Arabs and Hitler
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
By DANIEL SCHWAMMENTHAL
One widespread myth about the Mideast conflict is that the Arabs are paying the price for
Germany's sins. The notion that the Palestinians are the "second victims" of the Holocaust
contains two falsehoods: It suggests that without Auschwitz, there would be no justification
for Israel, ignoring 3,000 years of Jewish history in the land. It also suggests Arab
innocence in German crimes, ignoring especially the fascist past of Palestinian leader Haj
Amin al Husseini, who was not only Grand Mufti of Jerusalem but also Waffen SS recruiter and
Nazi propagandist in Berlin. When a German journalist recently tried to shed some light on this
history, he encountered the wrath of the Arab collaborators' German apologists.
Karl Ròssel's exhibition "The Third World in the Second World War" was supposed to premier on
Sept. 1 in the "Werkstatt der Kulturen," a publicly funded multicultural centre in Berlin's
heavily Turkish and Arab neighbourhood of Neukolln. Outraged by the exhibition's small section
on Arab complicity in Nazi crimes, Philippa Ebéné, who runs the centre, cancelled the event.
Among the facts Ms. Ebéné didn't want the visitors of her centre to learn is that the
Palestinian wartime leader "was one of the worst and fanatical fascists and anti-Semites," as
Mr. Rössel put it to me.
The mufti orchestrated the 1920/1921 anti-Jewish riots in Palestine and the 1929 Arab pogroms
that destroyed the ancient Jewish community of Hebron. An early admirer of Hitler, Husseini
received Nazi funding - as did Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - for his 1936-1939 Palestinian revolt,
during which his thugs killed hundreds of British soldiers, Jews and also Arabs who rejected
his Islamo-Nazi agenda. After participating in a failed fascist coup in Iraq, he fled to
Berlin in 1941 as Hitler's personal guest. In the service of the Third Reich, the mufti
recruited thousands of Muslims to the Waffen SS.
He intervened with the Nazis to prevent the escape to Palestine of thousands of European
Jews, who were sent instead to the death camps.
He also conspired with the Nazis to bring the Holocaust to Palestine. Rommel's defeat in El
Alamein spoiled these plans.
After cancelling the exhibition, Ms. Ebéné clumsily tried to counter the impression that she had
pre - emptively caved in to Arab pressure. As a "non - white" person (her father is Cameroonian),
she said, she didn't have to fear Arabs, an explanation that indirectly suggested that ordinary,
"white," Germans might have reason to feel less safe speaking truth to Arabs. Berlin's
integration commissioner, Günter Piening, initially seemed to defend her. "We need, in a
community like Neukölln, a differentiated presentation of the involvement of the Arabic world
in the Second World War," Der Tagesspiegel quoted him as saying. He later said he was
misquoted and following media criticism allowed a smaller version of the exhibit to be shown.