Hitler's Long Shadow over Israel
Why do so many Arabs sound like Nazis when they talk about Jews? The answer lay buried for decades in the archives of the Third Reich. Then a generation of younger German scholars expanded their attention beyond the death camps of Europe to Hitler's activities in the Middle East. What they discovered: it was Hitler who financed the modern jihadi movement.
Nazi-Arab collaboration was crucial to the Final Solution. The Third Reich financed and trained the Muslim Brothers of Palestine and Egypt in terrorism and focused their anti-modernity rage on Jews. One of the first people Hitler told about his plans to kill Europe's Jews was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, Yasser Arafat's cousin. Hitler and the mufti shook hands on a plan to exterminate all the Jews of the Middle East. The Reich preserved the memo, the minutes, and a photo of their famous handshake.
Husseini was passed along to Goebbels, who established him as the Nazi voice to the Middle East. It was the most popular radio program of the long war years, broadcast daily into every café. This Nazi station was listened to by the entire male population, Arab and Persian, including most famously Ayatollah Khomeini. It was an intoxicating mix of militant Islam, Nazism, and war propaganda.
The Palestinian leadership and Hitler successfully collaborated on a crucial step of the Final Solution -- mob violence and a reign of terror pressured Britain to shut down Jewish immigration to what is now Israel. They trapped the Jews in Europe, where six million perished in the killing fields and death camps. Adolf Eichmann's deputy, Dieter Wisliceny, stated at his Nuremberg trial that the mufti's importance "must not be disregarded[.] ... [T]he Mufti had repeatedly suggested to ... Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry[.] ... The Mufti 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 the plan."
Winston Churchill spoke in the House of Commons against the shutting down of Jewish immigration to today's Israel. He clearly saw the Nazi hand behind the Arab riots: "We are now asked to submit, and this is what rankles most with me, to an agitation which is fed with foreign money and ceaselessly inflamed by Nazi and by Fascist propaganda."
Hitler's influence has been permanently embedded in Arab culture. During World War II, there was a popular song among Arabs: "Allah in heaven, Hitler on earth." Sheikh al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood today, in his weekly sermon broadcast on Al Jazeera to an audience of 60 million, prayed about the Jews: "Oh Allah, kill them, down to the very last one." "Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler." In Tahir Square, a mob of Arab Spring celebrants screamed, "Jew, Jew, Jew" as they raped blond American journalist Lara Logan. We are all too familiar with Iran's plans for their nuclear program -- to carry out Hitler's dream.
The Palestinian national movement was founded by Hitler's henchman, al Husseini, mufti and the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The founder of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, was trained by German Nazi army officers who were welcomed in Cairo after the war. He adopted the name "Yasser" to honor the Muslim Brother's terror chief of the 1930s, who kidnapped Arabs in Western clothes and threw them into pits of scorpions and snakes. Their corpses would be left in the street for days, shoes stuck in their mouths, as a lesson for any Arab who believed in tolerating Jews or welcoming modernization. During Oslo, Arafat's personal bodyguard had sons named Hitler and Eichmann, according to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's book, A Place Among the Nations.
The continuity is striking. Reich set the Brothers up with a printing press and fake photos of alleged torture of Arabs by Jews -- just as today, Iranian, Egyptian, and Palestinian state TV broadcasts dramatizations of Jews stealing Arabs' eyeballs and killing Arab children to use their blood in matzoh. Organizing in mosques, schools, and workplaces with Hitler's funds, the Brothers spread lies that Jews planned to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and trample on the Koran -- the same exact lies Yasser Arafat used to launch the second intifada. On the Ramadan after 9/11, Egyptian President Mubarak launched a 41-week dramatization of that Nazi favorite, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in an emotional call for genocide against the world's Jews.
Hitler has never left the Middle East. For almost 70 years, the Arab world has been pickled in Nazi Jew-hatred. In the words of Matthias Kuntzel, author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, "[i]f there is one theme ... which unites Islamists, Liberals, Nasserites and Marxists, it is the collective fantasy of the common enemy in the shape of Israel and the Jews, which almost always correlates with the wish to destroy Israel." Jew-hatred is indispensible to Arab leaders, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to Iran to the Palestinian Authority, in their fight against democratic Western values.
Nazi jihadism didn't win without a fight from the modernizing forces in Egypt. Many signs indicate that Israel would have been a welcome neighbor. Religious leaders fought the Brotherhood's attempts to politicize Friday prayers with false claims that Jews were attacking Al Aqsa and the Koran. The rector of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most important university, forbade anti-Jewish propaganda. Ali Mahir, Egyptian King Farouk's top adviser, called for a united Palestinian state based on mutual tolerance and regulated immigration for both Jew and Arab.
Today, the fight is lost. All of those institutions are firmly entrenched in Nazi-jihadi anti-Semitism. The coalition government of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which is a terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organization, are united in their denial of Israel's right to exist. Jew-hatred is so popular that it is possible that no Arab leader can speak out against it. It explains why the Palestinians have turned down a state of their own four times. They are holding out for Hitler's solution. Peace is the last thing they want. Otherwise, peace would be here today.
Obama is quite wrong. If desired by both sides, peace is easy. It is Nazi-Islamic propaganda that is so hard to solve.