“Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu has become a Holocaust denier by claiming that the Mufti [of Jerusalem] persuaded Hitler to exterminate the Jews,” said MK Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List) on Wednesday, October 21. According to MK Khenin, the head of the Holocaust Survivors Lobby in the Knesset, Netanyahu’s comments “play right into the hands of Holocaust deniers.”
Social media in Israel was abuzz on Wednesday following Netanyahu’s remarks made in a speech before Zionist leaders in Jerusalem. The PM’s claims went viral shortly after the conclusion of his speech.
In his address, the prime minister claimed that Hitler’s original intentions were solely to expel the Jews from Europe. According to Netanyahu, Hitler changed his mind at the insistence of the Mufti, who argued that the expulsion of the Jews would result in their en masse migration to Palestine, an area which at the time was under British Mandatory rule. “The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time; he wanted to expel them. But Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come to Palestine.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ Hitler asked. ‘Burn them’ replied the Mufti,” according to Israel’s PM in his speech.
In his reaction to the speech, Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh’s (Hadash) said that Netanyahu “is rewriting history in order to incite against the Palestinian people. The victims of the Nazi monster, among them millions of Jews, have become cheap propaganda in the service of peace rejectionism. Netanyahu proves every day just how dangerous he is for both peoples, and how far he’s willing to go to cement his rule and justify his disastrous policies.”
Saeb Erekat, chairman of the PLO executive committee, said on Wednesday: “On behalf of the thousands of Palestinians who fought alongside the Allied Troops in defense of international justice, the State of Palestine denounces these morally indefensible and inflammatory statements. Palestinian efforts against the Nazi regime are a deep-rooted part of our history.” It’s a sad state of affairs, he said, “when the leader of the Israeli government hates his neighbors so much that he is willing to absolve the most notorious war criminal in history, Adolf Hitler, of the murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. Mr. Netanyahu should stop using this human tragedy to score points for his political end.”