‘The Mufti made him do it:’ Netanyahu’s Holocaust revisionism
Responding to Netanyahu must be accompanied with condemning both the Nazi and Zionist crimes
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week blamed the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for sparking the Holocaust committed by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during World War II. Memes have erupted throughout social media, showing Hitler laughing at Netanyahu, but had those words been said when he was still alive, Hitler would probably have been angered by this exoneration.
During one of his darkest moments of personal hatred towards the Palestinian people, Netanyahu decided to alter history and exonerate Hitler from the murder of millions of Jews. The Israeli leader imagined a dialogue between Hitler and Jerusalem's Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini. He said Husseini suggested the idea of “burning the Jews” almost as he gave Hitler an “Aha!” moment.
Before these cheap remarks were made, people on social media had been reacting to escalating violence between the Palestinians and Israelis and sharing footage that reflects violations from both sides.
However, Netanyahu's stances sparked a different confrontation this time.
Ridiculing Netanyahu united many fronts. Many of the comments mocking him came from Israelis and their historical allies despite their hostile stances towards the Palestinians, they could not accept what the Israeli premier said. Germany itself commented on these statements, saying it would continue to bear its historical responsibility for what the Nazis committed against the Jews.
The hashtag "the Mufti made me do it" went viral in Arabic as social media users ridiculed Netanyahu and made fun of his statements.
Yes, exposing Netanyahu’s scandalous statements is essential, even though practically it may change nothing in favor of the Palestinian people. This is not the first time Israeli officials use the Holocaust as a political tool to undermine the credibility and rights of the Palestinians, however it's beneficial to weaken the arrogant logic of someone as extremist as Netanyahu.
Responding to Netanyahu must be accompanied with condemning both the Nazi and Zionist crimesDiana Moukalled
The dialogue which Netanyahu imagined between Hitler and Husseini sparked a series of hashtags on Twitter. In general, the Israelis mocked their prime minister while Arabs commended Husseini.
Netanyahu is trying to adapt historical facts by placing Husseini in the heart of the current struggle. Meanwhile, the majority of Palestinians commended Husseini and glorified him knowing he was an extremist "nationalist" figure. It was Husseini who took a stance that harmed Palestinians' rights during WWII, as he supported Nazism and received a wage from it, and he even recruited a battalion consisting of Bosnians to fight alongside Hitler at the time.
Recent days witnessed "trials" on social media. These trials exposed different aspects of the conflict; it showed the Israeli right-wing's inclination to demonize the Palestinians even if it's at the expense of their own cause, i.e. the Holocaust in this case. It also reflected an Arab and Palestinian inclination to downplay the Holocaust.
Netanyahu tried to harm the Palestinians by falsely accusing Husseini of the idea of the Holocaust. However, the Palestinian defense of Husseini's alleged patriotism also harms the Palestinian cause.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat.
Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.