Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nazis and the Mideast

The pro-Nazi past of key Arab leaders like the Mufti of Jerusalem remains a hot topic. A recent exhibition in Berlin was cancelled because it detailed the links between the Nazis and the Mufti, who led the opposition to the return of Jews to Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state, as well as to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nor were those links purely pragmatic: rather, the Mufti and the Brotherhood shared the goal of exterminating the Jews.

So why is this ancient history so explosive? Because it reverses the narrative of why there was so much resistance to establishing the State of Israel.

As the exhibition's author, Mr. Rössel, said "I wonder why the people who so one-sidedly regard Israel as the region's main problem never consider how the Mideast conflict would have developed had it not been influenced by fascists, anti-Semites and people who had just returned from their Nazi exile."

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