With the nations of Europe and the rest of the world lining up to support the PLO bid to receive non-member state status at the UN General Assembly, it is worth noting two anniversaries of related but forgotten events.
Of course, everyone knows the obvious anniversary – Nov. 29, 1947 was the day the UN General Assembly passed the plan to recommend the partition the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted the plan. The Arabs — both local and regional – rejected it. The local Arabs who 25 years later became known as “Palestinians,” responded to the passage of UNGA resolution 181 by launching a terror war against the Jews. Their war was commanded by Iraqi and Lebanese terror masters and supported by the British military and its Arab Legion from Transjordan.
On May 15, 1948 five foreign Arab armies invaded the just-declared Jewish state with the declared aim of annihilating all the Jews.
Now for a couple less known anniversaries
On November 28, 1941 the religious and political leader of the Palestinian Arabs and one of the most influential leaders of the Arab world Haj Amin el Husseini met with Adolf Hitler in Berlin. Husseini had courted the Nazis since just after the Nazis rose to power in 1933. Husseini was forced to flee the British Mandate in 1937 when he expanded his fourth terror war against the Jews, that he began in 1936 to include the British as well.
He fled to Lebanon, and then in October 1939 he fled to Iraq. In April 1941 he fomented a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq. As the British — with massive unheralded assistance from the Jews from the land of Israel — were poised to enter Baghdad and restore the pro-British government, Husseini incited the Farhud, a 3-day pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad that took place over the festival of Shavuot. 150 Jews were murdered. A thousand were wounded and 900 Jewish homes were destroyed.
With the coup defeated and the Jews murdered, Husseini escaped to then pro-Nazi Iran and then in October to Germany by way of Italy. (He was flown out of Iran on an Italian Air Force plane, and feted by Mussolini when he landed in Rome).
He arrived in Berlin and two and a half weeks later he had a prolonged private meeting with Hitler. There, on November 28, 1941, two months before the Wannssee Conference, where the German high command received its first orders to annihilate European Jewry, Hitler told Husseini that he intended to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of Europe.
Husseini remained in Berlin through the end of the war and served as a Nazi agent. In Berlin he broadcast daily diatribes to the Arab world on German shortwave radio in Arabic. Specifically Husseini exhorted them to kill the Jews in the name of Allah and make common cause with the Nazis who would deliver them from the Jews, the British and the Americans.
In 1943 Husseini organized the Hazhar SS Division of Bosnian Muslims. His division carried out the massacre of 90 percent of the Bosnian Jewish community of 12,000.
In 1920 Husseini personally invented what later became known as the Palestinian national movement. He shaped its identity around the sole cause of destroying the Jewish presence in the land of Israel.
During the war Husseini used his broadcasts to shape the political and religious consciousness of the Muslim world by fusing Islamic Jew hatred with annihilationist Nazi anti-Semitism. Whereas much of the Nazi anti-Semitic ideology was discredited in postwar Europe, it has remained the single most resonant theme of Arab politics since World War II.
In 1946, as his fellow Nazi war criminals were being tried in Nuremberg, Husseini made a triumphant return to Egypt where he was welcomed as a war hero by King Farouk, the Muslim Brotherhood and the young officers in the Egyptian army who fused Nazi national socialism with the Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood and took over Egypt after deposing Farouk in 1951.
The founder of Palestinian nationalism’s singleminded dedication to the genocide of Jewry brings us to the second notable but forgotten anniversary we passed over this month.
On Nov. 12 1942 the British led forces — with the massive and unreported support of Jewish commando and engineering units from the land of Israel — defeated Germany’s Afrika Corps led by Gen. Rommel in the second Battle of Alamein. With the German defeat, the specter of a German occupation of the Middle East was removed. Husseini and Himmler had planned that under German occupation, the Arabs would expand the Holocaust to the 800,000 Jews of the Arab world and the 450,000 Jews in the land of Israel. To this end, the Germans had organized the Einzatzgruppen Afrika unit attached to Rommel’s army. Under the command of SS LTC Walter Rauff, it was tasked with murdering Jews located in the areas that were to come under German occupation.
It is fitting that yesterday, on the anniversary of Hitler’s meeting with Husseini, Germany announced that it would not oppose Husseini’s heirs’ bid to receive UN recognition of a Palestinian state that seeks Israel’s destruction.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.