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New York Times

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

The claim by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that a Palestinian persuaded Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe is outrageous.

It is outrageous because the Holocaust is far too terrible a crime to be exploited for political ends, especially in the state linked so closely to the tragedy of the Jewish people. It is outrageous because the only apparent purpose is to demonize the Palestinians and the current leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and to give the impression that their resistance is based solely on a longstanding hatred of the Jews, and not on their occupation by Israel or any other grievance. And it comes at a time of renewed tension in Israel, with a wave of lone-wolf attacks on Jews by knife-wielding Palestinians.

The Israeli prime minister’s assertion before the World Zionist Congress on Tuesday was not the first time he has alleged that Haj Amin al-Husseini, a grand mufti of Jerusalem, Arab nationalist and zealous foe of Zionism, was one of the instigators of the Holocaust. This time, however, Mr. Netanyahu went further and absurdly portrayed Mr. Husseini as the decisive voice in persuading a purportedly wavering Hitler to exterminate the Jews. While it is a fact that Mr. Husseini met with Hitler in 1941 in search of support, only a handful of fringe historians have claimed, with no evidence, that he planted the idea of the “final solution.”

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We’re responsible for Holocaust, not Palestinian mufti – Germany on Netanyahu remarks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 21, 2015. © Fabrizio Bensch
Germany has addressed comments made by Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the Israeli leader accused the World War II Palestinian grand mufti of inspiring the Holocaust. Berlin said it must never be forgotten that responsibility lies with Germany.

“All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said when asked about Netanyahu’s Tuesday remarks.

“This is taught in German schools for good reason: it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.

 

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