Muslim Brotherhood uses Holocaust to delegitimize Israel

The Washington Post, in its Sunday May 15 "Outlook" section, features an interview by Senior Associate Editor Lally Weymouth with Essam El-Erian, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhoood's ruling guidance council in Egypt. Here is part of this interview:

"El-Erian--My dream is to live together as we did before the state of Israel. We lived in peace. We were never in conflict. Americans and Europeans exported the conflict created by Hitler in our Land."

"Weymouth--You mean because there was a Holocaust?"

"El-Erian--Yes. The Holocaust was a massacre against a race, against a religion -- it is a really big crime, but we were never accused of it. Why do the Palestinians pay the price of Nazis?"

In this short exchange, El-Erian manged to disseminate two monstrous lies -- one that sweeps away Israel's right to nationhood -- a right rooted in 3,000 years of Jewish history in the Holy Land and the other lie which erases a dozen massacres of Jews in Palestine years before the Holocaust. In each instance, El-Erian hijacks the massacre of 6 million Jews in Europe and twists it into a propaganda weapon against Israel's very existence.

For starters, by linking Israel's national rights to the Holocaust, El-Erian seeks to depict the Jewish state as a latter-day colonial implant in the Holy Land, a refuge created by Europeans and Americans in the aftermath of the Holocaust. In so doing, he wipes out in one swoop a 3,000-year span of Jewish history, including Jewish rule in the land for nearly an entire millennium before the Roman conquest. And even after that conquest which sent many Jews into exile, there remained a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land for the next 2,000 years. Long before the Holocaust, Jews by the thousands and tens of thousands lived in dozens of Jewish communities across the Holy Land.

Compounding his perverted history, El-Erian also ignores the pre-Holocaust Balfour Declaration of 1917 when the British Government, anticipating victory in World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, called for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Not a home for Jews, but a "national" home for Jews.

In turn, the Balfour Declaration was ratified and endorsed at the 1920 San Remo conference of the World War I victors. Two years later, the League of Nations similarly enshrined the Balfour Declaration in its approval of Britain's Mandate in Palestine -- a directive by the international community for Britian to establish a Jewish state in the Holy Land. That same year, the U.S. Congress also followed suit in endorsing the Balfour Declaration.

All these events took place before the Holocaust. What makes El-Erian's Holocaust-Israel nexus so disturbing is that this isn't just a myth propagated by radical Arab groups. It's a lie that has seeped into Western academic and cultural circles -- a fallacy that Arabs are the real indigenous people in the Holy Land -- not the Jews who have a 3,000-year history there.

And wielding this perversion of history, El-Erian again uses the Holocaust as a phony historical marker when he asserts that Jews and Arabs lived in perfect harmony in the Holy Land before World War II and it was only after the war that relations soured when Americans and Europeans "exported the conflict created by Hitler to our land."

So did such harmonious relations really pervade the Holy Land in the 1920s and 1930s? El-Erian conveniently erases from the historical record a dozen Arab massacres of Jews, pre-Holocaust. In Hebron, in a two-day rampage, an Arab pogrom in 1929 took the lives of 67 Jews. Jewish homes and synagogues were ransacked. In Jerusalem, 34 Jews were killed; in Safed 17.

Unfortunately, Weymouth drops the ball in her interview. She lets El-Erian propound his lies without any challenge on her part. Worse, she lets this Muslim Brotherhood propagandist get away with the last word -- "Why do the Palestinians pay the price of Nazis?"

An interview that must have evoked lots of cheers in the Muslim Brotherhood' new $11 million headquarters in Cairo.


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