Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ha'aretz Corrects Inaccurate Report on NGO Debate in European Parliament

NGO Monitor

Correction Follows Ruling by Ethics Court of Israeli Press Council

JERUSALEM – Citing misleading, inaccurate, and selective reporting practices, the Ethics Court of the Israeli Press Council (IPC) issued a final ruling ordering Ha’aretz Online to issue the following correction to its June 23, 2010 article on a session in the European Parliament (EP) (correction was published by Ha’aretz Online on February 22, 2011):

“The editors of Ha’aretz Online wish to clarify: The report on the debate at the EU subcommittee on human rights, that took place on June 23, 2010, was lacking and errors were made in its preparation.” Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor brought the case to the IPC, on the grounds that Ha’aretz had blatantly violated journalistic ethical standards. The complaint detailed major discrepancies between the claims of the article and the substance of the EP subcommittee session. In particular, the Ha’aretz article, under the bylines of Jack Khouri and Dana Harman, reported that officials from two Israeli NGOs were invited (Mossawa and PCATI), and from a third European-based NGO – the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN).

Among other central points, Ha’aretz omitted the participation of Deputy Israeli Ambassador to the EU Zvi Tal and Prof. Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, in this EP Human Rights subcommittee session. The proceedings, which were available via live streaming on the internet, included sharp exchanges over Israeli NGOs funded secretly by the EU. This debate also entirely absent from the Ha’aretz report. (See quotes from Ethics Court decision below.)

Ha’aretz also falsely indicated that a resolution had been adopted by the subcommittee that would “damage all plans for cooperation between Israel and the EU.” In reality, no resolution was considered, and only four MEPs supported the position of the NGOs condemning Israel, while others spoke against this position. Ha’aretz relied on two sources that have a vested interest in the issue without any independent reporting.

In response to the IPC decision, the dismissal of the appeal from Ha’aretz and the correction, Prof. Steinberg today released the following statement:

The decision from the Ethics Court of the Israeli Press Council reflects the major distortions resulting from the close cooperation between Ha’aretz and NGOs involved in political advocacy. Given the major role of European-funded NGOs in promoting false claims of Israeli “war crimes” and other forms of demonization, the debates on this issue in the European Parliament should be reported accurately. The Ethics Court decision shows that in this case, the Ha’aretz reporter greatly distorted the facts. Such unethical behavior, and other articles which promote the objectives of political NGOs under the façade of news articles, are entirely inconsistent with the responsibilities of a free press within a democratic society.

By issuing this decision and requiring Ha’aretz online to publish a correction, the Ethics Court has removed the “halo” effect used to prevent criticism of political advocacy NGOs and their funders.


Full report with key points of the IPC Decision:
Israel Press Council Censures Haaretz on NGO-EU Article:
Case Reflects Automatic Acceptance of NGO Claims

On February 8, 2011 the appellate Ethics Court of the Israeli Press Council (IPC) published its decision, upholding and reaffirming the November 25, 2010 finding that Ha’aretz had committed ethical violations in a June 23, 2010 online article headlined “The Gaza Flotilla: Turkey and the Balkan States Demand an Investigation into Events.” More than half of the article dealt with a debate in the European Parliament (EP) Subcommittee on Human Rights regarding the Israeli draft bill on “Disclosure Requirements for [Groups] Supported by a Foreign Government Body.” These sections were based entirely on sources from two EU-funded political advocacy NGOs, with no attempt at confirmation from other sources, thereby greatly distorting the events. The two reporters credited in the byline were not at the EP debate. Ha’aretz refused to retract or issue corrections regarding incorrect information in the article.

The Ethics Court decision was based on a complaint filed by the president of NGO Monitor, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, who participated in the EU parliamentary session. Ha’aretz was ordered to publish the following statement in its online edition: “The editorial board of Ha’aretz Online wishes to clarify: The report on the debate at the EU subcommittee on human rights, that took place on June 23, 2010, was lacking and errors were made in its preparation.”

On June 23, 2010 Ha’aretz (Online Edition) published an article headlined “The Gaza Flotilla: Turkey and the Balkan States Demand an Investigation into Events.” More than half of the article dealt with a debate that day in the European Parliament (Brussels) Subcommittee on Human Rights, regarding the Israeli draft bill on “Disclosure Requirements for [Groups] Supported by a Foreign Government Body.” [1] This open EP session was attended by many journalists, live-streamed over the internet, and available afterwards for viewing.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, filed a complaint June 30, 2010 with the Israeli Press Council citing Ha’aretz’s failure to adhere to journalistic ethical standards in this article. The complaint detailed major inaccuracies in Ha’aretz’s depiction of the EP debate. In particular, the article only noted speakers from NGOs Mossawa, PCATI, and EMHRN, omitting the participation of Deputy Israeli Ambassador to the EU Zvi Tal and Prof. Steinberg, and the intense debate that took place. Ha’aretz also indicated that a resolution had been adopted by the subcommittee that would “damage all plans for cooperation between Israel and the EU.” In reality, no resolution was considered, and only four MEPs supported the position of the NGOs condemning Israel, while others spoke against this position.
Key Points from the IPC Ethics Court decision and hearing (translated from the Hebrew text):

* Chairman of the Ethics Court: “A description that gave the impression that a decision had been made, when no decision had actually been made, and a description of the words of ‘the Parliament Members’ while quoting only a minority of the members- represents a one-sided report and gives the reader a picture that is far removed from the facts” (emphasis in original).
* “We note that we are dissatisfied with the extent of the Defendant's reliance on two sources that have a vested interest in the issue, without any verification... It is our understanding that a respected website such as the Defendant should verify information prior to publication... it is impossible to accept the absence of any attempt at verification - especially when it is so easy and simple to do - while presenting the information in the article as an objective report of facts allegedly known to the reporters.” (emphasis in original)
* In its response submitted to the court, and reiterated during the IPC court hearing on 18 November, Ha’aretz maintained that the online article referred to condemnations voiced against Israel in the context of the Gaza Flotilla: “The subject of the article was not the debate held on 23.6.10 – but, as stated, condemnations of Israel that were voiced from all corners of the earth…The debate in the committee was mentioned simply as one of four examples of this…and so it was sufficient to describe the relevant parts of the debate – the parts in which Israel was attacked regarding its treatment of human rights organizations.”
* During the hearing, the editor of the Ha’aretz website admitted that the article was based on a report from the participating NGOs: Mossawa or PCATI. Ha’aretz Online had no other information regarding the EP debate, nor did it try to verify the information received: “In the context of a news article such as this, [the editor] sees nothing wrong with being exclusively based on sources with a vested interest, with no verification.”
* The Ethics Court decision censured Ha’aretz for violating clauses 4(a), 6(c) and 5(a) of the ethics regulations.
* Furthermore, the court issued a warning and instructed [2] the website to publish the court’s decision within 14 days of its release under the headline: “Ethics court of the Israel Press Council: Ha’aretz website published one-sided report without sufficient verification.” (emphasis in original) [This ruling has been changed by the appeal ethics court, [3] as above mentioned].
* From the minority opinion: “During the proceedings, a grim picture of journalistic work was portrayed to us. Under the name of two respected Ha’aretz reporters, an article appeared that is apparently based mostly on material that neither one of them wrote. The defendant admitted to us, in fairness, that the main source for the text published is a press release received from a body with political interests and a very defined political color.”

“I agree … that if the report from the debate in Europe was made completely on the basis of reporting from interested parties, it would have been appropriate to state this in the article. It would have been appropriate to write that ‘the Mossawa center reports that…’ or that ‘according to a report of PCATI…’ I think we should comment to the defendant on this issue – but I do not think, in the circumstances described here, that we can censure the defendant for violating the ethics regulations…”


1 This legislation (which passed its first reading in the Knesset on 18.10.10) addresses the lack of transparency in the large scale funding for politicized Israeli NGOs by the European Union and member governments. If adopted, NGOs will be obligated to fully report funding received from foreign governments. This funding transparency initiative is strongly opposed by recipient NGOs and their allies. Eleven such groups approached MEPs who then initiated a debate on the bill and related issues in the Subcommittee on Human Rights. The debate was scheduled without connection to the Gaza Flotilla events.

2 This instruction was subsequently changed in the appeal hearing (Feb. 6, 2011). All other IPC rulings regarding Ha’aretz violations still stand.

3 “The editorial board of Ha’aretz Online wishes to clarify: The report on the debate at the EU subcommittee on human rights, that took place on June 23, 2010, was lacking and errors were made in its preparation.”




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The Big Historic Event Today: Syria's Biggest Crisis in 40 Years

Barry Rubin
Today Syria has entered its biggest internal crisis since 1970. The regime has come out to crush the insurrection. Either it will succeed by killing many people or the insurrection will build into a real potential revolution.

And the Western states are doing...precisely zero.

One Syrian expert friend responded: "Less than zero."

Here's White House press secretary Jay Carney on Air Force 1, April 22:

"As we have consistently throughout this period, we deplore the use of violence and we’re very concerned about what we’ve -- the reports we’ve seen from Syria. We are monitoring it very closely; call on the Syrian government to cease and desist from the use of violence against peaceful protestors; call on all sides to cease and desist from the use of violence; and also call on the Syrian government to follow through on its promises and take action towards the kind of concrete reform that they promised." That's fair and evenhanded: They are monitoring closely; both sides must cease their violence; and Syria's dictatorship must end the state of emergency. Sort of sounds like insisting the revolution stop without changing anything.

What happened to: Mubarak must go now! Yesterday! Qadhafi must go or else! Or even condemning Israel at every opportunity that involves even the claim of the mistreatment of one Palestinian?

Oh, right, Bashar al-Assad is just an anti-American dictator who is even now a leading sponsor of terrorism; ally of Iran; host and facilitator for terrorists killing Americans in Iraq; just caught trying to get nuclear weapons secretly; aggressor against Lebanon; torturer of political prisoners; and so on. It isn't as if he were a real problem for U.S. interests!

Note: After this article was written President Obama issued a tougher statement.

It begins:

"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of force by the Syrian government against demonstrators. This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now. We regret the loss of life and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims, and with the Syrian people in this challenging time."

It continues saying that Assad has not fulfilled his promises of reform and that the Syrian people are rightfully demanding human rights and ends: "We call on President Assad to change course now, and heed the calls of his own people."

But once again: Or what are you going to do about it?

Now compare today with what Obama said about Iran two years ago when it was arresting thousands of demonstrators and shooting unarmed protesters:

June 2009: “I would suggest Mr. Ahmadinejad think carefully about the obligations he owes to his own people."

April 2011: "We call on President Assad to change course now, and heed the calls of his own people."

Ahmadinejad didn't think then; Assad won't change or heed now; Obama didn't do anything then and won't do anything now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Israel's Arabs: The enemy from within?

Arab Israelis trying to destroy Jewish state, no solution in sight, says leading researcher

Roni Shaked
Israel News

In 1999, when Professor Dan Schueftan's book "Disengagement: Israel and the Palestinian Entity" was published, his proposals appeared extreme; almost imaginary even. As there was no chance for securing an agreement with the Palestinians, Schueftan asserted at the time, Israel must undertake unilateral moves; that is, disengage from the Palestinians, even without getting anything in return.

Six years later, in 2005, the idea raised by the professor in his book turned into reality, even if partly so, when Ariel Sharon took Israel out of the Gaza Strip.

However, after publishing his book, Schueftan realized that even after fully disengaging from the Palestinians, one issue will remain central, painful, bloodier then ever, and unresolved: Israel's Arab citizens. "There was a need to clarify what is required of us in order to maintain our Jewish, democratic essence in the area to be left in our hands following disengagement," he says. This clarification process took no less than a decade. To this day, Schueftan's study is crammed with crates filled with documents about the issue. He has collected every word published in newspapers, both in Israel and abroad. He has documented every Knesset speech and has all televised documentation from 1990 and onward. The material he gathered about Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi alone can fill a room.

Schueftan's thorough work and analysis effort prompted the publication of his latest book, "Palestinians in Israel." The subtitle is unequivocal: "The Arab minority's struggle against the Jewish state."

"On the political level, we have no option for a solution on the issue of Arabs in Israel," Schueftan asserts today. "They are unwilling to accept a solution that is less than what is perceived as the Jewish nation-state's suicide. We are dealing with an especially difficult branch of the complete rejection of the Jewish state in the Arab world."

'Israel's greatest dilemma'

The 68-year-old Schueftan was born in Tel Aviv and has researched the modern-day Middle East for some 43 years now. He serves as the head of the national security center in University of Haifa and also lectures at security colleges in London. Over the years, he has become known as one who does not shy away from making unusual statements, even if not everyone likes them.

Schueftan's attitude, coupled with the immense knowledge he possesses, has turned him into an advisor for many decision-makers in recent decades. He prides himself on meeting David Ban-Gurion, as well as virtually all prime ministers and defense ministers since the 1970s.

It is precisely that proximity to Israel's top echelon that grants Schueftan considerable weight, even when the words he utters come across as extreme.

"The desirable process for preserving Israel as a Jewish, democratic state is to secure a historic compromise with the Arab world," he says. "This requires difficult compromises on the security front and in respect to our attachment to the cradle of Jewish civilization. This process raises the need to contend with a large minority of more than a million Arab citizens, who are fighting from the inside against Israel's Jewish, democratic character and identity."

"This will be Israel's great dilemma domestically, vis-à-vis Europe, and later vis-à-vis the Untied States as well," Schueftan says. "Even if a solution is found to the conflict with the Arab world and with the Palestinians, this will be the next area where they will try to de-legitimize Israel."

What are Israel's Arabs actually demanding?

"Recognition of the Palestinian collective as a national minority granted a recognized status, while eroding the state of Israel's national Jewish aims to the point of annulling them. The Jewish nation-state is illegitimate in the eyes of the main camp within Israel's Arab minority, even if an Arab-Palestinian state is established alongside Israel in the same land, between the Jordan River and Mediterranean."

And how do they intend to secure this objective?

"The strategy is to attack the Jewish establishment from the inside, using the democratic means of the State and of society, in the name of democracy, pluralism and human rights."
'Part of Arab identity'

Schueftan claims that the use of universal messages such as "a state of all its citizens" hides a wholly different notion: An attempt to establish a bi-national state on the ruins of the Jewish state that will gradually change its demographic balance by rejecting the Law of Return and adopting the right of return. In the following phase, he says, the new demographic balance will dictate an Arab state.

Despite the growing integration into Israel's society and economy, Israel's Arabs are committed to undermining the Jewish state's current format, he says.

Is this their political position?

"It's not a political position, which may change, but rather, an important component in their Arab identity. As a collective, they are tried to bring about the destruction of the national Jewish enterprise. This conflict is not ethnic, but rather, national. Two peoples are fighting for the land. The Arabs feel that they are a separate people and are emphasizing it. For that reason they reject the notion of becoming increasingly Israeli."

"Assuming that the Jewish Majority will not be tempted to commit national suicide and assuming that the Arab minority has an interest in finding its place in this state, those who can reshape Jewish-Arab ties are members of the Arab minority. They can do so by defining their targets in a less radical way. I don't expect this to happen in the foreseeable future, because this matter is part of the Arab identity and ethos.

Yet their conduct does not seem any different than that of other minorities worldwide.

Israel's Arabs are a special case. We are not dealing with just a majority and a minority, but rather, a minority with the mentality of a majority vis-à-vis a Jewish majority with the mentality of a minority.
'Radicalization prompted by Oslo"
Schueftan says that local Arabs are not holding on to their Israeli citizenship based on a desire to form a joint Israeli identity.

"For them, the joint identity's objective is to water down the state's Jewish democratic identity. The determination not to lose their citizenship stems from the realization that no Arab regime will grant them the lifestyle they can maintain in Israel, thanks to the Jewish majority," he says.

This radical doctrine, Schueftan says, is not only endorsed by the older generation, which experienced the Nakba or heard about it from its parents.

"The younger and more educated the generation, the deeper it was educated in line with the perception that the struggle against the Jewish nation-state is part of its identity," he says. "We're reached the point where an overwhelming part of the Arab public already internalized this identity."

When did this process start?

"The infrastructure existed a while ago, but the radicalization was prompted by the Oslo process. Just when it appeared that we were willing to pay a high price in order to preserve Israel's Jewish democratic character, the Arabs in Israel woke up and asked: 'What about us?'"

"During the Oslo era, the Arab leadership learned to recite slogans associated with human rights and pluralism at the service of an idea meant to strip the Jewish people of its right for self-determination in its own nation state."

Schueftan says that Arab Israelis did not turn to terrorism for the most part, because they understood that the "domestic political struggle against the State's Jewish character is the only effective means still left for them."

Local Arabs are increasingly electing radical representatives, he says, and their elites are committed to the "more radical version of the struggle against the Jewish state."
"In the political arena, the radicals are almost the only ones who are given expression, and the general public is willing to reconcile itself to the unavoidable outcome – the Jewish public shapes its relations with the Arabs on the basis of the radical doctrine openly presented by the Arab leaders," Schueftan says.

Yet the greatest responsibility for the current state of affairs is born not by a politician, but rather, by Arab-Israeli actor and director Mohammad Bakri, Schueftan says.
"He's the one who granted full legitimacy to the armed Palestinian struggle against Israel and showed understanding to terrorism against its citizens," he says

So what does Israel have to do in the face of this grim assessment?

"First, we must recognize the fact that this is the reality," Schueftan says. "We must thwart their aims to destroy our national enterprise and to do this through democratic means. We have no interest in adopting means that would erode Israel's open society in a manner that hurts us more."

""Israel affords more freedom to sympathize with the enemy than what is granted to any minority in any democratic state, but we learned to cope with this risk," he says. "It has proven to be a calculated risk. A byproduct of this tendency is better familiarity by the Jewish public with the political characteristics of the Arab collective, in a manner that will prevent us from deluding ourselves about the nature of the struggle between the peoples."

Towards the end of his book, Schueftan again addresses full disengagement from the Palestinians, which he views as a must not only in order to maintain Israel's Jewish-democratic character, but also in order to prevent the Arab minority's radicalization.

"It's not a strategy, but rather, a policy that would minimize the damage. The main move that serves the damage control aim is a separation process, disengagement from the Palestinians in the territories via a buffer zone, and physical separation – including in Jerusalem – in order to disconnect the radical trends of the Arabs in Israel from the hinterland supporting their struggle in the territories," he says. "This process won't stop the solidarity between the two parts of the Palestinian people, but it will make it more difficult to turn elements within the Green Line into agents of the Palestinian struggle against Israel."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whose Land is Palestine?

Jews are "In Palestine as of Right and Not on Sufferance"

Winston Churchill
British Secretary of State for the Colonies
June 1922

April 21, 2011 | Eli E. Hertz

International law expert Professor Eugene V. Rostow, a key draftee of the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242, examining the claim for Arab Palestinian self-determination on the basis of law, concluded: [1]

"The Mandate [for Palestine] [2] implicitly denies Arab claims to national political rights in the area in favor of the Jews; the mandated territory was in effect reserved to the Jewish people for their self-determination and political development, in acknowledgment of the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land. Lord Curzon, who was then the British Foreign Minister, made this reading of the mandate explicit. There remains simply the theory that the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have an inherent 'natural law' claim to the area. Neither customary international law nor the United Nations Charter acknowledges that every group of people claiming to be a nation has the right to a state of its own." [italics by author] Political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs, were guaranteed by the League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].

[1] See Eugene V. Rostow, The Future of Palestine, Institute for National Strategic Studies, November 1993. Professor Rostow was Sterling Professor of Law and Public Affairs Emeritus at Yale University and served as the Dean of Yale Law School (1955-66); Distinguished Research Professor of Law and Diplomacy, National Defense University; Adjunct Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. In 1967, as U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, he became a key draftee of UN Security Council Resolution 242. See also his article: "Are Israel's Settlements Legal?" The New Republic, October 21, 1991.

[2] "Mandate for Palestine" at:

U.S. Strategic Fatigue Worries Israel

Efraim Inbar And David M. Weinberg
Special To The Jewish Week

Israel needs a strong America, engaged and projecting power in the Middle East, especially at this time of great political instability. But what if the United States doesn’t want to lead? What if the U.S. is downsizing its involvement in the region? What if America is befuddled by a confused foreign policy prism? These would be troublesome developments. Unfortunately, the current American administration seems to have no clue how to deal with the Mideast, even as successive Arab regimes crumble and the regional architecture cries out for direction. That is the worrying conclusion that emerged from a high-level American-Israeli conclave held at the end of March in New York. Co-sponsored by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a prominent Israeli think tank, and Columbia University's Saltzman Institute on War and Peace and the School of International and Public Affairs, the strategic dialogue left the two sides far apart.

The Israeli strategists were advocating American resolve and leadership in a rapidly changing Middle East. A strong and confident U.S. posture in the region, BESA Center’s research associate, professor Eytan Gilboa, told the opening of the conference, is critical to confronting the growing power of Iran and radical Islam.

Only an engaged U.S. that is prepared to commit political, financial and military resources to the task, he said, can provide a modicum of strategic stability to the fast-shifting Middle East. Only an engaged America can combat the rise of Iranian hegemony. Only an engaged America can retard the ascendance of Islamist parties from Morocco to the Gulf.

However, American participants in the dialogue were very reserved. In effect, they yawned and said: No thanks. [Some of the American participants in the dialogue were William Quandt, Richard Murphy, Jonathan Rhynhold and Robert Shapiro.]

The top-level Columbia and Harvard academics, diplomats and former administration officials expressed awe at the changes in the region, but made it clear that America prefers to lower the profile of its involvement in the Middle East.

In fact, America wants out of the Middle East, they suggested. Out of Iraq; out of Afghanistan; and to a certain extent, out of Israeli-Palestinian affairs, too. The U.S. certainly has no zitzfleish, or stamina, for truly confronting a nuclear Iran.

You could almost feel the exhaustion in the room. America is overextended, we heard. While the tenor of the discussion was not isolationist, the positions expressed indicated an inclination to disengage from overseas commitments. Call it strategic fatigue.

Even more disturbing was the hint that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East stems from a deeper, more ideological place. It’s not just fatigue. It was hard to shake the feeling that American foreign and defense policy practitioners — at least those close to the current administration — no longer want to project American power in the Middle East because they no longer believe in the justness of doing so.

President Obama’s difficulty in openly identifying with American exceptionalism is well known. He seems embarrassed by, has often apologized for, the exercise of American power. The shadow of such feckless thinking seemed to loom over the conference.

Yet, strategic fatigue and ideological indolence were only one part of the pictured we Israelis were presented with in New York. We also found policy confusion.

Take, for example, the current burst of American military activism in Libya. This confused both the Americans and the Israelis at the conference, but for different reasons.

Americans fed up with foreign adventures were obviously suspicious of this new military engagement. They were, to some extent, relieved when the responsibility for the operation was transferred to NATO, which confirms the strategic fatigue syndrome. At the same time they were listening to an American media largely mobilized to assist the Obama administration, portraying the assistance to the rebels in Libya as a stopgap humanitarian effort. Americans have an ingrained passion to spread democracy and fight tyranny, which is morally laudable, but often strategically problematic.

In contrast, Israeli participants were bewildered by the attempt to unseat Kaddafy, an Arab leader who has cooperated with the U.S. since 2003. It bemused Israeli strategists to see Libyan rebels naively portrayed as pro-democracy freedom fighters. We Israelis, who are concerned with America’s standing in the region, fear that America is backing the losing side in this Libyan civil war — a cardinal sin in realpolitik terms.

Simply put, Washington’s behavior makes no strategic sense. First, it stabbed its ally Hosni Mubarak in the back; then it sought to block Saudi intervention in Bahrain, which was necessary to forestall an Iranian-backed Shiite victory; and now it has intervened in a civil and tribal war in which the rebels might well be radical Islamists or subsumed by Islamists.

All this reinforces the Israeli view that Washington has lost it. A mix of strategic weariness and naïve ideology supporting a half-baked doctrine of sporadic intervention for humanitarian reasons is a recipe for growing uncertainty about American wisdom and leadership. Many Middle Eastern states will distance themselves from an unreliable U.S., especially if its leaders appear to be misguided amateurs.

A confused and unpredictable America is even more frightening than a tired superpower. A Middle East without clear and strong American leadership is a very unruly place, especially for Israel.

Israelis still see America as a great and ennobling world power. America is not and need not be in decline. Thus we hope that the U.S. will snap back to its solid global performance and responsibilities quickly. The world — especially the Middle East — needs a strong America with strategic prescience.

Professor Efraim Inbar is director, and David M. Weinberg is director of public affairs, of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University (

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BBC Ethics Unveiled: Lies About Jerusalem, Lies About Guidelines


Should you trust the BBC?

The broadcaster's success depends on its reputation as a reliable and fair news organization. With an eye toward earning the public's trust, then, the BBC purports to be bound by a set of Editorial Guidelines demanding accuracy, impartiality and fairness.

Those guidelines, if taken seriously by the organization, would help ensure ethical journalism. But if ignored, they become little more than a fig leaf for biased reporting.

Recently, the BBC revealed its complete disregard of its own Editorial Guidelines when it defended an egregiously one-sided and inaccurate documentary about Jerusalem. This video investigates the flouting of these guidelines by Panorama and the disingenuous ruling of the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee in support of the January 2010 segment. For more background, see CAMERA's original analysis and the BBC Editorial Standards Committee ruling.

If you'd like to protest the BBC Trust's violation of its own Editorial Guidelines, contact:

BBC Trust
180 Great Portland St.
London W1W 5QZ

Tel: 03700 103 100

Arabs and Nazis - Can it Be True?

Elliott A Green

Whitewashing the Arab historical record has long been the practice not only of Arab spokesmen but of the Arabs' Western and Communist sympathizers. Among the most persistent efforts to this end have been the denial and belittling of Arab involvement with the Nazis and the Holocaust.

In fact, many Arab nationalist leaders - from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east - not only sympathized with the Nazis but cooperated with German agents before and during World War 2. The most outstanding Arab Nazi collaborator, however, was the leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Haj Muhammud Amin el-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem. Husseini spent most of World War 2 in the Axis domain in Europe. He conferred officially with Mussolini and Hitler. In a petition he submitted together with other Arab leaders, Husseini urged the Fuehrer in the name of the Arab nation to recognize the Arab right to solve "the Jewish Question" in the Arab countries. Later he helped the Germans recruit an SS division among the Bosnian Muslims, exerting his influence over their imams, later on inspiring them during their service.

One researcher tells us, "The Mufti worked closely with the Nazi machinery responsible for exterminating Jews." (1)

This apparatus was part of the SS headed by his friend Himmler. Husseini made energetic efforts to further the mass murder process by preventing the emigration of Jews from the Axis domain. He petitioned the governments of Axis Croatia, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria, as well as their patrons in Germany and Italy, and neutral Turkey, (2) to prevent Jews from leaving the Axis zone.

Towards the end of the war, when the Axis satellite states of Eastern Europe could see the looming Nazi defeat, they made plans to release Jews, especially children, from their territory, in return for various considerations or perhaps in order to clear themselves with Allied public opinion. The Mufti, hearing of these plans, exerted his considerable diplomatic influence among the Germans and their satellites to stop these children and adults from escaping their fate under the Nazis. For instance, Husseini wrote to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, an Axis partner, urging Bulgaria to send 4,000 Jewish children to Poland where they would be "under stringent control" in his words (letter of June 5, 1943). These children, he asserted, presented "a degree of danger to Bulgaria whether they be kept in Bulgaria or be permitted to depart from that country." (3)

Under "stringent control" in Poland, apparently, these children would no longer represent a danger to Bulgaria. He also delivered a note to the same end to the German Foreign Ministry which in turn instructed its ambassador in the Bulgarian capital to bring to the Bulgarians' attention the common German-Arab interest in preventing the departure of these children. Thus, the Mufti succeeded in blocking the further release of Jewish children from Bulgaria. That same summer of 1943, he sent a similar letter to the Rumanian foreign minister. He again urged sending Jewish children -- 1,800 this time -- to Poland where they would be under "active supervision." (4)

Husseini even intervened with the Germans against trading Jews under their control for fellow Germans (including the so-called Templars) who had been interned by the British in the Palestine mandate, perhaps thusly showing himself more resolute in finishing off the Jews than were the Germans themselves. Complaining to SS chief Himmler about this planned trade, the Mufti wrote, "It is to be feared that further Jewish groups may leave Germany and France." By "further" groups, he had in mind his earlier, unsuccessful attempt to prevent Egyptian Jews from leaving the Axis domain as part of a larger group of Egyptians. "In my letter to you of June 5, 1944, I referred back to our conversation in which I reported to you on the inclusion of [Egyptian] Jews in the exchange plan of some Egyptians living in Germany." He complained in this later letter (July 27, 1944) that despite his earlier protest and general German promises to the Arabs, "the Jews, nevertheless did leave." (5) This shows that he was not always successful in his efforts.

Interventions of this kind were widely reported after World War II. Bartley Crum, an American member of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry on Palestine (1946), was shown documentation to this effect by an investigator for the Nuremberg Tribunal. It was also reported at the time in the New York Post by Edgar Ansel Mowrer. Since then, however, this information has generally been omitted from both academic studies and popular-level accounts of Arab-Israeli relations and modern Arab politics. But research has gone on. Fairly recently, Professor Daniel Carpi of Tel Aviv University has published his research on the matter, based on Italian archives, whereas most earlier information had come from German archives. (6)

Yet the whitewashers customarily overlook this information which does not fit the innocuous, put upon image of the Arabs (particularly Palestinian Arabs) that they wish to project.

Husseini broadcast often to the Arab countries over Radio Berlin. Indeed he was in charge of Arabic broadcasting not only for Radio Berlin but for the Italian station at Bari. (7)

In one broadcast he urged Arabs, "Kill Jews wherever you find them for the love of God, history, and religion." (8)

If those who had heard such urgings yet acclaimed the Mufti as a leader after World War 2, would this reflect on their attitudes towards genocide and Jews? The thought might be inconvenient. Another broadcast presented what was the first public notice from an Axis source as to the scope of the Holocaust. In a broadcast of September 30, 1944, he asked the Arabs rhetorically, "Is it not in your power to repulse the Jews whose number is not more than eleven million?" (9)

Before the war, the world Jewish population had been estimated at around 17 and 18 million, which Husseini surely knew.

The Germans subsidized Haj Amin in the amount of 75,000 reichsmarks per month. He received other sums from them for expenses for his several residences, for maintaining his "Arabisches Büro," for maintaining other Arabs living in Axis Europe, etc. The Germans also subsidized a number of other prominent Arabs who had found refuge in Nazi Germany. (10) Husseini's subsidies came from both the Foreign Ministry and the SS. (11)

Husseini's Nazi collaboration did not begin with World War 2 itself. As early as March 1933, after the Nazis under Hitler had won the general elections in Germany, Husseini offered his congratulations through the German consul in Jerusalem. (12)

Hitler's fanatic Judeophobia was no secret even then, not even in far off Jerusalem.

Admiral Canaris of German intelligence, the Abwehr, provided support for the socalled Arab revolt in mandatory Palestine (1936-1939), the first intifada. Meanwhile, the Mufti sent emissaries to Berlin in 1937 and 1939 to discuss financial, diplomatic, and weapons assistance. He also received financial support for the Arab revolt from the wealthy American anti-semite and Hitler sympathizer, Charles R. Crane who was also the patron of Husseini's associate on the Palestine Arab Executive, George Antonius. (13)

Of course Husseini did not act alone. He had a large following and travelled with an entourage. When the British decided in 1937 to stop indulging the Arab revolt, he was allowed to leave mandatory Palestine for Lebanon where he was surrounded by his own retinue. He again had an entourage with him when he settled in Baghdad from 1939 to 1941, one of his close advisors being his kinsman `Abdul-Qadir al-Husayni (Husseini), Faisal Husseini's father. In Iraq he very successfully engaged in pro-Nazi, pan-Arab intrigue. He was in fact one of the major figures in Iraqi politics at that time, helping to instigate a coup d'etat which installed a pro-Nazi government that declared war on the British while Rommel was advancing in North Africa. British intelligence reports show that Husseini was one of the decision-makers of the Iraqi government in this period, while Rashid `Ali el-Kilani was prime minister. (14)

Part of the pro-Nazi work at the time of Husseini and his allies was propagating hatred of Jews among the Muslim Iraqis. This came to its most violent expression in an incident called the Farhud in June 1941, after British defeat of the Iraqi Arab army. The Mufti's pro-Nazi Iraqi associates incited a pogrom in Baghdad which killed an estimated 600 Jews while British troops stayed outside the city. Subsequent to the restoration of order in the country, an official Iraqi investigating commission reported that the Mufti of Jerusalem and his entourage were among the factors causing the pogrom. Husseini, after arriving in Iraq, "began disseminating Nazi propaganda with great cunning... His entourage also engaged in wide-scale anti-Jewish and anti-British propaganda activities among all classes." The report added, "The Palestinian and Syrian schoolteachers" in Iraq opposed "government... steps against Nazism." (15)

While operating in the Nazi-fascist domain during the war, the Mufti demonstrated complete identification with the Nazi policy of mass murdering Jews as outlined above. He also knew the scope of the Holocaust in terms of numbers killed before the fact of the mass murder was generally known. This knowledge showed up in a broadcast of 1944 quoted above and no doubt came from his close ties to Himmler.

On occasion he went farther than the Germans themselves. We see this for instance, in his opposition to the German plan to exchange Jews for German prisoners of the British. Husseini energetically protested against letting any Jews escape their fate under the Nazis.

His help for the Holocaust was considerable. Besides helping to recruit Bosnian Muslims for the SS - who later went out to hunt down partisans and slaughter Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies - he also recruited Soviet Muslims to collaborate with the Nazis. (16)

Some of them served in the Einsatzgruppen, the dread murder detachments that massacred Jews in Belarus and Ukraine.

In fact Husseini set up an Islamic Institute in Dresden for training Soviet Muslim imams. Meanwhile, he also set up an Arab Institute for Research into the Jewish Question (based on a German model). These projects were made possible by the generous German subsidies that he received. (17)

His ties were particularly close with SS commander Himmler. A photograph of the Mufti with Himmler bears a dedication to him from the Nazi leader, reading as follows: "Seiner Eminenz dem Grossmufti zur Erinnerung 4 VII. 1943" ("To his Eminence the Grand Mufti in remembrance, July 4, 1943"). This photo has been fairly widely published (18) as has the photo of his meeting with Hitler.

Members of his entourage in Germany, young men of various prominent Palestinian Arab families, Khalidis and others besides Husseinis, took SS training and visited the Sachsenhausen murder camp. All this was done with German money. Apparently the Germans considered his work worthwhile for them, since they gave Husseini's activities wide publicity. For instance, his review of Bosnian Muslim SS troops was featured on the front cover of the Wiener Illustrierte (January 12, 1944).

Busy as he was helping the Nazis in places as far apart as Bosnia, Belarus, and the northern Caucasus, Husseini did not forget the Jews in the Arab countries. While battles raged in Libya, the Mufti urged that Tripoli be "purged" of its Jews. As pointed out above, he and his associates had urged Hitler to extend the "Solution of the Jewish Question" to Arab lands. In their meeting, November 28, 1941, Hitler promised that this was part of his own plan. When the German troops crossed the Caucasus, the Fuehrer added, "then will strike the hour of Arab liberation." Hitler informed Husseini of his intent to "solve" the "Jewish problem," not only in Europe but in non-European countries as well. "The Grand Mufti replied that... He was fully reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard from the Chief of the German State." (19)

Of course pro-Nazi sentiment among the Arabs did not stem from the Mufti's influence alone. While Iraq had the pro-Nazi Futuwwa and Youth Phalanxes youth groups, Egypt and Morocco had their "Green Shirts" in imitation of the Italian fascist blackshirts and the Nazi brownshirts. Nasser and his "Free Officers" circle were notoriously pro-Nazi.

The former Egyptian Army Chief of Staff, `Aziz `Ali el-Masri, was arrested on his way to Rommel's headquarters to aid the German war effort. One of the plotters in this affair was Anwar Sadat, then a young officer and comrade of Nasser. Sadat wrote of this at length in his early book of memoirs, Revolt on the Nile (London, 1957). (20)

He wrote: "We made contact with the German Headquarters in Libya and we acted in complete harmony with them." (21)

He added: "We prepared to fight side by side with the Axis." (22)

To show Sadat's identification at the time with the paranoid Judeophobia of the Germans, we may point to his explanation of the failure of a German intelligence mission. Certain Egyptian Jews, he claims, gave the British information on two German agents sent to Cairo to make contact with the pro-Nazi Egyptian officers. (23)

Through the Allied victories at El-Alamein and Stalingrad, he wrote, "both arms of the German pincer movement on Egypt were broken, and Egyptian hopes were broken too." (24)

At any rate, Sadat's later essay at autobiography, In Search of Identity (New York, 1978), softens the picture of his pro-German, anti-Jewish attitudes.

"Arab nationalists found Berlin a haven of hospitality and understanding in World War II," the International Herald Tribune tells us in an unusual show of candor on this issue. (25)

The hospitality extended not only to Husseinis but to certain of their Hashemite rivals, at that time the ruling family in both Iraq and Transjordan. Rashid `Ali el-Kilani, the Iraqi prime minister who had declared war on Britain in 1941 with the Mufti's encouragement, found asylum in Berlin too. Saudi Arabia, hostile to the Hashemites for its own reasons, was also pro-Nazi. (26)

It was one of the first states to recognize the Italian fascist conquest of Ethiopia. (27)

Arab-Nazi collaboration took place on the ideological plane as well as the political and military planes. On a visit to Berlin in 1937, Dr Sa`id `Abdel-Fattah Iman of the Damascus Arab Club proposed, inter alia, to promote National Socialist ideology among the Arabs and Muslims generally. (28)

As time went on, Nazi ideological penetration of the Arab world took place in various ways and through several channels. Mein Kampf was published in Arabic, the translator later becoming a minister in the Kilani cabinet in Iraq. The Nazis supplied information bulletins to the Arab press. Nazi agents encouraged Arab nationalists to travel to Germany and to study there. (29)

Movie theaters in Beirut, Damascus, and Aleppo received German films and newsreels. (30)

German and Italian radio broadcast Arab nationalist agitation in Arabic to the Middle East. In an expression of sympathy for Nazi ideology, Arab politicians showed their presence at Nuremberg rallies. (31)

It is admitted even by sympathizers of Arab nationalism that the Ba'ath Socialist Party, separate factions of which now hold power in Syria and Iraq [in Iraq until 2003], got its start in imitation of German National Socialism. (32)

Another instance of Arab imitation of the Nazis was the Palestinian Arab Party founded by Husseini family members. Jamal Husseini, its president, freely admitted this. The party's youth group, modelled on the Hitler Youth, was for a while called the "Nazi Scouts." (33)

On the other hand, some Arabs did object to Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Monsignor Arida, the Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon, issued a pastoral letter in 1933 "strongly condemning the Nazi persecution of Jews." (34)

Nevertheless, Arab-Nazi collaboration had serious implications for the future. Sami al-Jundi, a Syrian Arab nationalist, a founder of the Ba`ath Party, wrote in his memoirs, "We were racialists. We were fascinated by Nazism, reading its books and the sources of its thought..." (35)

From the 1930s till now, Mein Kampf, other Nazi writings, and earlier Judeophobic works like the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, have been commonly read in Arab countries. And Arab writers have made their own contributions to this literary genre. PLO publications have joined in the chorus of Holocaust denial. (36)

Arab leaders freely expressed pro-Nazi sentiments even years after the war. For example, Nasser told a German neoNazi editor in 1964: "Our sympathies in the Second World War were on the German side." (37)

Nazi war criminals were granted refuge in Syria and Egypt. Some of them, such as former Goebbels assistants, Johann von Leers, Franz Buensche, and Louis Heiden, helped those governments make anti-Jewish propaganda, while others helped Nasser to set up a security police. (38)

Moreover, Arab governments have carried out their own mass murders. Sudan is the worst example. There Arab Muslims have slaughtered tribal Black Africans. The New Columbia Encyclopedia (1975) estimated the tribal Black victims of the civil war at 1.5 million as of 1972; and it still goes on. In Iraq of course, the army has murdered tens of thousands of Kurds with poison gas and other means. The civil war in Lebanon saw scores of thousands of civilians massacred by their Arab brothers, with the Palestino-Progressiste forces (to use the label favored by the French press) as major culprits.

Arab nationalist spokesmen in the West have naturally tried to downplay or minimize - and where they could get away with it, to deny - the record of Arab-Nazi collaboration. For instance, Philip Mattar, executive director of the PLO-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Washington, distorts the Mufti's work to organize Bosnian Muslims to fight for the Germans. In Mattar's words, Husseini "recruited Muslims to fight the Communists in Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia." Mattar carefully avoids informing his readers in the Washington-based Middle East Journal, (39) an anti-Israel publication since its founding, that the Mufti was recruiting an SS division, formally called the 13th Waffen-Gebirgsdivision der SS "Handschar" (kroat. Nr.1). (40)

The Handschar as the division was called for short after a Turkish sword (khanjar), was notorious for atrocities, (41) not only against the Yugoslav partisans, but against Serbian, Jewish, Gypsy and other civilians. The Yugoslav war criminal commission charged that the Handschar had handed Allied airmen over to the Germans, in addition to other crimes. (42)

In a speech to these troops, Husseini declared:

This division of Bosnian Moslems, established with the help of Greater Germany, is an example for Moslems in all countries... Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course... National-Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry. The Koran says: "You will find that the Jews are the worst enemies of the Moslems." There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism... I am happy to see in this Division a visible and practical expression of both ideologies. (43)
The reader can judge for himself whether, as Mattar implied, the goal that the Mufti urged on the Handschar was merely the fight against Communists.

Mattar does allow that Husseini helped the German war effort. However, he omits the Mufti's work for the genocide of the Jews. As a sign of our times, a New York publisher has commissioned Mattar to edit a reference work on the Middle East.

In view of the evidence, the efforts in the West and even in Israel to overlook or deny or whitewash the Arab historical record are simply outrageous. The Encyclopedia Britannica (EB) offends in this regard. The EB Micropedia (1985 ed.) tells us of the Mufti that in 1939, "Ceasing to play an active role in Palestinian politics, Husayni spent most of World War II (1939-45) in Germany. At the war's end he fled to Egypt." In the article entitled "Palestine," (44) Walid Khalidi asserts: "The Arabs [in Palestine] had remained quiescent throughout the war, and some 12,000 enlisted in the British forces." This may be true as far as it goes but it certainly gives an incomplete, misleading picture, especially since comparative figures for Jewish enlistment are not given. On the other hand, Kamal Salibi and William Polk in the article entitled "Israel" are slightly more forthcoming. (45)

They allow that "German propaganda was gaining wide support in Arab nationalist circles." The editor of a later edition of EB, Robert McHenry responded to criticism of the EB's soft approach to the Mufti by boasting of an "article in the Britannica, to which the Index will direct any curious reader," which describes the Mufti as "Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and admirer of the Nazis." (46)

The EB writes as if the Mufti merely "admired" the Nazis.

The Britannica's approach is typical. The Dictionary of World History (London, 1973), a weighty tome of about 10 pounds for which A.J.P. Taylor served as advisory editor, writes of Husseini, "For a time (1937-46), he lived outside Palestine, during which period he negotiated with Germany. He resumed his leadership of the Palestinian Arabs (1946)..." By this account, he was not necessarily an admirer of the Nazis. He merely "negotiated" with them.

Now let us look closer to home. If it is only to be expected that Arab spokesmen will try to whitewash the Arab record in general and in respect of the Holocaust in particular, such efforts are bizarre when made by Israelis. Consider the writings of two members of Israel's "peace camp." Amos Elon, the journalist, recently penned a choleric tract for the habitually anti-Israel New York Review of Books (47) in which he deplores the propensity among some Israelis to see the Palestinian Arabs as continuing the work of the Nazis, or to even consider that they might.

"Standing behind each Arab or Palestinian, Israelis tend to see SS men determined to push them once again into gas chambers and crematoria." (48)

Elon sees this as an obstacle to peace. Of course it would be foolish to see every Arab in this way and the typical Israeli that Elon presents seems to be a straw man of his own manufacture. Yet Elon's diatribe, which goes on for eight columns of rather small type, disregards the relevant history, to wit, the collaboration in the Holocaust of the Mufti of Jerusalem and others whose families are still prominent in the Palestinian Arab leadership. Nor does he mention the massacres carried out by Arabs in the past 40 years in Lebanon, the Sudan, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Surely this information was relevant to his discussion. However, these omissions are apparently intentional since Elon goes on to argue that "a little forgetfulness [toward the Holocaust] might finally be in order." (49)

One might accept Elon as sincere if one knew that he had asked the Arabs too to forget their various grievances.

Making Elon's article all the more bizarre (and it happens to be the featured article of the issue), is that the same issue of New York Review contains a piece by George Soros describing contemporary Holocaust-like events in Bosnia. Now after all, if Serbs or other former Yugoslavs, exposed for years to Communist propaganda in favor of the brotherhood of nations, could commit numerous atrocities against other ethnic groups, then why could not the Arabs who have been subject for years to intense nationalist (indeed chauvinist) indoctrination (and more recently to Islamic jihad incitement) do the same?

Another Israeli, Zvi El-Peleg, a biographer of the Mufti, admits part of the Mufti's pro-Nazi activities, denies or casts doubt on other parts, and distorts the moral meaning of his pro-Nazi and pro-Holocaust exertions. In the Hebrew edition of his book, El-Peleg takes pains to cast doubt on one of the incriminating pieces of evidence against Husseini. He writes that "those who saw him [Husseini] as a partner to the Nazi crimes" reported "that he asked of the Germans that upon their arrival in the Middle East they allow the Arabs 'to solve the Jewish Question in Palestine and the other Arab countries in accord with the interests of the Arabs and in the same ways in which this problem was solved in the Axis states.'" (50)

El-Peleg writes as if to insinuate that Jewish writers hostile to the Mufti chose to believe without substantial proof that he had made such a request of the Germans. What El-Peleg fails to say is that a nearly identical request is reported in a book by Husseini's Arab admirer, the historian Majid Khadduri (Independent Iraq, 2nd ed.), (51) a book listed in El-Peleg's bibliography. Neither Khadduri nor his publisher, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), has been suspected in the past of pro-Zionist or pro-Jewish bias. By the way, an interesting discussion of different versions of this request appears in Bernard Lewis' Semites and Anti-Semites. (52)

Lewis considers the difference between versions submitted while Husseini was in Iraq and those drawn up after he arrived in Axis Europe.

Another tendentious interpretation by El-Peleg is his denial of Husseini's Arab nationalist, pan-Islamic political outlook, by making him into a "Palestinian" nationalist, a more suitable, politically correct creature for the 1990s. Ironically, the quotes from the Mufti that El-Peleg presents in his book show Husseini's pan-Arabist, pan-Islamist character.

Whereas the respected American journalist Edgar Ansel Mowrer said of Husseini, "As a murderer, this man ranks with the great killers of history," (53) El-Peleg chooses to glorify this war criminal. El-Peleg is a historical revisionist, but even more is he a moral revisionist.

Just what explains the compulsion of Elon, El-Peleg, and others to portray the Arabs as historical innocents or to explain away Arab guilt remains an open question. But it appears symptomatic of the political prejudices and Orwellian political morality of our times.


- Irit Abramski-Bligh, "Husseini, Haj Amin al-" in Encyclopedia of the Holocaust [Hebrew & English editions].

- Daniel Carpi, "The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, and His Diplomatic Activity during World War II (October 1941-July 1943)" Studies in Zionism, No. 7, Spring 1983.

- Elias Cooper, "Forgotten Palestinian: The Nazi Mufti," American Zionist, March-April 1978.

- Bartley Crum, Behind the Silken Curtain, New York, 1947.

- Zvi El-Peleg. HaMufti HaGadol. Tel Aviv, 1989.

- Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reich and the Arab East London, 1966.

- Majid Khadduri. Independent Iraq. London (2nd ed. 1960). Bernard Lewis. Semites and Anti-Semites. New York, 1986.

- Joseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer New York, 1965.

- Anne and Robert Sinai, Israel and the Arabs, New York, 1978.

- George Stein, The Waffen SS. Ithaca 1966.

- Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, Philadelphia, 1991.

- Other authors consulted include Abdel-Razak Abdel-Kader, Elie Kedourie, etc.


Jennie Lebel. "Hitler v'haMufti." Meqor Rishon [article published about Spring 1998].

Jennie Lebel, Haj Amin uBerlin Tel Aviv 1996 [book on Mufti based inter alia on little used Serbian-Croatian sources].

Martin Kolinsky, "After the Arab Rebellion," Part I, Israel Affairs vol. 2, no. 2 (Winter 1995), Part II, vol. 5, no. 1 (Autumn 1998).

Eliyahu Green, "Ha`Arabim ve'haNazim," Nativ no. 4 1995, p 12.

Eliyahu Elath. Haj Amin al-Husayni. Tel Aviv 1968.

David Yisraeli. Ba`ayat Eretz Israel baM'diyniyut haGermanit 1889-1945, Ramat Gan 1974.

E Kedourie and S. Haim,eds., Palestine and Israel London 1982.

See various articles here, rather detailed and difficult reading.

Rafael Medoff, "The Mufti's Nazi Years Reexamined," Journal of Israeli History 17, 3.

E. Wohlgelernter, "In a State of Denial," Jerusalem Post June 8, 2001.

Monty Penkower. The Jews Were Expendable. Urbana & Chicago: U of Illinois Press, 1983.


On Pius XII, see Journal of Modern Italian Studies 6,1 (spring 2000)-review by A Long.

Peter Neville, Appeasing Hitler: the Diplomacy of Sir Neville Henderson -- see review in European History, 31,2 (4/2001).

Temps Modernes

Revue d'Histoire de la Shoah

Barbara Rogers, "Auschwitz and the British," History Today, 49 (10) Oct 1999.


1. Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reich and the Arab East, London, 1966; 312-13.
2. The Mufti's appeals to all the countries mentioned, but for Turkey, were known from documents, and in large part published, not long after World War II. It appears that Husseini himself was the first to make known his appeal to the Turkish government not to permit the passage of escaping Jews through Turkish territory. This revelation came in his own memoirs issued in Arabic in 1970 in Falastin (Beirut, July 1970), pp. 4ff. These memoirs included other documents relating to his efforts to prevent Jewish escape which had been previously published. See Bernard Lewis, Semites and Anti-Semites, New York, 1986; p. 268 n19. The major post-World War II collection of relevant documents was The Arab Higher Committee: Its Origin, Personnel, and Purposes. The Documentary Record. New York: The Nation Associates, 1947. This collection will be henceforth referred to as Arab Higher Committee.

3. Bartley Crum, Behind the Silken Curtain, New York, 1947; 111-12.

4. Crum, 110-112; Hirszowicz, 262-63, 312-13; Daniel Carpi, "The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, and His Diplomatic Activity during World War II (October 1941-July 1943)," Studies in Zionism, No. 7, Spring 1983; pp. 130-31. Joseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer (New York, 1965); pp. 154-58. The sardonic use of euphemisms such as "active supervision" for the mass murder of Jews was not limited to the Mufti. Consider Count Ciano's record of a conference with Croatian officials in Venice on 16 December 1941, several weeks after Husseini's meeting with Hitler. The Croatian fascist leader Pavelitch explained to Ciano, the Italian foreign minister, that, in Ciano's words: "The most urgent problems [of the new Croatian state] were being faced, and in the front rank that of the Jews. The latter, who were 35,000 when the Ustashis took power, do not exceed 12,000 at present (Young Kvaternik [an aide to Pavelitch and nephew of the Croatian minister of war] explains this reduction by the word 'emigration,' accompanied by a smile that leaves no room for doubt)." Galeazzo Ciano, Les Archives secrètes du Comte Ciano (Paris: Plon, 1948), p. 487. The Mufti later collaborated with Pavelitch and other Croatians when helping recruit and motivate the Bosnian Muslim SS division.

5. Letter in Schechtman, p. 310. See a similar letter to Ribbentrop in Ibid., 155-56; A number of important letters in this vein are in Arab Higher Committee.

6. Carpi, op. cit., 130-31; and D. Carpi, "The Diplomatic Negotiations over the Transfer of Jewish Children from Croatia to Turkey and Palestine in 1943," Yad Vashem Studies, vol. XII (1977), pp. 109-124.

7. Elias Cooper, "Forgotten Palestinian: The Nazi Mufti," American Zionist, March-April 1978; p. 19.

8. Hirszowicz, pp 311, 364 fn 18.

9. Crum, 113.

10. Cooper, 18.

11. Cooper, 23.

12. Irit Abramski-Bligh, "Husseini, Haj Amin al-" in Encyclopedia of the Holocaust [Hebrew & English editions].

13. F.W. Brecher, "Charles R. Crane's Crusade for the Arabs, 1919-39," Middle Eastern Studies, XXIV, January 1988; pp 46-47. Also see Elliott A Green, "The Curious Careers of Two Advocates of Arab Nationalism," Crossroads [published in Jerusalem], no. 33 [1992].

14. Cooper, pp 14-16.

15. Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times (Philadelphia, 1991); 414-15.

15. Hirszowicz, 312.

16. Cooper, 18.

17. inter alia, in Cooper, p. 22.

18. Walter Z. Laqueur (ed.), The Israel-Arab Reader, New York: Bantam, 1969; pp. 80-84; also see Hirszowicz 204, 218-19; Schechtman, p. 306.

20. Anwar Sadat, Revolt on the Nile, London, 1957.

21. Ibid., p. 34.

22. Ibid., p. 42.

23. Ibid., pp. 46-49.

24. Ibid., p. 50.

25. International Herald Tribune, July 13, 1987.

26. Hirszowicz, pp. 48-52.

27. Hirszowicz, p 52 and footnote

28. Ibid., pp. 35-36.

29. Ibid., p. 27.

30. Ibid., p. 131.

31. Ibid., p. 19.

32. Eric Rouleau, "The Syrian Enigma: What Is the Ba'ath?" New Left Review, No. 45, September-October 1967.

33. Jillian Becker, The PLO, London, 1984, p. 19.

34. Stillman, op. cit., p. 108.

35. Stillman, op. cit., p. 106.

36. For instance, El-Istiqlal, a PLO paper published on Cyprus, ran a two-part feature article denying the Holocaust, December 13 and 20, 1989. The Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles privately circulated photocopies and a partial translation of this material.

37. I.F. Stone's Weekly, June 1, 1964, quoted from Deutsche National Zeitung und Soldaten Zeitung, May 1, 1964. I.F. Stone was known as a leftist critic of Israel.

38. See, inter alia, Glenn Infield, Skorzeny: Hitler's Commando, New York, 1981; pp 205-219; and Robert St John, The Boss, New York, 1960; pp 152-53; Simon Wiesenthal provided a list of names of Nazi veterans who had obtained refuge in Arab countries, see Le Monde, June 9, 1967.

39. Philip Mattar, "The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Politics of Palestine," Middle East Journal (vol. 42, Spring 1988); p. 237.

40. George Stein, The Waffen SS. Ithaca, 1966; pp. 179-185.

41. For instance, see Parameters, Autumn 1993; p. 80. Parameters is the quarterly of the US Army War College.

42. Anne and Robert Sinai, Israel and the Arabs, New York, 1978. p. 65.

43. Schechtman, pp. 139-40.

44. EB Macropedia, vol. 25, 1985 edition.

45. EB Macropedia vol. 22, p. 142.

46. Robert McHenry, letter to the editor of Commentary, Nov. 1993.

47. Amos Elon, "The Politics of Memory," New York Review of Books, October 7, 1993; pp 3-5

48. Ibid., 3.

49. Ibid., 5.

50. Zvi El-Peleg, HaMufti HaGadol, Tel Aviv, 1989; 72. See the review of this book by Eliyahu Green, in Nativ [Tel Aviv, Hebrew], March 1990; pp 81-84.

51. Majid Khadduri, Independent Iraq, London (2nd ed.) 1960; p. 185.

52. Bernard Lewis, Semites and Anti-Semites, New York, 1986; pp. 157-58.

53. John Roy Carlson, Cairo to Damascus (New York, 1951), 413-14.

Elliott A. Green is a writer, researcher, and translator living in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

'Quartet may recognize Palestinian state'

Foreign diplomats warn that if Netanyahu fails to present new peace plan soon, superpowers may officially endorse Palestinian state in 1967 border, with east Jerusalem as its capital


American and European diplomats warned that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to present a new peace initiative soon, the Quartet may be compelled to recognize a Palestinian State in the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Netanyahu is under mounting pressure to unveil a new plan that would jump-start the deadlocked negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

If the prime minister does not deliver, the Quartet members – which include the United State, Russia, The European Union and the United Nations – may opt to resume the peace process by officially endorsing a Palestinian state.

"The Israelis are facing a bit of pressure with the way things are proceeding," a western diplomat stationed in Israel told the newspaper. "People are starting to look to the US for some kind of action," he added.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted last week that the international community may apply pressure on both sides in order to promote a settlement to the longstanding conflict, which she said was as pressing as ever given recent developments in the Arab world.

"The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months," Clinton said during a speech at the US-Islamic World Forum in Washington.

Netanyahu, who thanked US President Barack Obama on Sunday for approving the aid budget for the Iron Dome missile defense system, is expected to speak in front of the US Congress next month.

"This is an opportunity to present Israel's political and security principles, following dramatic changes in the region and in light of our national interest to ensure our peaceful and secure future," he said during the latest cabinet meeting.

Analysts have claimed the US postponed a Quartet meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Berlin last week, due to Washington's reservations vis-à-vis the European peace initiative.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were renewed last September, but stopped shortly afterwards, following the resumption of construction in the settlements after a government-imposed 10-months freeze.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"We've Got Them!!"

Arlene Kushner

I extended my Pesach greetings late last week, but knew I had to do this additional posting before Pesach began.

A gag order that was in effect during the course of the investigation of the terrorist attack on the Fogel family -- which saw the parents and three of their children (pictured below) cruelly slaughtered -- has now been lifted. The commander of the IDF in Samaria Col. Nimrod Aloni has announced: "The murderers are in our hands."

The terrorists are Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad 18, from Awarta, an Arab village near Itamar, where the Fogel family lived. Members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), they were assisted by at least six others, four of them from the Awad family. All have been taken into custody.

They have confessed and expressed readiness to become "martyrs." Not only have they not expressed regret for their actions, they said they would have killed two other brothers who were in the house, had they known they were there.


Even during the blackout on news about the investigation, it was clear that the focus was the village of Awarta, where large numbers of people were rounded up and questioned. At one point residents were complaining because they were asked to give DNA samples. What seemed likely at that point was that at least one of the terrorists, having fought with Ruth Fogel, left behind hair, or blood, or skin under her nails.


Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulated the Shin Bet and the police today on the thoroughness of the operation that led to these arrests. "I was updated on the investigation's progress in the last number of weeks and days, and I must commend the Shin Bet and police who wanted to make sure their findings were complete, not only on the murderers themselves, but also for their accomplices."


Involvement with terror seems to be an Awad family proclivity. Arutz Sheva reports that the father of Hakim was also with the PFLP and had served time in Israeli prison, while an uncle was involved in a 2002 terror attack in Itamar that killed five people.

Still another uncle, says Arutz Sheva, burned the boys' bloodstained clothes, and took the knives they had used to Ramallah. Incredibly, the boys returned to school as if nothing had happened.

The weapons have now been recovered by Israeli authorities; the man who hid them is one of those now in custody.


Council chief of Awarta, Kais Awad (how much of this village consists of the Awad clan?), says he will demand an "international inquiry" because the boys who have been apprehended are "just children" and couldn't have done this. He believes the confessions were secured under duress and that "Israel wishes to cover up the crimes it committed in Awarta over the last month..."

Yea, yea, it's about Israeli "crimes" again.

But the fact that two young men -- they are NOT children -- could have done this makes it all the more chilling.


Already, there are calls for capital punishment for the slaughterers, following a judicial conviction. And I think this is a splendid idea. In fact, it should go as the Eichmann trial did -- boldly public, so the world can begin to see.

My gut tells me that anyone who slits the throat of a three-month old baby without remorse (decapitates that baby?) deserves to die. But there are issues of law. Adolph Eichmann is the only one who has ever been executed in Israel. Yet the law reads that capital punishment is possible in cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people.

I'll likely come back to this after Pesach. But it's time to send a bold message to our enemies and to the world: we will tolerate this no longer. That is, if there is the courage to go this route when the perpetrators are being called "children."


Col Aloni indicated that the motivation of terror groups in Judea and Samaria to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians is still high.

As far as I am concerned, this makes any suggestion (whether it was Barak's suggestion or Netanyahu's) that we pull back the IDF from certain areas of Judea and Samaria either breathtakingly stupid, or a sin.


And there's more. Also to be noted by my readers with great attention:

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, placed a phone call today to S'ad Nimr, Minister of PA Detainees, and asked about PA policy with regard to the current PA demand for the release of all "detainees" (which includes all Palestinian Arabs in Israeli prisons for terrorist acts).

Asked Lerner, would the PA also demand the release of the two men just caught by Israeli authorities in connection with the murders in Itamar? Well, said Nimr, we don't know if the accusations are accurate. Assuming for the moment that they are, said Lerner, would the PA include these men in their demand that detainees be released?

Yes, replied Nimr. Palestinians have "a right" and "an obligation" to "resist the occupation."

Be very clear on this: a PA minister is justifying (as an "obligation") the brutal murder of children because of the "occupation."

This, of course, is no different from Hamas. Our "peace partners."

You can hear it all on Youtube. (Lerner's questions were not perfect in transmission, but the answers are quite clear.)

Kol hakavod (well done!) to Aaron Lerner on this.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will be in the US in late May, and House Speaker John Boehner has announced he will be inviting the prime minister to address a joint session of Congress. Will the prime minister be advancing a "peace plan"? Don't know. I'm not sure if he has decided yet.

But what I do know is that this is Netanyahu's chance to make Israel's case, boldly and with self-assurance -- with the whole world listening.

His message the last couple of days is less troublesome than prior rumors would have suggested:

"We will stand for our principles and fight those who try to dictate terms that would strip us of security and peace.

"We have been steadfast these two years, making sure that any peace agreement brings with it a secure, safe peace. Not just peace on paper, but a sustainable peace. I have set two core principles to that effect: the first - Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel as the Jewish people's homeland; and the second - real security arrangements on the ground."

Now we have to see these words expressed in Israeli policy -- in a refusal to cave to make others happy.


But what we're seeing right now with regard to policy is mixed. This comes as no surprise as Netanyahu often plays both ends against the middle, attempting to satisfy everyone at once.

A few days ago came a report from YNet that Netanyahu intends to honor his promise to residents of Itamar, following the grisly murder of the five members of the Fogel family, that building would be done in that community.

However, there was a legal proviso included: that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has to sign off on this as well. (My best information is that this is true, and that Netanyahu could not override it on his own, but would require some legal maneuvering.)

According to YNet, less than a week ago:

"Though Netanyahu's office refused to comment on the matter, sources told Ynet that he has ordered Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser and Minister Benny Begin to ask Barak to approve the plans as soon as possible."

However, I just spoke with Minister Begin, who says the report is in error and he has not been asked to do anything. He has no knowledge regarding whether Netanyahu will sincerely try to push this through, or will allow Barak to block it.


And then, in an interview in the Mishpaha newspaper, Minister of Housing Ariel Attias (Shas) now claims that -- contrary to his public statements -- Netanyahu has caved to Obama's demands and has de facto frozen building in the parts of Jerusalem that the PA claims.

The prime minister's office denies this, but Attias says, “The facts are correct." He says he cannot market new housing units that have already received the necessary bureaucratic approvals, because the government has not allowed tenders to be issued for contractors.


As to attacks from Gaza, Netanyahu said:

"We will not stand for fire on buses or on our children. We will not abide a situation where Israeli citizens are sleeping in shelters - anywhere."

Which means...?


Former National Security Adviser Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland joined the ranks last week of those saying that Israel should consider implementing a Defensive Shield-like operation in Gaza. Operation Defensive Shield -- which was initiated in Judea and Samaria in April 2002, in response to terror attacks on Israeli civilians -- totally shifted the dynamic and has made it possible for the IDF to consistently nab terrorists.


Meanwhile Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, responding to the firing from Gaza of two Grad Katyusha rockets on Friday, has now said that there is no solution other than toppling the Hamas regime.


The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday calling on the UN Human Rights Council "to reflect the author's repudiation of the Goldstone report's central findings" and rescind the report. It also asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to work towards the "reform" of the Human Rights Council "so that it no longer unfairly, disproportionately, and falsely criticizes Israel on a regular basis."

Please, don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen. But celebrate a very supportive US Senate.


I want to end this posting by sharing an unusual and inspiring video. This is a speech by Cory Booker, the black mayor of Newark, NJ, delivered in February to a Chabad group: "Any Jew who wants to shrink from who he is, is not being Jewish," he tells his audience. "This is the spiritual question of our age...Where are we? ...Why do we persist in playing small?"

He speaks to Jews, and, I would suggest, if you substitute "Israeli" for "Jew," his message also resonates.

(Thanks to my sister, Loretta T., for bringing this to my attention.)


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Israel Warned not to Enable PA State Now

Hillel Fendel

Arab-affairs expert Prof. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University says Israel would be "clearly suicidal" in enabling a Palestinian state, in light of the revolutionary fever sweeping the Arab world. In the latest edition of his weekly column entitled "Middle Eastern Insights," Kedar writes that given the calls in Egypt to abrogate its peace treaty with Israel, and the shakiness of even the Jordanian regime, Israel cannot afford to consider entering into a process that would lead to the formation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. This is especially true, he adds, now that "we already have a terror state in Gaza that torments Israel with rockets and missiles made there or smuggled from Iran.

No Guarantees

"There is no country in the world that can guarantee that the Arab League commitment to recognize Israel will be honored by a new Palestinian state," Kedar warns, "particularly if it is again taken over by Hamas through elections as in January 2006 or a military coup as in June 2007."

Kedar states that if the Arab League "wants to persuade Israel to accept the API [Arab Peace Initiative], it must treat Israel as a negotiating partner and engage in serious discussions of conditions for peace… But the words of [diplomatic adviser to Saudi King Abdullah] Mohammad Al Zulfa, spoken to the Arab nation, point to a different outcome: the Saudis and the Arab summit have no intention save the defeat of Israel without a fight, by means of false premises that harbor no commitment to real implementation."

In short, Kedar says, Israel must not enter into negotiations at this point, and it and the world "must wait patiently until the smoke clears."