A Guardian article (Netanyahu under fire for Palestinian grand mufti Hitler claim, Oct. 21) by their Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont reports on the row involving a claim made by Israel’s prime minister at a speech to the World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem.
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has attracted a storm of criticism for an incendiary speech in which he accused the second world war Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem of “inspiring the Holocaust”.
The comments – made by Netanyahu in a speech to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem in the context of the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians– were condemned as incorrect by historians and by Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog for trivialising the Holocaust.
On the Palestinian side senior official Saeb Erekat described the remarks as absolving Hitler.
It is true that several historians recently quoted have indeed opined that Bibi’s narrow claim that the grand mufti “inspired the Holocaust” is not accurate.
However, it’s quite telling that Beaumont cites only part of the criticism by Saeb Erekat, while omitting the rest of this remarks, which include a shameful historical fabrication of his own.
Here’s another passage from Erekat’s press release that the Guardian chose not to include:
“Palestinian efforts against the Nazi regime are a deep-rooted part of our history,” Erekat said in a press release distributed to the media on Wednesday. “Palestine will never forget – though it seems Netanyahu’s extremist government has.”
Erekat’s claim that Palestinians fought the Nazis turns history on its head.
Not only is the grand mufti’s enthusiastic involvement with the Nazis’ annihilationist antisemitic ideology beyond dispute, but historians have noted his deep imprint on Palestinian consciousness, including the “conspiratorial view of Jewish ambitions”. This is reflected in their endemic antisemitism and the “widespread dissemination” of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” within Palestinian society. “The view of the Jews as contaminators of society and malevolent conspirators”, CAMERA senior researcher Steve Stotsky argued, “resonates today in the founding Charter of Hamas”.
Additionally, contrary to Erekat’s audacious claim that “Palestine will never forget” the Holocaust, Holocaust denial is actually ripe within Palestinian society. A recent ADL poll revealed that 72% of Palestinians believe that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis is “greatly exaggerated”. Indeed, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s own Holocaust revisionism is part of the historical record.
So, why would Beaumont cite a partial quote by Erekat criticizing Bibi’s claims, while ignoring the part where the official Palestinian spokesperson outright lied about Palestine’s putative “philo-Semitism”? Well, as we argued in a previous post citing the Guardian’s decision to largely ignore Abbas’s lie about the “execution” of a 13-year-old boy, evidence of Palestinian fabrications is buried because it’s not part of their desired narrative of immutable Palestinian victimhood.
Further, if you’re a journalist covering the region and passionately believe your job is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the powerful”, rather than objectively reporting the news, then it naturally follows that evidence of Palestinian misdeeds and outright malevolence must be downplayed, denied or ignored.
- Shedding New Light on the Mufti’s Alliance with the Nazis (CAMERA)
- The lies of Saeb Erekat (ukmediawatch.org)