Does Netanyahu’s Retraction Mean Anything?


The Third Intifada is currently ongoing between Israel and Palestine. While the mainstream media ignores it, I will continue following the events closely. As I have reported, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently blamed Palestinians for the Holocaust and has mulled over revoking Israeli citizenship for East Jerusalem. Will his recent comments do anything to ease tension in the region?

















After international criticism, Israeli Prime Minister has recanted his claims that Amin al-Husseini was responsible for the Holocaust.

The following statement can be found on the Prime Minister’s Facebook page:

I wish to clarify my remarks about the connection between the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and the Nazis. In no way did I intend to absolve Hitler of his responsibility for the Holocaust. Hitler and the Nazi leadership are responsible for the murder of six million Jews. The decision to move from a policy of deporting Jews to the Final Solution was made by the Nazis and was not dependent on outside influence. The Nazis saw in the Mufti a collaborator, but they did not need him to decide on the systematic destruction of European Jewry, which began in June 1941.

Still, the Mufti was one of those who supported the Nazi goal of destroying the Jews. He conducted his activities from Berlin during the war, disseminated virulent anti-Semitic propaganda on behalf the Nazis, recruited Muslims to the SS, demanded that after conquering the Middle East the Nazis destroy the Jewish national home and vigorously opposed the emigration of Jews – even children – from the Nazi inferno, knowing full well that this would seal their fate.

My remarks were intended to illustrate the murderous approach of the Mufti to the Jews in his lengthy contacts with the Nazi leadership. Contrary to the impression that was created, I did not mean to claim that in his conversation with Hitler in November 1941 the Mufti convinced him to adopt the Final Solution. The Nazis decided on that by themselves. The interpretation of my remarks as though I absolved the Nazis of even one ounce of responsibility for the Holocaust is absurd.

It was important for me to point out that even before World War II it was the Mufti who propagated the big lie that the Jews intend to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque. This lie lives on and continues to exact a price in blood.

The Mufti was a war criminal who collaborated with the Nazis and who opposed the creation of a Jewish state in any boundaries. In 2013 President Abbas praised him as a Palestinian “pioneer.” That the Mufti remains an iconic figure among the Palestinian leadership today speaks volumes about that leadership’s real attitude towards Israel.

As you can see he made the retraction, but did not do so without a parting shot to Palestinian leadership. His statements regarding Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are seemingly accurate.
During a speech in early January 2013, President Abbas did indeed give praise al-Husseini. The event in Gaza was reportedly attended by hundreds of thousands in the region, going mostly unreported by the Israeli media.

Netanyahu clearly thought he was not going to receive this kind of backlash for the comments, which was a major miscalculation on his part. Especially during a time where tensions are continuing to rise by the day.

Middle East Eye reports:

Netanyahu’s statements come after at least 61 Palestinians, including attackers, have been killed across Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories since a wave unrest erupted at the beginning of October. Nine Israelis have been killed.

Protests in recent days have erupted over Israel’s policy of withholding the bodies of attackers. Tensions are on the rise over the al-Aqsa mosque compound, also known as Temple Mount, in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

Palestinians have long feared Israelis seek to change the rules governing the site, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Unfortunately, I feel the retraction will largely go unnoticed by those living in East Jerusalem and by the families of the dead Israeli and Palestinians. Instead anger that he made the statement in the first place will raise the angst on either side and lead to more outbursts of violence.

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