Fast-forward 110 years and another conspiracy theory involving the alleged plotting of Jews has arisen but this one has originated from the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a recent speech to the Zionist Congress, Netanyahu spoke of how Haj Amin al-Husseini, a senior Sunni Muslim religious leader of Jerusalem known as the ‘Grand Mufti,’ had met with Hitler in November 1941. According to Netanyahu, the Grand Mufti convinced Hitler to launch a campaign to exterminate the Jews and believes Haj Amin al-Husseini is to blame for the Holocaust.
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews,” said the Israeli Prime Minister.
“And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here’ [to Palestine]”, Netanyahu continued.
When asked what he should do with the Jews, Haj Amin al-Husseini allegedly replied to Hitler, “Burn them.”
Netanyahu’s comments about a Palestinian being the initiator of the annihilation of the Jews created a whirl of condemnation and a political storm. Germany was quick to respond. Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said when asked about Netanyahu’s comments:
All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilisation that was the Holocaust” (2).“We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own,” Seibert continued.
While it (3) is known that the Palestinian Arab nationalist al-Husseini was a dangerous anti-Semite who fled to Germany in 1941 to meet with Hitler, Heinrich and other Nazi leaders, as Vox writes (4), according to almost all reputable historians, he did not inspire the Holocaust.
The debate involving the origins of the Holocaust broadly comprises of two theories – the ‘intentionalist’ view that Hitler had planned to murder the Jews years before the concentration camps were built and the Holocaust took place, and the ‘functionalist’ view that the mass murder evolved during Nazi rule in the war.
Vox outlines several the theories made by several prominent historians that collectively contradict Netanyahu’s Grans Mufti theory.
History of Holocaust
For example, in a paper in 2003, Christopher Browning, a prominent Holocaust historian at the University of North Carolina, noted how historians generally agree that the Nazi’s decision to murder Jews in Soviet territory was made in mid-summer in 1941, months before Hitler’s meeting with al-Husseini in November.
Furthermore, historians view the Holocaust as a “natural extension of Hitler’s earlier practices,” writes Browning, which contradicts Netanyahu’s theory that the decision came from an outsider such as the Grand Mufti.
“There was no single decision, no ‘big bang’ that produced the Final Solution. Rather, there were a series of decisions taken incrementally, the decision-making process was cumulative and prolonged,” Browning writes.
Dina Porat, chief historian at the Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial museum, reiterated the incorrectness of Netanyahu’s theory, telling Israel Radio:
“To say that the mufti was the first to mention to Hitler the idea to kill or burn the Jews is not correct. The idea to the world of the Jews was a central theme in Hitler’s ideology a long, long time before he met the mufti.”
Besides Netanyahu’s theory linking a Muslim leader to the Holocaust as being debunked and chastised as nonsensical, the Israeli Prime Minister’s remarks has not done his popularity any favours. As Above Top Secret writes in a report about the Netanyahu’s incendiary speech:
“Unbelievable, and just goes to show ya how far this man will go to demonise his enemies while always pulling out some sort of Holocaust card against them” (5).
References & Image Credits:
(1) TSW: Conspiracy Theories in America Why Citizens Turn to Alternative News
(3) Jewish Virtual Library
(5) Above Top Secret
(6) Netanyahu Campaign Poster Image
(7) Adolf Hitler Pictures