During his propaganda performance at Columbia University in New York City on September 24, 2007, Iran's anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared: "... assuming this [the Holocaust] happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?" 

Actually, quite a lot.

Nazi Germany could not have annihilated one-third of the Jewish people from the face of the Earth without the enthusiastic collaboration of its ideological allies among the Austrians, the Swiss, the French, the Italians, the Romanians, the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Latvians, the Estonians, the Hungarians, the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Serbs, the Croats, the Muslims of Bosnia, the Muslims of Kosovo, the Bulgarians, the Belarusians, the Ukrainians, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Swedes, the Icelanders and, yes, the Arabs, including the “Palestinian” Arabs (with a large assist from Great Britain, whose abhorrent conduct was tacitly supported by the United States).

In 1920, the League of Nations established a system of Mandates for the temporary governance, pending independence, of those non-sovereign territories, including the non-sovereign territory of Palestine, which had been occupied by the Ottoman Empire for approximately 400 years (with brief interruptions) prior to World War I.  The League of Nations assigned its Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain as Mandatory trustee of that territory.  The declared purpose of the Mandate for Palestine was the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in the biblical Land of Israel through, inter alia, the facilitation by Great Britain of mass Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine.

At the outset, the Arab population of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine (i.e., the Land of Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River), as well as the populations of the larger Arab and (non-Arab) Muslim worlds, violently opposed the planned resurrection of the historic Jewish Commonwealth, but this opposition sharply escalated after Jewish immigration from Germany to western Mandatory Palestine dramatically increased in the wake of Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany in 1933.

That same year, in reaction to the spike in Jewish immigration from Nazi Germany, the “Palestinian” Arabs perpetrated terror attacks against “Palestinian” Jews as well as British Mandatory authorities via mob violence, firebombings, shootings and knifings. 

Soon Nazi Germany made common cause with the “Palestinian” Arabs.  In particular, the 1936 - 1939 orgy of terrorism perpetrated by the Arabs against their Jewish neighbors and British Mandatory authorities was financed by Nazi Germany.  The Nazis, in addition to providing clandestine funding and armaments to the leadership of that “Palestinian” Arab jihad, also infiltrated its agents into the western portion of Mandatory Palestine in order to provide tactical support for the jihad (which the Arabs denominated as the “Great Arab Revolt”).

The leader of the “Great Arab Revolt” was former Turkish army officer Mohammed Amin al-Husseini (commonly known as Haj Amin al-Husseini).  He had previously been instrumental in instigating both the April 1920 and the August 1929 “Palestinian” Arab pogroms against “Palestinian” Jews.  As the British-appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (also head of the Supreme Muslim Council) and as the Arab-appointed Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee, al-Husseini was the paramount spiritual and political leader of the Arabs of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine.  However, in 1937, after Mandatory authorities sought his arrest on account of his role in planning and implementing the “Great Arab Revolt”, he fled Mandatory Palestine and eventually reached Nazi Germany, in the interim:

            (1) helping to establish several Muslim Nazi battalions in Bosnia and Kosovo (which participated in the brutal deportation of local Jews to various death camps);

            (2) assisting in the creation of the short-lived Nazi Arab government in Iraq on April 1, 1941 (which, at that time, had a substantial Jewish population);

            (3) employing Nazi propaganda to instigate a two-day pogrom by Iraqi Muslims against Iraqi Jews commencing on June 1, 1941 (known as the “Farhoud”, resulting in the massacre of hundreds of Jews, the maiming of thousands of Jews, and the destruction of thousands of Jewish homes and businesses in replication of Nazi Germany’s two-day pogrom against Jews residing in Germany and Austria, known as “Kristallnacht”, which began on November 9, 1938); and

            (4) becoming one of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s personal advisors on the annihilation of the Jewish people during World War II.  During his stay in Nazi Germany, al-Husseini broadcast Nazi propaganda in Arabic (via Radio Zeissen) to the countries of the Middle East, repeatedly declaring, inter alia, that World Jewry was the common enemy of Islam and Germany. 

In recognition of his ongoing services to Nazi Germany, al-Husseini received the rank of SS-Gruppenführer; and Hitler honorifically referred to him as “die arabischen Führer” (“the Arab Leader”).  After the War, he was given asylum in Egypt (where he was a co-founder of the League of Arab States, commonly known as the “Arab League”), and then in Lebanon. 

To this Day, al-Husseini remains an inspirational and aspirational hero to “Palestinian” Arabs (including those “Palestinian” Arabs who, due to their Israeli citizenship, are sometimes referred to as Israeli Arabs).  For example, on January 4, 2013, during a televised speech given to members of the dominant Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization celebrating the 48th anniversary of the terrorist organization’s founding, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praised al-Husseini and exhorted his audience to emulate his ideology and conduct.  In late February 2014, an Arab student group in Israel, named “Watan” (meaning: “[Arab] Nation”), sponsored a two-day photographic exhibit at Hebrew University in Jerusalem called “Pictures From Across Palestine”, which included several captioned pictures lauding al-Husseini.  On April 11, 2018 (being the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day that year), the Palestinian Authority held an anti-Israel conference in its capital city, Ramallah, dominated by a gigantic banner featuring the likeness of al-Husseini.

Hitler cultivated Muslim and Arab favor.  He permitted German Muslims to become and remain Nazi Party members throughout the War.  He also declared that Arabs were “honorary Aryans”.

Moreover, after the War, in recognition of this bond between Nazi Germany and the Arabs, thousands of Nazi war criminals (many of them aided by smuggling routes created and controlled by the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City) sought and obtained safe haven in Arab countries, took Arab names, converted to Islam and obtained respected positions in Arab governments.  For example, after the War, Egypt sheltered, among other Nazi war criminals:

            Hussein Farid (formerly: Aribet Heim, a Nazi medical doctor who tortured and experimented on Jewish prisoners at the Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Mauthausen death camps) who became an Egyptian police doctor;

            Mahmoud Saleh (formerly: Nazi propagandist Alfred Zingler), who joined the Egyptian Information Ministry;

            Omar Amin (formerly: Nazi propagandist Johann von Leers), who joined the Egyptian Information Ministry;

            Ali Bin Keshir (formerly: Mauthausen death camp guard Wilhelm Boerner), who joined the Egyptian Interior Ministry and became an advisor to the Palestine Liberation Front; and

            El Hussein (formerly: Franz Bartel, assistant Gestapo chief of Katowice, Poland), who joined the Egyptian Information Ministry.

Declassified information from British and German archives confirm the close relationship that developed between Nazi Germany and the “Palestinian” Arabs during the jihad of 1936 - 1939, as coordinated by Nazi Germany’s (pre-World War II) embassy and consulates in western Mandatory Palestine. Reproduced below is the full text of an article from, the English-language website of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, published on May 7, 2006, that summarizes and excerpts this information, as well as reveals the extent to which British policy on Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine was negatively influenced by growing Nazi-Arab affinity:

Nazis ‘shipped arms to Palestinians’

British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders

By: Yaakov Lappin,, 05.07.06

Historical documents in Britain’s National Archives in London show that Nazi Germany attempted to ship arms to Palestinian forces in the 1930s.

A British Foreign Office report from 1939 reports of “news of a consignment of arms from Germany, sent via Turkey and addressed to Ibn Saud (king of Saudi Arabia), but really intended for the Palestine insurgents.” Britain’s chief military officer in Mandatory Palestine also noted reports “regarding import of German arms at intervals for some years now.”

British documents from the same period, and German records photographed by an American spy and sent to the British government, said that a number of Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine, in order to forge alliances with Palestinian leaders, and urge them to reject a partition of the land between the Jewish and Arab populations.

One Nazi agent, Adam Vollhardt, arrived in Palestine in July 1938, and was reported to have gained strong influence with Arab leaders, meeting with Palestinian leaders throughout 1938. Vollhardt held several meetings with leading Arab politicians and told them “that the Palestine question would be settled to the satisfaction of the Arabs within a few weeks,” adding that “it would be fatal to their (Palestinians’) cause if at this juncture they showed any signs of weakness or exhaustion.”

Germany was interested in the settlement of the (Palestine) question on the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands,” Vollhardt was reported to say to Palestinian leaders, according to a report by the British War Office. Vollhardt also assured Arab leaders that “the Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of propaganda.”

German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy revealed that in 1937, German officials had calculated that “Palestine under Arab rule would… become one of the few countries where we could count on a strong sympathy for the new Germany.”

‘Arabs admire our Fuhrer’

“The Palestinian Arabs show on all levels a great sympathy for the new Germany and its Fuhrer, a sympathy whose value is particularly high as it is based on a purely ideological foundation,” a Nazi official in Palestine wrote in a letter to Berlin in 1937. He added: “Most important for the sympathies which Arabs now feel towards Germany is their admiration for our Fuhrer; especially during the unrests, I often had an opportunity to see how far these sympathies extend. When faced with a dangerous behaviour of an Arab mass, when one said that one was German, this was already generally a free pass.”

A second Nazi agent, Dr. Franz Reichart, was reported to be actively working with Palestinian Arabs by the British Criminal Investigation Division “to help coordinate Arab and German propaganda.” Reichart was also head of the German Telegraphic Agency in Jerusalem.

German records show that the Nazis viewed the establishment of a Jewish state with great concern. A 1937 report from German General Consulate in Palestine said: “The formation of a Jewish state… is not in Germany’s interest because a (Jewish) Palestinian state would create additional national power bases for international Jewry such as for example the Vatican State for political Catholicism or Moscow for the Communists. Therefore, there is a German interest in strengthening the Arabs as a counterweight against such possible power growth of the Jews.”

Jewish refugees abandoned

The records also show that the news of increased Nazi-Arab cooperation panicked the British government, and caused it to cancel a plan in 1938 to bring to Palestine 20,000 German Jewish refugees, half of them children, facing danger from the Nazis.

Documents show that after deciding that the move would upset Arab opinion, Britain decided to abandon the Jewish refugees to their fate.

“His Majesty’s Government asked His Majesty’s Representatives in Cairo, Baghdad and Jeddah whether so far as they could judge, feelings in Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia against the admission of, say 5,000 Jewish children for adoption… would be so strong as to lead to a refusal to send representatives to the London discussions. All three replies were strongly against the proposal, which was not proceeded with,” a Foreign Office report said.

“If war were to break out, no trouble that the Jews could occasion us, in Palestine or elsewhere, could weigh for a moment against the importance of winning Muslim opinion to our side,” Britain’s Minister for Coordination of Defence, Lord Chatfield, told the British cabinet in 1939, shortly before Britain reversed its decision to partition its mandate, promising instead all of the land to the Palestinian Arabs.

(The above article may also be accessed by using the link at,7340,L-3248081,00.html to view it.) 

Although Great Britain’s decision, in 1938, to curry favor with the belligerent Arab population of western Mandatory Palestine, as well as with the larger Arab and (non-Arab) Muslim worlds, by impeding mass Jewish flight from Nazi Germany to western Mandatory Palestine constituted a serious breach of its Mandatory obligations to the Jewish people under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, such informal ad hoc decision-making did not yet represent a formal and absolute bar to further Jewish immigration.

However, in 1939, in order to assuage the growing “Palestinian” Arab rage against Great Britain for having facilitated Jewish immigration to western Mandatory Palestine, and as its official response to the sustained Arab hostility and violence towards the Jews of Mandatory Palestine, Great Britain -- with the tacit support of the United States -- published an infamous manifesto known as the Palestine White Paper of 1939 (also known as the MacDonald White Paper).  The Palestine White Paper, which the League of Nations refused to approve, was issued and implemented by Great Britain, as Mandatory trustee, in rank violation of its fiduciary obligations to the Jewish people under the Mandate for Palestine, in that it illegally restricted, and subsequently illegally barred, Jews who sought to flee Nazi-occupied Europe from reaching safe haven in the western portion of Mandatory Palestine.

It is ironic that Great Britain, which was required by international law to facilitate Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel, instead earned the distinction of being the only ruler of the Land to have ever prohibited Jews from gaining entry to any portion thereof.   

An infamous example of Great Britain's Arab-compliant crusade against Holocaust-era Jewish immigration is represented by the Struma Affair which unfolded during Nazi Germany's 1942 Wannsee Conference (convened by Hitler -- in response to the collective refusal of virtually all of the World's other nations, including the United States, at the 1938 Evian Conference to accept significant Jewish immigration emanating from the territories then controlled by Nazi Germany -- in order to determine and implement the final tactical mechanisms for the planned annihilation of the Jewish people).  In the Winter of 1942, the Struma, a 96 square meter and 100 year old barge, packed with almost 800 Jewish refugees, including over 100 infants and other children, fled Romania for Mandatory Palestine, stopping en route at Istanbul, Turkey. Great Britain, responding to “Palestinian” Arab pressure, not only publicly declared that the Struma would be barred from entering the waters of Mandatory Palestine, but it also prevailed upon Turkey to prohibit the Struma's passengers from disembarking at Istanbul, the result being that the barge was towed out to sea without fuel, heating equipment, food or potable water. The next day, the Struma was destroyed by a torpedo; only one person survived.

Meanwhile, commencing in 1940, the fascist government of southern France, commonly known as “Vichy France” (as Occupier of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) and the fascist government of Italy (as Occupier of Libya), both of which were allied with Nazi Germany during the War, began -- with the indispensable cooperation of local Arab officials and supportive Arab populations -- to systematically strip the Jews of North Africa of their civil rights, livelihoods, assets, and access to public facilities and services (paralleling the dehumanization process which was already well underway in Nazi Germany as well as in those European countries under Nazi occupation or hegemony).  However, due to delaying tactics employed by Vichy France’s Governor of Tunisia, this process of dehumanization was not fully implemented in that country until it was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1942.  Ultimately, more than 13,000 North African Jews were sent to myriad slave labor camps scattered throughout Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, staffed by Occupation officials and local Arabs, where thousands died of disease and starvation, while others were murdered by camp guards.  Moreover, hundreds of Tunisian and Libyan Jews were deported to European slave labor camps.  Only the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa, resulting in the defection of Vichy forces and the decimation of the Italo-German army, which surrendered to Allied forces in 1943, saved North Africa’s Jewish populations, at large, from eventually joining their European brethren as wholesale victims of the Holocaust.

Immediately after the issuance of United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181 (II) of November 29, 1947 (commonly known as the “Palestine Partition Plan”), as a result of their rejection of any Jewish sovereignty in any portion of Mandatory Palestine, local Arab militias drawn from Arab population centers throughout the biblical Land of Israel, as well as -- commencing in January 1948 -- hundreds of foreign Arabs and (non-Arab) Muslims who began to infiltrate the Land as part of the “Arab Liberation Army” created by the Arab League and commanded by Fawzi el-Kaukji, commenced a sustained jihad against the Jewish communities there with little interference -- and, sometimes, even with overt assistance -- from Great Britain, representing an exponential increase in the anti-Jewish violence that had periodically swept through the Land since the advent of the Mandate in 1920.  In fact, from November 30, 1947 through March 31, 1948, almost 1,000 Jews were murdered by Arab militias who attacked both isolated Jewish villages and Jewish neighborhoods of mixed cities, as well as Jewish cars and buses travelling on the highways, regardless of whether they were situated outside or inside of the Partition Plan lines. 

At the outset of this period, in an effort to isolate and starve the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the Arabs also instituted a blockade of the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway which severed the only road link between the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem (which were encircled by Arab-controlled territory), then comprising more than 100,000 Jews (who then constituted more than 60% of Jerusalem’s population), and the Jewish-populated areas of the Mediterranean Sea coastal plain. 

In the context of the Arab-Nazi connection, it is telling that many of the terrorists who were recruited to Mandatory Palestine by the Arab Liberation Army were demobilized Muslim Nazi soldiers from Bosnia and Kosovo.  Moreover, el-Kaukji himself had been a participant in both the Nazi-financed Arab jihad in Mandatory Palestine of 1936 - 1939 and the Arab Nazi coup in Iraq of 1941, after which he took refuge in Nazi Germany for the duration of World War II.

Finally, on May 15, 1948, the local Arab militias and foreign infiltrators who had been conducting a jihad against the Jewish communities in the western portion of Mandatory Palestine since the issuance of the Palestine Partition Plan were joined by the invading armies of seven Arab countries (-- Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen --), all of which attempted to annihilate the Jewish State within its nonviable 1947 Partition Plan lines.

That same day, commenting on the goals of the pan-Arab invasion of Israel, Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam, more commonly known as Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, infamously declared:

This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken about like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.

It is indisputable that the “Palestinian” Arabs and their external allies, in addition to being accomplices to the Holocaust, sought to complete in the Land of Israel the very annihilation that Nazi Germany had commenced in Europe and North Africa.

© Mark Rosenblit


Additional information is republished below:

The role of Arabic-language Nazi-era propaganda 


(Jerusalem Post, February 12, 2014) In its August, 2013 edition, the popular and publicly-funded Palestinian children’s magazine Al Zayzafuna resumed the practice of publishing homages to Adolf Hitler, despite the fact that this practice had prompted UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization], in 2011, to cancel its funding for the magazine. The August, 2013 homage was captioned “Among Hitler’s Sayings,” and took the form of a list of quaint aphorisms attributed to the genocidal dictator, with the apparent aim of convincing young readers of Hitler’s timeless and worldly wisdom. The homage remains in place today, at the Al Zayzafuna website.

The February, 2011 Al Zayzafuna item that had triggered UNESCO’s de-funding was the supposedly whimsical tale of a little Palestinian girl to whom Hitler appears in a dream. During the encounter, Hitler explains to the child, “I killed them [the Jews] so that you would know that they are a people who wreaks havoc on Earth.” Hitler then adds, “I ask of you to be patient and enduring with the torment that Palestine is suffering at their [the Jews’] hands.”

The story’s intent to idolize Hitler is confirmed by the company the Hitler character keeps; prior to encountering Hitler, the dreaming child meets 9th-century Muslim mathematician al-Khwarizmi, and after meeting Hitler, the child is awed to meet renowned Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz.

It is in response to these compelling (but not isolated) examples of the open embrace of Nazi lore and factless, hate-based rhetoric in officially- linked Palestinian publications and broadcasts that I have prepared the following brief explanation of the deliberate process by which Palestinians were indoctrinated into the Nazi ideology of hate and incitement before and during WWII.

This process unquestionably reinforced the anti-Jewish ethos that had, by then, already taken hold in Palestinian society as a result of centuries of religious indoctrination that consistently framed Jews as the arch-enemies of early Islam, and the effects of this process, on both the substance and tone of today’s incitement against Israel, are plain to see. The information that follows forms the basic background for my ongoing deep research into as-yet unstudied segments of the corpus of Arabic-language hate propaganda crafted and disseminated by the Axis powers.

The Nazi propaganda directed at the Arab world, in Arabic, during this period was aimed at both winning support from the leaderships of Arab states and influencing the sentiments of Arab populations. Dissemination of Nazi propaganda in Arab countries had its beginnings in the power struggle for dominance in the Middle East, which included the struggle that developed among England, Italy and Germany in the mid-1930s.

At the time of this struggle, Italy and Germany resolved to conduct anti-British and anti-French propaganda campaigns in the countries then subject to British or French rule.

The main aim of these campaigns was to stir unrest in the local populations, making it difficult for the foreign rulers to maintain the order they needed to facilitate their political and economic penetration of Middle Eastern markets.

In the late 1930s, Nazis began recruiting Palestinians to engage in espionage and terrorism actions for which the Nazis would supply funding and weapons. Along with promises of cooperation, Nazis promised the Arabs that if the war ended in an Axis victory, Arabs would be given all lands and homes owned by Jews, as well as access to “beautiful Jewish girls.”

Print-medium propaganda:  Print material in the form of leaflets, cartoons and local-press advertisements were used as a means of waging psychological warfare. Sometimes, a propaganda message would be printed on fake dollar bills or British pound notes, and other in other cases, millions of Arabic-language leaflets, some dropped from airplanes, were distributed, bearing promises to Arabs of freedom from the British and the French. In addition, Arab journalists were bribed by the Nazis to publish hundreds of Nazi-supportive articles in their local presses, and huge budgets were made available by the Nazis to local propaganda agents, for distribution of their material and for establishment of local implementing organizations.

The messages contained in the propaganda materials were intended to serve a variety of ends, among them 1) winning Arab sympathy for the Nazis and their Fuhrer, 2) instigating unrestrained anti-Jewish attitudes through popularization of the notions that Jews had robbed Arabs of their money and caused all the destruction then affecting the Arab world, 3) providing visible support and reinforcement for Arab nationalist sentiments and aspirations, 4) inciting Arabs against British or French rule, and against the West, in general, 5) promising to facilitate independence for every Arab country, and 6) promising access to Arab high society.

The former mufti of Jerusalem:   The head of the snake. Inasmuch as the political and governmental machinery of the Axis states played major roles in administering and devising programming for the propaganda efforts targeted at Arab populations during the Nazi era, the undisputed hands-on moving force behind the work was the then former mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini. The mufti had fled to Berlin from the British in October1941, and, once there, he was promptly granted his own Nazi propaganda bureau, dubbed “Das Arabisch Buro Der Grossmufti [The Arabic Bureau of the Grand Mufti].” The mufti remained in Berlin until the end of the war in April 1945, and through his bureau, he personally authorized and controlled the Nazis’ propaganda in Arabic language.

Hitler’s message still openly admired by many Arabs today.  As recently as in 1999, Hitler’s Mein Kampf was the sixth best-selling book among Palestinians, according to a survey taken by the Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat Al Jadida.

In today’s Middle East, translations of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion still appear periodically in Arab government agency publications, and the Nazi-era imagery that this pseudo-historical tract inspired so long ago is alive and well for millions of Arab citizens to absorb and believe.

And while it is commonplace for detractors of Israeli nationhood and policy to label Israelis as Nazis, it is also de rigueur for them to embrace Jew-hating Nazi formulae and bywords as a way of inciting their supporters. To wit, in early 2013, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas included Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, the above-described architect of Arabic-language hate propaganda for the Nazis, in a list of martyrs and heroes whom he chose to honor during a televised public broadcast.

The author is a Research Fellow at Bar-Ilan University. 

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.


Why International Farhud Day Stymies Invented Palestinian History

avatarby Edwin Black

The mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.


(The Algemeiner, May 30, 2018) When International Farhud Day was proclaimed at a conference convened at the United Nations headquarters on June 1, 2015, its proponents wanted to achieve more than merely establish a commemoration of the ghastly 1941 Arab-Nazi pogrom in Baghdad that killed and injured hundreds of Iraqi Jews. Farhud means violent dispossession. The Farhud was but the first bloody step along the tormented path to the ultimate expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from across the Arab world. That systematic expulsion ended centuries of Jewish existence and stature in those lands.


Jews had thrived in Iraq for 2,700 years, a thousand years before Muhammad. But all that came to end when the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, led the broad Arab-Nazi alliance in the Holocaust that produced a military, economic, political, and ideological common cause with Hitler. Although Husseini spearheaded an international pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish Islamic movement from India to Central Europe to the Middle East, it was in Baghdad — a 1,000-kilometer drive from Jerusalem — that he launched his robust coordination with the Third Reich.


In 1941, Iraq still hosted Britain’s Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which controlled the region’s oil. Hitler wanted that oil to propel his invasion of Russia. The Arabs, led by Husseini, wanted the Jews out of Palestine and Europe’s persecuted Jews kept away from the Middle East. Indeed, Husseini persuasively argued to Hitler that Jews should not be expelled to Palestine but rather to “Poland,” where “they will be under active control.” Translation: send Jews to the concentration camps. Husseini had visited concentration camps. He had been hosted by architect of the genocide Heinrich Himmler, and the mufti considered Shoah engineer Adolf Eichmann not only a great friend, but a “diamond” among men.


Nazi lust for oil and Arab hatred of Jews combined synergistically June 1–2, 1941, burning the Farhud into history. Arab soldiers, police, and hooligans, swearing allegiance to the mufti and Hitler, bolstered by fascist coup plotters known as the Golden Square, ran wild in the streets, raping, shooting, burning, dismembering, and decapitating. Jewish blood flowed through those streets and their screams created echoes that have never faded.

The 1941 Farhud massacre, which was launched in tandem with an attempted takeover of the British oil fields and London’s airbase at Habbaniya, set the stage for the Mufti-Hitler summit and the establishment of three Islamic and Arab Waffen SS divisions in central Europe under Himmler’s direct sponsorship. After the State of Israel was established in 1948, mufti adherents and devotees throughout the Arab world, working through the Arab League, openly and systematically expelled 850,000 Jews from Morocco to Lebanon. Penniless and stateless, many of those refugees were airlifted to Israel where they were absorbed and became almost half the families of Israel.


Remembering the tragic facts of the Farhud process will make it harder for the newly-invented history to take root. After the Arabs rebranded themselves as “Palestinians” in May 1964 with the backing of the Soviet KGB, a new narrative began to come together. In part, it pretends that the Arabs of Ottoman and then British Palestine did not arrive in the seventh century during the Arab-Islamic Conquest, as history records. Their narrative now asserts that are actually descendants of the Canaanites and the Philistines. Palestine is named for the Philistines. After the Jews were expelled by the Romans in about 135-136 CE, the name of their nation was changed from Judea to Syria Palaestina. But in truth, the Israelites gave rise to the only true surviving Canaanites. The Philistines were Greek Island sea invaders defeated by Ramses III in about 1150 BCE and sequestered into the Gaza Pentapolis, not Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula who conquered in the seventh century CE.


Invented Palestinian history also asserts that present-day Israelis are almost entirely transplants from such alien regions as the Ukraine, Poland, Brooklyn, and Germany — or descendants thereof. Remembering the Farhud helps us understand that almost half the early Jewish families in newly-declared Israel were not from across the sea, but rather from across the river, across the bridge, down the road, and plucked from the same culture.

What’s more, the fabricated Palestinian history laments that Palestine became just a consolation prize for the Holocaust — a tragedy that either never occurred or was a purely European misdeed for which Arabs are not responsible and in which they were not involved. Remembering the 1941 Farhud and the Arab-Nazi alliance that sparked it, locks in Arab involvement in the Holocaust as one of full partnership with the Third Reich. This Nazi-Arab alliance thrived, complete with tens of thousands of Islamic and Arab volunteers arduously fighting in the trenches, coordinating diplomatic and strategic affairs through the Arab Higher Committee, broadcasting nightly incendiary hate messages beginning with words “Oh Muslims,” and undertaking all things calculated to advance a German victory which promised an Arab state in Palestine and a disappeared Jewish population. No wonder the Arab marketplaces were filled with placards that exhorted, “In Heaven, Allah is your ruler. On Earth, it is Adolf Hitler.”


The established and incontrovertible facts chronicling the Arab world’s deep and enthusiastic anti-Jewish alliance with the Third Reich during the Holocaust, which exploded into the Farhud, plus the subsequent population shift that Arab governments engineered to expel 850,000 of their own Jewish citizens, make it impossible to weave a fabric of invented history. Recognizing, remembering, and reminding the world of those facts on International Farhud Day, June 1, will help all participants and observers of the Arab-Israeli conflict confront the true legacy that has helped create today’s stalemate. Recognition is the first step along the painful path toward reconciliation.


Edwin Black is the New York Times bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust, and the prize-winning book The Farhud — Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. In 2015, Black organized and founded International Farhud Day.

Copyright ©2018 All Rights Reserved.


The chasm between Remembrance and Independence is narrow - opinion

But at the end of the day, the Jews of the British Mandate were alone.


(Jerusalem Post, April 17, 2021) The chasm between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Independence Day is narrower than we believe. Had the Allies not defeated Erwin Rommel – “Hitler’s general” – in North Africa, the Nazis would have conquered the British Mandate and exterminated the Yishuv, the pre-State Jewish population. Jewish armed resistance would not have been able to stop the juggernaut of the Axis powers.

German success in North Africa dominated the early years of World War II. Had the Germans not been defeated by British forces at El Alamein in November of 1942, it is greatly doubtful that there would be a State of Israel celebrating its 73rd birthday. The Germans would have conquered Cairo and gone on to destroy the Jews of Palestine.

Gershom Gorenberg’s new study of the Allied breaking of the highly complex German Enigma code – War of Shadows – is a groundbreaking work that has everything to do with the survival of Jews in the British Mandate. While the book is invaluable in describing the genius decoders of Bletchley Park, a mansion in between Oxford and Cambridge, I find the book’s description of the Nazi plans for the Yishuv sobering and frightening. Had the Allied code-breakers failed, the State of Israel would not exist.

The reality of war came to the Yishuv early in the conflict. On September 9, 1939, Italian aircraft bombed Tel Aviv, killing 107 Jews. Sir Martin Gilbert in his 1998 study of Israel’s history describes Yitzhak Rabin’s reaction, returning home from the sea when the bombs exploded less than a half a mile in front of him. “He was horrified by the carnage,” writes Gilbert, “which he was to recall vividly while on a visit to London more than 50 years later.”

While this raid on Tel Aviv was frightening, the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Palestine was a chilling reality that far surpassed the bombing. The Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) prepared to send SS officer Walter Rauff, inventor of the mobile gas chamber, to Africa while the Germans were winning the war in the region. His commando’s mission was to begin by murdering the 75,000 Jews of Egypt and then to move on to the rest of the Middle East and exterminate the Jews of Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq – and of course, Palestine.

MOST ARAB regimes were sympathetic to the Fascists. The Jews would not be protected from the Germans. The former grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, pleaded with Hitler to exterminate the Jews of the Land of Israel. He need not have begged. Hitler would attempt to destroy every Jew under German control, wherever they were.

Despite British colonialism – the epitome which was the Mandate – by 1945, 30,000 Jews in Palestine enlisted in the British forces. This reality made Israel stronger by the time they had to fight the invading Arab armies in the War of Independence in 1948. The British Special Operations Executive trained members of the Palmah as a Jewish strike force to fight the Nazis if Germans gained a foothold in the Middle East.

While there was always tension between the Jews and the British over the issue of illegal immigration of Jews to Palestine, the Jews worked with the British to create strongholds in case of German invasion of the Mandate. But at the end of the day, the Jews of the British Mandate were alone.

Author Gorenberg eloquently describes the heroism and fear of the Jews of the Yishuv: “The half million Jews of Palestine, or at least the hundred thousand of the Haifa area, would take refuge in the Carmel to determine their own fate. Memory transmogrified the British Defenses of the Final Fortress into the groundwork for Masada on the Carmel. Yet, to be carried out, the plan depended on support that Britain never offered or considered giving. The memory was a defense of the mind against the horror of being defenseless.” It went back to ancient Masada – “from defiant hope of holding out, to a tragedy in which the only choice was how to die.”

The Bletchley Park’s breaking of the Enigma code would change the course of history. But for the Jews it was more than that. It would ensure their survival in the face of what the Germans were planning for all Jews: genocide.

The writer is rabbi of Congregation Anshei Sholom in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Copyright © 2021 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved.


Note:  Words in [        ] are for clarification purposes only, are mine alone and are not part of any republished article.

Return to main page