Netanyahu Has Found the Perfect Scapegoat for Israel's Woes

Instead of explaining why he has shattered any chance of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Benjamin Netanyahu prefers to blame them for everything – including the Holocaust.

Nehemia Shtrasler
Nehemia Shtrasler
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, October 21, 2015.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, October 21, 2015.Credit: AP
Nehemia Shtrasler
Nehemia Shtrasler

The speech delivered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to activists from the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem last Tuesday presents the Jewish people with a big problem: How will we commemorate the next Holocaust Remembrance Day?

Until now, we have always screened hard-to-watch films about the Nazi extermination machine and the shocking testimonies of survivors. We thought, naively, that it was Hitler who initiated the Final Solution, and that the German people happily cooperated with him. Yet we were wrong. Netanyahu taught us that Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews. But at a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, in November 1941, the Mufti said to him, “Burn them.” Hitler hit himself on the forehead and said, “Wow! There’s an idea – why didn’t I think of that before?”

According to Netanyahu, Hitler was merely the Mufti’s head of operations. And because the Mufti is “still an admired figure in Palestinian society” and “the father of the Palestinian nation,” and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is his successor, all the Palestinians are guilty of destroying the six million – just as they are guilty of all the other problems afflicting Israel from that day to this.

Netanyahu even said the most recent wave of terror attacks is the result of “incitement” the Mufti initiated and that continues to this day. It’s clearly a matter of incitement. After all, we all know the Palestinians’ situation is excellent. They enjoy a high standard of living, they’re happy, there’s no occupation, no oppression, no abuse, no appropriation of land, no construction on private land, no nighttime searches, no curfews, no checkpoints, no unemployment, poverty or distress.

There’s no sewage flowing in the streets, and there are no settlers who burn people, homes, mosques and olive trees. It’s only the groundless “incitement” that led them to the present wave of attacks. And, as Netanyahu says, “What is important is to recognize the historical facts.”

So let’s learn them. Jew-hatred dating back hundreds of years is a Christian practice, not a Muslim one. The decrees, riots, humiliation, murders, the Inquisition and the Expulsion were all carried out by Christians, not Muslims. Hitler formulated the idea of exterminating the Jews while he was writing “Mein Kampf” in 1923, as part of his racist ideology.

The plan for a Final Solution emerged in 1941, and its implementation began in the Soviet Union as soon as that country was invaded, in June 1941. In general, you need a pretty warped mind in order to say that Hitler, whose entire essence was murder and extermination, needed advice from some Middle Eastern Arab Mufti on how to handle the Jews.

The reason for this sick story is simply a desperate search by Netanyahu for someone to blame for the mess into which he has gotten us, which is reflected in the wave of attacks throughout the country. Instead of explaining why he has shattered any chance of an agreement with Abbas, he prefers to blame the Palestinians for everything – including the Holocaust. He wants to incite against them, to turn them all into monsters, into Hitlers, so that it will be clear that the real reason for the present uprising is not the occupation and the oppression, but rather, the Palestinians’ historical desire to destroy us.

The entire world is hugely embarrassed by Netanyahu’s words. His statement has been mocked and criticized on all sides. The German government hastened to respond, “We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own.” But Netanyahu wasn’t willing to give up the Mufti, and even in Germany he continued to repeat some of his nonsense.

Prior to the next Holocaust Remembrance Day, he will probably convince us to put aside the old films about Hitler and the Nazis, and instead to show new films about the Mufti and the Palestinians. Immediately afterward, he will turn to his main mission: building a house in Silwan and a bypass to the settlement of Itamar. After all, he has already found the culprit responsible for the attacks: the new Hitler, Haj Amin al-Husseini.

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