Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has tried to snatch the Holocaust from the Third Reich and award its authorship to one Haj Amin al-Husseini. Now a footnote in history, the man was Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1920s and 1930s and raised Cain in the region. Netanyahu says that poor Hitler stood falsely accused by historians and Art Spiegelman: He had only wanted to expel Jews from Europe, but the Mufti had complained that they would all flock to the Holy Land and make nuisances of themselves, and advised him to save the transport costs and have them murdered on the Continent. And so, in the spirit of friendship, Hitler founded great institutions at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and certain other places. So says Bibi.
German chancellor Angela Merkel’s office has objected strongly to this arrant act of appropriation, and strongly reaffirmed Germany’s authorship of the Holocaust. And social media has exploded with parodies of history according to Bibi. The dinosaurs weren’t wiped out by a meteorite; Palestinians hurled huge rocks at them. A Palestinian assassinated Malcolm X. The last words of Lee Harvey Oswald were: “Mufti made me do it.” World War II was fought before World War I, and so on.
Now, as Bibi has protested, the Germans were indeed sweet on the Arabs. Right from World War I, when Lawrence of Arabia was busily blowing up their rail connections. Expansionist nations need energy security, and West Asia is the gateway to a lucrative continent, as several Western powers have noticed. But anyone who has read Hitler’s early speeches or Mein Kampf would know that he did not need any mufti to hatch the stratagem of demonising a minority in order to take over the hearts and minds of the majority. It is as fundamental to fascism as the left jab is to boxing.