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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seventy Years Since the Arab Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, Met Hitler

Expanded12-5-2011 Link added at bottom12-17-2013

The Arab Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem met Hitler the other day 70 years ago, on 28 November 1941. The seventieth anniversary of a friendly, palsy meeting between the greatest mass murderer in history, Adolf Hitler [yes, Stalin gave him stiff competition] and a would-be mass murderer who took part in Hitler's genocidal crimes. We know what went on at the meeting since two written records were made, one by Hitler's secretary, one Schmidt, the other by the Mufti himself.

Here we quote from the German record:
The Fuhrer then made the following statement to the Mufti, enjoining him to lock it in the innermost depths of his heart:
1. He (the Fuhrer) would carry on the battle to the total destruction of the Judeo-Communist empire in Europe.
2. . . . the German armies would in the course of this struggle reach the southern exit from Caucasus.
3. . . . Germany's objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. It would then be his task to set off the Arab operations which he had secretly prepared. . .
. . .
The Grand Mufti replied that it was his view that everything would come to pass just as the Fuhrer had indicated. He was fully reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard from the Chief of the German State. . . .
The Grand Mufti thanked him. . . .
[translated text in Walter Laqueur and Barry Rubin, editors, The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict (seventh revised & updated edition; London & New York: Penguin Books 2008), pp 54-55. The first edition of this book came out in 1969 with Laqueur alone as editor. The record of the Husseini-Hitler discussion has been in the book from 1969 through all the revisions and updatings.
The Mufti's own record of the discussion which he recorded in his diary was published in Joseph B Schechtman,
The Mufti and the Fuehrer (New York: Yoseloff 1965), pp 306-308.]

A short film of the Mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini [also spelled al-Husayni] arriving at Hitler's offices for the meeting is at this link with narration in French. The film is obviously of great documentary importance. It was no doubt made by the Germans in Berlin and then sent to the Vichy government of France who put in a French narration and most likely supplied it to movie theaters as a newsreel. TV was not in common use. Note that Husseini gives the Nazi salute [upraised arm] when he meets Hitler. Also see this video .
This site has a lot of documentation, photos and texts, about the Mufti.
Photos of the Mufti and his associates, including a German veteran fighting with the Arab forces against Israel in 1948 as a mercenary, are here.

Some background for Husseini should be known. He belonged to the Husseini clan, one of the most influential among the Arab-Muslims in Jerusalem. The Ottoman Empire gave members of the family high posts in government, first in the Jerusalem area, then in the government of the empire as a whole, one serving as a governor in Anatolia and elsewhere. Haj Amin el-Husseini served as an officer in the Ottoman army in World War I, but I don't know whether he was involved in the Armenian genocide perpetrated by that army. However, it was the British who gave him political predominance over the Arabs in the newly created Palestine, the territorial name for the Jewish National Home juridically erected at the San Remo Conference in April 1920 and endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922. In March 1921, the British made him mufti --chief Muslim judge-- of the Jerusalem area, and in December of that same year he was made president of the newly created Supreme Muslim Council which controlled the public money of the Muslim community in the newly created Palestine. This position gave him even more power than the first. Members of the Husseini family have been prominent in the PLO, such as Faisal Husseini, his great-nephew, and Leila Shahid, now the PLO spokeswoman and chief liar representing the PLO/Palestinian Authority in France, a grand-daughter of the Mufti.

The following books and articles are useful for info, documentation and pix on the Mufti and his collaboration with the Nazis:

M S Arnoni, Rights and Wrongs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1968). This book has a photo of Husseini with Himmler on which Himmler has written a dedication ["Seiner Eminenz dem Grossmufti -- zur Erinnerung"] plus a pix of Husseini & Nasser.
Zvi El-Peleg, HaMufti haGadol (Tel Aviv: MOD publishing House 1989). This has the cover page of the Nazi weekly, Wiener Illustrierte which shows the Mufti saluting Muslim units of the German army [probably the Bosnian Muslim SS division] plus a few other significant pix. El-Peleg's book came out in English too but I don't know if that edition has the pix.
Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return [Philadelphia: Lippincott 1978]. This book has a pix of the Mufti shaking hands with a Nazi official wearing a swastika armband, when he arrived in Berlin.
Jennie Lebel, Haj Amin uBerlin (Tel Aviv: 1996; in Heb.) This book in Hebrew has relevant pix, inc. documents in German. Much detail here about the Mufti's collaboration with the SS in Bosnia. Jennie Lebel is/was a collateral descendant of Theodore Herzl. She used much documentation in the Serbo-Croatian language which other researchers were not capable of using.
Joseph B Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer (New York: Yoseloff 1965).

The best on line source for photos on Arab-Nazi collaboration is the site Bibliotheque Proche-Orientale [ http://aval31.free.fr/ ] in both French & English [mostly French]. It also has a link to the short video [from a film] mentioned and linked to above of the Mufti coming to his meeting with Hitler in Berlin, with soundtrack in French. This site has a lot of material on the subject of Arab-Nazi collaboration, mostly French, plus pix.

Another online source of photos of the Mufti is here: http://mtolivesviews.byethost7.com/muftiphotos.html 
These photos come from John Roy Carlson, Cairo to Damascus (New York: Knopf 1951)

Several useful books on Arab-Nazi collaboration and Nazi influence on Arab nationalism, including the Palestinian Arab movement, are here in French & English:
Matthias Kuntzel's book with links to Amazon in English & French:

Matthias Küntzel: Djihad et haine des Juifs : Le lien troublant entre islamisme et nazisme à la racine du terrorisme international

Martin Cüppers, Klaus-Michael Mallmann
Croissant fertile et croix gammée : Le Troisième Reich, les Arabes et la Palestine

Jeffrey Herf
Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World

Klaus Gensicke, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis, The Berlin Years (London: Valentine Mitchell 2011)

This is a very large subject that is often suppressed from school history books on World War II and the Holocaust, and from books and articles on Arab nationalism and the Middle East in WW2.
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LINK ADDED 1-16-2013 Jonathan Tobin on why the story of the Mufti Husseini is still important today [here]

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Friday, November 18, 2011

The Name "palestine" an Imperialist Imposition

When the Roman empire under Emperor Hadrian had suppressed the last major Jewish revolt in the Land of Israel, the Bar Kokhba Revolt [135 CE], the Romans renamed the Province of Judea "palaestina," more exactly Syria Palaestina, using "palaestina" as an adjective and thus subordinating the country semantically to Syria. That is, as by Herodotos much earlier, Israel was seen by the Romans as a mere section of Syria, the "palestinian" section. The historian and classical archeologist, Elsa Laurenzi, affirms that although "palestine" had been used in early classical times by Herodotos [also as an adjective for what he believed was part of Syria], the term was not generally used in the Roman period until it was brought back from "the dustbin of history," so to speak, after defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. I see the name change as a sign of Roman triumphalism and vindictiveness, an expression of antagonism to the vanquished Jews.
This place name, connected with the Philistine population, is first found in the classical [Greek] sources in Herodotos [5th century BCE]. It was introduced as the official name for the region by the Romans after the events of 132-5 [CE], deliberately counterposing it to the official name Iudaea, traditionally used up to that time, in the setting of a series of repressive actions. As such it is often rejected in Jewish circles who prefer "Land of Israel."

Questo toponimo, legato alla popolazione dei Filistei, si riscontra per la prima volta nelle fonti classiche in Erodoto (V secolo a.e.c.). E` introdotto come nome ufficiale della regione dai Romani dopo gli avventimenti del 132-5 [e.c.], contrapponendolo programmaticamente a quello di Iudaea, tradizionalmente usato fino a quel momento, nell'ambito di una serie di interventi repressivi. Come tale e` spesso respinto negli ambienti ebraici, che preferiscono "Terra di Israele." [Elsa Laurenzi, Le Catacombe ebraiche (Roma: Gangemi 2011) p22].
Again, as Laurenzi says, "palestine" was a name imposed on the country by enemies of the Jews. It was part of a series of repressive actions by imperialists who had defeated a Jewish rebellion. Nevertheless, the Romans too considerably regretted the Bar Kokhba War which had seen many Roman soldiers slain by the Jews, as the Roman Fronto pointed out. As least one full legion was wiped out, the XXII Deiotariana Legion. Maybe one more met the same end. In the view of the Bar Kokhba Revolt making such an important impact on both the Jews and the Roman Empire, it is curious that Laurenzi refers to the uprising as "the events of 132-5."

Note that in Roman usage the name Judea applied to the whole country, to all of Israel. In fact the Province of Judea and the earlier Kingdom of Judea ruled by Herod, a client king of Rome, included Samaria, Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the east bank of the Jordan River. Sometimes, as in several verses of the Christian New Testament, Judea is used in a narrow sense together with Samaria as separate regions. But this was a reflection of Jewish usage, not Roman. Jews sometimes used Judea to translate Judah [Yehudah], the ancient southern kingdom of the Israelites after the split of the monarchy.

UPDATING 8-3-2014
Gian Domenico Mazzocato in his footnote 1 to his translation of the Histories of Tacitus, on p1240 [Tacito, Publio Cornelio, Storie, Intro. Generale di Lidia Storoni Mazzolani, cura e traduzione di Gian Domenico Mazzocato (Roma: Newton 1995). Latin text on facing pages]

"Judea, in this context, indicates Palestine as a whole (that is, beyond  Judea in the true and proper sense, the Galilee, Samaria, Perea)"

"Giudea, in questo contesto, indica l'intera Palestina (cioe', oltre la Giudea vera e propria, la Galilea, la Samaria, la Perea)"

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Judea the Roman & Greek Name for Israel -- "palestine" a Later Imperialist Imposition

Judea was the Roman name for the Land of Israel, for all of it, including Samaria, the Galilee, the Golan Heights and the east bank of the Jordan River. This is often forgotten today in the face of the massive propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the world that there was a historical "palestinian people" with an ancient history living in a land that was --supposedly-- always called "palestine." We know the ancient history of the Jews in the Hellenistic and Roman periods not only from Jewish sources --which the Judeophobes prefer to view as suspect-- but also, and even more so, from Roman and Greek sources. These include Hecataeus [Hekataios] of Abdera, Varro, Alexander Polyhistor, Livy, Suetonius, Tacitus, Plutarch, Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Diodorus, Polybius, Strabo, Ptolemy, and so on. Most or nearly all of the extant writings of these authors concerning Jews are conveniently gathered in Menahem Stern's Greek and Latin authors on Jews and Judaism (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences 1974-). Otherwise, they are also found scattered among many ancient and later manuscripts, print publications and translations. Of course, the falsifiers habitually overlook these writings, while discrediting ancient Jewish writings. After all, it would not do to have non-Jewish authors confirming what the Jews say. So they are overlooked, as said.

We have already presented documentation that the official Roman name of the Land of Israel was Judea. This place name was actually written IVDAEA in Latin and Ioudaia in Greek [as transcribed into the Latin alphabet]. We see this name on coins & military diplomas and in manuscripts, etc. The Roman Empire used the terms Iudaea and Provincia Iudaea until it defeated the Jews in the Bar Kokhba Revolt 132-135 CE. It was only after victory in that war that Emperor Hadrian imposed the name "Syria Palaestina" on the country, replacing the name Judea, as a punishment for the Jews, by renaming their very homeland so that it would no longer seem to be theirs. This may have given a certain psychological satisfaction to some of the Roman imperialists, as if their Jewish enemies had been wiped out with the name of their country.

Of course, despite today's pervasive propaganda in favor of "palestine" and "palestinian", the real scholars are aware of the true historical names in use in ancient times. Elsa Laurenzi, a historian and specialist in classical archeology at the La Sapienza University in Rome, supplies concise definitions of relevant terms. Now we will present her definition of Iudaei; in another post we will present her definition of "palestine":

The name Iudaei identifies the people of Israel in the Latin sources, both literary and legal. It derives from the place name [toponym] of their place of origin, Iudaea, and indicates a double identification, religious and ethnic. Its extensive spread is attested by the very permanence of the term "giudeo" [= Jew] in the Roman dialect [of Italian]. Only starting with the 6th century, with the issue of the Novelle [new laws] of Emperor Justinian, was the synonym Hebraei [Hebrews] established, which remained rare however up to Medieval Latin.

Il nome Iudaei identifica il popolo di Israele nelle fonti latine, tanto letterarie quanto legali; deriva dal toponimo del luogo di provenienza, la Iudaea, ed indica una doppia identificazione, religiosa ed etnica; la sua diffusione e` testimoniata dalla stessa permanenza del termine "giudeo" nel dialetto romanesco. Solo a partire dal VI secolo, con l'emanazione delle Novelle del'Imperatore Giustiniano, si afferma il sinonimo Hebraei, che rimane comunque raro fino al latino medievale. [Elsa Laurenzi, Le Catacombe ebraiche (Roma: Gangemi 2011), p 12]
Elsa Laurenzi points out that in the Roman mind, the Jews were named after their country, Judea. She adds that Emperor Justinian introduced the term Hebrews as the official name for the Jews, although --I would add-- it had been used earlier by Pausanias and others. It is interesting that in both Italian and Russian Hebrew is used today as the proper name for Jew, of course in forms specific to each language: Ebreo in Italian and Yevrey in Russian.

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