The Desperation Behind Netanyahu’s Holocaust Blunder (Bloomberg View)

1-DesperationThe latest round of violence in Israel was not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s biggest problem this week, although it may yetspin out of control. Most of his week was devoted to damage control after he foolishly said it was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem during the Second World War and a father of Palestinian nationalism, who invented the idea of the Final Solution, in which the Nazis and their collaborators murdered 6 million Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.

Speaking to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu laid the blame for the extermination of one-third of the Jewish people not at the feet of the Nazis but, essentially, on the Palestinians. “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew,” Netanyahu said. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’” Then, Netayanhu said, Hitler asked al-Husseini, “What should I do with them?” and said that the mufti suggested, “Burn them.”

It was a ludicrous claim. There is no evidence whatsoever of that conversation having taken place, and as Dina Porat, chief historian for Yad Vashem noted, “all of the facts show that during Hitler and the mufti’s meeting, the ‘final solution’ was already under way.”

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About Daniel Gordis

Dr. Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem. The author of numerous books on Jewish thought and currents in Israel, and a recent winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Dr. Gordis was the founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism.

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