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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mufti of Jerusalem Incited the 1941 Farhud [pogrom], according to Iraqi Investigation

The Mufti's pro-Nazi Iraqi associates incited a pogrom in Baghdad which killed an estimated 600 Jews while British troops stayed outside the city on June 1 & 2, 1941. This pogrom, called the Farhud, has been described and discussed on previous posts. Moreover, the differing descriptions of it by various Arab and British and Jewish sources and authorities have been quoted. It used to be notorious that Baghdad in the late 1930s and through the 1940s was a hotbed of pro-Nazi Arab nationalist agitation, much of it carried out by Arab nationalists from outside Iraq given refuge there. One such was Haj Amin el-Husseini [al-Husayni], the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, who was one of the instigators or violence against Jews in Israel in the mid-1930s [from 1936-39]. The British police claimed to be looking for him to arrest him in 1938. He supposedly had taken refuge on the Temple Mount, the ancient Jewish holy place taken over by Muslims after their conquest and transformed into a Muslim "holy place" in about 692 CE by the `Umayyad caliph ruling from Damascus, who wanted his own holy place to compete with Mecca and Medina that were under rebel control at that time.

Getting back to the Mufti. The British let him leave the Temple Mount in disguise and go to French-controlled Lebanon. He spent some time there and from Lebanon he went on to Baghdad in Iraq, ruled by a king [through a regent at that time] of the Hashemite dynasty still ruling in Jordan. Under the monarch, Iraq had a parliamentary government subject to military coups d'e'tat. He was followed by an entourage of Arabs from leading Palestinian Arab families. His own nephew Abdul-Qader al-Husayni was with him there, as was Jamal Husseini, another relative and political aide. Abdul-Qader's son, born in Baghdad, was Faisal Husseini, notorious as a peace faker and terrorism promoter living in Jerusalem from the 1970s [or earlier] to 2001. The Husseinis and others were making pro-Nazi propaganda in Iraq from the late 1930s through the early 1940s.

After Rashid Ali al-Gaylani [Kaylani] and high officers in partnership with him overthrew the government of Iraq, they made several demands on the British, eventually starting a war with them, and besieging a British base present in Iraq by treaty with Iraq [called Habbaniyyah]. The British won the war, marching up to Baghdad. A pogrom against local Jews began apparently instigated by supporters of the Rashid Ali regime. The British troops sat outside the city for two days [June 1 & 2, 1941] while the pogrom [Farhud] proceeded.

Subsequent to the restoration of order in the country, an official Iraqi investigating commission reported that the Mufti of Jerusalem and his entourage were among the factors causing the pogrom. Husseini, after arriving in Iraq,
began disseminating Nazi propaganda with great cunning... His entourage also engaged in wide-scale anti-Jewish and anti-British propaganda activities among all classes.
The report added,
The Palestinian and Syrian schoolteachers [in Iraq opposed] government... steps against Nazism. [Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times (Philadelphia, 1991); 414-15]
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Coming: More about the pro-Nazi career of the Mufti of Jerusalem, more about Jews in Jerusalem in the 19th century, poems of Zion, etc.

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