Palestine and the Holocaust

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. You will accuse us of desecrating the memory of the Holocaust. Of doing to Palestinians what the Nazis did to us. This is factually incorrect. 

The Palestinian Arab leadership was not innocent during the Holocaust. That doesn't mean that Palestinians today are guilty of the Holocaust, or that Palestinians deserve to suffer. It just means that you are desecrating the memory of the Holocaust and exploiting our suffering by making this comparison. 



In 1933, just two months after Hitler came to power, the leader of the Arab Higher Committee (the Arab leadership in Mandatory Palestine) and father of Palestinian nationalism, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al-Husseini, called the German consulate in Jerusalem, offering his congratulations.

In 1935, the Husseinis established the Palestinian Arab Party, modeled after the Nazi Party in Germany. Inspired by the Hitler Youth, the party created a Nazi-like scout group named “Al-Futuwwa.” In 1936, a popular Arab newspaper urged Arabs to go to Germany to fight for the Nazis. That same year, the al-Futuwwa youth corps began Nazi-inspired military training.

During WWII, al-Husseini worked for the Axis powers as a propagandist to target Arab and Muslim public opinion, and he recruited 6,000 Arab soldiers from various countries (including Palestine) to train with the Nazis. In a 1944 radio broadcast, he stated: “Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion.” 

Throughout the Arab world, the Nazis enacted a massive propaganda campaign. Nazi war planes dropped leaflets inciting the Arabs to start a “holy war” against the Jews and the British.

The Mufti was influential in shaping Palestinian Arab public opinion, which turned ardently pro-Nazi. Opinion surveys at the time concluded that 88% of Arabs supported the Germans, while 9% supported the British, and the rest had no opinion.

In Jaffa, Nablus, and Tulkram, people gathered for protests chanted: “Viva Italia! Viva Duce! And Heil Hitler!”



One of the most infuriating lies of pro-Palestinian propaganda is that Palestinians welcomed Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. This is blatantly false. 

Between 1936 and 1939, the Arabs of Palestine revolted against the British. The reason for the revolt? They demanded an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine. Keep in mind, this was at the cusp of the Holocaust, and Jews in Europe were desperate to escape — but they had nowhere to go.

Some 500 Jews were slaughtered during this revolt, and in 1939, to appease the Arabs, the British passed what is known as the 1939 White Paper, essentially fully banning Jewish immigration. To Jews in Europe, this was a death sentence. 

The Palestinian attitudes against Jewish refugee immigration persisted after the Holocaust, when Holocaust survivors were imprisoned in Displaced Persons’ Camps for years. 

Virtually Jewish immigration to Palestine between 1939 and 1947 was done illegally. Thousands died en route. Most were turned around by the British and imprisoned. 



In November of 1933, the Nazis revealed that they had established a direct contact with the Arab leadership in Palestine, with the hopes of “adapting the Nazi program” to the Holy Land. To reiterate: the Nazis hoped to extend their antisemitic policies to the Holy Land, with the enthusiastic consent of the Palestinian Arab leadership.

In May of 1936, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, inspired by the Nazi anti-Jewish boycott in Germany, called for a general strike against the Jews and Jewish immigration. The boycott quickly escalated into violence, lasting from 1936 to 1939. This incitement led to the murder of some 500 Jews, predominantly civilians. 

The British quickly suspected Nazi involvement, noticing that the Arab rioters carried smuggled Nazi weaponry. The Jerusalem police found that the Arabs had received 50,000 pounds from Germany and 20,000 pounds from Italy. The British also suspected the Germans of planning the 1938 pogrom in Tiberias.

In November of 1941, al-Husseini met with German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and with Hitler himself. Hitler promised al-Husseini that once the German troops reached the Arab world, “Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere…”

In 1957, a top secret document came to light, which revealed that Germany and Italy recognized the right of the Arabs to “solve the Jewish question” in Palestine and other Arab nations. During the meeting, Hitler told the Mufti: “Germany is resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time to direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well.”

On October 6, 1944, the Nazis attempted to establish an intelligence-gathering base in Mandatory Palestine. Two Palestinian Arabs, close collaborators of al-Husseini, were involved in the operation. The operation was unsuccessful and injured another Palestinian leader, Hasan Salama. 



The Farhud was a Nazi-inspired pogrom (anti-Jewish massacre) in Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1-2, 1941. The number of total Jews murdered varies per estimate, but it’s possible that up to 1000 Jews were killed, with another 1000 injured. The Farhud is considered an event that is a part of the Holocaust.

Earlier in 1941, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani enacted a coup against the British, briefly taking hold of the Iraqi government. Rashid Ali was an Arab nationalist, anti-Zionist, Nazi supporter, and ally to Amin al-Husseini, having written a letter to him in 1940, expressing his desire for mutual friendship and collaboration. Between 1940-1941, Rashid Ali appealed to the Axis powers to remove British influence from Iraq. The German embassy in Iraq was deeply involved with Iraqi leadership, going so far as to sponsor an Iraqi version of the Hitler Youth.

When the British defeated Rashid Ali in May of 1941, non-Jewish Iraqis accused Baghdadi Jews of aiding the British. There are two accounts of how the violence began: (1) some claim Iraqi Arab mobs began attacking Jews who were on their way to the Palace of Flowers, and (2) some state that it was incited by antisemitic preachings in the Jami-Al-Gaylani mosque, and that the pogrom was premeditated.

The violence lasted for 48 hours, with the British slow to respond. In addition to the murders, some 600 Jewish businesses and 100 Jewish homes were destroyed.

A Farhud survivor, Shlomo Mansour, 85, is currently in Hamas captivity. 



The Nazis and their allies exported the Holocaust to North Africa. There is every reason to believe that, had the Nazis occupied Palestine, they very much would’ve taken their extermination program there, too. 

In Algeria, the Nazi-puppet Vichy regime stripped Algerian Jews of their rights. Tunisia came under direct German occupation between November 1942 and May 1942. Two weeks after the invasion, the Nazis arrested the leaders of the Jewish community, deported 5000 Jews to labor camps, and forced them to wear yellow stars on their backs so that they could be easily identified from a distance and shot. Jewish survivors recall their Arab neighbors cheering for the Germans and jeering at them when they were arrested. 

Libya came under Italian occupation. The Italians passed Nazi race laws. In the 1940s, many Jews were rounded up and taken to concentration camps in Libya. In 1941, all Jews with foreign citizenship were deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp or Innsbruck-Reichenau concentration camp. 

The Nazis and the Axis powers created a network of 17 concentration camps in North Africa. Some prisoners were also taken to concentration camps in West Africa. Jews were forced into slave labor, starved, tortured, and murdered. Many died from diseases. Many prisoners in North African labor camps were tasked with the completion of the Trans-Saharan Railroad, a project that was never completed. Though it was a French project, the Nazis were highly supportive of it. 



Following the vote on the 1947 Partition Plan, the Arab Higher Committee warned the British not to intervene in their violence against the Jews. The Arab Higher Committee published a leaflet stating: “The Arabs have taken the Final Solution to the Jewish problem. The problem will be solved only in blood and fire. The Jews will soon be driven out.”

Between 1948-1949, 1000 former Bosnian Muslim SS members joined the Palestinians in their fight against the Jews. Hundreds of members from the 13th and 23rd SS Divisions volunteered as well.

In early 1948, 30,000 army veterans from various fascist forces created an army known as Black International. Some of the members included Nazi soldiers, a pro-Nazi renegade Soviet battalion, and pro-Nazi Poles and Yugoslavs, as well as the Muslim members of a brigade that al-Husseini had organized to fight alongside the Nazis. Black International attacked Jewish towns and kibbutzim.

A source close to the group commented: “These Poles, Russians, Germans and Yugoslavs…are the Arabs fighting for national liberation…Actually their cynical joy is unbounded at the double gift which has been handed them — the opportunity to butcher Jews, and get paid for it.”



Hamas emerged as a branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, worshipped Adolf Hitler, so much so that he translated Mein Kampf to Arabic, changing its name to “My Jihad.”

Like Hitler, al-Banna sought to exterminate all Jews…in his case, from the Middle East. 

According to German documents from the period, in the 1940s, the Nazis trained some 700 members of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Nazi Germany heavily funded the Brotherhood, which contributed to its massive growth. In 1938, the Brotherhood had some 800 members. By the end of World War II, it had grown to a million members. 

In 1939, Germany “transferred to al-Banna some E£1000 per month, a substantial sum at the time. In comparison, the Muslim Brotherhood fundraising for the cause of Palestine yielded E£500 for that entire year.”

Naturally, Nazism deeply influenced the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology. The father of Palestinian nationalism, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Which brings us to Hamas. Hamas’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was responsible for establishing the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. In 1987, he founded Hamas. 

It’s no surprise, then, that the pro-Hamas crowd chants “there is only one solution, Intifada revolution,” which alludes to the Final Solution. It’s also not a surprise that Mein Kampf is periodically on the Palestinian bestseller list. It’s also no surprise that Israel said it found Mein Kampf at an apartment Hamas was using as a base of operations in Gaza, complete with notes along the margins. 

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