This past week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made this statement in his address at the World Zionist Congress:
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here (to Palestine).’ According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: “What should I do with them?” and the mufti replied: “Burn them.”
The implication is, of course, that a Palestinian leader (and by extension the Palestinian people) was responsible for the Holocaust. This patently false statement has drawn wide criticism from nearly every international figure, as well as nearly everyone with a Facebook or Twitter account. It even triggered a response from the German government, who made it very clear that their nation was the perpetrator of the Holocaust.
After the backlash, Netanyahu tried to backtrack on his statement, claiming instead that Hitler was indeed responsible, but still insisting on the mufti playing a large role in the plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews.
This statement is not only historically inaccurate, but further alienates the rest of the world, including Jews, who would otherwise support Israel. Can Israel really afford more ill-will from the international community at this time? It is now possible to say that the Israeli-Palestine conflict is caused by bad leadership on both sides, but Israel is doing itself no favors with their preeminent elected official making statements like these?
Bibi Netanyahu joins our own illustrious Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee in making wildly inaccurate statements about the Holocaust and the policies of the Nazi Party. Allusions to modern history’s greatest butchers ought to be used with caution, and even then only when appropriate. Netanyahu’s statements are both grossly inaccurate and inappropriate, and anyone with half a brain and a keyboard is saying it as loud as possible on social media. If Israel expects international support, it ought to elect less inflammatory and more reasonable leaders.