Coming to Terms With the Nazi-Islamist Connection: An Interview with Jeffrey Herf


Karl Pfeifer is a Vienna-based journalist. This article also appears (in German) in the Berlin weekly "Jungle World."

Jeffrey Herf is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale, 2009).

You went to the conference “Arab Responses to Fascism and Nazism” at Tel Aviv University at the end of May. What did you experience?

JH: I saw different things.  First, I saw historians, mostly from Israel, some from Europe, present excellent papers that offered convincing evidence that there were Arab political and intellectual figures in the 1930s and 1940s in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt who publicly opposed Nazism and fascism.  There were further excellent papers about Egyptian communists and the Jewish question, Italian propaganda in the Middle East, and Libyan politics during and after World War II.  These papers at the Tel Aviv conference reflect an important scholarly advance in our knowledge of various currents in Arab politics and intellectual life in this period.  However, I also saw historians of the modern Middle East having great difficulty sustaining a now well established paradigm of explanation in the face of challenges coming mostly from historians of Nazism as well as Israeli historians of the Arab and Islamist politics.  As the historian of science Thomas Kuhn argued in his 1962 classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, scholars cling to established paradigms and are often fiercely resistant to evidence that does not support them.  This, he argued, was the case in the history of physics.  Today I think it is also the case as advocates of the paradigm whose key words are “third world,” “anti-imperialism,” “Orientalism,” “sub-altern studies” and in the case of the Middle East, “anti-Zionism” tied themselves in knots when faced with clear evidence that some very important Arab, Palestinian and Islamist leaders, such as Haj Amin el-Husseini, enthusiastically, willingly and effectively collaborated with the Nazi regime, shared its hatred of the Jews as Jews, and played a major role the cultural fusion of Nazi and Islamist—not Islamic—forms of anti-Semitism."

I have presented abundant evidence of that collaboration in my recent book Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. So too have Klaus Gensicke, Martin Cuppers and Klaus Michael-Mallmann, Matthias Kuentzel, Meir Litvak and Esther Webman, Zvi Elpeleg and others. I even heard one conference participant say that presenting such evidence, even if true, was politically damaging to the Arab and Palestinian cause and thus, presumably, should not be brought forth. Others resorted to the slogans of the existing paradigm, but did not have effective responses to the growing mass of inconvenient evidence. For me, the recent Tel Aviv conference was one chapter in a larger story that will unfold in the coming years, namely the unraveling of leftist and left-liberal conventional wisdom that is fueling varieties of anti-Zionism in the Middle East, in Europe, and the United States. A paradigm shift is beginning.

Why this resistance?

Many details of Husseini’s collaboration with the Nazis have been well known for decades. But the third worldist paradigm served to shift him from the ranks of Nazi collaborators into the pantheon of third world revolutionaries fighting against Western imperialism. Like ex-Nazis in Europe after 1945, Husseini and others worked hard to whitewash their activities during World War II and the Holocaust but they had a benefit not available to Europeans: they could justify their hatred of the Jews with the slogans of anti-colonialism. Some historians of the region appear to find it hard to believe or imagine that anti-Semitism can emerge in the world outside of Europe or that Islamism stands in relationship to Islam as National Socialism did to Christianity. Neither was simply an extension of previous religious traditions, but neither would have emerged without radicalization and selective reading from those traditions. The historians still under the spell of Edward Said and third worldism found it hard to imagine that, as Robert Wistrich has recently argued, there has been a shift in the center of gravity of global anti-Semitism from Europe to the Arab world and Iran. Double standards make their appearance. When anti-Semitic statements come from Islamist political figures, like Husseini, they don’t receive the same kind of condemnation that identical statements would receive if voiced by anti-Semites by his former friends and comrades in Nazi Berlin, such as Himmler and the officials in Ribbentrop’s Foreign Office.

What where the conclusions of this conference?

The conference participants agreed to disagree. Several of us there made the following points: in recent years a number of historians in Germany and Israel (and myself) have offered a great deal of new evidence about collaboration between Nazis and some Arabs and Islamists. Nobody has ever claimed that all Arabs or all Muslims adored Hitler. But a great many did. As a result of research that has been done by Martin Cuppers, Zvi Elpeleg, Klaus Gensicke, Matthias Kuentzel, Meir Litvak, Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Benny Morris, Ester Webman, Yehoshua Porat, Robert Wistrich, and others whom I can’t recall at the moment, the evidence of significant Islamist and Arab nationalist collaboration with Nazi Germany is now irrefutable. The evidence is now overwhelming that anti-Semitism, drawing on a particular interpretation of the Koran and hadith contributed to support for Nazism among Arab and Muslim radicals in the thirties and forties, well before the foundation of Israel. Indeed, it was the Islamists themselves who refashioned and distorted the traditions of Islam to foster this distinctively modern form of Islamist Jew-hatred. One implication of this recent work is that anti-Semitism expressed by these political figures was a cause of the 1948 war and of the Arab and Islamist refusal to accept a compromise two-state solution when it was offered to them in the late 1930s, in the UN partition plan of 1947-48, at Camp David in 2000, and again by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyanu in 2009.

But usually it is argued by the right that the persecution of Jews in the Muslim world was never as bad as in the Christian one. What do you think?

I defer to other historians who know more about the place of the Jews in Muslim societies. As Bernard Lewis has argued, as long as Jews accepted their second class dhimmi status, they were tolerated. The existence of Jewish sovereignty in the form of the state of Israel would thus be an intolerable affront to some Muslims who thought the proper position of the Jews was a subordinate one.

The key point is, as Bassam Tibi stated, one about Islamism, not Islam. Beginning with the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al Banna, a new political tradition was created called Islamism. Hassan al Banna and Haj Amin el Hussaini created an interpretation of Islam that redefined it as an inherently anti-Semitic religious tradition. They took anti-Jewish stories and quotations from the Koran and hadith that had been marginal in the past and made them central to their understanding of Islam. Indeed, they argued that hatred of Jews was central in Islam from Mohammed’s time until the twentieth century. By the late 1930s, officials in the German Foreign Office understood that Nazism could appeal to these people by trying to convince them that they could meet on the common ground of hatred of the Jews and subsequently opposition to British presence in the Middle East. This is why Nazi Germany’s Arabic language short wave radio propaganda cited the Koran and not Mein Kampf.

Again, I should emphasize that Nazism was not simply the result of Christianity but it is unthinkable without it. It was a radicalization and a gross distortion of Christianity. Islamism was a radicalization of already existing currents of Islam and in this sense it was a distortion of Islam. Just as historians write about, in Thomas Nipperdey’s phrase, the multiple continuities of German and European history, so it is important to write about multiple continuities in the history of the modern Middle East. One of those continuities that emerged as a modern tradition in the mid-twentieth century was Islamist anti-Semitism.

Your conclusion?

First, as I said above, I think we are at the beginning of a significant challenge to the Third Worldist paradigm that has fueled anti-Zionism for decades. Actually, I think it is going to begin to unravel in the years to come, especially as scholars and intellectuals from North Africa, such as Boualem Sansal, or the Arab Middle East and the Iranian diaspora and opposition, find their voices and express their revulsion with the ideological roots of the Islamist terrorism that has led to the slaughter of so many thousands of Muslims in recent decades.

Second, as anyone who has taken the trouble to actually read the Hamas Charter of 1988 or any of Al Qaeda’s manifestos or Ahmadinejad’s ranting and raving knows very well, none of what they say is totally novel. All of it draws some of its themes and even slogans from an ideological synthesis, a fusion or, to use fashionable language, a hybridity that took place during the Nazi-Islamist collaboration in wartime Berlin, especially between 1941 and 1945. It left important echoes and aftereffects in the Middle East.

How was your new book, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, published in November 2009, received?

So far, the reviews in the United States, England and Germany have been very good. Reviews in scholarly journals take longer. Translations will be forthcoming in French, Italian, and Japanese. I published a collection of documents from the book in the Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte this past spring. I hope the book will appear in German and Arabic translations. One Cairo newspaper, Al Masry Alyoum, interviewed me about it. Those people who have actually read the book understand that there is no more denying that there was significant collaboration between some Arab leaders and the Nazi regime and that this collaboration was central to Nazi policy and propaganda in the Middle East during World War II.

Of course, those who for political and intellectual reasons are invested in the now-unraveling Third Worldist, anti-Zionist paradigm will claim that the Arab and Islamist response to Nazi propaganda was insignificant. The postwar evidence indicates otherwise. Especially for scholars who read Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew, there is a great deal of important work to be done. I hope my book, and the burst of recent scholarship on these issues, will be helpful in advancing knowledge about these very important matters. I’ve been a historian long enough to know that some advocates of the old paradigm will attack the messenger but that eventually the evidence will overwhelm defenders of the old order.

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Adam Hammick - 11/19/2010

No, the point is that someone is suggesting that Netanyahu actually offered acceptable terms of peace. No one who examines the content of that offer would find it humane or acceptable.

art eckstein - 7/29/2010

I think that was an anti-semitic remark from Mr. Butler.

james joseph butler - 7/28/2010

Who needs the Borsht belt when I've got you guys? Thanks

Elliott Aron Green - 7/27/2010

Nat, Zbigniew Brzezinski was prez Carter's national insecurity advisor. He very much favored encouraging Islamic extremists in order to get at Russia. Even today Zbig admits to doing no wrong through his work to build up jihadis 30 years ago.

You ought to read what Zbig has said since 9-11 or since the Fall of USSR in order to get the full flavor of his reckless megalomania.

art eckstein - 7/27/2010

It might be that we backed the wrong side in Afghanistan in the 1980s--I agree, Nat.

But we are not responsible for the Islamist tide; we gave no money to Bin Laden (he is a Saudi creation in every way); this is something happening within Islam as it confronts the pressures of the modern world and fails to deal with those pressures. Very little we can do about it except support the moderates, few though they are.

Nat Bates - 7/26/2010

"And then Saudi Islamist extremists seized the Grand Mosque at Mecca in late 1979. This was a huge crisis--evidently unknown to you."

It is known to me. However, I did not mention it because it is irrelevant to my point. I am also aware of the conservative trend within Islam within the last few centuries, but that too is irrelevant to my point.

My point is that we have done one stupid thing after another, and it always seems to come back to bite us. Supporting Islamic extremism was one such stupid thing. I rather believe that building up China will inevitably be another stupid thing that will come back to bite us.

art eckstein - 7/26/2010

Yes, the U.S. support of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and their eventual success against the Soviets is part of the story of the rise of Islamist movements and Islamofascism: yes, it is part of the story. But it is hardly the whole story, nor even the main part of the story, most of which concerns developments within Islam itself. The Islamist tide was coming long before any U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, or the U.S. support of Afghan jihadist mujahideen

This U.S. support for the Mujahideen did not begin on a large scale until 1984, and it encompassed only Afghans, not "foreign fighters" such as Bin Laden.

But major events were already occurring in 1979 and before. Indeed, the inability of the socialist Afghan govt to put down a religiously-inspired revolt in 1977-1979 was why the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in the first place.

Then there was Iranian religious revolution--which occurred in Feb. 1979, five years before any large-scale U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. And of course the U.S. opposed the Iranian religious revolution, it didn't support it. And the success of the Iranian religious extremists against the U.S., and their utter disdain for international law which they got away with (as seen in the Hostage Crisis) greatly enhanced the prestige of all Islamic radicals, whether Shia or Sunni.

And then Saudi Islamist extremists seized the Grand Mosque at Mecca in late 1979. This was a huge crisis--evidently unknown to you. But the attempt at violent religious revolution was bloodily suppressed. After it, however, the Saudi regime began supporting very conservative clergy with huge sums of money. Again, these events occurred five years before serious U.S. involvement with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, and these events (unlike Iran) had nothing to do with the U.S.

The Saudi extremists were eventually annihilated by Saudi troops helped by French troops. But the result of the attack on the Grand Mosque in late 1979 was that the Saudis sought to mollify the ultra-conservatives, and so over the past three decades have spent over $100 BILLION in proselytizing a particularly narrow and totalitarian version of Wahabist/Salafi Islam. THERE, Nat, THERE is the ultimate source of what is going on, both in the Middle East and Europe.

The U.S. support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan is only a minor factor compared to these developments.

art eckstein - 7/26/2010

Dear Peter,

I agree with the last paragraph. That's my view too.

Nat Bates - 7/26/2010

Islamic Fascism, like Christian Fascism and other forms of religious fascism, is more about religion than spirituality. One seeks Truth without instead of within. That is its problem, and why elites are able to manipulate religion to foment war and violence. When the Afghan campaign against the Soviets ensued, young men were manipulated with the idea of 72 virgins to go and fight a terrorist war. Then, they not only drive out the Soviets, which could be justified, but also suppressed secularists, socialists, feminists and democrats. Then, we are told that they turned against America. Yet, who was it that promoted the most extreme form of Anti-Communism that then morphed in to Anti-Americanism?

Peter Kovachev - 7/26/2010

Mr Eckstein, I understand your reluctance, but we need not commit to notions of evil either as something irremedial or supernatural. Evil works quite well as a model when viewed as a conceptual construct describing behaviours that are so harmful, repulsive and far from common human norms and ideals as to be incomprehensible. I view it as a form of insanity which probably results from a cascading effect of personal, social and systemic failures. Is it irremedial or irredeemable? Not necesserily, but cases of true reform are few and far between. In any case, societies do need the construct of evil, if only to present non-negotiable conditions which no amount of intellectual sophistry or ethical "flexibility" would budge.

As in the case of Omar and Butler, they are of the garden variety, deluded mediocre dweeb types who have latched on to evil ideologies probably because of messy or ugly personal issues we'll never know about. Whatever the case may be, I think history provides plenty of examples for the argument that evil must be first decisively defeated and crushed before the dupes under its control can move on.

But back to my initial point, which I didn't properly describe. For example, the Omars and Butlers of the world may not be evil on a personal level, but they accept and promote the latest manifestation of very old evil paradigms, components of the long continuum of Jew-hatred, which stretch back in history. This is why it is the older people today, especially Holocaust survivors, who worry most about current events and think they see history being "repeated."

A. M. Eckstein - 7/26/2010

Well, Jimmy, it's certainly better than simplistic BS based on ignorance.

james joseph butler - 7/26/2010

Wheeeew...for a moment there I thought might've been Evil and ignorant. Now thanks to Art I know: I'm not irremedially Evil and if I follow his lead I can "learn, evolve,'and', create complicated political positions".

Yup, Art you nailed it again. You need really "complicated political positions" to justify Israel's current position.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/26/2010

Good points, Peter. Have you seen the videos of the mall and the Roots restaurant in Gaza? JJB, you should look up the spanking new Gaza shopping mall. Why, they even sell quality products from Israel. Good taste on their part.

Anyway, as Peter says, if only all the world's refugees were as well provided for as the Palestinian Arabs!

They are the "Palestinian" world-mascots!!!

That's a cute and fitting term, Peter. Mascots for all the world's hypocrites who couldn't care less for most of the millions of starving, for those without water, free education, free medical care, all of which are supplied to refugee camp denizens in Gaza.

I recall Swanberg's [?] biog of Henry R Luce. Swanberg wrote that Luce was not a humanitarian. But when it came to palestinian Arab refugees, his heart opened up and his tears ran.
How would you explain that, jjb?

Elliott Aron Green - 7/26/2010

jjb, I think that I pointed out to you long ago that many countries have been founded by settlers coming from other continents. Especially English-speaking countries/nations/states. Now if you don't like that happening or that it happened, and if you live in the USA, Canada, NZ, Australia, etc., then you ought to get out and go back to wherever your ancestors came from in order to keep to your principles. Or shut up.

On the other hand, the Jews were in the Land of Israel more than 2,000 years before the Arab conquest. Moreover, DNA studies, as N points out, show a genetic affinity between the modal DNA of Jews and of Arabs and of some other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean peoples.

One of the tragedies of the Arab-Muslim conquests was the horrors of the conquests themselves and of subsequent oppression by the Islamic states that arose after the original caliphate broke down. These horrors, and later exploitation, humiliation, degradation and oppression of non-Muslims in the caliphates led to conversions to one extent or the other in the various conquered countries. So, after several Coptic revolts had failed in Egypt, many converted and today most Egyptians are Muslims, whether of Arab, Coptic, Greek, Jewish or Nubian origin or of some mixture of these. In Israel too, there were Jewish converts or renegades, especially --it seems-- among those who survived the Crusader massacre of most Jews in the country.

One problem with these renegades in various lands conquered by Islam was that they oppressed their own former coreligionists and co-nationals. Consider India and the Muslim persecution of Hindus, Jains, & Buddhists there, a persecution still going on today. Then there is the persecution of Copts in Egypt, still going on today. One of the ugly features of this history is that the Islamized and Arabized in various countries forgot their own history and their families' previous identity, as they identified with their own ancestors' persecutors. While some of the native population fled the country upon the Arab-Muslim conquest [see al-Baladhdhuri; also spelled al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-Buldan, Eng. trans. by Philip K Hitti], most probably stayed to be joined by Arab colonists and people forced to migrate from various places to other places. [Omar, this may be the point to remind you that the Arab conquest of Jerusalem, for instance, took place only 1372 years ago, not 1500 as you seem to think.]

But some Muslims are imbued with such deep hatred of kufar that they cannot accept that history and cannot accept that their ancestors may not have been 100% Arabs.

A. M. Eckstein - 7/26/2010

But Omar and JJB are not arguments for the prevalence of Evil. Ignorance (often intentional) combined with inability to learn caused by ideological blindness, yes.

A. M. Eckstein - 7/26/2010

Peter, as an educator I don't believe in irremediable Evil. I believe people can learn, evolve, create complicated political positions susceptible to compromises.

Of course, the behavior of Omar and Mr. Butler on these threads is an argument against my optimism.

A. M. Eckstein - 7/26/2010

1. JJB, how artificial is "Palestinian nationhood"? The first riots by Palestinian Arabs against the British Mandate were in 1921, and their purpose was to protest the *separation* of the Mandate area from Syria. They thought of themselves as Syrians then, and "the Nakbah" meant their artificial political separation from Syria.

2. The name "Palestine" is itself artificial, having been used briefly by the Romans in the fourth century A.D. to describe a province carved out of what everyone always called Judaea. Under the Ottomans, no "Palestine" existed; administratively, there was merely the vilayet of Beirut (which included the northern half of what became the British Mandate), and the independent Sanjak of Jerusalem. No Palestine, anywhere. The term was resurrected by the British, to describe the Mandate area. So flexible was the term that until the late 1940s, "Palestinians" usually meant those Jews living in the Mandate, i.e., the proto-Israelis--not the Arabs.

3. That doesn't mean that "Palestinians" in the sense of Arabs from the Mandate area are not a legitimate political entity now; they are, and have a legitimate identity now, most via a shared series of mostly self-inflicted traumas.

4. But the Jews are a legitimate ethnic group going back 4,000 years (not 90), and Jews have always lived in the area that became the Mandate, continually especially in Jerusalem (but not restricted to that region). In 1900 Jerusalem was a majority Jewish city.

5. Your attempt to make Israel fit the "white colony" model was effectively scuppered by Fahrettin on a previous thread. JJB, you never answered Fahrettin's arguments on that thread. Instead, you just keep repeating your position as if it hadn't been destroyed by argument, as you are doing on this thread. No wonder you've joined the Omar Club.

N. Friedman - 7/25/2010

Mr. Butler,

The various Arab peoples are, like most peoples, sophisticated with long standing politics going back through history. Through most of history and well into the 20th Century, the notion of Palestinian Arabs would have been an empty set of words.

There were, of course, Arabs in Palestine and they did have political leanings. Like many other groups in history, politics from circumstance. The most important circumstance was the creation of Israel. That, of course, does not make Palestinian Arab politics illegitimate. And, it does not mean that the interests of Arabs are irrelevant.

On the other hand, there has never in history been a Palestinian Arab nation or other local rule, except when Jews ruled the land long ago. The Palestinian Arabs share history, culture, language and, until recently, economic currency with the Arabs of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

That means that Palestinian Arab identity is political, meaning that it arose from the circumstances faced by Palestinian Arabs. That is not a bad thing. And, while you may prefer to lambaste Mr. Green for pointing out such facts, that does not make them any less true.

I might add that, genetically, Jews and Palestinian Arabs are likely the very same ethnic group. Hence, we have a fight between, in effect, brother groups who have different ideologies, histories, cultures, etc. You, for reasons I do not understand, think that we should honor Palestinian Arab culture by destroying Israel and its culture. To me, that is the view of an extreme right winger.

N. Friedman - 7/25/2010

Mr. Butler,

The issue here, one that your response elides, is that the parties to the dispute do not get along well enough to live under one government. That is why partition was originally proposed and that is why it is still proposed.

I do not, in fact, trust the establishment of one state as leading to a happy ending. I see it as turning Israel into Lebanon. Unless you hate both Israelis and Arabs, you cannot favor that approach.

The Arabs have a great many states. There is no need to destroy Israel in order to solve the problem posed by the Palestinian Arabs. Partition, if it can be worked out, makes more sense. If not, the parties will continue to fight until, as Benny Morris notes, there will be either a mostly Jewish statement with a small Arab minority or there will be an Arab state with all Jews, as the Grand Mufti preferred, driven out or killed.

Peter Kovachev - 7/25/2010

Lest we forget, this is but one of many similar cases, Mr Eckstein. My "favourite" is Hamas' public and shameless taunting of Gilad Shalit's parents with funds from the United Nations and on radio transmissions made possible by Israeli electrical power. At this point it may be fair to ask whether Islamism and its sympathisers are not just influenced by Nazi ideology, which is merely the latest abomination to strike their sick imagination, but whether they dig into a much deeper wellspring comon to all psychopathic cultures.

We can build elaborate theories trying to connect pogromists, blood-libelers, Nazis, Stalinists and now the Left, and we can draw questionable diagrams and maps, while all we are really looking at is a line that leads to the common source or fuel traditionally referred to as, ehem ...there is no other way to say this, but... pure Evil.

Yes, our secular sensibilities rebel at such atavistic classifications, but most ethically and psychologically sound people seem to know exactly what Evil means. Without such a "critical mass" of decent people to limit or defeat, in every generation, the vicious moral train-wrecks and nasty imbeciles out there, not only would Jews have been wiped out long ago, but I doubt humanity would have made it past the Bronze Age.

What I would conclude from this is that rather than getting distracted by complicating something which may be quite simple, or hoping for reason or mercy from the irredeemable, it may be wiser to call Evil an evil, and to loudly and in plain words present our case to those able and willing to help. Things, according to a lot of worried and outright frightened people, have gone this far again.

james joseph butler - 7/25/2010

The quintessence of imperialism distilled by Elliott Green; "Omar believes a people that never existed in history before the 1960s has "inalienable" land rights." Thanks Eliott I really appreciate it when someone cuts to the quick on HNN. Golda, that great humanitarian whose charm and wit later found a place on Broadway, born in Kiev, grew up in Milwaukee, said the same thing, "A land without a people for a people without..."

Eliott, you and your Zionist friends have to believe this nonsense because if you didn't you'd have to believe in imperialism, it's one or the other. Of course it's really more about imperialism than naivete. The crossroads of the Middle East and nobody's home. It's as if I went out to the store you knocked on my door, discovered no one home, and moved in. Or I was home and you either threatened or slayed the residents within.

Eliott when Columbus landed in the New World it was inhabited by the natives. His narrative didn't include them so they were either used or discarded. Imperialism was and is about improving the neighborhood for people like us. Israel used and is using the same model. God/Yahweh has given us Eminent Domain. When the Spaniards entered an indigenous New World community they read a statement saying that this land was theirs and its residents must abide or pay the consequences. Israel asks the same of its non-Muslims today.

art eckstein - 7/25/2010

This was posted to me by a friend, and I have modified it here.

What follows is a frightening story in human terms but there is an extremely important point for understanding the Middle East embedded in it as well:

On June 14, 2010 Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a police car travelling on a road, en route from Beersheba to Jerusalem. One policeman, Shuki Sofer was killed. Two others were wounded. Sofer was due to be married in three months. It took a month but members of the cell were finally captured. They spoke quite freely about this attack and others they had planned for killing Israelis.

During the interrogation, one of the leaders remarked that only two weeks earlier his six-year-old daughter had been given a free operation in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem to remove a tumor from her eye. The operation had been paid for by an Israeli organization.

Can you imagine? No doubt readers such as Butler and Omar will go in for some elaborate theory in which somehow Israel is still to blame.
Yet the main missing explanation explaining such behavior is ideology and world view.

If you think that the Divine Being has ordered you to wipe out Israel and the Jews (or Christians and the West also), if you have no self-critical facility whatsoever (Omar is a perfect example of this), if you believe (and are told by the West) that you are always a victim, if you put a priority on revenge rather than improving your situation, and if you view your opponent as sub-human ("descendants of apes and pigs" as one Muslim text has it) or, alternatively, if you view him as supernaturally powerful like Omar's "magic Jews" who control everything (in short, racism), then your intellect and your conscience will be untroubled by having your little daughter healed as a gift and then trying to kill the next Israeli you see--as many of them as you can.

This ideology, which is a specifically Nazi-influenced Islamism (for instance, Jews as powerful, a planet-embracing conspiracy), is what Professor Herf is talking about.

Peter Kovachev - 7/25/2010

Interesting. No imposition and thanks for the heads-up on this. Nothing like technology-driven, real-time escalation of irreconcilable hostilities!

Peter Kovachev - 7/25/2010

Imagine if all Arab countries ended their apartheid-like practice of treating generations of their "Palestinians refugees" like non-persons. Lack of citizenship rights, prohibitions from professions and occupations, no access to medical services or education, sporadic and vicious expulsions, punitive killings and so on. Come to think of it, South African apartheid laws would actually be a progressive step in the right direction for most "Palestinians" living among their "brothers."

Imagine if UNRWA was disbanded and its fake "refugees" were treated as the real, UNHCR-designated refugees. Say, like Islam's genocide victims in the Sudan and the millions of dispossessed and oppressed people in the world. Or if UNRWA's special definition of a "Palestinian refugee" (a perpetual race and religion-based status for all descendants of any Muslim who claims to have had an ancestor who may have stayed in "Palestine" for two years)was applied to all refugees world-wide. Or, if all refugees received even a quarter of the aid money, international attention, gifts and autonomy the "Palestinian" world-mascots are showered with...well, from everyone except their Muslim "brothers."

Imagine if UNRWA included the descendants of the 700,000 Jews who were robbed, dispossessed and made into actual refugees by the Arab world.

Imagine if the lofty principles of international justice and fairness on which Israel is pilloried (typically by the worst offenders), were applied to all nations. Like Turkey with its European minorities, Kurds and the Cyprus grab; Russia with its Russian behaviour in Chechnia, Georgia and its other former colonies; Iran, Iraq, Saudi, etc,. for their treatments of ethnic and religious minorities, women and "incorrect" Muslims; Sudan and its enablers for the small matter of genocide, etc., etc., etc.

I don't think today's genuine Jew-hating heirs of fascism and Nationalist Socialism, all now masquerading as liberationists and humanitarians (e.g., our Omar and his tool, Jimmy-the-Dhimmi Butler), would really like that sort of stuff.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/25/2010

since jjb and Omar both like to point the finger at Israel for all wrongs done, here is an article of mine that holds that not only were the first refugees in the country from the 1947-1949 war Jews, but the first refugees from the war who could not come home after it was over were also Jews. I refer to the Jewish residents of the Shimon haTsadiq Quarter in Jerusalem who were driven out in late December 1947. See the article at the link below that which, to be sure, the article mainly focuses on the Tomb of the Kings [Tombeau des Rois] nearby the Shimon haTsadiq quarter:


Elliott Aron Green - 7/25/2010

political expediency pure and simple

Omar, don't you think that Art E is right in saying that Husseini's Nazi collaboration went far beyond "political expediency"?? Was it mere expediency that led him to urge the Axis satellite govts to send Jewish children to Poland, "where they will be under active supervision"?? Bartley Crum reported this as early as the late 1940s and it has been confirmed by other researchers, such as Hirszowicz, Carpi, Schechtman, etc. Husseini was eager to get Jewish children killed!! His own letters to the Axis satellite govts convict him.

JJB, what do you have to say about this info??
Further, since you value land rights, why shouldn't Jews claim all of the Land of Israel regardless of any Arab claims subsequent to the Arab conquest of the 7th century?? When did ancient Jewish ownership run out, if at all??

As to ownership of real estate in the country, most of the country was state land before WW I. Hence, even if Jews privately or collectively owned a fraction of the land of less than half, the Arabs too owned less than half. Unless you award all of the state land to the Arabs, which violates the League of Nations mandate and the Jews' ancient ownership rights.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/25/2010

Omar believes that a people that never existed in history before the 1960s has "inalienable" land rights. How and when did the previously non-existent "palestinian people" acquire "inalienable land rights." Sounds to me that at best Omar is restating the waqf principle. According to the waqf principle, land conquered by Muslims becomes inalienable property of the Muslim nation [ummah]. It doesn't matter to strict Muslims if the land belonged to somebody else before the conquest.

Here is some discussion of the issue by yours truly:

art eckstein - 7/25/2010

1. No, Omar--the alliance between Husseini and the Nazis wasn't an alliance of convenience on Husseini's part. Repeating this lie doesn't make it true. It was a union of hearts, built around the extermination of the Jews. Husseini wasn't just living in Berlin, or broadcasting strategic ideas to the Middle East. For three years he was employed by the EXTERMINATIONIST WING of the Third Reich, by Heinrich Himmler--by the heart of darkness. He raised an SS Division of Muslims for Himmler. In his own memoirs, published in Damascus, he says that Himmler told him in 1943 that the Nazis had already murdered 3 million Jews. His broadcasts to the Middle East--and we have three thousand pages of them--are a constant sewer of anti-semitic rant. In 1944 he intervened to personally ensure the murder of 5,000 Jewish children.

This isn't an aliance of convenience; it's a union of hearts.

NOW, Omar--I would like you to respond to the SPECIFICS of Husseini's behavior that I have set forth here.

2. You tried to get rid of Husseini by saying that there were lots of communities where there were fascists. Yes, after the discovery of the Nazi death camps, everywhere on the planet the political reputation of anyone directly associated with Himmler and Hitler plunged to Zero. Everywhere on the planet EXCEPT in the Arab zone, where the vile Husseini, a wanted war-criminal in Europe, returned in glory to Egypt, was greeted as a hero by Hassan al-Banna the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and in 1947-1948 was, as even Edward Said admits, the consensus leader of the Palestinians. It was Husseini who led the Palestinians into war with the Jews in 1947.

Now, Omar--do you see who insane it was for the Palestinians to have THIS man of all men as their leader, and how destructive, including especially to the Palestinians themselves, his policies were? Please answer this question too.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/25/2010

" Omar's "question" from far up above on the thread, where he tried to get rid of Husseini"
Get rid of Husseini??
How did the learned Professor ever come to that conclusion??

What Hajj Amin Al Husseini did was to follow the primordial political rule that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend" in his search for a political ally among the powers among which was Germany which happened at the time to be under Nazi domination.

Political expediency pure and simple: not unlike the USSR overture to Germany at the time nor unlike the USSR/USA alliance in WWII.

BUT certainly unlike the Israeli/South Africa of Apartheid relation which derived from and was based on “ ethical” identicality and doctrinaire affinity: spiritual /”moral” /political resemblance: both being outright ardent believers in racism as a guiding principle by which to classify human beings and establish a race based human hierarchy of “Jew” and “Goyim” for one and “white” and “non white” for the other!

Elliott Aron Green - 7/25/2010

Omar, you now say that the Jews are alien to the Land. Jews have always said that Jews are not alien to the land but it is the ancestral homeland of the Jews, not only of those whose families always lived in the country but of those in Diaspora as well. Of course, I am taking the Jews as an ethnic group, not merely a religious group which is how the Arab-Muslims --as well as some Westerners-- today would like to classify Jews. The Quran sees the Jews as a people and prophesies their return to their land [Quran 17:104 etc.]

Omar misleads about the Jewish population in the country at the end of WW One. Jews were about 75,000 to 80,000 in 1914 at the start of WW I. However, many Jews were deported from the country by the Ottoman state during the war. It is estimated that about 1/3 of the Jews were deported during the war. Others died of starvation as did Arabs. So there were fewer Jews in the country in 1918 than in 1914.

Omar and jjb, why don't you read the book by Kenneth Stein that Art Eckstein refers to. Why don't you have concrete, reliable source that you can refer to? JJB, maybe you ought to reconsider the reliability of the quotes that you throw out. Were they doctored or were they entirely made up?

By the way, I recommend Isaiah Friedman's new book in which he argues that it was precisely the British mandatory regime that deliberately fomented Arab hostility to the Jews/Zionists.

art eckstein - 7/24/2010

1. land: I cited the standard work on the land problem in Palestine between 1917 and 1939, an academic work published by a prominent scholar who was the first head of the Carter Center. All Butler and Omar can do in response is jeer. No facts. That's their form of denial of uncomfortable facts (Omar is the master at that), but it's not likely to impress anyone.

2. Omar's "question" from far up above on the thread, where he tried to get rid of Husseini by saying that lots of communities had fascist figures in them. Omar I defy you to name me a single community in 1948--other than the Palestinians with Amin al-Husseini--where an unapologetic participant in the Nazi Holocaust was THE LEADER of that community. You cannot. That ought to say something to you. Also to Mr. Butler, as to the events of 1947-1948.

james joseph butler - 7/24/2010

Eliott, "Obviously, Jews could not go around destroying Arab villages under Ottoman and British rule." Darn, Elliot right again. After all Jews, like the rest of us, recognize power and it's absence. So after the Ottoman empire was sliced and diced, sanks Sykes Picot, and Queen Elizabeth II went tourist class, the Zionist veterans of WWII and the insurgency, Gen. Dayan amongst others,Stern, Irgun, Hagannah, knew that the time was right in 1948 to reach for the brass beauty of all of it. They've never stopped reaching.

Gen. Dayan told the truth at that funeral because he knew, like George Marshall, that there would be more funerals for generations to come. And it's best to know why your enemy is your enemy, something America needs to learn.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/24/2010

"making land rights more important than people's rights. "

With Israel it could be with a stretch of imagination and a very loose attitude towards and interpretation of "people'srights", it could be, a question of "people's rights" if aggressive mode of entry is, for argument's sake, discarded or side lined and ignored!

With the Palestinians it is, patently, BOTH: inalienable land rights and people’s rights in Palestine!

The only "rights" that Israel can reasonably claim is "conquest rights" that ensue to the party that won a certain battle.

However for that right to be recognized the other party should admit defeat and accept submission to the will of the conqueror!

That patently is far from being the case!

james joseph butler - 7/24/2010

Ok N.F. you're 100% right I've got my priorities backwards human rights need to be job one. Which of course means that you'd have no problem with the one state solution wherein one big happy semitic family Jews and Palestinians alike would share the land, all of it, with EQUAL rights for all. It's all about human rights, right?

After all since Israel is already the Middle East's complete democracy with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of religion, what's not to like about broadening our horizons into both territorial and human spheres. Let's let the world's leading experts on justice, four Supreme Court justices, decide if Muslims in Israel are given a square deal.

I know, we can't trust them because they're not like you, or let's face it me for that matter. But NF that's the trap. How can you possibly profess to say you care most about human rights when as we all know Israel is founded on white colonial rights. Sure Lord Balfour knew Jews weren't part of the club but where would they have been without the Rothschilds or Weizmann or Disraeli? Anyone who knows anything knows Israel represents payback. The Holocaust is the part that Americans know. Churchill had no problem testing poison gas on Arabs because they were aliens not his bankers.

The same old facts need to be repeated, 1947; Jews were 1/3 of the population-off the boat for the most part-they owned 7% of the land. The U.N. gave the Jews 56% of the land. Is this that a square deal?

I know ancient history, y'all care so much about the millenium before that millenium or that millenium, but the 1940's get over it, MoveOnIsrael.imperialism

N. Friedman - 7/24/2010

Mr. Butler,

I reiterate that your position is the position of the extreme right, which makes land rights trump the rights of people. You want to extend that right to say that civilization rights that allegedly attach to specific pieces of land trump the rights of those who now live on the land.

My view differs. The Arab Israeli dispute is one where two groups, both of which have claims to the land, could not get along. The then ruler of the land proposed partitioning the land, something that one side, Jews, accepted while the other side, by its leadership, refused. The refusal was based, explicitly and publicly on the ground that Jews (a) are not endowed, by their inherent nature, with legitimate political rights and (b) that Jews do even have the right to live on such land. Those were the views of the Grand Mufti, as he expressed them repeatedly and such were the views of his allies, as expressed repeated. That viewpoint led to a war, with the Arab side's publicly stated position being to rid the disputed land of Jews. Arabs lost that war - a war that they did not need to start and which Arabs would not have started had their leadership believed that Jews were entitled to the same rights as Arabs.

Arabs lost that war and many Arabs - and many Jews - lost their homes. All told, more Jews than Arabs have been displaced by the Arab war against Israel. You, for reasons I do not understand, care only about the claims made by Arabs, so that their role in the dispute is, on your apparent telling, irrelevant.

You may wax elegant that Arabs lost their homes in Israel and that Israelis built atop the homes lost by Arabs but the fact is that (a) the dispute did not need to be started by the Arab side and (b) both sides saw large numbers of people lose their homes.

So, we can say: let's reward the refusal of the Arab side for starting the unnecessary 1948 war. That appears to be your position. Or, we can say, let's move on towards partitioning the land, which was the plan which the Arab side refused but which seems to be necessary to resolve the dispute. Or, we can say, that there appears to be no settlement to this dispute, which is arguably the reality - as Omar's posts suggest he believes - and let one side or the other win.

I reiterate that you have adopted the most reactionary position imaginable, making land rights more important than people's rights.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/24/2010

A QUESTION ! (#143760)
by omar ibrahim baker on July 22, 2010 at 5:33 AM
How many countries, nations, communities, major human conglomerations, political, religious , academic ,social or economic establishments in the WEST (ie Western Europe and the USA) can claim never having had, as a body or as with some of the major figures among it, never having had a relation with Nazism, Fascism or Falangism when Germany, Italy and Japan were major world powers while Spain and Portugal were not non entities ??

However the real question is:

how many of those that had such a relation had it out of intellectual/doctrinair:political/
moral/ethical conviction and spiritual compassion
how many had it out of political expediency ??

omar ibrahim baker - 7/24/2010

So many words to say nothing!
However one point deserves further consideration:

" 4) The Arabs did not know of a country called "palestine." The name Filastin was used before the Crusades for only the southern part of the country, what the Romans/Byzantines had called Palaestina Prima. The name was not used by Arabs/Muslims after the Crusades. The country was not traditionally seen as a separate land by Arabs/Muslims. Rather, it was seen as an indistinct part of bilad ash-Sham, Syria [or Greater Syria]. "
(by Elliott Aron Green on July 23, 2010 at 5:37 AM )

What is in the name that makes this remark of any value or significance ?
How does the fact that it is located in southern greater Syria, a geographic definition, affect or deny or negate the fact that this particular land is and has been the homeland of the Palestinians that have dwelled in it UNINTERPUTEDLY for a minimum of 1500 years if reckoned from the Moslem conquest or 2200 (?) years if reckoned from the Jewish dispersion?
(I personally opt for the 2200 years since we believe that all those major communities that have lived
since then are Palestinians irrespective of ethnic/racial provenance or confessional affiliation!)
The character, identity, of the land was derived from the national/cultural identity of the majority of the people living in it ; hence Arab Palestine having been dwelled by Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula or by the indigenous population that was ARABIZED; ie those whose national identity was acquired through cultural adoption and assimilation !

Back to the inane, artificial and trifle issue of the name!
New York was known for quite some time as New Amsterdam.
How does that affect the substance, demographic composition, national affilation andover all character of New York or of New Yorkers??
Then the ridiculous attempt to make an issue out of Palestine versus Filistin!
Al Qahira is known in the west as Cairo !How does that make any difference to the substance of Al Qahira/Cairo or its national/cultural identity??
And the more inane issue of Palestine being “part of bilad ash-Sham, Syria [or Greater Syria]. ".
An argument obviously meant, by Elliott & Co, to deny the national/cultural identity of an Arab Palestine !
Does the fact that, say, Texas is part of North America and of the USA obviate or negate the fact that there is a Texas or that it part of North America and the USA??

Elliott when you take refuge in such inane arguments you do warm my heart since that is the irrefutable proof of your and your cause’s bankruptcy!!

james joseph butler - 7/23/2010

"The entire world is built, with one group building on top of the last group's buildings." N. Friedman you're conflating land and civilization, they're discrete entities. However I agree that the Middle East and Europe at this point are an emulsion of peoples. However that doesn't mean you can take my building, bulldoze it, and build your own on top of it. That is the literal truth of Israel as Dayan states it.

"They sought disused land." - Art E. That's rich Art. Was 56%, 82%, 85%, or 100% of that Palestinian land disused? It's easy to determine which land is 'disused' when you don't bother to ask the 'disuser'.

Zionists and the state of Israel seek to negate the rights, via classification, - Are you ready to respond when the Orthodox rabbi asks you to defend your Jewishness?- of the other. The irony of this is boundless. Jews from America or Russian instantly, ipso facto, in Israel have more rights than Palestinians whose ancestors have lived there for centuries. How can you justify that? There's only one way to justify that and that's by using the supernatural.

N. that fact that you think archeology is not an intrinsic part of history is either simple ignorance or further evidence of the degree of disingenuousness necessary to defend Eretz Israel claims on Palestine.

N. "Are you a far right winger?" I certainly am if that means peoples's property rights should be inviolable. I don't believe in eminent domain and I think Israel like America ought to be extraordinarily considerate of their indigenous populations. Both nations are original sinners.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/23/2010

Verbosity is no substitute for undeniable historical facts.
A few straight forward facts will tell the "story" better than any attempt at flooding it with words as the Prof attempts.

1-UP to the end of WWI the Jewish community in Palestine formed less than 10% of the total population
2- Jewish emigration into Palestine was allowed by the British mandatory power against the express will and constant opposition of the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian people
3-Throughout the rule of the British mandate the indigenous Palestinian people was denied all forms of public self expression about its future including legislative elections, Self Determination, a plebiscite ,referendum etc
4- The imperialist British mandatory power allowed and encouraged the Jewish community which by the 1940s came to constitute some 38% of total population to:
a-establish a virtual alternate self governing system: the Jewish Agency
b- recruit, train an arm a virtual standing army: the Haganah
While At the same time Palestinian Arabs were executed by hanging for the mere possession of a rifle. or similar firearm
5-When the Jewish community declared its independence in 1948 75% of the its Jewish population was foreign born.

What we have here is a typical colonization enterprise in that:

c- Aliens forced their way into a country against the will and opposition of its indigenous population

d- Aliens were allowed to arm themselves while the indigenous population was disarmed

e-the indigenous population was denied all forms of self rule and of public expression including denying it its natural right to SELF DETERMINATION

Distinguishing Features
In the run up to establish the colony of Israel in Palestine and in the first years of its “independence” the newly established colony implemented a series of policies that distinguish it from classical colonialism, namely:

f-the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population in areas that fell under its control through:
i-mass massacres of civilians (Deir Yassin, Tantura etc)
ii-forced , compulsory civilian population evacuation of towns (Lod, Ramalla etc)
iii-erasement and demolition of villages and hamlets
iv-strict denial of civilians wishing to return to their homes and fields evacuated during war time

g-the enactment of outright RACIST laws ; particularly the Israeli Law of Return which restricts that “right” to Jews while denying the 700000 indigenous Palestinians displaced during wartime activities that right.

However what makes of Israel not only a typical classical colony in the worst sense of the word but also a colony with an extra anti human, aggressive and oppressive dimension is that:
i-it was established in the 1950s, the era of universal DECOLONIZATION:
ii-that its declared policy was, still is, to establish a RACIST state intended it to be the homeland of only those that meet the RACIST qualification of being Jewish.

arthur m. eckstein - 7/23/2010

EG is of course correct.
1. Jerusalem, for instance, had a majority Jewish population in 1913.
2. Jews are not alien to this land.
Half the Jewish population of current Israel originated from the Middle East itself--driven out by Omar's friends from Muslim countrie (where some Muslims are now enjoying all that Jewish property even as I write [that's for Mr. Butler, who is concerned about the alleged quote from Dayan]--why don't the Palestinians seek compensation *there*?).
3. The Arabs in the area that became the British Mandate of Palestine saw themselves as Syrians in 1920; the first riots in 1921 had to do with the separation of "Palestine" from Syria. Under the Ottomans there was no "Palestine". The northern half of what becaem the Mandate was part of the Sanjak of Beirut; the southern half was an independent administrative area called "Jerusalem". There are Palestinians now, an artificial creation created by the various traumas of the 20th century, just as there are Israelis now, created by the various traumas of the 20th century.
4. Who has a better claim to being "natural"? This is Omar's basic claim, that the Arab hold on the areas is "natural", a claim based ultimately (as he has admitted) on the miiltary conquests of the 7th century and then (as he has gleefully asserted in classic imperialist mode) on the "natural" disappearance of the old, "degenerate" societies in the face of Islam.
5. The basic fact is that Omar, like Butler, seeks to ram the story of the proto-Israelis and the proto-Palestinians into a "colonialist" paradigm, but the story is actually much more complicated than that (Jews weren't ever foreign, and soon half the Israeli Jewish population was itself from nearby, from the Middle East; an exchange of populations is what had occurred, as occurred precisely in these years between India and Pakistan).
6. And, of course, Omar makes sure to leave out the genocidal Nazi Amin al-Husseini, the central figure in Palestinian Arab politics in 1947-1948, the leader who started the war and whose nephew led it, whose decision to start a war to eliminate the Jews led to the Palestinian defeat (after months of victory) and the Nakbah. It is so very striking and important that everywhere on the planet the supporters and allies of the Hitler regime found their reputations crashed to zero after the discovery of the Holocaust, the death-camps. Everywhere on the planet, that is, but in the Arab zone, where Amin al-Husseini (who *chose* to work specifically for the exterminationist wing of the Third Reich) came home from his work for the SS in glory, and to great political power. In that political and intellectual corruption is where the problem in good part starts. Look into the mirror for the problem, Omar.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/23/2010

1) the alleged quote from Moshe Dayan cannot be taken as authentic. A source other than Arab and pro-Arab propaganda is needed. Dayan may have said something somewhat close to this quote, but not at all identical. There were many Jewish towns and villages in the country before Israeli independence. The Ottoman govt and later the British protected Arab interests and rights against Jewish/Zionist claims. Obviously, Jews could not go around destroying Arab villages under Ottoman and British rule.

Yes, in some cases after 1948 Israeli villages were built over former Arab villages. However, many Arab villages had been built over former Jewish villages that still existed in the period of Byzantine rule up to the Arab conquest and the Crusades [which slaughtered most Jews in the country].

Consider that many Arabic place names in the country derive from Jewish/Hebrew place names. Look at Ariha [= Yeriho = Jericho], Yafa [= Yafo], Saffuriya [Tsipori = Sepphoris in Greek], Beyt `Ur al-Tahta [= Beyt Horon haTahton], `Anata [= `Anatot, where Jeremiah came from], Manda [= Mandi], Halhul [same in Book of Joshua], etc.

Then there are Arabic place names based on Christian traditions and on Greek and Latin and even French names. Consider al-`Azariya [= El`azar in Hebrew, based on the Lazarus story], Lajjun [= Legion, originally a Jewish village near a Roman Legion camp], Tarkumiya [Tres Komias = three villages in Greek], Sinjil [= Saint Gilles, named after the Crusader Saint-Gilles]. There are also Arabic place names mentioning Jews: Yahud [= Jews; near Tel Aviv], Qasr al-Yahud [= castle of the Jews; on the Jordan]. I should publish this in an article with more names.

2) Jews have lived in the Land of Israel continuously since ancient times, although the Crusaders murdered more than half of their numbers in the Land. Jerusalem to be sure was usually made off limits to Jews by Christian rulers, Byzantines and Crusaders, although not the British who did try to undermine the Jewish majority in the city.

3) Jews have been immigrating and emigrating into and from the Land for more than 2000 years. The Arab/Muslim conquest led to a severe impoverishment of the Land and resulting emigration, also considering the severe Muslim taxation on non-Muslims. The Jewish immigrants to the Land since 1800 were not brought in or sent by any colonialist power. Yet Jews had become a majority in Jerusalem by 1853 at least, if not earlier. Yes, Jews settled on the land. But merely settling on the land is not colonialism. Would Omar call the settlement of Arabs on newly irrigated land in Egypt after building of the Aswan Dam colonialism? There was no colonial power sending Jewish settlers. What colonialism on the part of the Zionists? The Jews were returning to their ancient land. The Jews are not merely a religious group and not merely an ethnic group.

4) The Arabs did not know of a country called "palestine." The name Filastin was used before the Crusades for only the southern part of the country, what the Romans/Byzantines had called Palaestina Prima. The name was not used by Arabs/Muslims after the Crusades. The country was not traditionally seen as a separate land by Arabs/Muslims. Rather, it was seen as an indistinct part of bilad ash-Sham, Syria [or Greater Syria].

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

back to 1+1=2!
The problem arose from the fact that Palestine was the object of a colonialist conquest by ALIENS intent on usurping their homeland to establish one of their own AND that , naturally enough, that conquest was resisted as all colonialist projects are/were by the indigenous poulation of the land.
To resist an aggressor intent on colonizing one's homeland is but the natural reaction of any human community.
Resistance in such case is called and universally known to be "a national liberation struggle".
If the aggressor happens to be the Zionist movement then it is an "anti Zionist" struggle";
which is of course 1+1=2 !

arthur m. eckstein - 7/22/2010

Whatever Dayan meant by this statement, he simply cannot be taken literally. As Kenneth Stein has shown in his standard study, The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939 (University of North Carolina Press, 1987), the Zionists took care in land purchases to avoid displacing Palestinian share-croppers and small holders (let alone villages) as much as they could (he also establishes that there were always more Palestinian sellers than proto-Israel buyers). They sought disused land. Thus most of the Zionist-bought land in 1947 did not displace anyone, let alone whole villages. Dayan, as Mr. Friedman suggests, must therefore be referring to the consequences of the war which the Palestinians, under the leadership of the vile Husseini, began in Nov. 1947.

As Friedman has suggested, the Palestinians mostly created their own problems(they could have had their own state in 1947, in the majority of the Mandate, if they'd gone along with the UN Plan). As Fahrettin has suggested, the Palestinians are mostly creating their own problems now.

N. Friedman - 7/22/2010


Strike: "So far as I can discern, the Palestinian Arabs primarily created their own problems, most especially by following the ideologically charged Mufti of Jerusalem rather than other groups taking a position far to the right of and far more militant than, say, the Tea Party movement's opposition to immigration in the US."


So far as I can discern, the Palestinian Arabs primarily created their own problems, most especially by following the ideologically charged Mufti of Jerusalem (rather than the position taken by other groups) by taking a position far to the reactionary right of and far more militant than, say, the Tea Party movement's opposition to immigration in the US.

N. Friedman - 7/22/2010

Mr. Butler,

I do not understand your point. The entire world is built, with one group building on top of the last group's buildings. That is true throughout North and South America. It is true throughout the Middle East - not just in Israel. It is true in Europe. It is true in Asia. It is true in Africa as well. Which is to say, your entire point amounts to an archeological observation, not an historical observation. And, your moral interpretation thereof amounts to kindergarten style thinking.

The issue to determine is not that such occurred but why and how such occurred. So far as I can discern, the Palestinian Arabs primarily created their own problems, most especially by following the ideologically charged Mufti of Jerusalem rather than other groups taking a position far to the right of and far more militant than, say, the Tea Party movement's opposition to immigration in the US. Are you are far right winger? It sure sounds like it.

james joseph butler - 7/22/2010

N. Friedman, "recent scholarship shows". You guys kill me and by the way please see my "America Warriors" post. Who needs to be a scholar to see the truth? A mildly curious 12 year old could figure it out, that's about how old I was when I started to figure out the Vietnam War.

Why did Gen. Dayan say every Israeli village was built on an Arab village? You're such a bunch of wannabe intellectuals. Sorry kids the intellectuals are on the side of the Palestinians. I guess that's just those liberal intellectuals. It seems as if Israel needs Jesus freaks, grizzly mamas, and Old Testament true believers to defend itself. Don't forget the US Congress, bought and sold.

Look it up, Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews were last together not in Israel, Palestine, Judea or whatever, but in ITALY. That's right if DNA and science mean anything the last place they shared was Italy. New York Times a month or two ago, I'm sorry if that's not sufficiently well sourced for ya'll. Go ahead explain Dayan's quote, and then how it is that Italy unites Sephardic and Ashkenazi. You're all so unrelievingly stuck up and in denial that I that actually begin to believe that you think you're the chosen ones. The Exodus never happened.

N. Friedman - 7/22/2010


You write:

TO US it is "a patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle "
and that is what really matters…. NOT what you deem it to be or what you call it!

The Nazis claimed that what they were doing was self-defense - defending their race. Many Nazis believed that. The same, by the way, for the Hutu believed that the Tutsi were going to enslave the Hutu so they killed Tutsi in what was asserted to be self defense.

Everyone always claims to be acting patriotically and in self-defense and that what is being done has to be done, etc., etc.. So, frankly, that you call the Islamist movement a good, patriotic thing is merely a fact to examine. It is not, however, the end of the story. And, as the evidence being uncovered by recent scholarship shows, it is probably the least interesting part of the story.

arthur m. eckstein - 7/22/2010

Omar keeps accusing people of a falsification campaign, and yet he has not come up with one single fact that is falsified. Keeping shouting that something is false, doesn't make it false, Omar. Expressing anger is not a guarantee that you are correct.

The reality is that you cannot look the fascist ideological origins of Islamism in the face, nor confront the likelihood that all the sufferings of the Palestinians since 1947-1948 has its roots in Husseini's heavily Nazi-influenced beliefs.

Your own constant accusations about "magic Jews" with their world-wide power and (e.g.) control over U.S. foreign policy shows how thoroughly you have been intellectually colonized by the most corrupt of all European ideologies. For this too you can blame Husseini and his friend al-Banna.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

The point, bluntly, is:
we do NOT care what you call what we believe "to be a patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle …”
What you call it is of secondary or tertiary importance …what we know it to be is the primary importance
You can depict it in whichever way you like and give it whichever appellation you choose!
TO US it is "a patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle "
and that is what really matters…. NOT what you deem it to be or what you call it!
An other point is: when you call whatever we believe in and cherish an XDFCV then you actually give XDFCV a positive meaning and deprive it from its intrinsic, literal, meaning ; a fate that befell “terrorism”, and derivatives there from, which is no/are longer generally held to be the derogative term(s) it was meant to be.
It is often used here in “…..” mockingly and in deprecation and contempt of those who use it to denote freedom fighters.
However the truth of the matter is that all objective readers know that you are indulging yourselves in a falsification campaign and attempting to establish guilt by A FALSE/FEIGNED and FABRICATED association to draw attention away from Zionism’s heinous major crime and subsequent daily crimes in Palestine.

Fahrettin Tahir - 7/22/2010


I speak perfect Turkish and can read what these people write.

HNN - 7/22/2010

Gentlemen, if might impose on your conversation with a shameless plug for our Ning Network (http://historynewsnetwork.ning.com/). We created it specifically for active users such as yourselves to further converse! We even have a live chat feature so you can do this in real time (judging by how quickly the responses have been flying on this, it's something to consider!)

james joseph butler - 7/22/2010

I asked the question at the end of my last post why Israeli (Someone didn't like warriors, it's popular here in America and the Pentagon has stamped its approval. We don't have a state religion so we try and use overseas wars and soldiers to inspire patriotism because even the most uninformed are cynical about domestic politics.) warriors who've actually fought Nazis, and, or Palestinians or Arabs haven't or didn't put two and two together like Prof Herf. No one has responded.

Some of you have impugned myself, and poor Mr. Avnery is a pornographer it seems, perhaps the US military personnel who view pornography should all go home then Israel would have to fight its own wars. The point being,
if we can put aside snark for a moment, I recognize that there is a Nazi Palestinian connection but it's tiny and if it really amounted to much it wouldn't have taken 70 years to bring it to wider public attention. Which of course, this is HNN, not Fox or CNN, it still has not attained.

Someone mentioned the unfortunate Dept of Agriculture employee who was forced to resign well that was corrected because the context was revealed. The context of the quotes I've used has also been revealed, and thanks for pointing out that MK Holoveby still believes in Eretz Israel, because of course that's the real story not 70 year old meetings. The ruling party in Israel now and for the last 62 years has believed that Yahweh gave them that land. So let's face kids if you really believed that g-- or Allah told you to do it. What's a law? what's a UN right? what's a sucker American soldier or taxpayer? When you know he's on your side. Needless to say Bin laden says the same thing. America is so dumb it boggles the mind.

N. Friedman - 7/22/2010


The words "truncated into" are the wrong words since the quoted language that follows "truncated" was left out. What you meant to write is that the language "patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle by a majority of the peoples concerned" was deleted from the more complete quote, thus altering your intended meaning.

I again note, as I noted originally, that you are not expressing yourself clearly. I am still not sure what you are trying to say. Is your point that using the term Nazism (or terrorism") to describe aspects of a liberation struggle is an error? Or, is your point something else?

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

Your claim that :
"But Europeans have moderated their anti semitism whereas the Islamic world is intensifying it."
unveils a great deal of ignorance and childish gullibility when you equate" anti Zionism" with "anti Semitism"!

If you cannot tell the difference, as seems likely or feigned,…we CAN!

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

One should be able to expect, or at least presume, a minimum of personal honesty and respect for other readers, to forget about genuine objectivity, when being quoted in an ongoing "debate" here at HNN!
Even that seems, culturally, beyond them!
What was put down only a few days ago as:

"A byproduct of that conflation, being the false and contrived fabrication that it is,..is that “Nazism “may come to lose all its negative and derogative significance as ”terrorism” did since both depict what is deeply held to be a patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle by a majority of the peoples concerned/"

is, unabashedly truncated into :

"patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle by a majority of the peoples concerned/"

without even a couple of dots"....." preceding the quote to indicate truncation!
I trust that neither the difference in meaning and intent between what was written down and what was quoted nor the implications of this typical mode of address will escape the general reader!

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

certainly an inappropriate depiction of what transpired in what could have been a "dialogue" that turned out, not unexpectedly , into the usual monologues from those that seek to hide their major crime behind a purpose tailored reading of history , though disguised as scholarship, still fails to see that 1+1=2!Interestingly, but revealing, none dared, hitherto, answer the QUESTION!

N. Friedman - 7/22/2010

Mr. Butler,

You write: "I must say I find it curious how eager the Zionists on this site are to dismiss Nahum Goldman's quotation of Ben-Gurion."

No. What I asked you for was the context of the statement. And, what I said to you is that Ben Gurion said a great many things and he has, moreover, not infrequently been misquoted or, like Ms. Shirley Sherrod - today's news -, has had a statement ripped from its context.

So, when I read people who assert things said by Ben Gurion, I ask the context unless I know it and I ask whether the quote is genuine.

Presumably, you watch or read newspapers. The news with Mr. Sherrod ought be enough for you or anyone else to realize that people can seem to say one thing but when their quote is seen in its entirety, say something quite different. In that the Arab Israeli dispute involves parties who are still at war with each other, I can assume that there is a great deal published with is propaganda and lies.

Fahrettin Tahir - 7/22/2010


Dr. Goebbels was asked by his daughter what Nazism was and he replied it is the Fuehrer's will.

This is the religion of the dictator as God.

I think it is important not to exaggerate imagined similarities between a real religion and Nazism.

But the Nazis did systemize modern antisemitic ideology. Reading Islamist statements about Jews it is hard to ignore the source of these statements.

The word "Jew" is rarely used but replaced by Zionist in that case meaning the same thing.

Omar is right of course that the Nazi influence was all over Europe. But Europeans have moderated their anti semitism whereas the Islamic world is intensifying it.

It might help to remember the disaster Hitler and his ideology were for Europe.

That is the bottom line.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/22/2010

So Omar retreats back to the "mere political expediency" argument. Herf mentioned that excuse.

Omar, as I said above, it was none other than Haj Amin el-Husseini who claimed similarity between Islam and "National Socialism" in a speech or pep talk to the Bosnian Muslim Handschar [khanjar] division. "There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism..." [quoted in Joseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer (New York 1965)], pp 139-140.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/22/2010

patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle by a majority of the peoples concerned/

Omar's prose is rather turgid and twisted at times, but what I understand from the phrase above, that he challenged me to quote, is that Nazism was in some ways a "patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle," and that as such it aided the national liberation struggles of other peoples.

I trust that Omar will not mind if I point out that in a certain period the Comintern, the Communist International, agreed with most of his statement. This is detailed by the French historian Georges Goriely [quoted here]:
I think that that time was called Stalin's Third Period. Be that as it may, the leader of the French CP spoke in favor of German irredentist territorial demands featured by the Nazis shortly before Hitler took power at the end of January 1933. So Omar can consider himself in good company or bad depending on his own prejudices.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

How many countries, nations, communities, major human conglomerations, political, religious , academic ,social or economic establishments in the WEST (ie Western Europe and the USA) can claim never having had, as a body or as with some of the major figures among it, never having had a relation with Nazism, Fascism or Falangism when Germany, Italy and Japan were major world powers while Spain and Portugal were not non entities ??

However the real question is:

how many of those that had such a relation had it out of intellectual/doctrinair:political/
moral/ethical conviction and spiritual compassion
how many had it out of political expediency ??

omar ibrahim baker - 7/22/2010

"Omar has been outed as believing that if Nazism is equated with Islam, then Nazism won't look so bad to Muslims. He ought to think about what he is saying about Muslims."

Thus spake a Professor no less;

which precious reflection only serves to indicate the limits of comprehension of some, innate or acquired or feigned being a totally different question!
An ability or an in- or a dis- ability or even a malady hopefully not shared by many !

arthur m. eckstein - 7/21/2010

Butler has been outed as a poor scholar.
Omar has been outed as believing that if Nazism is equated with Islam, then Nazism won't look so bad to Muslims. He ought to think about what he is saying about Muslims.
In any case, Herf doesn't equate Nazism with Islam, he goes out of his way not to do this. He sees Islamic regimes of the Middle Ages as having had a long and complex history with the Jews, often tolerant (as long as the Jews accepted being second-class citizens).
He does see Nazism's influence not on Islam but on Islamism (that is, political Islam in its modern fascist mode starting with Hassan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s; al-Banna was already an admirer of Hitler's in 1928). The violence and totalitarianism of Islamism in the Muslim Brotherhood formation then got a big ideological jolt forward from Amin al-Husseini's sojourn in Berlin. Husseini is, like al-Banna, a major ideologue of Islamism, and al-Banna in turn idolized Husseini. But Husseini's alliance with Hitler wasn't an alliance of convenience; it was a union of hearts. That is why Husseini not only lived in Berlin during the war, and made broadcasts from there, but was an employee specifically of Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, for three years. That is, Hussein *chose* not merely to reside in Berlin but to associate himself specifically with the *exterminationist wing* of the Nazi regime.
All over the world, the revelation of the Holocaust drove the reputation of anyone associated with the Nazis down to zero--all over the world except in the Arab zone, where it did no harm at all.
Thus Husseini, this unrepetent indicted war criminal was, as Edward Said admits, the consensus leader of the Palestinians in 1947-1948; his nephew was the leader of the Palestinian armed forces, the Jihad Army.
If you want to seek the source of the war of 1947-1948 (which began with Palestinian attacks on the proto-Israelis), and of the Nakbah that followed, here with the unreconstructed Nazi Husseini, is where to look.

Not surprised that Mr. Butler has been caught out touting a quote of dubious authenticity.

Peter Kovachev - 7/21/2010

Omar is now on the record for stating that millions of his fellow travellers may be pathetic cretins who like to stick elementary logic in their ears and other orifices. I suspected that much, but it's always good to hear a confirmation.

omar ibrahim baker - 7/21/2010

"A byproduct of that conflation, being the false and contrived fabrication that it is,..is that “Nazism “may come to lose all its negative and derogative significance as ”terrorism”
did since both depict what is deeply held to be a patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle by a majority of the peoples concerned/
Elliott would it have been too painful, counterproductive, for you to quote the whole sentence?

If they choose to call your, say, favourite friend as an XCRNRE then XCRNRE would not be nor look so bad if you really know him and believe in him .
Whatever they choose to call him will not change neither his substance nor his mettle!

Peter Kovachev - 7/21/2010

You have a good nose for BS, Elliott, spotting Butler's funny Jabotinski quote. Assuming it's not made up either by Stormfront or Butler, or "modernized" to refer to Arabs currently posing as "Palestinians," is it possible that Jabotinski was referring to the Yishuv Jews, who in his day were called and called themselves "Palestinians"?

In any case, this is a prime example of why I don't pay much attention to Jimmy-the-Dhimmi Butler's claims. He spends hours collecting quotes, but hides their source, hoping we'll bite and engage in useless refutations of irrelevant, fudged, out-of-context or outright invented points. Then again, I may be giving him too much credit for strategic thinking.

Peter Kovachev - 7/21/2010

I know I asked this before, Jimmy, but once again, do you have a point? Other than to showcase your ability to copy and paste quotes of questionable auhenticity from sites of questionable pedigree.

As to your question, probably typed with a "ha, gotcha!" scream and a liberal spray of sputum, I must reply with my stock "so what?" question. I have no idea what you mean by "Israeli warriors," and I can't count on your expertise and accept your claim that these people, whoever they are, "forgot to mention" or not anything. Whether they did or didn't is beside the point, since ample documentary evidence and current (mis)behaviour of the Arabs, of nationalist or Islamists bend, can be traced directly to Nazi ideology and propaganda. Have a shot of scotch, you could use one.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/21/2010

Nazism “may come to lose all its negative and derogative significance as ”terrorism”"

That means Nazism and Terrorism are not as bad as they sound.

Omar, I think that Fahrettin is on to your real meaning. Nazism and terrorism are really not so bad, as long as it is the Jews who suffer and not Arabs. So let it registered here and now that Omar is really not very much opposed to Nazism, if at all. And why should he oppose it since the chief palestinian Arab leader of the 1920s through 1940s was a Nazi collaborator, including in the Holocaust.

One last remark without going into the tedium of refuting your every statement. The British govt and army had quite a few Judeophobes in their ranks, in their service, starting with the British occupation in 1917-1918. The anti-Zionist, Judeophobic policy was quite salient by 1929 when the British administration in the Land encouraged murderous Arab pogroms against Jews. By the way, Isaiah Friedman in a recent book essentially blames the British for the extent and bitterness of the Arab-Israeli conflict. [N, maybe you ought to get this book. You too, jjb]

Elliott Aron Green - 7/21/2010

jjb, one of your problems is that you don't know whom Jews and Israelis trust and whom they don't. Uri Avneri is notorious as a traitor and liar. As a journalist, he lied constantly, although I grant that he wrote very slick prose. For many years he edited the weekly, HaOlam HaZeh. This was a scandal sheet and porno rag under his editorship. He was one of the first if the not first porno publishers in the country. But if you want to believe that he is reliable, I can't stop you.

As to your Jabotinsky quote. In his lifetime, the Arabs in the country were called Arabs and called themselves Arabs. Jabotinsky did not use the term "palestinian" to refer to any people.

Nahum Goldmann is another loser for you. He is widely loathed in Israel for various reasons and may have been a German agent before WW2, although I cannot prove it.

The quote from Mrs Tsipi Hotobly [Hotobly is her maiden name but she was recently married] seems distorted. I do not believe that she would call any part of the Land of Israel "occupied" or call the Israelis "occupiers." As jjb says, she is a loyal Likud member and as such recognizes the whole land as the Jewish homeland. International law holds that Judea-Samaria is in its entirety a part of the Jewish National Home recognized by the San Remo Conference [1920] and the League of Nations [1922].

So jjb, maybe you should learn Hebrew yourself and stop relying on your usual unreliable sources.

james joseph butler - 7/21/2010

I must say I find it curious how eager the Zionists on this site are to dismiss Nahum Goldman's quotation of Ben-Gurion. Perhaps being the founding father of the World Jewish Congress and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Agency were signs of understanding and worldliness which Zionists like yourselves and Ben-Gurion recognized as weaknesses overdue for expulsion like certain others. Oh well here's a few more quotations from Jews less worthy than yourselves.

Former Knesset member Uri Avnery,commenting on the Knesset circa 2010, "Kahanism - the Israeli version of fascism - has moved from the margin to the center stage." A loyal Likud member, Tzipi Holoveby, 2010,sure he's blaming Labor but, "There is a moral failure here by the Labour party. The result is a solution that perpetuates the conflict and turns us from occupiers into perpetrators of massacres, to put it bluntly. It's the left that made us a crueler nation and also put our security at risk." Those liberals they couldn't run a lemonade stand let alone.

Then some good old fashioned Jabotinsky, Mr. "Iron Wall" of force, "Palestine will remain for the Palestinians not a borderlands, but their birthplace, the center and basis of their own national existence." Weizmann, he's a Brit Jabotinsky's a Russian, but what does that matter?, on those pesky Palestinians, "the rocks(Palestinians) of Judea as obstacles that had to be cleared on a difficult path." Maybe he was frustrated farmer not a black walnut genius.

To belabor the point and share the bounty of self incriminating truths, Herzl, "We shall try and spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly." I know that's about the poor not the Palestinians. Everybody's favorite, Gen. Dayan, Gen. McCrystal you just needed to wait for the return of the 20th century, Moshe, "We are a group of settlers and without the steel helmet and gun barrel we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house." Who doesn't love trees or looking at them from comfortable houses? More memorable Moshe, we all know this one, "Jewish villages were built in place of Arab villages... There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." I could continue because it's easy. Perhaps one the learned gentlemen who defend Israel with such ardor on their keyboards can explain to me why Ehud Barak would say, "If I were a Palestinian at the right age I would have joined one of the terrorist organizations,"

Prof. Herf and company why is it Israeli warriors who actually fought wars from 1939 to 2009 forget to mention the Nazi Palestinian connection? Because we all know this is a sideshow, a meretricious asterik.

Fahrettin Tahir - 7/21/2010

Mr Friedman

he says:
"s that “Nazism “may come to lose all its negative and derogative significance as ”terrorism”"

That means Nazism and Terrorism are not as bad as they sound.

But that does need a better explaination.

Maybe he is simply too far away from both to understand how they made/make people suffer

N. Friedman - 7/21/2010


How about distilling your point into English so that someone other than you might understand whatever it is you are really saying, if anything.

No one, least of all Professor Herf, is turning Islam into Nazism. What Professor Herf is saying is that the Arab regions including, most particularly, those in such regions who have been drawn to the Islamist (and into the pan-Arab movements) were heavily influenced by Nazism. In the case of the Mufti, Amin Husseini, he was a vocal advocate for Nazism, out of conviction - not convenience -, if we go by his writings and speeches. And, his broadcasts to the Arab regions and, presumably, the views he brought back with him to the Arab regions after WWII (as well as those of other Nazis who fled to the Arab regions and became prominent) greatly influenced the course of Islamism and pan-Arabism. We know this because the language deployed by groups such as the Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood include materials very similar to and, in some instances, literally used by the Nazis.

That, of course, has consequences and helps explain some of the writings of Islamists and the eliminationist form of Antisemitism that groups such as the Hamas (and the Muslim Brotherhood) espouse, positions about which such groups should be deeply ashamed.

Having been contaminated by the Nazi ideological fever and combined it with those Islamic teachings most hostile to Jews and propagandized such views to average Arabs including, in particularly, average Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian Arabs are having even more difficulty coming to terms with reaching a settlement with Israel than would likely otherwise be the case.

So, I suppose that the reality does have consequences for all involved including those outside of the Arab regions who have had the misfortune of seeing (if not also being directly harmed by) people touched by such barbarism flying planes into buildings, trying to light their underpants on fire, trying to blow up Times Square, blowing up subway trains, etc.,

I suppose the choice is yours, Omar. Either such events are the product of both of the influences that have impacted the Arab regions and of local influences or such events are merely the product of local influences - which would suggest, were the latter possibility true, a barbaric "civilization."

N. Friedman - 7/21/2010

I'm with Fahrettin on this one.

Peter Kovachev - 7/21/2010

tl; dr

omar ibrahim baker - 7/21/2010

As with the issue of "terrorism" the new campaign to conflate Arabism/Islamism/Islam with Nazism will end, if it succeeds which it may to a certain degree, with one victor and two losers: a major and a minor.
The victor will be the Zionist movement and the losers will be both Arabism/Islamism/Islam, the minor loser, and the West; the major loser.
As far as the former, the minor, is concerned it will be only a very minor loss in a field, Western General public opinion, in which Zionism is structurally positioned to win irrespective and as such is no great loss nor an unforeseen loss.
The West, both as nations and states, would however be the major ultimate loser having been duped, once again, to accept and yield to that force which, while pretending to voice its feelings and to protect its interests is serving one and only party: Zionism.
The West’s ultimate loss lies in that it has been, inadvertently with most but deliberately by some, cajoled, coerced, prodded and blackmailed into identifying itself with Zionism and its colonialist ambitions thus begetting and nurturing new enemies for no real reasons, purpose or long term interest of its own.
The West which has come to be Zionism’s alter ego in a conflict that will not only gravely hurt its interests but will also ultimately end with, a presumably dignified or probably undignified withdrawl as with Iraq and Afghanistan respectively, from a battle field in which it has no real reason to be.
Iran could still be that battlefield should Zionism exert all its internal powers
A byproduct of that conflation, being the false and contrived fabrication that it is,..is that “Nazism “may come to lose all its negative and derogative significance as ”terrorism”
did since both depict what is deeply held to be a patriotic anti Zionist, anti imperialist and anti colonialist national liberation struggle by a majority of the peoples concerned/
With all due respect to the valuable minutiae noted by some the real issue here is the unflagging Zionist campaign to have the West fight its own battle and the West’s, hitherto, inability to avoid being used.!

Iran is the case to watch to see how successful Zionism is and how efficiently the WEST is aware of and is resisting that

Fahrettin Tahir - 7/21/2010

In the ideology of the Turkish Islamists, whose influence in politics ended with the rule of Sultan Hamit II in 1908 the secularisation which followed was the establishment of one of the two Jewish states founded in the 20th century.

Reading Hitler helps them imagine such nonsense.

Fahrettin Tahir - 7/21/2010


Turkish Islamists point out to Jewish influence on the government of Union and Progress, where several key members were Jews, running Turkey in 1915, and say the Jews have 5 % of the guilt and the Armenians 95 % of the guilt for what happened to the Armenians in 1915.

It is idiotic to invent anti semitism as a reason for an event where the Jews were on the side of the people running the country.

Not even the worst Turkish anti semite would say of the Jews, what every normal Turk says of the Armenians in 1915, that they were engaged in treason.

N. Friedman - 7/20/2010

Mr. Butler,

Here is what the historian Epraim Karsh has to say about the dispute:

In a televised speech on May 15, 2005, Abbas described the establishment of Israel as an unprecedented historic injustice and vowed his unwavering resolve never to accept it. Two-and-a-half years later, at a U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, he rejected Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's proposal of a Palestinian Arab state in 97 percent of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip, and categorically dismissed the request to recognize Israel as a Jewish state alongside the would-be Palestinian state, insisting instead on full implementation of the "right of return."

In June 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke with longstanding Likud precept by publicly accepting a two-state solution and agreeing to the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state, provided the Palestinian leadership responded in kind and recognized Israel's Jewish nature. The Arab world exploded in rage. Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, whose country had been at peace with the Jewish state for 30 years, deplored Netanyahu's statement as "scuppering the possibilities for peace." Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat warned that Netanyahu "will have to wait 1,000 years before he finds one Palestinian who will go along with him."

At Fatah's sixth general congress, convened in Bethlehem in August last year, the delegates reaffirmed their longstanding commitment to "armed struggle" as "a strategy, not a tactic . . . . This struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated." More recently, even as Abbas has publicly mouthed the Obama formula for "two states living side by side in peace and security," he pointedly insists on preconditions impossible for Israel to accept.

The Peel Commission had the principle right. While a two-state solution "offers neither party all it wants, it offers each what it wants most, namely, freedom and security." It is a great historical irony that this "half-a-loaf" solution should have been repeatedly advanced as a response by others—Europeans, Americans, Israelis—to the actions of its most implacable opponents, who have then repeatedly proceeded to repudiate it in word and deed. On the Palestinian side, not a single leader has ever evinced any true liking for the idea or acted in a way signifying an unqualified embrace of it. The same is true, with the partial exceptions of Egypt and Jordan, for the larger Arab world.

Nearly two decades and thousands of deaths after the launch of the "peace process," one might hope that Western policy makers would at last begin to take the measure of what the Palestinian leadership tells its own people and wider Arab audiences. For the lesson of history remains: so long as things on the Arab side are permitted, or encouraged, to remain as they are, there will be no two-state solution, and therefore no solution at all.

The facts noted by Professor Karsh - and they are facts whether or not you are willing to digest them -, unlike the phony ben Gurion quote, speak why the dispute does not ever quite resolve.

Peter Kovachev - 7/20/2010

Ok, Jimmy, I took your advice and visited your great work above. A quick assessment: This cheap pastiche doesn't deserve a serious response. If the fictional Dr Frankenstein had been as obsessed with Jews as the unfortunately real you, he would have sown together his putrid monster from a similar jumble of half-truths, old propaganda and outright whoppers. Believe me, you can pump as many Volts into that corpse as Fannie Mae has, but it still won't come to life and will stink more and more with each passing day.

Peter Kovachev - 7/20/2010

Yeah, N, Jimmy-the-Dhimmi Butler pulled out a well-known, over-used "quote" from any one of the hundreds of neo-nazi, Islamist and other antisemitic sites. If Butler claims he has the Goldman book, let's see if he can quote paragraph 4 on page 236. He didn't obviously know the title of the book, but now he'll scramble to pull it from Wiki. Much harder to find the full text, though. What a pathetic character.

It's a "quote" which only one person, Nahum Goldman, appears to have "heard." A "quote" which is quite incongrous, in the context of the real, documented quotes by ben Gurion, but surprisingly in line with Goldman's utterings. A "quote" cited by Goldman, a complex character, who was to briefly become an adviser to the PLO on how to gain legitimacy and international recognition.

Where is Omar, btw? On the next Gaza Flotila-of-Fools? Compared to this Butler troll, Omar's a giant of scholarly paragon.

N. Friedman - 7/20/2010

Mr. Butler,

The Israelis did not create Hezbollah. That is something you made up.

So far as Israel's involvement with the Hamas, it was minimal and it was not extensive - something that cannot possibly be said of the Islamists and the Nazis, who had a marriage not only of convenience but, frankly - as the evidence shows - of ideological affinity. That is not my opinion. It is what Hajj Amin al-Husseini and Hasan al-Banna thought and said, not out of context, but in context.

N. Friedman - 7/20/2010

Mr. Butler,

David ben Gurion said many things and he was often quoted out of context or with the bulk of what he actually said left out or, in many instances, misquoted - all in order for someone to make this or that point. What was the complete quote and what was the context? Absent that information, you are spouting propaganda.

james joseph butler - 7/20/2010

"There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Aushwitz but was that their fault? They see one thing: we have come and stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Nahumm Goldman quoting David Ben-Gurion.

Oh and please be sure to read my amusing comments, Serious errors #3.

james joseph butler - 7/20/2010

Happy to gladden your hearts with my dotty ramble. But as long as I'm rambling I couldn't help but notice that none of you gentlemen chose to contest Israel's early sponsorship of those Islamofascists, Hamas and Hezbollah. Now that ya'll have established their Nazi bona fides why would the Israelis aid them? We all know the answer is the same reason why Al-Hussieni trafficked with the Nazis.

Your disingenuous words are wisps in the wind compared to the realpolitick words of Israeli Leaders from Jabotinsky to Allon to Ben-Gurion to Dayan to Barak who repeat over and over that the Palestinians hate us because we are "alien settlers", Jabotinsky. If I want to understand Zionism and Israel whose words should I believe its founders and protectors or a professor of European history eager to sell books? Of course Herf was shrewd enough to recognize that the idea of tying "Islamofascism" to Nazism was ready made for Zionists and Fox TV. Maybe he can tutor Sarah Palin.

The 67 borders, the reason why that's a prerequisite is because Bibi and company want it all just as much as Hamas and company want it all. While Palestinians throw rocks and WWI era rocketry, Israel, the only democracy kills thousands, America says we love you guys and every day Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and takes their land. The 67 borders are the starting point because the Palestinians recognize that that's the best that they can hope for. "Hopes and wishes in pretty dishes?", Kovachev you have a lot in common with Ahmadinejad, actually you all do because just like Ahmadinejad and Bibi and Hamas you only want peace on your terms. Which means those Arabs should be happy with their Bantustans.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/20/2010

jjb, while you're learning what you missed in school, you ought to read over what Peter says above about the "'67 borders," which were not borders.

Also read in the article at the link below what the Jordanian UN delegate said at the UN about the absence of borders before the 1967 Six Day War.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/20/2010

jjb, you are back at your old tricks, are you? You bring in a red herring, in this case the Vatican. Yes, we have a lot of bones to pick with the Vatican. But are you saying that the Arabs are not adults responsible for their own deeds?? Or that we can blame everything that the Arabs do wrong on the Vatican?

I note that you try to minimize Arab-Nazi collaboration to a "marriage of convenience" during WW2. In fact, shortly after Hitler took power in Germany, the top leader of the palestinian Arabs, Haj Amin el-Husseini, British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, went to visit the German consul in Jerusalem and told him of his admiration for Hitler and the Nazis, etc. That was in 1933. After the war, many Nazi veterans found refuge in Syria and Egypt, Johannes von Leers, etc. Some helped Nasser develop his anti-Jewish propaganda apparatus. You might check up Simon Wiesenthal for Nazi veterans in Egypt. Maybe you should read Herf over again. He says, and maybe you fit into his definition:
Of course, those who for political and intellectual reasons are invested in the now-unraveling Third Worldist, anti-Zionist paradigm will claim that the Arab and Islamist response to Nazi propaganda was insignificant. The postwar evidence indicates otherwise. Herf is right about post-war evidence. There is plenty of it, but we can't expect him to present it all in an interview. Read up on the subject.

Carlo Panella, Moshe Sharon, Leon Poliakov, Andrew Bostom, etc. write about the historic legacy of Islamic Judeophobia. What Husseini and Hassan al-Banna did was to bring European Judeophobic notions into an Islamic framework. So the Hamas charter, which is very contemporary with us, approves the notorious Judeophobic forgery/plagiarism, the Protocols of Zion.

Why don't you get some real knowledge before opening your mouth? Here are two of my contributions to this subject.



N. Friedman - 7/19/2010

Mr. Butler,

Your premise is that Netanyahu does not want peace because he will not commit, as a precondition for negotiations, to specific settlement terms of a final settlement. Why should Netanyahu do that? He proposes that all sit at the table and reach a settlement. What is wrong with that?

Were I an Israeli, I would never commit to substantive demands for a final settlement as a condition for sitting and talking. It is outrageous.

Peter Kovachev - 7/19/2010

Mr Buttler says, "Mahmoud Abbas, PA pres., wants Netanyahu to commit to a two state solution using the 67 borders as the template for peace, that's right now, as you well know. Bibi's response, not gonna happen."

Well, James, first of all, what "67 borders" would you be prattling about? Borders are established demarcations between two countries. An armistice line is not a border. A border also serves to divide two countries, so "borders" between Israel and what exactly? Hopes and wishes in pretty dishes?

And, duh, who in his right mind starts negotiations with the precondition that the other party capitulate on the very matter of the same negotiations before the talks even begin? Old Mahmoud isn't as stupid as his coterie of useful idiots and fellow travellers; he was just kidding, and you humourless twits out there don't get the joke.

So, anyway, where are the "serious errors" your subject heading promised? Certainly not the dotty ramble you made us scratch our heads and chuckle over.

james joseph butler - 7/19/2010

Mahmoud Abbas, PA pres., wants Netanyahu to commit to a two state solution using the 67 borders as the template for peace, that's right now, as you well know. Bibi's response, not gonna happen.

Adam Hammick is correct in dismissing Herf's assertion that those Nazi inspired Palestinians only want to kill more Jews even if the price is peace and prosperity for Palestinians. Sure you can find anti-semitism within the corpus of anti-Israel Arab writing, their Christian brothers have been creating it for centuries, long before Hitler. But as long we're talking sleeping with the sleaze how about the Vatican? Long experienced with Evil during WWII the Vatican regularly traded with the Nazis. Uncle Sam had no problem talking with the Nazis if it meant saving GIs or beating the Russians.

The brief Palestinian Nazi affair was to be cliched a marriage of convenience. No different from countless other...the enemy of my enemy...marriages. Hamas, those Neo-Nazis fiends,were aided and abetted in its formative years by, surprise! the enemy of my PLO enemy, the Israelis.

Once upon a time the Muslim Brotherhood was set up by the British in Egypt to fight those bumptious Arab nationalists. Sure enuff when the PLO were the baddest Nazis, Munich, the Israelis empowered those nice Muslims, Hamas or was that Hezbollah? to fight that decade's Apaches.

But gosh darn, those Allah fearin' Muslims wouldn't do just exactly what Israel wanted. Some day perhaps they'll see the wisdom of giving Israel 82, 83, 84, 85%%%% of 1917 Balfour Palestine. They should feel honored to be part of Moses' legacy, or Yahweh or David or Harry or Bibi or Barack. Whatever, let's just all give it up for God's chosen until those Christians say nanny, nanny, boo boo, hooray for US.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/19/2010

Haj Amin el-Husseini, the British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem in the 1920s and 1930s, spent most of the 2nd World War in the Nazi-fascist domain. Among other things, he collaborated directly in the Holocaust. Prof Herf and Mr Pfeffer did not get around to discussing this fact, as important as the interview is. They do make clear that Husseini and other Arab leaders collaborated with the Nazis.

Husseini also stated while addressing the Bosnian Muslim SS division, the Handschar [Khanjar], that there were important similarities and overlappings between Islam and Nazism.

What disappoints me is that much of what recent scholarship has brought out about Nazi-Arab collaboration was known, at least in general terms, many years ago, even during and shortly after WW2. Think of scholars and researchers such as Moshe Perlmann, Simon Wiesenthal, Joseph Schechtman, Lukasz Hirszowicz, Daniel Carpi, etc. Also think of the American journalists Edgar Ansel Mowrer and John Roy Carlson [Avedis Derounian].

What Herf says about the reluctance of many to confront the truth about Arab-Nazi collaboration, instead relying on Edward Said's false paradigm, is dismaying about the reliability of too much academic writing on history, particularly regarding the Arab-Israeli situation.

Where I would disagree with Herf is to what extent early Muslim Judeophobic writings, both in and out of the Quran [Hadith, Sirra, Isra'iliyyat, etc.] were influential throughout Islamic history. To be sure, the Muslims had many enemies and could not focus on them all at once. The 20th century Armenian genocide was of course not directed mainly at Jews, although it did affect Ottoman Jews somewhat. However, Carlo Panella has written in Il 'Complotto Ebraico' that Judeophobia was salient in Arab-Muslim culture and religion for centuries.
Also see my article on Jews in Arab-Muslim society here on HNN.

Elliott Aron Green - 7/19/2010

Mr Hammick is apparently unaware that an upscale shopping mall was just opened in the Gaza Strip, which he foolishly describes as "the largest outdoor prison in the world." Since the Hamas --which governs Gaza-- declares its intention to destroy Israel and the Jews in several places in the Hamas charter [see especially Article 7], then Israel quite properly has placed Gaza under a partial blockade which may not be tight enough.



N. Friedman - 7/19/2010

Mr. Hammick,

You have quoted so as to remove the meaning of the quote. The correct quote is:

One implication of this recent work is that anti-Semitism expressed by these political figures was a cause of the 1948 war and of the Arab and Islamist refusal to accept a compromise two-state solution when it was offered to them in the late 1930s, in the UN partition plan of 1947-48, at Camp David in 2000, and again by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyanu in 2009.

If the quote is not dissected, what Professor Herf states - not Mr. Pfeifer, as you claim - is entirely plausible. On this topic, you might read an excellent book by Paul Berman, The Flight of the Intellectuals, which data mines and interprets the research of Professor Herf, Matthias Küntzel, Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers quite well, there are reasons, beyond anything the Israelis have done, which cannot be left out in trying to understand the Arab position in the Arab Israeli dispute.

In this regard, one need merely read the Hamas covenant - and its use of materials which originate in Germany, not Arab lands - to understand that what Professor Herf writes is profoundly important, at least if the goal is to understand the dispute and not merely, as you seem to do, wax elegant.

Adam Hammick - 7/19/2010

Pfeifer is barely believable here:

"One implication of this recent work is that anti-Semitism expressed by these political figures was a cause of... the Arab and Islamist refusal to accept a compromise two-state solution when it was offered to them... by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyanu in 2009."

By "compromise two-state solution," perhaps he is referring to Bantustans in the West Bank, or perhaps to the bombing of Gaza, the largest outdoor prison in the world.

What is the point of reading HNN is if continues to publish flagrant falsehoods such as this?