Friday, May 30, 2008

Jews in Europe, the Arab World and the Mufti

My son was listening to a publicly funded local leftist radio station here in New York. I will not soil my keyboard by typing its call letters. As usual, the 21st century version of "The Jewish Question" was being discussed.
"I am very sorry about what happened to the Jews in Europe", said one of the panelists with a tone of well rehearsed sympathy. "But it is not the fault of the Palestinians. We should not pay for what the Nazis did."
A comprehensive look at World War Two history exposes the falsehood of this argument. The British and the French were the dominant colonial powers in the Middle East at a time of nascent Arab nationalism. In Syria, Iraq,Yemen and Egypt were Jewish communities with centuries of history. As in Russia, the Jews kept a low political profile. The Jewish middle class in countries like Iraq and Syria was an easy target for lower class resentment and frustration.
In the Middle East as well as in Europe, the Nazis did their homework before engineering a takeover. In the Ukraine, the Nazis granted a sham independence as they did in Europe from the Balkans to the Baltic republics. Baathism, the ideology of secular Arab nationalism was strongly influenced by national socialism and supported by pro Nazi elements in Arab society.
Independently of Zionism, the climate of Jew hatred cultivated by Germany created serious dangers for Jews living in Arab countries. It should be noted that the long history of a Jewish presence in the Arab world made settling in what was then Palestine look like an impractical adventure. The Farhud (which translates as violent disposession) was an Arab pogrom against Jews in Baghdad on June 1 and 2, 1941. It has been compared to an Arab counterpart to Kristallnacht. The Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al Husseini has a well known role in advocating and assisting in anti Jewish actions in Europe. His hatred was not confined to Ashkenazim. He advocated the same treatment of Jews in Arab countries that he supported in Europe. The history of Jews in the Arab world of the 1940's was one of declining political fortunes punctuated by outbreaks of violence. The dispossession of Jews in the 1950's in Egypt bore strong legal and practical resemblance to Nazi expropriations. There were Jews in Tunisia and Morocco who suffered under anti Jewish restrictions.
The reason that Israel is populated not only by Ashkenazim but also by Sephardim and Jews from Arab lands and Jews from the Arab world is two fold.
There is a yearning for the Holy Land that unites Jews of all If the Mufti were a lone crackpot broadcasting on Berlin radio his role could be minimised. But the Mufti was an organiser in a mass movement. He did not work alone. both he and the Germans who were active in Iraq and other Arab countries were tapping into latent trends in Arab society. Additionally, pervasive violence, discrimination and dispossession drove Jews not only from Europe but Arab lands as well. War is never waged without rewriting and editing history to justify it. Those who have resolved to destroy Israel seek to bury and falsify its history. It is essential to expose not only their falsehoods but their motives as well. The sly assertion that the final solution stopped at Europe's shores should be treated with the contempt it so richly deserves. Israel must defend not only its land and people, but its history as well.'ath_Party

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The video at the top of this post is from You Tube It is in German with English subtitles. It is about the Mufti of Jerusalem, may his name be erased

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