explicitly termed "conditional approval." It was labeled thus in red letters, as posted on Khamenei's website in Persian, tweeted from his Twitter account and posted on his Facebook page in English, and also published in English by the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting authority IRIB.

But instead of reporting that at this stage, and at present, Khamenei's approval is not given unless Khamenei's conditions are met, the American media said that Khamenei had approved the JCPOA. Would these members of the media also consider a purchase concluded if they had not paid for it? The entire American media, without exception, left, right, and center – as well as, apparently, all the U.S. intelligence agencies and think tanks – claimed that Khamenei had approved the agreement. Only two newspapers in the West wondered about the emperor's new clothes – but even they did not shout "But he hasn't any clothes on at all!" They said only that he was missing a couple of accessories.
Khamenei had spoken, banning outright any implementation of the JCPOA by Iran until his new conditions are met. The entire Iranian political system is hewing to this line – including President Rohani, Foreign Minister Zarif, Majlis Speaker Larijani, a majority of Majlis members (166), and more (for a full list to date, see Appendix I).
Everyone, that is, except for Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Khamenei's political rival and head of Iran's pragmatic camp, who in an interview published this week by MEMRI openly challenged Khamenei and said that Iran should abide by what it undertook in the JCPOA.[10]
But this cannot happen. Khamenei holds the reins.
Did the media report on Rafsanjani's interview? No! But the media in Iran did (see Appendix II). This, however, did not stop the editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz from writing that the interview was faked.

This is a well-known human reaction: When people stand before the complete collapse of what they believe in, they enter a state of denial.
So What Now?
And what is President Obama to do, as everything he has stood for in the Iran deal collapses so ignominiously? On the right, they say he will continue to capitulate. In their ignorance, and in their hatred of him, they fail to realize that he can simply surrender no farther. OK, they say, so the IAEA will provide Obama with the necessary confirmation by December 15 that the Iranians have done their part. But that is impossible as well. What is demanded of Iran is gargantuan in scale, and it would be far more difficult for the IAEA to fake confirmation when the Iranians themselves are declaring loudly that they are not going to do it.
With every passing day, Iran is more and more in violation of the JCPOA. But neither the Republicans nor the Democrats, nor the media, nor anyone else will acknowledge this, for the implications are too devastating. The agreement is no longer in effect. Its clock has stopped.
But the weeks will pass, and the media and politicians will be forced to admit that this is the case. And the last thing they will be willing to do is to force Iran to meet its obligations. Thus, it appears that President Obama's only option, shameful as it is, is to restart the negotiations with the Iranians and talk with them about their leaders' new conditions. As is well-known, this administration advocates diplomacy – guaranteeing that there will be no breakthrough any time soon.
This is precisely what will serve President Obama best. All he needs to do is play for time and reach the end of his term with an agreement in hand – albeit virtual – and negotiations in progress – albeit unending. He will pass this situation on to the next administration. The success will be all his, and the failure will be all theirs. The media will zealously guard Obama's legacy, and his successor, Republican or Democrat, will be too uninformed to protect him or herself from this historic maneuver. And it will serve them right. 

How evil was the Mufti? MOST evil...

From the Muslim Issue, 21 October 2015:

“The Mufti [Amin al-Husseini] was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan, . . .He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say that, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited in-incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz”
SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dieter Wisliceny, in a signed official deposition submitted on July 26, 1946, to the Nuremberg tribunal.

The counter argument by the press against Netanyahu’s public statement is built by some of the selective historians they have interviewed. They claim it would be impossible for Amin al-Husseini to have influenced Hitler’s holocaust because al-Husseini officially met Hitler in late 1941 while Hitler had already been putting his plans into motion.
But none of the historians the media is quoting mentioned that al-Husseini was in contact with the Nazi’s long before his officially recorded visit with Hitler. The points with a star (*) and linked are dates not mentioned in the article below the video:
  • * 1914-1917 Husseini’s First Taste of Jihad: Amin Al-Husseini swears allegiance to the Ottoman Empire during the Muslim genocide of 1.5 million Armenian Christians. He is an officer stationed in Smyrna and participates first-hand in the Armenian genocide.
  • Belfour declaration, which established the borders of Israel and includes Jordan, is drafted in 1917.
  • Fanatical Haj Amin begun to instigate anti-Jewish riots in Palestine as early as 1920.
  • When the Mufti appeared before the “Palestine Commission on the Disturbances of August 1929” (the Shaw Commission) in December 1929, he held a copy of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in his hand.
  • * Arab Nazi political groups spring up throughout Middle East in 1933. (Nazi Germany and the Arab world, 1933-1944, by Francois R Nicosia)
  • When Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935, not so few Palestinian Arabs sent him telegrams congratulating him.
  • * Husseini Meets Hitler’s banker in 1936. Francois Genoud, later known as the Swiss Banker of the Hitler’s Third Reich, travels to Palestine to meet Amin Al-Husseini for the first time. Their relationship will continue well into the 1960’s.
  • There is a rare document about a possible visit by Haj Amin Al-Husseini to Yemen in 1936. The document refers to Al-Husseini as “an envoy of Hitler.”
  • As early as February 1933, a few weeks after Hitler became Reich Chancellor, the Mufti sent a telegram to Berlin addressed to the German consul-general in Jerusalem saying he looked forward to spreading Nazi ideology in the Middle East and Palestine.
  • In July 1937, the Mufti visited the German consul-general to express his support for Nazi Germany once again.
  • In November and December 1937, a representative from the Mufti traveled to Berlin to seek German financial and military support.
  • * Amin Al-Husseini ends up on Hitler’s payroll. Al-Husseini visits Jerusalem German Consul. He meets SS Hauptschanfuehrer A.Eichman and SS Oberscherfuehrer H. Hagen to discuss “the Jewish question”. Amin Al-Husseini subsequently receives financial and military aid from Nazi Germany.
  • Adolf Eichmann, SS Lieutenant-Colonel and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust, knew the Mufti quite well. As early as 1937, he was sent to the Middle East to contact the Mufti and other Arab leaders. He and SS Oberscharführer Herbert Hagen arrived in Haifa by boat on October 2, 1937.
  • The Mufti traveled to Berlin in November 1941 to meet Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Hitler.
  • The Nazis granted the Mufti asylum in 1941.
  • After the war the Mufti’s diary was found by the Allies. On a page bearing the date of 9 November 1944, the following words had been written: “The best of the friends of the Arabs. Eichmann.” Above the word “Eichmann” (written in Latin characters) appeared the following Arabic words in Al-Husseini’s own handwriting: “fairus nadira jiddan” and “Kheir mukhlis lil-arab” – “a very rare diamond” and “the best redeemer for the Arabs.”
No matter what the arguments the media gives in their selection of historians, it is a huge plus that the media is even covering this statement from history as it will lead to a lot of curiosity and attention – finally – to the reality of the Muslim occupation of Israel, which was purely based on jihad and nothing else.
Let’s look at the timeline of some of these incidents below. There is an article by Emerson Vermaat that has painstakingly gone through date by date to cover some of the essentials. Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in crime and terrorism. We’ve re-published it below the video.

Adolf Eichmann’s deputy at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, said: “The Mufti was instrumental in the decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The importance of his role must not be ignored. The Mufti repeatedly proposed to the authorities, primarily Hitler, Ribbentropp and Himmler, to exterminate the Jews of Europe. He considered it a suitable solution for the Palestinian question.”

The Grand Mufti was a war criminal in WWII. If you doubt it then look it up.
We’ve added the photos to the original article.

Haj Amin Al-Husseini – Nazi collaborator and model for today’s Islamists

By Emerson Vermaat
Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in crime and terrorism.
Haj Amin Al-Husseini (1895-1974), Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is a man of the past, at the same time he is a man of the present. Not only was he one of the best Arab friends the Nazis ever had, he also worked for them and was handsomely paid by them in the crucial war years between 1941 and 1945 when he lived in a villa in Berlin. Today, he is a model for many radical Muslims who share his views on the Jews, Sharia law and the West. He was the father of Palestinian nationalism. Why did he feel so deeply attracted to Nazi ideology? Why did the Nazis see the Grand Mufti as their close friend and ally?
It was in 1899 that Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a British born germanofile, published his book “Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts” (“The Foundations of the nineteenth century”). This book would make a huge impact on nationalistic and anti-Semitic Germans and later laid the foundations for Nazi ideology. Chamberlain acquired German citizenship in 1916, during the First World War, that is. He later joined the Nazi Party, was close to Goebbels and Hitler, but died in 1927, six years before the Nazis would come to power.
Chamberlain was fascinated by the powerful will of the Arabs and Islam (“der Mohammedanismus”), and by the way Muslims are facing death.[1
Nazi Party philosopher Alfred Rosenberg, a strong admirer of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, hated the Christian churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church, but he did admire the creative power of both Confucius and Mohammed. They had a purpose and showed the way forward for others. Mohammed forced many people to follow his doctrine, Confucius created longlasting Chinese “Volkstum” (traditions or customs of the people), Rosenberg wrote in his “Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts” (“Myth of the Twentieth Century”).[2 At the same time Rosenberg was worried about the increasing number of Muslims (“Mohammedaner”) in Africa and Asia:
“Everywhere in the colonies where racial mixtures occur, the mongrels (“Mischlinge”) enthusiastically embrace Islam. At the same time Islam promises freedom to the negroes by means of a common struggle against Europe. The Indian Basvani writes. “I tell you Europeans to be on guard. An old Indian man says: ‘Be on guard when you see the tears of awakening: Already does the East wake up, the Hindus and the Muslims in India, Egypt, Persia, Algeria and Afghanistan suffer under the domination of aggressive imperialism of the West.”
More than ever must the white races be on guard against the perhaps once united hatred of the colored races and mongrels led by the fanatical spirit of Mohammed. “[3
Yet, Rosenberg’s “Mythus” was translated into Arab – initially in abridged form – and even enjoyed a certain popularity in the Arab world. Bernard Lewis notes that “the Arabs, though classsed as Semites in Nazi literature, were accorded a very different treatment by the rulers of the Nazi state.”
“Despite some initial reluctance and continuing uncertainty, due more to political than ideological considerations, the Nazis decided that the Arabs might be useful to them, and made some effort to win Arab sympathy for Nazi ideas and to mobilize Arab support for German purposes.”[4
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini who was the closest Arab ally the Nazis ever had, pressed Rosenberg in 1943 to instruct the Nazi press to drop the term “anti-Semitism,” because this term had a negative connotation affecting the Arab world which sympathized with the Nazi cause. One year later, Al-Husseini said it is better to replace the term “anti-Semitism” by “anti-Judaism.” Thus, it becomes clear it is about a struggle against the Jews, and not against the Arabs.[5
Rosenberg published a highly critical book on “Zionism” in 1922 and it was this book that later made him an ally of radical Muslims who were also bitterly opposed to Zionism and the “Jewish homeland.” Zionism began in 1895 when Theodor Herzl published his book “Der Judenstaat” (“The Jewish State”). Herzl proposed a national home for the Jews. When he died in 1904, “Zionism” had developed into an inspiring force for many European Jews, especially those who had suffered from persecution or discrimination.
Rosenberg wrote that the Zionists wanted to achieve world domination. They start in Palestine and from there the Jewish “march to world domination” continues. “A Jewish controlled Palestine could develop into a focal point for Jewish ideas of world domination,” Rosenberg said.[6
This is precisely what the Palestinian Hamas movement would say 66 years later in its Charter: Today it is Palestine and tomorrow it will be another country and then other countries, the Zionists will seek to control the whole region and after that they will seek world domination. “The Zionist scheme has no bounds.” (Article 32).
In his “Weltanschauliche Thesen” (“ideological propositions”) written in 1939, Rosenberg points out that National Socialism is not opposed to religion. In fact, it is a new religion, a true German religion which replaces Christianity and the religions of the east – the religions of the past. Yet, Rosenberg simultaneously applauded the renewal (“Neustarkung”) of Shintoism in Japan and of modern Confucianism in China. This stands in clear opposition to the “Christian ideology” of those who are deluding themselves that they can convince others.[7

[Head of SS Muslim Hanzar Division, Amin Al Husseini]
Rosenberg prefers Islam and the religions of the East to Christianity. But the most superior religion is, in his view, so-called “positive Christianity,” the German “arianized” version of Christianity: Jesus was not a Jew, he was a “hero,” a “self-confident master,” not a servant, and not “the sacrificial lamb of Jewish prophecy, not the crucified one.”[8
This view, by the way, comes close to the Muslim view of Christ. Muslims believe that Christ was an important prophet, but they do not believe he was ever crucified. His Jewish origins are not denied but usually downplayed. And many Muslims, too, attach much value to strength, power and a strong will.

There were a few courageous German theologians who openly opposed Rosenberg’s ideas. One of them was Walter Künneth, a Lutheran theologian who published his “Antwort auf den Mythus” (“Response to the Myth” – a highly critical review of Rosenberg’s “Myth of the Twentieth Century”). Künneth pointed out that Rosenberg’s view of Christianity and the Bible was utterly wrong. He also criticized Rosenberg for portraying the Jew as “the diabolical opponent of the Nordic man.” Those who want to abolish the Jewish Old Testament destroy the very foundations of the church, Künneth wrote in 1935. “Whoever lays a finger on the Old Testament, lays a finger on God’s revelation.”[9
The Nazis did not like Künneth’s book, the secret police (Gestapo) began to harass and interrogate him: “Don’t you know that it impossible in the Third Reich to take such a position on the Jewish question?” a Gestapo man asked Künneth after he had been taken to the notorious Gestapo headquarters in Berlin’s Prinz-Albrecht Street. Künneth was not allowed to preach and teach anymore, his teachings were deemed to be “incompatible with the National Socialist world view.”[10

The Nazis and the Iranian extremists: equating Jews with “Satan”

Rosenberg himself was a religious and ideological fanatic who reminds us of many of today’s Muslim extremists. His “Weltanschauung” (ideology) of the sacred Aryan blood was cloaked in religious language. “The Jewish concept (attitude towards) of the world is satanic,” he wrote. The “German genius” clashes with the “Jewish demon.”[11
Hitler, too, believed that the Jews were “satanic.”[12 The Jewish character is determined by Satan, the Jew is the original image (“Urbild”) of the power of the evil one.[13 Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels also equated the Jews with Satan. “The Jew is the Antichrist of world history,” Goebbels wrote in his diary in 1926.[14
The “Antichrist” is an apocalyptic or eschatological figure decribed in the New Testament as “the son of perdition,” “the beast,” “wickedness revealed in human form,” a kind of devil incarnate (second letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, 2 verse 3; the first letter of St. John, 2 verse 18, 22; the second letter of St. John verse 7 and the Book of Revelation 13 verses 1-18). In his third letter does St. John, the apostle, refer to the Antichrist as “the arch-deceiver.” And Goebbels calls the Jews “the incarnated lie” (“Der Jude ist die menschgewordene Lüge.”). Therefore, Christ could not have been a Jew (in Goebbels’ view).[15
Today, Iranian extremists do exactly the same. They easily equate the Jews and Israel with Satan. Talking about “Israelites and Jews,” Iranian university professor Hesmatollah Qanbari was interviewed on Iranian TV on November 11, 2004, “global Jerusalem day”:
“Jews infiltrated everywhere, they went covertly and deceitfully… Wherever they went they spread corruption and took over the economy. Anyone who knows the truth surely has no choice but to confront them for the sake of the continuation of humanity and the survival of God’s way. This is a very small group that does nothing but spread strife and corruption. Today, a large portion of Europe is under their control. They collect taxes for no reason. If they grow stronger, their destructive treatment of the Christians will surpass their treatment of the Muslims… The Israeli Zionists didn’t merely occupy land; the matter has become complicated. This is a satanic and impure ideology that may take over the world.” [16
This could have come straight from Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” (The Nazis, too, emphasized that there was a kind of Jewish conspiracy for world domination by rich Jews who controlled Wall Street and the economies of Europe.[17)
On more than one occasion did the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, a bitter and deeply frustrated man, refer to the United States as the “Great Satan,” and to Israel as the “Little Satan.” Iranian leaders follow his example. They may not have been acquainted with Rosenberg’s high flown diction or with Goebbels’ diaries and speeches, but they and yesterday’s Nazis surely have reached a common mind. The Nazis once called the Jews “satanic’ and today’s Iranian leaders now call the Jewish state of Israel “satanic.”

Hitler, the Arabs and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem

The Palestinian nationalist Mohammed Haj Amin Al-Husseini received his theological education at the prestigious Al-Azhar University, Egypt. (He did not finish his studies, though, so he was not really qualified to act as a spiritual leader.)
Nevertheless, between 1921 and 1948 Haj Amin Al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a fanatical hate cleric who was very close to the Muslim Brotherhood and who deeply resented the Jews, the English and the West in general. Palestine was a British mandate at the time.
Kamil Al-Husseini, Haj Amin’s predecessor and half-brother, was a moderate man who did not hate Jews and Christians at all. The British bestowed om him the title of “Grand Mufti.” He was the very opposite of the fanatical Haj Amin who had begun to instigate anti-Jewish riots in Palestine as early as 1920. Haj Amin had inspired armed gangs to attack Jews praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in March 1920. Other Jewish towns were also attacked, the total number of Jews killed was forty-seven.[18
A British military court sentenced Al-Husseini to 15 years in prison, but Sir Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner, pardoned him one year later. Kamil had died in 1921 and the British were looking for a successor. Haj Amin’s name was not on top of their list, there was a rival proposed by the Nashashibi clan. But Haj Amin had influential friends who advised Sir Samuel to appoint him.[19 One year later, the British allowed Al-Husseini to become president of the newly formed “Supreme Muslim Council,” an influential body established to direct religious affairs of the Palestine community.[20
From the very moment he was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, did Haj Amin Al-Husseini abuse his position to preach jihad calling on his followers to kill as many Jews as possible. He was directly or indirectly responsible new riots and the creation of a terrorist group called the “Black Hand.”
Al-Husseini was the driving force behind Arab and Palestinian nationalism, the Palestinian riots in 1929 and the bloody Arab revolt in Palestine which began 1936 and lasted until March 1939. Al-Husseini organized fedayeen (=”one who sacrifices himself”) suicide squads against local authorities.[21
Al-Husseini also issued a fatwa saying: “All Muslims who maintained friendly relations with the Jews were to be considered as infidels.” Most victims of the Mufti and his fanatical violent gangs were moderate Palestinians. There was no peace between the rival Nashashibi clan and the Mufti.
In 1929, Al-Husseini distributed pamphlets saying: “O Arabs, do not forget that the Jew is your worst enemy and has been the enemy of your forefathers.” A Jewish youth group had received permission from the British to conduct a peace March on Waling Wall. The Mufti immediately denounced the “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a holy Muslim site. After an incendiary speech at the Mosque on August 23, 1929, Al-Husseini’s armed fedayeen committed a massacre in the ancient city of Hebron where a Jewish hospital was attacked and a synagogue was destroyed. 67 Jews were killed.[22
Hebron is the second holiest city in Judaism. Armed mobs also descended on the peaceful orthodox Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. There were additional violent assaults on Jews living in Haifa, Jaffa, Safed, Motza and Tel Aviv. By the end of the month 133 Jews had been killed, 399 wounded.[23
When the Mufti appeared before the “Palestine Commission on the Disturbances of August 1929” (the Shaw Commission) in December 1929, he held a copy of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in his hand.[24 (A notorious anti-Semitic document which will be discussed later.)
The riots and the revolt were also aimed at growing Jewish immigration and “Zionism.” In the crucial year of 1936, Al-Husseini became president of the newly formed “Arab Higher Committee,” a committee in which the Nazis (through the German ambassador in Baghdad) also took interest.
As early as February 1933, that is a few weeks after Hitler became Reich Chancellor, the Mufti sent a telegram to Berlin addressed to the German consul-general in Jerusalem saying he looked forward to spreading Nazi ideology in the Middle East and Palestine.[25
The first congratulary telegrams to Hitler upon his election as Reichs Chancellor came from Arabs.[26
In Berlin, the Nazis were quite surprised. They had never expected this. Hitler was not yet interested in courting the Arabs whom he and other Nazis regarded as “inferior Semites.” [27
Besides, Hitler had other priorities at the time. Palestine was a British mandate, and Hitler did not want to provoke the British by meddling into Palestian affairs.[28
In the first six years of Nazi rule a number of high ranking Nazis still believed that German Jews could emigrate to Palestine or another place. This was bound to change after the war broke out.
In July 1937, the Mufti visited the German consul-general to express his support for Nazi Germany once again. In November and December 1937, a representative from the Mufti traveled to Berlin to seek German financial and military support. Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr (military intelligence), ordered the dispatch of weapons to Palestine.[29
This was a covert operation, of course.

Nazi propaganda in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon was increasinly successful:
“When the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday was celebrated in 1937, German and Italian flags and photographs of Hitler and Mussolini were carried prominently by Arab demonstrators in Palestine, while Arab newspapers hailed this demonstration as a ‘significant gesture of sympathy and respect… with the Nazis and Fascists in their trials at the hands of Jewish intrigues of international financial pressure.’”[30
When Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935, not so few Palestinian Arabs sent him telegrams congratulating him.[31
After a serious shooting incident in Nazareth in September 1937, the mandatory government abolished the Arab Higher Committee. Al-Hussein managed to escape to the village of Al-Zug, near the Lebanese capital of Beirut (The Arab Higher Commitee was reconstituted in Damascus, Syria.)
In October 1939, the Mufti fled to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad where his status was equal to that of a government minister.[32
Once safely in Iraq, Al-Husseini continued to plot against the British, and not just against them. The already German friendly Iraqi government was overthrown by a military coup on April 1, 1941, and the even more pro-German Rashid Ali El-Kailani became prime minister. The coup plotters had received German, Italian and Japanese support. Al-Husseini played a decisive role in the coup d’état.[33
In exchange for information and cooperation, he received vast amounts of money from the Axis powers (via the Italian embassy in Baghdad).[34
Yunis es-Sebawi became Minister of Economic Affairs. Es-Sebawi also happened to be the same one who had previously translated Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in Arab.[35
Hitler issued a directive in May 1941, expressing his support for the new Iraqi leaders:
“The Arab Freedom Movement is, in the Middle East, our natural ally against England. In this connection, the raising of rebellion in Iraq is of special importance.”[36
British Prime Minister Churchill sensed the danger and wanted to take quick action. Churchill rightly feared that a pro-Nazi regime in Baghdad could soon spread its nefarious influence to other Arab nations. The Germans were also advancing in North Africa and the Balkans. A British Indian brigade landed in Basra on April 18, 1941. Early May, British planes began to bomb Iraqi positions, Al-Husseini and the local clergy declared a jihad in a special radio message to the people (May 9, 1941).[37
The British military intervention force left Basra and marched north to Baghdad entering the capital on May 31, 1941. Rachid Ali El-Kailani, Al-Husseini and the German and Italian ambassadors fled to Tehran, Persia (Iran). There was an anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad the day after the two leaders had left: 179 Jews were killed.
The Nazis were unable to really help their allies in Baghdad because they badly needed troops elsewhere.[38 (Al-Husseini and El-Kailani could not stay very long in Tehran, British and Russian forces invaded and occupied Iran in August-September 1941; both were later smuggled out of the country.)
The British military intervention in Iraq had not been very easy. Churchill later wrote that “the German plan for raising rebellion in Iraq and mastering cheaply this wide area was frustrated on a small margin…. We in Britain, although pressed to the extreme, managed with scanty forces to save ourselves from far-reaching or lasting injury.”[39
The British government knew well before May 1941 “that the political situation in Iraq was deteriorating in the wake of Germany’s successes in Europe and as a result of increasing Axis pro-nationalist propaganda.”
Since September 1940, British intelligence (Code and Cypher School and SIS) had been reading “Axis diplomatic telegrams that the Italian and Japanese governments and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem were involved in anti-British machinations in Iraq and the supply of arms to the nationalists in that country.” The Italian legation was an important center of intrigue, the SIS reported. These stern and repeated warnings were largely ignored, however.[40
A nation can only ignore good intelligence at its own peril.
It is interesting to note that the Mufti was plotting against the very Iraqi government that granted him asylum in 1939, indeed, a government that helped him in many ways. The Mufti, obviously, wanted a government that would directly confront the British. He realized that the British military position was weak at the time. (The British intervention force which landed in Basra and marched on Baghdad was rather small and the Mufti never expected the British intervention to succeed.)
The Mufti and Kailani would later become bitter rivals as both presented themselves as Pan Arab leaders and both were dependent on Nazi and Italian support. The Mufti did everything in his power to sideline Kailani, the very man who supported him in the short time he was Prime Minister of Iraq.
It was not the first time the Mufti was plotting against those who helped him. When British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel made the fatal mistakes of both pardoning Haj Amin Al-Husseini and appointing him Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the newly appointed spiritual leader immediately began to agitate against the British. Later, during his stay in Berlin after the Nazis granted him asylum in 1941, the Mufti would be involved in numerous intrigues against those he did not like. (The Mufti even forced the German Foreign Minister to sideline an important Foreign Office official who was too close to his rival Kailani.[41)
During his stay in Baghdad the Mufti was very anxious to deepen his relations with Nazi Germany. In 1940, he wrote two obsequious letters to Franz von Papen, the German ambassador in Turkey. And in January 1941, he wrote a letter to Hitler himself stressing the common struggle against the Jews and “the very warm sympathy of the Arab peoples for Germany and the Axis countries.”
“The Arab peoples everywhere are prepared to act against the common enemy and give enthousiastic support to the Axis countries with a view to contributing to the defeat of the English-Jewish coalition.”[42
After he had been forced to flee from Baghdad, the Mufti wanted to meet Hitler and Mussolini personally. But initially, Hitler was not very charmed by the idea to form alliances with Muslims most of whom were “semites.” On August 22 1939, nine days before the outbreak of the War, Hitler indicated that he did not have a high regard for the people of the Far East and “Arabia” (the Arabs). He even called them ‘”lacquered half-monkeys.”
“We will continue to stir up unrest in the Far East and Arabia. Let us think of ourselves as masters (‘Herren’) and consider these people as best as lacquered half-monkeys who need to feel the knout.”[43
But it was during the war that Hitler began to show more respect for the peoples and religions of the East (Islam, Confucianism, Buddhism). “While the Germans were lured into superficial theological discussions, the teachings of Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed offered a broad spiritual base for religious minded people,” he said in June 1942.[44
By that time Haj Amin Al-Husseini, had become his ally. Hitler was favorably impressed by Al-Husseini’s “blond hair and blue eyes,” and believed “that in more than one case the Mufti’s ancestors must have been Aryan, he probably had the best Roman blood streaming through his veins.[45
This had also been noted in December 1937 by a writer in Rosenberg’s Nazi newspaper “Völkische Beobachter.” The Arabs are not pure semites, this Nazi says. Look, for example, at “the Mufti of Jerusalem, whose red beard and blue eyes reveal the dominant Circassian strain of this mother.”[46
During the war Al-Husseini spent most of his time in Berlin where he had his own office, a huge villa. The Nazis gave him a monthly stipend of 62,500 Reichsmark (about 20,000 US dollars), paid by Ribbentrop’s Foreign Office. The Mufti was anxious to receive as much money as possible from a variety of sources in the Third Reich, also from the SS, and preferably in foreign currencies. Substantial amounts of money were transferred to Switzerland. Even in April 1945, when the Red Army was closing in on Hitler’s Reich Chancellery, did the Foreign Office pay him 50,000 Reichmark.[47
Part of this Nazi money was later used to raise the “Arab Liberation Army” which would terrorize moderate Palestinians and Jews in 1948.[48
During the war most Arab leaders did not conceal their preference for Nazi Germany, and the Nazis were well aware of this. A large party of the Arab owner classes hoped that Germany would win the war.[49
One of the Arab leaders who was rather pro-German and pro-Mufti was King Farouk of Egypt. In May 1941, the British intercepted a secret personal letter from the king addressed to Hitler saying that “he (King Farouk) was filled with strong admiration for the Führer and respect for the German people, whose victory over England he desired most sincerely.”[50
After the war many leading Nazis, SS war criminals as well as the Mufti himself found refuge in Egypt or Syria (Alois Brunner, for example, fled to Syria.) The Islamists from the influential Muslim Brotherhood which originated in Egypt were also pro-Nazi. The Mufti himself was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and became its official representative in Palestine after the war. Theologically he was close to the Saudi Wahhabi tradition, the main brand of Sunni Islamism today. During the Palestinian revolt of 1936-1939, Sharia law was introduced in those areas of Palestine controlled and terrorized by Mufti militias. The Mufti’s legacy included mass killings of his (Palestinian) opponents.[51
After his escape from Iran with the help of the Italians, the Mufti traveled to Rome to meet Mussolini. He wanted the Axis powers to issue an official declaration that they supported the Arab aspirations for independence and sovereignty. (The Mufti hoped he would be the most important Arab leader after the war.) Mussolini saw no problem in issuing such a declaration, but the Germans did. They had to take the wishes of their French Vichy allies into account. Syria was a French mandate and North Africa was also French. So, the Mufti’s proposal was an embarrassment to Hitler and the German Foreign Office. (The Pan Arabs had recently designated not the Mufti but his new rival Kailani as their contact person for negotiations with Germany and the German Foreign Office also preferred Kailani to Al-Husseini.) Besides, Hitler had other priorities now, he had to defeat the Russians first.[52
The Mufti traveled to Berlin in November 1941 to meet Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Hitler. In his meeting with Hitler the Mufti stressed that “the Arab peoples are Germany’s natural friends fighting common enemies: Britain, the Jews and Bolshevism.” Five months earlier Hitler had invaded Russia (“Operation Barbarossa”), and now the Arabs could be very useful allies if an “Arab legion” would be formed. “The Arab world is strongly convinced Germany will win the war,” Al-Husseini told the Führer. He wanted Germany to issue a declaration “that Germany does not occupy Arab lands and understands and recognizes Arab aspirations for independence and freedom, just like it is committed to eliminating the national-Jewish homeland.” (This is the same declaration he had already discussed with Mussolini.)
Hitler responded “that Germany is committed to the uncompromising struggle against the Jews.” Germany will force each European nation to deal with the Jewish question. He also stressed that Germany was engaged in very heavy battles to open the entry to the Caucasus area. He expected the German armies to reach the southern Caucasus in the not too distant furture. “As soon as this is the case, the Führer would issue a declaration that the hour of liberation (of the Arab peoples) has come. The Mufti would then be the most qualified spokesman for the Arab world.”
Once the German armies pass through Rostow and Iran and reach Iraq, the British empire will collapse, Hitler said. Such a declaration cannot be issued before decisive battles have been won first (“auf Grund der durch die Waffen geschaffenen Tatsache”).[53
It was clear that the Mufti wanted Hitler to issue such a declaration in support of Arab unification and sovereignty and a leading role for the Mufti himself straight away but Hitler wanted to wait until his armies had crossed the Caucasus. Former Iraqi Prime Minister El-Kailani also arrived in Berlin and pressed Hitler and Foreign Minister Ribbentrop for a declaration that went even further. Ribbentrop’s Foreign Office did treat El-Kailani as de jure Prime Minister of Iraq, promising him, he would also be Prime Minister of Iraq once it was liberated.[54
Both Kailani and the Mufti were based in Berlin during the war years, and even the unscrupulous Nazis were surprised by the way both Arab leaders resented each other.[55 Himmler, the SS and Goebbels usually sided with the Mufti. Kailani was received by Hitler in July 1942.

Himmler, Haj Amin Al-Husseini and the SS “Handzar division”

It is not so strange, therefore, that Haj Amin Al-Husseini soon developed a close relationship with Heinrich Himmler and the SS, the traditional enemies of the Foreign Office establishment.
SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, just like Rosenberg, was a strong believer in the Arian “Nordic religion.” But he also felt attracted to Eastern religions and the occult. (Both the swastica and the SS rune signs are originally religious symbols and the obligatory Nazi greeting “Heil Hitler!” also comes close to religious adoration of the Führer.[56)
In a speech in 1935 Himmler emphasized that SS men are not interested in Christianity and the church, but they do believe in God and despise the atheists.[57
Himmler once described Hitler as a “German Savior” (“germanischen Heilsbringer”) who had been predestined by the “Karma of Germanity.”[58 Hitler was a leader sent by the Lord God, Himmler said on another occasion.[59 (Hitler once portrayed himself as a kind of Savior sent by “the Almighty Creator” whose mission it was to save Germany from the Jews.[60)
Ever since his first meeting with Grand Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini, did Himmler develop a stronger admiration for Islam. (The book cover of Klaus Gensicke’s study on the Mufti and National Socialism shows a photograph of Himmler bowing deeply when he shakes hands with the Mufti.) The SS Reichsführer probably read a German translation of the Koran. Some authors claim he ordered an investigation into the Arabic text of the Koran to find out whether it predicted that Hitler would complete Mohammed’s work.[61
The Mufti sent Himmler a telegram on October 6, 1943, congratulating him on his birthday and expressing the wish of achieving “even closer cooperation to achieve our common goals in the year to come.”[62
On November 2, 2003, Himmler sent a telegram to his friend “Haj Amin Al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,” referring to the “natural alliance” between Nazis and “freedom-loving Muslims”:
“The National Socialist movement of Greater Germany has, since its inception, inscribed upon its flag the fight against the world Jewry. It has therefore followed with particular sympathy the struggle of the freedom-loving Arabs, especially in Palestine, against Jewish interlopers.
In the recognition of this enemy and of the common struggle against it lies the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between the National Socialist Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims (“freiheitsliebenden Mohammedanern”) around the world.”[63
It was with the help of high level Nazis that a “Central Islamic Institute” (“Islamisches-Zentral Institute”) was opened in Berlin on December 18, 1942. The most prominent Nazi guest was Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. In his speech Al-Husseini referred to the Jews as “the bitterest enemies of the Muslims who since time immemorial have confronted Muslims with cunning and trickery.” World Jewry and their capital control the British. “This war has been unleashed by world Jewry.”[64
It was this kind of language and this kind of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Himmler, Rosenberg and Goebbels liked so much. With Himmler’s help the Mufti opened an “Imam school” in Guben, near Cottbus, in April 1944. This school was run by Himmler’s SS and it was here that imams were being trained who had to inspire and motivate Muslims fighting in the SS ranks.[65
Already in his meeting with Hitler did Al-Husseini press for the creation of an “Arab legion.” Initially, Hitler was not very enthousiastic about the idea, but his views changed after the defeat in Stalingrad. He now badly needed good and well motivated fighters. Himmler and his assistant Gottlob Berger wanted to select Muslims from Bosnia-Hercegovina for military service into a special SS-army (“Waffen SS”) division.
Himmler believed that Islam taught its followers to be good soldiers who can count on Allah’s mercy when they die in battle. For Himmler Islam was a natural ally of the German Reich. As Bosnian Muslims were rooted in European history, they could provide an important link between Arab Muslims and National Socialism.
Himmler raised this matter with Hitler in December 1942, but the latter waited until February 1943 to give his final approval. One month later, Himmler and Al-Husseini met in Berlin to discuss the formation of a Muslim Waffen SS unit, the so-called “13th SS Division Handzar” (also spelled as “Handschar” or “Hanjar”: the Handzar was the dagger of Turkish officers and policemen during the Ottoman Empire). Most members of the Handzar division were Bosnian muslims.[66 (Many Bosnian Muslims, though, refused to join the Nazi ranks and quite a number of Bosnian Muslims did everything to protect Jews, who had never been their enemies before, and so did the Italians in the areas under their control, in Mostar for example.[67)
Not everyone was enthousiastic about the idea of creating a Muslim division. Reich Foreign Minister Ribbentrop feared that Germany’s Kroat allies would be upset. Kroat leader Ante Pavelic hated Muslims, and demanded that the new Muslim division would operate under his control. But Hitler sided with Himmler and overruled Pavelic’s objections.
Assisted and advised by Al-Husseini, Himmler’s SS started a propaganda offensive in Bosnia.[68
The Mufti paid a visit to Sarajevo appealing for support among the Muslim clergy. By the end of April 1943, 12,000 men had been recruited, and the division’s eventual strength was 21,000 men.[69
Himmler possibly accorded the Mufti the high rank of SS Gruppenführer (=general). Handzar division commander was SS general Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig. Al-Husseini paid several visits to the division encouraging his fellow Muslims to fight the partizans and other Nazi enemies.
In the very year of Handzar’s formation, 1943, there were a lot of problems, however. The division was first transfered to France and then to Germany to receive training. There was much discontent among the rank and file resulting even in a serious mutiny in France. (Eight German officers were killed.) Sauberzweig was furious and knew no mercy. The mutiny was brutally suppressed. The men were looking for action in their home country Bosnia and they were finally sent back in February 1944 to fight Tito’s partizans. The fighting started in March and lasted through the summer. The men from the Handzar division committed terrible war crimes against local Serbs, killing thousands of civilians indiscriminately.[70
After the war, Tito’s Yugoslavia wanted to try Haj Amin Al-Husseini as a war criminal, but the Grand Mufti, Nazi collaborator and Himmler friend, escaped justice once again.
The Soviets did not take any action against Al-Husseini. They had every reason to. Al-Husseini’s men were fighting in Hungary in the final stages of the war. They killed many Red Army soldiers. The men from the SS Muslim divisions (Handzar was not the only Muslim division) were better fighters now. The reason why the Soviets declined to indict the Mufti as a war criminal and Nazi ally was quite simple: in the first years after the war, the Mufti was highly popular in Egypt and most other Arab countries (this would change in the 1950s and 1960s, though), and the Soviets were courting the same Arab regimes and governments. They wanted to counterblance US and British influence and policies in the Middle East.
Jordanian King Abdallah was not particularly a friend of the Mufti. The king appointed Sheikh Husam Al-Din Jarallah from the Nashashibi clan as new Mufti of Jerusalem in December 1948. Sheikh Jarallah was the same one whom the British had ignored in 1921 when they opted for Al-Husseini. Abdallah was proclaimed king of a “United Palestine and Transjordan.”[71
In April 1940, King Abdallah annexed what was later known as the Westbank. One year later, the king was assassinated by a man who belonged to the Al-Husseini clan. Al-Husseini and his “Arab Higher Committee” denied any involvement.[72

The Mufti, the Holocaust and the Mufti’s visit to “Auschwitz 3”

There is no doubt that the Mufti knew about the genocide of the European Jews, the Holocaust. He even played an active role in it. The “Encyclopedia of the Holocaust” says that Al-Husseini’s men from the Handzar division “participated in the massacre of civilians in Bosnia and volunteered to join in the hunt for Jews in Croatia. The Germans made a point in publicizing the fact that Al-Husseini had flown from Berlin to Sarajevo for the sole purpose of giving his blessing to the Muslim army and inspecting its arms and training excercises.”[73
Al-Husseini’s men participated in SS training courses and, as part of their training, visited the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen.[74
The Mufti personally knew SS Sturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) Adolf Eichmann, who coordinated the whole Nazi effort to make Europe “Judenrein” (kill all European Jews). Hannah Arendt claims in her book “Eichmann in Jerusalem” that “the Eichmann Trial revealed that all rumors about Eichmann’s connection with Haj Amin Al-Husseini, were unfounded. (He had been introduced to the Mufti during an official reception, along with all other departmental heads.)”[75
Unfortunately, Hannah Arendt, who covered the Eichmann Trial for “The New Yorker,” fails to mention here that this is exactly what Eichmann himself wanted the judges to believe. During the trial Eichmann said:
“I saw the Mufti just once. This was during an official reception hosted by Department VI in the Security Service guesthouse, to which most of the Specialist Officers of the Head Office for Reich Security had been invited. Each Specialist Officer, including myself, was presented to the Mufti… I never exchanged words with the Mufti other than to state my name when I was presented to him. I had nothing to do with the Mufti in political terms.”[76
Thoughout the trial, Eichmann followed the strategy of denying, lying and distorting facts. (He also wanted the court the believe he was not an anti-Semite at all.[77) He had a very selective memory.
But Adolf Eichmann knew the Mufti quite well. As early as 1937, he was sent to the Middle East to contact the Mufti and other Arab leaders. He and SS Oberscharführer Herbert Hagen arrived in Haifa by boat on October 2, 1937, at six p.m. As the boat left for Egypt the next day there was no time to meet many people. The Mufti was no longer in Palestine, he had fled after the British wanted to arrest him. (Chuck Morris incorrectly claims that the Mufti did meet with Hagen and Eichmann during their 1937 visit.[78 But both SS officers blame in their report the Mufti for having fled Palestine: this did not enhance his popularity among the Arabs.[79)
In Egypt, Eichmann and Hagen failed to get a visa for Palestine (the British simply refused to give the two men from a Berlin visa). But Eichmann and Hagen did meet a journalist from Jerusalem who belonged to the circle of the Grand Mufti.[80
After the British intervention in Iraq in 1941, the Mufti traveled to Italy and then to Nazi Germany to meet Reich Chancellor Hitler in Berlin. He also met Eichmann, possibly in the first half of 1942.
Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann’s deputy for Slovakia and a personal friend as well, made detailed notes when he was on trial in Nuremberg. In his notes, dated 26 July 1946, Wisliceny claims that Eichmann personally briefed the Mufti on the “final solution of the Jewish question” (=Holocaust):
“After Mufti Al-Husseini arrived in Germany, he paid a visit to Himmler. A shortwhile thereafter the Grand Mufti visited the director of the Jewish Section at the Gestapo Department IV, Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, in his office in Berlin, 166 Kurfürstenstrasse. I no longer remember the exact date of the visit. Possibly it was at the end of 1941 or the beginning of 1942.
By chance I was with Eichmann in Berlin a few days later, when he told me in detail about this visit. Eichmann lectured to the Grand Mufti in his Map Room, where he had collected statistical acounts of the Jewish population of various European countries – he lectured in detail about the solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. The Grand Mufti, according to him, was most impressed and said to Eichmann that he had already asked Himmler and had in fact secured Himmler’s consent on this point, that a representative of Eichmann should come to Jerusalem as his personal advisor when he, the Grand Mufti, would go back after the victory of the Axis Powers. In that conversation Eichmann asked me whether I was not willing to take the post. But I rejected in principle such Oriental adventures.
Eichmann was greatly impressed by the personality of the Grand Mufti. He repeately said to me, both then and on a later occasion, that the Mufti had made a powerful impression on him, and also on Himmler, and that he had an acknowledged influence in Arab-Jewish affairs.
To my knowledge, Eichmann saw the Mufti from time to time and spoke to him.”[81
In his excellent book “Justice in Jerusalem” Chief Prosecutor (Attorney General) Gideon Hausner points out that the (ex-)Mufti’s ties with Eichmann were of long standing:
“At the beginning of 1942 Eichmann received him and his retinue at the department’s headquarters and lectured to them on the Final Solution in Europe. The ex-Mufti was so strongly impressed that he immediately requested Himmler to designate someone on Eichmann’s team to be his ‘personal adviser’ on ‘finally solving’ the Jewish problem also in Palestine, once the ex-Mufti was reinstated in his office by the victorious Axis. Eichmann welcomed the offer… The personal ties between the two continued through the Mufti’s nephew, who was later a caller on Eichmann at his office.”[82
When Attorney General Hausner asked Eichmann if he remembered that a proposal had been made for Wisliceny to become the Mufti’s advisor after the great victory, Eichmann said: “I do not remember that, but I am sure that would necessarily have happened. I can safely say that. But I do not remember that.” When Hausner asked Eichmann if he could not dispute Wisliceny’s words in the matter, that it was suggested that he be the Mufti’s advisor, Eichmann replied: “I believe this is pure imagination on Wisliceny’s part.”[83 (This kind of contradictory responses was typical for that way Eichmann often sought the evade controversial issues.)
An architect named Andrej Steiner stated that Wisliceny told him the Mufti “had very close contact and cooperation with Eichmann.” “The Mufti is a sworn enemy of the Jews and he has always fought for the idea of annihilating the Jews,” Wisliceny told Steiner. “The Mufti is one of the originators of the systematic destruction of European Jewry by the Germans,” Wisliceny clarified.[84
After the war the Mufti’s diary was found by the Allies. On a page bearing the date of 9 November 1944, the following words had been written: “The best of the friends of the Arabs. Eichmann.” Above the word “Eichmann” (written in Latin characters) appeared the following Arabic words in Al-Husseini’s own handwriting: “fairus nadira jiddan” and “Kheir mukhlis lil-arab” – “a very rare diamond” and “the best redeemer for the Arabs.”[85]
A number of Mufti friends attended a brief crash course at the Gestapo offices in order to be “reconditioned into experts for any Gestapo to be set up in the Near East.” One of them was called the “Heydrich of the Near East.” Eichmann confirmed this, although he would not call it a course.[86
Attorney General Hausner later made the following observation in the courtroom:
“Haj Amin Al-Husseini was a man who obviously found in Eichmann a precious jewel. He had begun the spilling of Jewish blood in Palestine, his heart was wide open to an unclear partnership with the spiller of Jewish blood in the world, and in his Section Eichmann trains minions of the Mufti, among them the man who was dubbed ‘Heydrich of the Near East.’
And what was meant by this, Your Honors? After the victory, which was coming, as they hoped, these people were planning the same bloody work in the whole world, which would fall at their feet. And the Mufti who had spilled the blood of the Jews in Hebron, in Jaffa and in Jerusalem, in the riots of 1921, 1936 and 1939, was looking for a man like himself who would help him finish the job. He saw that they did it better there.”[87
The Mufti also visited Auschwitz and gloated over the mass murder of the Jews.[88
Ernst Verduin, a Dutch Jew who survived Auschwitz 3 (“Monowitz”) and whose number was 150811 (tattooed by the SS in his arm), actually saw the Mufti there in the second half of 1943. He saw 50 men wearing strange clothes and golden belts, accompanied by high ranking SS officers from Stammlager (=original camp) Auschwitz. Verduin was curious and tried to take a closer look, but an SS guard stopped him. He asked the guard who these people were. The guard replied that they were “the Mufti of Jerusalen and his retinue who wanted to see how the Jews worked themselves to death, so that he could do the same things to the Jews who lived in Palestine.”[89 It was known that the Mufti had visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek. What was not known was that he had also visited the forced labor camp of Monowitz, which was known as “Auschwitz 3” and was part of the vast Auschwitz complex.
Three companions of Kailani and one companion of the Mufti visited the concentration camp of Oranienburg in June 1942. Ribbentrops’s Foreign Office had objected to this visit. The four Arabs visitors were very much interested in the fate of the Jews and favorably impressed by what they saw.[90
There was a significant radio broadcast to the Arabs on September 20, 1944. In this broadcast did the Mufti ask his Arab listeners if they were not able to turn away 11 million Jews. The total number of Jews at the beginning of the war was 17 million. The Mufti must have known, therefore, that 6 million Jews had died between September 1939 and September 1944.[91
The Nazis and the Mufti almost used the same term when they talked about the Holocaust. The Nazis spoke of “Endlösung” (“Final Solution”), the Mufti referred to “Endgültige Lösung” (“Definitive Solution”).[92 This cannot be coincidental. The Mufti clearly was familiar with Nazi terminology on the Holocaust.

Mufti prevents the rescue of 19,000 Jewish children

The Mufti knew exactly what was happening to the Jews who were sent to Poland. He was worried about the policies of the governments of Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria – three allies of Nazi Germany – who wanted to send a number of Jewish children to Palestine. In two letters adressed to the Rumanian and Hugarian Foreign Ministers the Mufti referred to a bulletin published by the “Jewish agency in charge the execution of the Jewish program.” According to this bulletin Rumania planned to send 1800 Jewish children to Palestine, and Hungary 900 children. “This will not solve the Jewish problem,” the Mufti wrote. “On the contrary this will enable them to communicate freely with their race brothers in enemy countries.” It also causes tremendous harm to the friendly Arab nation who is on your side in this war (l’immense mal fait à la Nation arabe amie qui prit place à vos côtés dans cette guerre”), the Mufti said in his letter. He then recommended to send these children to Poland instead:
“Allow me to draw Your Excellency’s attention to the necessity of preventing these Jews from leaving your country; and if there are reasons which make their departure (removal) necessary it will be unavoidably better and indefinitely more preferable if they leave your country and go to other countries where they are under active supervision such as Poland, for instance, so that they do not pose a danger or cause harm.”[93
It was in Poland or the so-called “Generalgouvernement” that Auschwitz and other extermination camps were located. “Active supervision” was a code term for mass killing of Jews.
In the case of Bulgaria, where most of the Jews had been relatively safe[94 the Mufti also took action:
“When he learned that there was a possibility of several thousand Bulgarian children being allowed out of Bulgaria and into Palestine, he intervened successfully in Berlin to prevent this.” [95
At the end of 1942, Himmler permitted 10,000 Jewish children to be transferred from Poland to Theresienstadt. The plan was to send them eventually to Palestine, via Rumania. “It was planned,” Wisliceny said after the war, “to exchange these children for German civilian prisoners, though the services of the International Red Cross.” But suddenly Wisliceni was summoned to Berlin by his boss Eichmann who disclosed to him “that the idea of the planned operation had become known to the Grand Mufti, by means of his intelligence service in Palestine. As a result he protested vigorously to Himmler, using the argument that these Jewish children would, within a few years become adults and would strengthen the Jewish element in Palestine. Following this advice Himmler forbade the whole operation and even issued a prohibition in respect of cases in the future, that no Jew should be permitted to emigrate to Palestine from territories under German control.”[96
In 1943, the Mufti also succeeded in preventing the emigration of 4000 Jewish children and 500 accompanying adults to Palestine by sending two angry letters to Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. In his first letter of May 13, 1943, the Mufti protested against a plan by Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to send 4000 Jewish children to Palestine:
“I request Your Excellency to do everything possible to dissuade Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary, from implementing the Jewish-Anglo-American plan, and to give special attention to this question; by so doing, you would be rendering an unforgettable service to the friendly Arab people.”[97
In his second letter of June 10, 1943, the Mufti wrote that he had learned that seventy-five Jews, among them also important personalities, left Bucharest and arrived in Palestine at the end of the month. Other groups of Jews from Rumania and Hungary have also arrived or are ready to depart, and seven hundred Jews from Poland, who have parents in Palestine, are also ready to leave; five thousand refugees from Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Slovakia have immigration certificates in their possession.”
“It seems to me that I should bring to the knowledge of Your Excellency the fact that the Arabs, loyal friends of the Axis, feel themselves hurt when they notice that their friends of the Axis powers facilitate the Judeo-English objective of the transfer of Jews, who are agents of the British and the communists, enemies of the Arabs and enemies of Europe, to Palestine.”[98
Al-Husseini asked Ribbentrop “to adopt the necessary measures with the governments of Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary,” to prevent and frustrate the departure of these Jews.
One month before, Eichmann had told the Foreign Office that Jewish children should not be allowed to emigrate. The Reich Chief Security Office (RSHA) was only prepared to let 5000 children go if they would be exchanged for 20,000 Germans who were not yet forty years old. But in view of “the execution of measures against the Jews,” this exchange must take place straight away (“sofort”), otherwise the transfer of 5000 children from the Eastern territories can no longer be realized.[99 In other words, it would be to late, because all these children would have been gassed.
Not only did the Mufti send angry letters to Ribbentrop, he also talked to several Foreign Office officials and to the SS. This kind of unusual pressurizing was not appreciated by everyone in the Foreign Office. The Mufti’s repeated meddling into foreign policy issues and his excessive zeal (“Übereifer”) in handling the Jewish question caused irritation and adversely affected the relations with allied governments. This is also clear from the notes of a high level Foreign Office official: “The Mufti is an outspoken enemy of the Jews, and does not hide his view that he would like to see all of them killed.”[100
Himmler and Eichmann fully supported the Mufti and also put pressure on Ribbentrop. When the British government wanted the Germans to clarify their proposal, Ribbentrop’s Foreign Office lamely regarded this as a negative response. “This is how the combined forces of Eichmann, Himmler, Ribbentrop and the Mufti prevented the ressue of Jewish children,” says Klaus Gensicke in his thorough study on the Mufti.
The Mufti, a real troublemaker, would not mind even to clash with his best Nazi friend Heinrich Himmler. He wrote Himmler a letter on July 27, 1944, expressing his concern about Jews under German control who had been allowed to leave for Palestine. They had been exchanged for Germans who had been interned by the British in Palestine. The Mufti reminded Himmler that the destruction of the Jewish national home in Palestine and the “war against world Jewry” was an essential part of the German Reich’s policy. He asked the Reichsführer stop any additional emigration of Jews to Palestine in order to show his friendship to his German allies.[101
By the summer of 1944, Himmler realized that the war was lost and he wanted to whitewash himself somehow and pave the way for a new role as an acceptable negotiator on behalf of Germany.[102 In the last stages of the war Himmler even issued a “Stoppbefehl” (order to halt the killings of Jews), but Eichmann did everything to sabotage the order.[103 He reasoned: “I know the war is lost, but I am still going to win my own war.”[104
Eichmann was not just a bureaucrat who obeyed orders. (When necessary he even disobeyed a direct order from Himmler himself.) It seemed as if satanic or diabolical powers drove him to destroy as many lives as possible, even when everybody knew Germany was losing the war. (It was in 1944 that Eichmann sent the bulk of the Hungarian Jews to the death camps, countless others perished in “death marches” in the Winter of 1944/45.) Just like the Mufti, Adolf Eichmann was a fanatic who knew time was running out.[105 Dr. Bernhard Lösener, a senior official in the Nazi Ministry of the Interior, wrote in 1961: “Of all the people I knew, Eichmann was the strongest personification of satanic principals.” And chief prosecutor Gideon Hausner described Eichmann as “a cunning, flinthearted plotter, with a demonic personality which certainly was completely indifferent to the suffering he inflicted.”[106
It reminds me of what had been predicted in the Apocalypse, the last book of the Bible: “But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, knowing that his time is short.” (The Revelation of St. John, chapter 12 verse 12, New English Bible). And there is another verse which could equally apply to Eichmann: “And there, as I looked, was another horse, sickly pale; and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades (=hell) came close behind.” (The Revelation of St. John chapter 6 verse 8.) Remember, the very symbol of the SS was the death’s head, or, as Heinz Höhne describes the SS in a brilliant study, they were “the Order of the Death’s Head.”[107
The Mufti regularly appeared on German radio, particularly on its Arab section, inciting his followers to kill Jews:
“Kill the Jews whereever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion.” Or:
“Take decisive and powerful action to expell all the Jews from the Arab and Islamic countries. Don’t spare any effort, not one Jew or colonialist should be left behind in these countries.”[108
He also often spoke about the link between Jews and “capitalism” (“Jews and capitalists dragged the United States into war and expansion.”[109). Today, too, this kind of conspiracy theories are a popular theme among radical Muslims and extreme leftists.

The Mufti’s possible attempt to exterminate the Jews of Yemen

There is a rare document about a possible visit by Haj Amin Al-Husseini to Yemen in 1936. There is no hard evidence that this document is based on facts, and I do not know if the year 1936 or the document as such is correct. The document refers to Al-Husseini as “an envoy of Hitler.” Al-Husseini certainly admired Hitler in the 1930s, but he had not yet met the Führer personally. Maybe the visit took place somewhere between 1939 and 1941 when the Mufti was in Iraq and he was already on the Axis’s payroll. I will summarize this document below, partly using the document’s own language (a translation from Hebrew into English).[110
The Mufti and thirty-four other men arrived by boat at the harbor of Al-Haduydah, Yemen. On board were also deadly chemicals for killing. The Mufti demanded to see the king. He wanted to exterminate completely all Jews of Yemen. King Yahya Hamid Al-Din, discussed this with his advisor Shalom ben Saadya Gamliel, a bearded Jew with long side-locks, telling him to sit in the seat of the head of government when the Mufti would arrive.
When the Mufti arrived, he was terribly displaced at seeing a Jew sitting near the king, and said: “Peace be with you, leader of the faithful. What a pity, a sanctified hall and in it sits the highest source of impurity.”
The king said: “About whom are you speaking?” Amin Al-Husseini answered: “About this scum, which one is forbidden to look at.”
The king said: “You expressed the view that it is forbidden to look at this Jew, but I see him daily. Justify the prohibition from a legal point of view.” Al-Husseini quoted from the Koran and said: “Jews are now killing our Muslim brethren in the holy land. The Lord has inspired Hitler to eliminate soon this nation completely.” He advised the king to include all the Jews who are in Yemen in camps until they die.
Shalom said the Jews of Yemen accept the rule of Islam and the Muslims, and they are protected by the king. “Justice demands that we be treated with compassion.” Al-Husseini said it was a duty to hang this Jew, to cut off his head and to do so right away, for “he has touched the holy Koran.” (Sura 56 verse 79: “None shall touch it, save the purified ones.”) The king said to Shalom: “What is your answer? Shalom said: “The Koran which I studied has notes in its margins, thus its holiness had been diminished.” (This was not true but Shalom had to say something to save his skin.) The king was happy and said: “The Jew’s answer is acceptable. All the Jews who live in Yemen honor the Koran, and Shalom studied an annotated Koran.” The king then told Al-Huseini to leave Yemen within two days. Now, the Mufti was even more upset and told important people in government: “Your king is bewitched by the Jew who sits to his right.”

The Mufti as a role model for today’s Islamists and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

The Mufti is a role model for today’s Islamists. He was the first to introduce suicide squads in Palestine. He was also a Wahhabi Muslim of the kind known as “Salafi Jihadists” today. Not only did he hate the Jews, he also called on his followers to kill them indiscriminately and played an active role in the Holocaust by encouraging top Nazis to kill even more Jews. He didn’t care about women and children. Due to his personal intervention thousands of Jewish children were sent to the death camps. “Kill the Jews wherever you find them,” this is what he told his followers to do.
Today, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda also call on Muslims to kill the Jews (and they do not distinguish between men, women and children either):
“The hour will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them… Whoever claims that there is permanent peace between us and the Jews has disbelieved what has been sent down through Mohammed.”[111
Just like Goebbels, Hitler and Al-Husseini, bin Laden refers to the Jews as “masters of usury and leaders in treachery.”[112
Haj Amin Al-Husseini was a prominent member of the anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood founded by his friend Hassan Al-Banna in 1928. The Muslim Brotherhood gave moral and material support to the Palestinian revolt which broke out in 1936 and lasted until 1939. The Mufti wrote Al-Banna a letter saying how grateful he was for the “blessed actions in aid” and “your wise decisions and noble efforts.” And after the 1948 war an embittered Al-Husseini blamed the Arab nations, but not the Brotherhood, for losing that war.[113
The Muslim Brotherhood believed and still believes that the so-called “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a virulent anti-Jewish book highly popular in the Arab world, are true. Haj Amin Husseini took this obscure book with him when he appeared before the “Palestine Commission on the Disturbances of August 1929.”[114
These so-called “Protocols” describe how Jewish “Wise Men” or “Elders” took part in secret meetings to devise a secret conspiracy to achieve world domination. This strange document originated in the 19th century. It was partly the result of a forged document written or rewritten by the Russian Okhrana, the notorious Czarist secret police.
“It was circulated widely, and in 1903 gave the signal for the Kishinev pogrom, in which several thousand Jews were massacred,” writes Konrad Heiden.[115 Heiden was a German journalist who witnessed the rise of the Nazi Party, but left Germany in 1933 because his mother was Jewish and because he was bitterly opposed to Nazism. He had been at many party meetings, even one of the first in 1920, which gave him a unique insight into Nazi affairs and ideology.
Heiden describes how the obscure Protocols became the cornerstone of Nazi ideology. In the year of the communist revolution in Russia, 1917, Alfred Rosenberg, an Estonian of German descent, was studying architecture in Moscow. An unknown man “suddenly stepped into his room, laid down the book and silently departed,” Rosenberg later claimed. To Rosenberg it was a sign of heaven.”[116
Rosenberg left Russia two years after the revolution and settled in Germany. He began to move in extreme right-wing circles. In 1923, he published the bestseller “Die Protokolle der Weisen von Zion und die jüdische Weltpolitik” (“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and World Politics”). “Each month you see the same Jewish forces at work in all the states,” Rosenberg wrote in the preface to the third edition (1924). “Right now Germany is a victim of unconditional slavery.”[117
Four years earlier, Rosenberg had joined the newly formed Nazi party (NSDAP) and met its leader Adolf Hitler. Hitler was so fascinated by the Protocols that they served as framework for his own book “Mein Kampf. Rosenberg was rewarded by Hitler in 1934 when he became the official party philosopher and chief racial theorist. Rosenberg’s unreadable “Myth of the Twentieth Century” was also partly based on the Protocols. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to state that the venomenous anti-Semitic propaganda of the Protocols played a decisive role in the biggest pogrom in history – the Holocaust.
Today, the very same Protocols play a highly destructive role in the world of the Islamists (Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.).
A 21-year old Palestinian suicide bomber named Hisham Ismail Hamad killed himself and three Israeli soldiers on November 11, 1994. Just six days before, he had taken part in a meeting of an Islamic Jihad terror cell where the “Jewish plan to master the world,” as laid down in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” was being discussed. “They want to destroy the whole world. We Islamists could never accept such a state. These (= the Protocols) are not empty words…”
Six days later Hisham Ismail took his bicycle and went to an Israeli checkpoint where he blew himself up.[118 Another so-called martyr for the Islamic cause in the name of the Protocols. (In de final months of the war the Nazi’s, too, used “suicide bombers”: teen-age boys from the fanatical “Hitler Youth” armed with grenades or “Panzerfausts” who threw themselves before Russian tanks.)
Article 32 of the Charter of the “Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas” (founded in 1988) says:
“Their (the Zionists’) plan is embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what they are saying.”[119
The Charter refers to “World Zionism, together with imperialistic movements,” which is a kind of Jewish conspiracy for world domination:
“After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on.”[120
We noted already that Alfred Rosenberg wrote the same thing in his 1923 book on Zionism. Hamas later sided with Saddam Hussein, the secular Baathist dictator of Iraq who strongly admired both Hitler and Stalin.[121
Saddam read and felt inspired by Hitler’s Mein Kampf, a book which, for some reason, is still remarkable popular in the Arab world. Saddam’s uncle Khairallah Tulfa supported the pro-Nazi coup plotters in 1941. He was described as “a very tough man, a Nazi and a Fascist.” “Young Saddam was in awe of his uncle’s exploits in the 1941 revolt,” writes Con Coughlin in his biography of Saddam.[122
For many years did Saddam’s Nazi-like regime pay 10,000 dollars to family members of Palestinian suicide bombers many of whom belonged to Hamas or Islamic Jihad.
Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and still reveres Haj Amin Al-Husseini and his Syrian associate and friend Sheikh Izz e-Din (or “Ezzedine”) Al-Qassam (an extremely fanatical Wahhabi jihadist who was killed in November 1935) depicting them as national heroes. (The “Qassam” rockets and the “Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades” – the armed wing of Hamas – are named after Al-Qassam.)
Hamas wants to establish an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law and espouses “nationalism” as part of the Islamic creed (Hamas Charter, articles 11 and 12). Article 15 says: “Jihad for the liberation of Palestine is an individual duty.”
The Protocols are still highly popular in the Arab world and not just among the Islamists. They are incorporated into the teaching material of many Palestinian schools. There was a popular TV series on the Protocols in Egypt in November/December 2002. Seventeen other Arab TV stations bought the rights for the series known as “Horseman without a Horse.” Egyptian Information Minister Safwat Al-Sharif said that airing the series is proper and does not injure other religions. Copies of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” readily and openly available in the country’s markets, were swiflty bought by viewers immediately following the airing of the series.[123
Not only many Sunni Muslims believe that the Protocols are based on facts. Many Shia Muslims also do. The Protocols are propagated by Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian publishers and state organizations. Hisham Jaber, President of the “Middle East Center for Studies and Public Relations,” invoked the Protocols in a TV broadcast on Hezbollah’s “Al-Manar TV” (July 11, 2005).[124 A new edition of the Protocols was published in Iran in 1985 and has been widely distributed by the “Islamic Propagation Organization,” International Relations Department, Tehran.[125
The Iranians even distribute this kind of venomenous anti-Semitic propaganda at book fairs in Europe. Matthias Küntzel, a German expert on anti-Semitism, visited the Iranian Publishers stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2005 and discovered an English translation of the Protocols published by the Islamic Propagation Organization, a state body:
“The first page of the tract makes clear that Israel is the target of this new edition. It shows a snake made of triangles, enclosing an area labeled ‘Greater Israel’ that includes large parts of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, parts of Turkey and northern Saudi Arabia. Each triangle, according to the annotation, symbolizes the ‘Freemason’s Eye,’ supposedly a ‘symbol of Jewry…’
‘We present this book,’ reads the Iranian foreword, ‘to expose the real visage of this satanic enemy,’ to ‘burn and wholly destroy this deadly, cancerous tumor.’”[126
It has already been pointed out above that prominent Nazis (Hitler, Rosenberg and Goebbels) also associated the Jews with “Satan” or “the devil.”
Another anti-Semitic book was also on display in Frankfurt: Henry Ford’s “The International Jew,” in a 200-page abbreviated version published by the Iranian “Department of Translation and Publication, Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.” Küntzel was deeply shocked that such notorious anti-Semitic bestellers are on display at the most important book fair in Germany, of all places. Although the distribution of such texts is prohibited by German law, the police and the authorities failed to take action.
In December 2006, Iran hosted an “International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust.” Neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers explained that the Holocaust did not really occur, or they claimed that the number of those killed has been grossly exaggerated. (They probably never saw a document signed by Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler himself and dated December 29, 1942, in which the Reichsführer stated that 363,211 Jews had been executed in a period of just three months.[127) Among those who attended the controversial Tehran conference was Ahmed Rami, a Swedish-Moroccan Holocaust denier who was imprisoned in Sweden for inciting racial hatred.[128 Earlier, the Iranians had granted political asylum to Jürgen Graf, a Swiss Holocaust denier who fled to Iran after he had been convicted in Switzerland.
Denying the Holocaust is very popular among the Palestinians, too. Palestinian historian Issam Sissalem said on Palestinian Television in November 2000: “No Dachau, no Auschwitz, they were desinfecting sites!” An important article on the “Fable of the Holocaust” appeared in the official Palestinian Authority daily “Al-Hayat Al-Jadida” of April 13, 2001: “The 6 million figure is a lie as the ‘vaults in the camp could not have held even one percent of that number.’” “The Palestinians are the true Holocaust victims.”[129
Nazi leaders who were on Trial in Nuremberg also denied they knew anything about the Holocaust. They claimed they could not imagine it had taken place, indeed, they had been opposed to killing Jews. (Julius Streicher, the man who once said that the Jews were cannibals who should be killed, now suddenly claimed he had always been opposed to these killings.).
On July 31, 1941, Field Marshall Herman Göring wrote and signed a letter to SD and SS Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich comissioning the latter “to submit to him an overall-plan concerning the organizational, substantive and financial measures for the execution of the desired Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”[130(This letter had been drafted by Eichmann who was a master in deception or “Tarnung”; never did the Nazis write down that they planned to “liquidate” millions of Jews, they usually used words like “Final Solution”, “evacuations” – “Umsiedlung” –, etc.)
But when he appeared before the War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Göring simply denied he had ever issued such a directive, denying even it was his own signature at the end of the document and claiming he had no knowledge of what happened to the Jews. (It was the usual Nazi excuse: “Wir haben es nicht gewusst.” “We didn’t know it.”) Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Heydrich’s successor and Eichmann’s boss, also denied his complicity in mass murder.[131
The Holocaust was a state secret, the outside world was not supposed to know about it and those responsible for mass murder played down their own role or denied they had personally signed incriminating documents. Similarly, neo-Nazis and their Iranian friends today deny the Holocaust ever occured.
Anti-Semitism is on the march in Europe, and there are remarkable alliances between neo-Nazis, anti-globalist leftists and Islamists. In Britain, for example, synagogues have been desecrated and Jews have been assaulted by Muslims or Palestinian sympathizers. (The same happened in France, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia; in France a rabbi was stabbed just outside the synagogue and his car was torched in January 2003.) “This indicates a change of direction from which anti-Semitism comes, which is closely connected to the tensions in the Middle East,” a 2003 report on “Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the European Union” says.[132
The same report quotes French philosopher Pierre-André Taguieff who speaks of a “new planetary judeophobia.” This explains “all world problems by the existence of Israel.” “This ‘new judeophobia,’ which he sees as initially brought about by radical Islamic activists, by the heirs of ‘third-worldism’ and by far-left anti-globalization activists, accuse the Jews of being themselves racist.”[133
In Germany, there was also a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2000. This was “due in large part to the Al-Aqsa Intifada which inspired radical Islamists to anti-Semitic incidents and served as a catalyst for extreme right-wing anti-Semites.”[134 For fear of reprisals by radical Muslims, the “European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia” prohibited the publication of this report. European Parliament member Daniel Cohn-Bendit then published the report on Internet.[135
Prof. Dr. Hans Jansen, one of the best Dutch experts on anti-Semitism, published a 1047-page study showing in detail how Nazi anti-Semitism infected the Muslim world. He gave me a CD-rom containing more than 3000 anti-Semitic cartoons from the Arab world and Iran. The Iranian anti-Semitic television series “Blue Eyes” (2005) claims there is a mysterious ship where Jewish doctors perform medical experiments on Muslim children.[136 (Just like Mengele did in Auschwitz.)

Censuring a Dutch University Professor of Judaic Studies

The more than 2000-year old myth of “Jewish cannibalism” is also popular in the Arab world. It claims that Jews drink the blood and eat the flesh of non-Jews. This myth led to many pogroms against Jews in the Middle Ages and after. The Nazi’s, too, propagated it, especially a primitive mind like Julius Streicher in his scandalous periodical “Der Stürmer.” “Jews collect the blood of slaughtered non-Jewish children in bowls,” “Der Stürmer” suggested in May 1934.[137
Pieter van der Horst was Professor of Judaic Studies at the State University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. On the occasion of his retirement in June 2006, Dr. Van der Horst planned to give a final lecture to members of the Utrecht academic community. However, his lecture on “The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism” was unexpectedly censured by University Rector W.H. Gispen.
In the second part of his lecture, Van der Horst wanted to show that this myth was not only very popular among anti-Semites in the past two millennia, but that it also surfaces in the Islamic world of today. Indeed, it is as popular as ever. In the Winter of 2005/2006 Syrian state television aired a program depicting rabbis as cannibals. In 1983, Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass wrote a doctoral dissertation on “The Matza of Zion,” a book which is still a bestseller today and has been translated in many languages. This book makes similar claims, Van der Horst says in the censured part of his lecture.[138
Professor Van der Horst further points to the nefarious role of “Islamo-fascist and Nazi war criminal” Haj Amin Al-Husseini who planned “to establish a death camp near Nablous after his return to Palestine” and who “was immensely popular in the Islamic world.”[139
University Rector Gispen decided that this part of the final lecture could not be delivered because it might be offensive to “well organized Muslim students,” and, consequently, Gispen could not guarantee Van der Horst’s “security.” Van der Horst was flabbergasted and considered the Rector’s decision censorship and an attack on academic freedom, yet he decided to deliver his final lecture in abridged form. Afterwards he gave the unabridged text to the Dutch newspaper “Trouw” which published the censured part of the text.[140 But it did not take long before the editor who published this text, Chris Rutenfrans, was forced to leave his newspaper. His friend Jaffé Vink had already left “Trouw” following a decision by the editor-in-chief that articles in the newspaper should be “less critical of Islam.”[141
Concluding comments
Himmler, Heydrich, Eichmann, Al-Husseini and their Nazi SS, also described as “the Order of the Death’s Head,” were diabolical merchants of death, just like today’s Al-Qaeda and the suicide bombers. Indeed, it is this kind of diabolical fanaticism, this deliberate drive toward destructiveness, that Adolf Eichmann shares with Al-Husseini, and shares today with the terrorists from Al-Qaeda and all those suicide bombers who claim to act in Allah’s name. They are the ones who talk about paradise but create hell on earth. They worship death, not life.
It is ironic that both Nazis and Iranian extremists associate the Jews with “Satan.” This is a deflection manoeuvre because the very ones who worshipped evil and death were leading Nazis themselves (Hitler, Rosenberg, Himmler, Heydrich, Goebbels, etc.), and those who preach doom and gloom today are Muslim extremists like Osama bin Laden and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Their example is Haj Amin Al-Husseini, an evil genius and a fanatic like Eichmann: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them…”
Writing in the early 1940s, Erich Fromm says that the “ideals” of the Fascists are “definitely directed against life.” “Fascism,” says Fromm, “proclaims self-sacrifice as the highest virtue and impresses many people with its idealistic character.” “A Fascist , who is driven by the desire to subordinate himself to a higher power and at the same time to overpower other people, has an ideal.” But “we must recognize the difference between genuine and fictious ideals.”[142
Exactly the same applies to today’s suicide bombers, Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Their paradise is pure imagination, fiction. (They talk going to paradise and the “72 beautiful virgins” waiting for the one who blows himself up killing as many others as possible.) Fromm: “This attraction to what is harmful in life is the phenomenon which more than any other deserves the name of pathological subversion.”[143
The ideal of an “Islamic state” is a kind of utopia, just like the Marxist utopia of the “classless society.” These utopias will never be realized. (Look at the mess in Afghanistan after the Taliban forced their merciless rule on the people, stoning poor defenseless women to death.)
Hitler’s so-called “Thousand Year Reich” did not last more than twelve years. (Another dangerous utopia, plunging mankind into a war never seen and experienced before.) Today, the Jihadi Salafists also want to plunge the world into a “holy war” against the infidels to realize their idiotic utopia.
Haj Amin Al-Husseini had his “ideals,” too: he wanted an Islamic state on earth ruled by Sharia law, and he wanted the Nazis to win the war and kill as many Jews as possible. Jews who, in his view, had no right to live in his Palestine. (Instead, it is better to send them to the death camps in Poland…) It was their common hatred of the Jews that brought dangerous fanatics like Eichmann and Haj Amin Al-Husseini together. And it is their common hatred of the Jews that brings neo-Nazis and Islamists together today.