The news accounts on Netanyahu’s remarks are full of historians dismissing his statements. The problem with that is that no one really knows: much of the planning of the Holocaust was not written down, as even the Nazis apparently knew what a great evil they were perpetrating and didn’t want a paper trail showing the responsibility that various people had. The Holocaust Explained site notes that “historians remain uncertain as to when ‘the’ order for the ‘Final Solution’ was made, and who actually made it.”
Historians don’t know that, but they know that the Mufti of Jerusalem had no involvement in the Nazi decision to move from exiling the Jews to mass-murdering them? Supporting Netanyahu’s statement is testimony from SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dieter Wisliceny, a close collaborator of Adolf Eichmann. Wisliceny said that “the grand mufti, who had been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews the importance of which must not be disregarded. He had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with whom he had been in contact, above all before Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry. He considers this as a comfortable solution of the Palestine problem. In his messages broadcast from Berlin, he surpassed us in anti-Jewish attacks. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and has constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard say that, accompanied by Eichmann, he has visited incognito the gas chamber in Auschwitz.”
The statement referred to in the affidavit was made by Eichmann in his office in Budapest on June 4, 1944; the confirmation by Wisliceny was given some days later, also in Budapest.
Further, according to testimony at the Nuremberg trials, “the mufti was a bitter arch enemy of the Jews and had always been the protagonist of the idea of their annihilation. This idea the mufti had always advanced in his conversations with Eichmann.”
Eichmann had before all this been in charge of efforts to deport the Jews from Europe. After the Mufti weighed in, the Nazi efforts shifted from deportation to extermination — confirming Wisliceny’s account.
News stories concentrate on when the Mufti met with Hitler, but even there they’re not taking into account the possibility of an off-the-record meeting. Even without that, the substance of what Netanyahu said could be true if the Mufti’s calls for extermination were conveyed to Hitler by Himmler or Eichmann. Historians tend to dismiss Wisliceny’s account because it isn’t corroborated by any other testimony or any written records, but that is the nature of the case when it comes to the Holocaust.
The Guardian, alone among the accounts I have seen, grudgingly admits that some historians agree with Netanyahu, but describes them as the “fringe”: “The claim that Husseini – who met and supported Hitler – was the one to initiate the idea of the extermination of Europe’s Jews has been suggested by historians on the fringes of Holocaust research, but is rejected by most historians.”
Meanwhile, Pamela Geller has a photo here of a letter the Mufti wrote to Ribbentrop, demanding that the deportation of Jews to Palestine be stopped. It would have been natural for one of the Nazis to ask the Mufti, “Well, then, what’s your alternative?” Whether they did or didn’t, Wisliceny’s testimony gives ample support to Netanyahu’s remarks. The uproar those remarks have caused is an indication of how enraged the media establishment becomes whenever anyone Muslim is criticized.
This video has more (thanks to Marc).
“Netanyahu Draws Broad Criticism After Saying a Palestinian Inspired Holocaust,” by Jodi Rudoren, New York Times, October 21, 2015:
JERUSALEM — Israeli historians and opposition politicians on Wednesday joined Palestinians in denouncing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for saying it was a Palestinian, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who gave Hitler the idea of annihilating European Jews during World War II.
Mr. Netanyahu said in a speech to the Zionist Congress on Tuesday night that “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews.” The prime minister said that the mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, had protested to Hitler that “they’ll all come here,” referring to Palestine.
“ ‘So what should I do with them?’ ” Mr. Netanyahu quoted Hitler as asking Mr. Husseini. “He said, ‘Burn them.’ ”
Prof. Meir Litvak, a historian at Tel Aviv University, called the speech “a lie” and “a disgrace.” Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, a specialist of German history at Hebrew University, said, “With this, Netanyahu joins a long line of people that we would call Holocaust deniers.”
Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition in the Israeli Parliament, said the accusation was “a dangerous historical distortion,” and he demanded that Mr. Netanyahu “correct it immediately.”
Even Moshe Yaalon, the defense minister and a senior member of Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said in a radio interview that “history is actually very, very clear.”
“Hitler initiated it,” he said. “Haj Amin al-Husseini joined him.”…
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Wednesday that Mr. Netanyahu’s “regrettable statements have deepened the divide” and denounced them as “morally indefensible and inflammatory.”
“Mr. Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for the Holocaust and completely absolved Adolf Hitler’s heinous and reprehensible genocide of the Jewish people,” Mr. Erekat said in a statement. “It is a sad day in history when the leader of the Israeli government hates his neighbor so much that he is willing to absolve the most notorious war criminal in history.”
Mr. Netanyahu, who had also called the mufti “one of the leading architects of the Final Solution” in a 2012 speech, on Wednesday called the criticism of his remarks “absurd.”
“My intention was not to absolve Hitler of his responsibility,” he said as he left Israel for Germany, where he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. “But rather to show that the forefathers of the Palestinian nation, without a country and without the so-called occupation, without land and without settlements, even then aspired to systematic incitement to exterminate the Jews.”
“Hitler was responsible for the Final Solution to exterminate six million Jews; he made the decision,” Mr. Netanyahu added. “It is equally absurd to ignore the role played by the mufti, Haj Amin al -Husseini, a war criminal, for encouraging and urging Hitler.”
Mr. Netanyahu, who is scheduled to meet Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday in Berlin, said he would ask Mr. Kerry to demand that Mr. Abbas “stop the incitement that is the source of many attacks that we see here.”…