Posts tagged ‘Holocaust’
21 Oct 2015
In a speech delivered on Tuesday at the 37th Zionist Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made waves when he discussed the relationship between Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’”
The New York Times headline declared, “Netanyahu Draws Broad Criticism After Saying a Palestinian Inspired Holocaust.”
The Guardian published a piece titled, “Anger at Netanyahu claim Palestinian grand mufti inspired Holocaust.”
Countless other mainstream media outlets followed suit, piling on criticism of Netanyahu.
Many media outlets insisted on referring to Husseini as a Palestinian, despite the fact that the leader of the Arabs in British Mandate Palestine would never have been referred to as a Palestinian because that title was sometimes reserved for the Jews living there. In fact, it was PLO leader and Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat who was widely recognized as one of the first leaders of the Palestinian movement, which began as a result of the Arabs’ defeat in the Arab-Israeli war in 1967.
A member of the PLO Executive Committee admitted as much in a 1977 interview when he said: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.”
Netanyahu later clarified that his greater point was to say that, far before the concept of an Arab-Muslim Palestinian ever existed or before the modern state of Israel was declared, Islamic leaders in the land still sought to eliminate the Jews.
“My intention was not to absolve Hitler of his responsibility,” he later explained. “But rather to show that the forefathers of the Palestinian nation, without a country and without the so-called occupation, without land and without settlements, even then aspired to systematic incitement to exterminate the Jews.”
“Hitler was responsible for the Final Solution to exterminate six million Jews; he made the decision,” a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office added. “It is equally absurd to ignore the role played by the mufti, Haj Amin al -Husseini, a war criminal, for encouraging and urging Hitler.”
The Israeli Prime Minister is speaking of the same Mufti who once said, broadcasting in Arabic from Berlin, “Kill the Jews wherever you find them – this is Allah’s will.”
Whether or not the Mufti actually convinced Hitler to go forward with his plans is a fair topic for debate.
However, the Mufti did support and encourage Hitler in his quest for worldwide Jewish extermination, as proven through historical transcripts provided by the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
In November 1941, the two leaders met in Berlin to discuss the future of the Jewish people living in British Mandate Palestine. Hitler told Husseini that the “struggle against a Jewish homeland in Palestine” would be part of his larger efforts against the Jews. Hitler assured him that when the German army advanced on the Middle East, he would announce to the Arab world that “the hour of liberation is at hand.” Their only goal, Hitler said, “would be the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space under the protection of British power.”
Moreover, according to the prosecution team during the Nuremberg trials, the Mufti did indeed play a role in facilitating the annihilation of European Jews.
“The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry for the Germans and had been the permanent collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of the plan… According to my opinion, the Grand Mufti, who had been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews,” an SS officer admitted during the trials.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a man who is revered by some as the founding father of the Palestinian movement, was undoubtedly a supporter of the extermination of Jews, an uncomfortable fact that the international pro-Palestinian Left has not addressed in its criticism of Netanyahu.
By Howard Portnoy on May 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm
The putative assignment above would be grounds for the immediate dismissal of a teacher anywhere in the country. But imagine the same task in which the phrase transatlantic slave trade was replaced by Holocaust. Would any school district countenance its dissemination to middle school students?
The San Bernardino Sun confirms that it not only would be but was by the Rialto Unified School District, of Rialto, Calif. The office of the district’s interim superintendent — whose name is Mohammad Z. Islam — maintains that the assignment is intended “merely to teach students to evaluate the quality of evidence made by advocates or opponents of an issue.”
“Did you get that? Did you miss that fact? THE SUPERINTENDENT IS A MUSLIM! JB
Here is the assignment, which was handed out in April:
When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.
District spokeswoman Syeda Jafri explains that the assignment was developed by district teachers in connection with the eighth grade’s reading of the “Diary of Anne Frank” in April. It is aligned with Common Core Standards, which promote, among other things, critical thinking skills.
The Los Angeles-based Anti-Defamation League expressed its concerns to Superintendent Islam on Friday. Matthew Friedman, associate regional director of the L.A. office, said in an email:
An exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial.
It is also very dangerous to ask junior high school students to question the reality of the Holocaust on their own, given the sheer volume of denial websites out there. If these questions do come up, it’s better to show the huge preponderance of evidence that’s out there (testimony, documentation, death camp sites, archaeology, etc.) and to also question why people would question the reality of the Holocaust (many motivated not by historical curiosity, but by anti-Semitism). Also, who are the people questioning the Holocaust and what do real historians say? This is more of an issue of teaching good information literacy.
School board member Joe Martinez emailed back the following reply:
One of the most important responsibilities for educators is to develop critical thinking skills in students. “This will allow a person to come to their [sic] own conclusion. Current events are part of the basis for measuring IQ. The Middle East, Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust are on newscasts discussing current events. Teaching how to come to your [sic] own conclusion based on the facts, test your position, be able to articulate that position, then defend your belief with a lucid argument is essential to good citizenship. This thought process creates the foundation for a good education. The progression is within district board policy and also supports the district’s student inspired motto: ‘Today’s Scholars, Tomorrow’s Leaders.’
There is no doubt the Holocaust was one of the most horrific, traumatic time-pieces in our history. We want our students to engage in developing critical thinking skills and have an in-depth perspective on the importance of the Holocaust. Although I received one email last week in reference to this subject, the district has not received any concerns about this writing prompt from any teachers, administrators or parents. However, due to its sensitive nature, we are always open to go back and examine the [writing] prompt.
Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC reported yesterday that Jafri has received death threats. If true, that just makes an abominable situation worse.
UPDATE: The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that, following numerous angry calls from parents, “administrators acknowledged the assignment was in poor taste and promised it would not be given again.” (I thought they were not getting any complaints? JB)
In a prepared statement, Syeda Jafri said:
Our interim superintendent will be talking with our Educational Services Department to assure that any references to the Holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research projects.