For anybody who understands the Holocaust, the Shoah, the Final Solution; for anybody who understand the Arab and Muslim world of the 1920s and 30s; for anybody who genuinely cares about a safe and secure Israel, this is vehemently absurd, dangerous and pernicious. Indeed the leader of the opposition in the Knesset, Isaac Herzog, demanded that, “Netanyahu correct it immediately as it minimizes the Holocaust, Nazism and Hitler’s part in our people’s terrible disaster.”Coren's conclusion (which follows many, many paragraphs later):
The Holocaust is not a Muslim issue. It breaks my heart to say it, but while Christ the Jew and Christ the Son of God was shamed, the mass murder of six million Jews was a product of Christian Europe, not Islam or the Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu, I know you are angry, but you have a lot of apologizing to do. Now please, before it’s too late.Here's the letter I wrote in response:
No one disputes that Hitler was the prime mover of the Holocaust. However, I think Michael Coren is a bit too quick to absolve Islam entirely of the sort of hysterical, obsessive Jew-hatred that fueled the German megalomaniac. One need look no further than David Nirenberg's recent book Anti-Judaism, a brilliant analysis of the roots of anti-Judaic thought in the West as well as in Islam. Regarding the latter, Nirenberg notes that the Quran, Islam's holy book, "is extensively structured as a polemic against the Jews." Meanwhile, Islam's founder, the man whom Muslims are told is "perfect" and whom they are commanded to emulate, is said to have transformed Jews into "apes and pigs," and ordered the beheading of every adult male of the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe.
So while, as Coren writes, "The Holocaust is not a Muslim issue," in some crucial ways, Hitler's thinking re Jewry and portions of Islamic thinking could be said to be in synch. Then, too, there's the fact that Hitler was a huge fan of the more martial aspects of Islam. As he told his favourite underling, Albert Speer: ‘It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why did it have to be Christianity, with its meekness and flabbiness?” Hitler far preferred Islam, which he called a Männerreligion—a “religion of men.” And he admired the rewards which Islam promised its jihadi martyrs—a paradise of "houris" and free-flowing wine. That sort of thing, argued Hitler, was much more suited to the temperament of the German warrior than was the “Jewish filth and priestly twaddle” of Christianity.
Finally, one would be remiss in this context--as I believe Coren is being--if one failed to mention that Hitler's Holocaust is serving as the inspiration for the Holocaust, Part 2, or Holocaust, The Sequel, the one that Iran's supreme leader (who, ironically, is a hardcore Holocaust-denier) is hoping to unleash on Israel, the Jewish State.Update: CAMERA detects a heap of punditocracy animus in responses to Bibi's Mufti claim.
Update: And furthermore:
In the pantheon of Nazi collaborators, Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini is right up there with Pavelic in Croatia, Petain in France, Horthy in Hungary, and all the other quislings—their name comes from the collaborationist leader in Norway, Vidkun Quisling—who implemented Hitler’s will. It was, ironically, the British authorities who appointed him to his position in 1921. During the 1929 massacre in Hebron, as during the openly anti-Semitic 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine, al-Husseini proved himself a confirmed Jew-hater and the natural ally of Hitler in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
It wasn’t until November 1941 that the Mufti met Hitler in person. Significantly, in the view of many historians, that encounter in Berlin took place two months before the Wannsee conference, where leading Nazis led by Hitler’s security chief, Reinhard Heydrich, plotted the implementation of the “Final Solution”—the extermination of the Jews.
In the official German record of their discussions (not an exact transcript, but a summary of what was said), it was clear that both Hitler and the Mufti were already in agreement that the Holocaust had to be visited upon the Jews. For his part, the Mufti expressed his appreciation of Germany’s commitment to the “elimination of the Jewish national home,” while Hitler restated his “active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine, which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish interests.”
For good measure, the Fuhrer added that “Germany was also aware that the assertion that the Jews were carrying out the functions of economic pioneers in Palestine was a lie. The work there was done only by the Arabs, not by the Jews”—a slander that could easily be expressed in the exact same words by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets the “Jewish national home” in our own time.
That last point highlights a critical factor which the furore around Netanyahu’s speech—much of it generated by visceral opponents of Israel who only talk about the Holocaust when it justifies their backing of Palestinian violence against Jews now—has largely missed.