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Reprinted from Alternet
It is Springtime for Hitler. The genocidal dictator who presided over the murder of millions of Jews across Europe during World War Two has been absolved of his most heinous crime by the elected leader of the self-proclaimed Jewish state. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the blame for the Final Solution lay not with Der Fuhrer, but with Hajj al-Amin Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who oversaw holy sites during the 1920's and 30's. In Netanyahu's version of Holocaust history, Hitler was just following orders.
This seemingly surreal event occurred at a gathering in Jerusalem of the World Zionist Congress, where the bigwigs of the pro-Israel world gathered amidst a spate of Palestinian stabbing attacks and brutal Israeli crackdowns. When he rose to address the crowd, Netanyahu was determined to project defiance. He would let no one accuse Israel of provoking violence with its brutal, half-century-long military occupation. His security forces were facing down a terror wave rooted in a culture of Arab anti-Semitism that pre-dated the country's establishment, he insisted. Jewish citizens of Israel were being attacked as Jews, not as occupiers or settlers, and anyone who said otherwise was a liar.
In a long-winded disquisition peppered with tales of his grandfather's close encounters with Arab "marauders," Netanyahu painted the Palestinian national movement as a collection of irrational extremists united by a singular goal of exterminating the Jews. To illustrate his point, he summoned the ghost of the Mufti.
"Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews," Netanyahu declared. "And Hajj Amin al-Husseini [the Mufti] went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here.' 'So what should I do with them?' he asked. He said, 'Burn them.' And he was sought in, during the Nuremberg trials for prosecution."
Netanyahu had written feverishly on the Mufti's collaboration with Nazi Germany in his 1993 book, A Durable Peace, citing dubious testimony by one of Adolph Eichmann's underlings that the "Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry." (In his 1961 trial in Jerusalem, Eichmann denied that Husseini played any such role or that he knew him well). The long dead Palestinian patriarch has been one of Netanyahu's favorite boogeymen ever since, helping him implicate the Palestinians in crimes that had nothing to do with the occupation or settler-colonial domination. Back in 2012, in fact, in a speech before the Israeli Knesset, Netanyahu claimed the Mufti was "one of the leading architects of the Final Solution." And a year later, at Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu attempted to draw a direct line between Nazi Germany and the Palestinian national struggle.
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