The story last week of Hamas official Fathi Hammad, who declared that “the cleansing of Palestine of the filth of the Jews, and their uprooting from it” would happen by 2022. “The second thing is the establishment of the Caliphate, after the nation has been healed of its cancer – the Jews – Allah willing.” The world will, of course, little note nor long remember these genocidal boasts. And that in itself is nothing new: the world has been ignoring Muslim declarations of genocidal intent against the Jews since before the founding of the State of Israel.
Take, for example, the career of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem. As I detail in my new book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, for years before the establishment of the State of Israel, he fought strenuously against Jewish settlement in the Holy Land, which had accelerated after Britain’s 1917 Balfour Declaration calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East.
Beginning in 1919, al-Husseini began organizing jihad attacks against Jews, as well as riots in Jerusalem in 1920 during which six Jews were killed and two hundred injured. The following year, British high commissioner Herbert Samuel responded to al-Husseini’s instigation of jihad violence by appointing him mufti of Jerusalem, hoping that this gift would lead al-Husseini to be “devoted to tranquility.”
Instead, al-Husseini continued to incite violence, including riots in Petach Tikvah and Jaffa just weeks after he became mufti; forty-three Jews were killed. A British government report stated that “the Arab majority, who were generally the aggressors, inflicted most of the casualties.”
This continued to be true as Muslim Arabs attacked Jews over the next two decades, largely at al-Husseini’s instigation. Instead of confronting its mufti, in May 1939 the British government limited Jewish settlement in Palestine to seventy-five thousand over the next five years, thereby rewarding jihad violence by giving the mufti part of what he wanted (if it had been up to him, Jewish entry into the Holy Land would have been halted entirely, and the Jews there expelled) and condemning to death in the Holocaust untold numbers of Jews who might have escaped.
From 1941 to 1945, al-Husseini lived in Berlin, where he became close friends with Adolf Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler, and met with Adolf Hitler. Eichmann’s assistant, Dieter Wisliczeny, testified at the Nuremberg Trials that the mufti had been a central figure in the planning of the genocide of the Jews:
The Grand Mufti has repeatedly suggested to the Nazi authorities—including Hitler, von Ribbentrop and Himmler—the extermination of European Jewry. He considered this a comfortable solution to the Palestine problem….The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
Eichmann denied this, but in any case, there is no doubt of the fact that the mufti was openly calling for the mass murder of Jews. In a broadcast on July 7, 1942, the mufti exhorted Muslims in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine to kill Jews, basing his exhortation on a flagrant lie:
A large number of Jews residing in Egypt and a number of Poles, Greeks, Armenians and Free French, have been issued with revolvers and ammunition in order to help them against the Egyptians at the last moment, when Britain is forced to evacuate Egypt….
You must kill the Jews, before they open fire on you. Kill the Jews, who have appropriated your wealth and who are plotting against your security. Arabs of Syria, Iraq and Palestine, what are you waiting for? The Jews are planning to violate your women, to kill your children and to destroy you. According to the Muslim religion, the defense of your life is a duty which can only be fulfilled by annihilating the Jews. This is your best opportunity to get rid of this dirty race, which has usurped your rights and brought misfortune and destruction on your countries. Kill the Jews, burn their property, destroy their stores, annihilate these base supporters of British imperialism. Your sole hope of salvation lies in annihilating the Jews before they annihilate you.
Al-Husseini also actively intervened on numerous occasions to ensure that Jews were not deported from Europe—thereby ensuring that extermination was the only option left for the fanatical Nazi Jew-haters. As late as July 25, 1944, al-Husseini wrote to Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German minister for foreign affairs:
I have previously called the attention of your Excellency to the constant attempts of the Jews to emigrate from Europe in order to reach Palestine and asked your Excellency to undertake the necessary steps so as to prevent the Jews from emigrating. I had also sent you a letter, under date of June 5, 1944, in regard to the plan for an exchange of Egyptians living in Germany with Palestinian Germans, in which I asked you to exclude the Jews from this plan of exchange. I have, however, learned that the Jews did depart on July 2, 1944, and I am afraid that further groups of Jews will leave for Palestine from Germany and France to be exchanged for Palestinian Germans….It is for this reason that I ask your Excellency to do all that is necessary to prohibit the emigration of Jews to Palestine, and in this way your Excellency would give a new practical example of the policy of the naturally allied and friendly Germany towards the Arab Nation.
Al-Husseini was a committed collaborator with the Nazis, traveling from Berlin to Bosnia in 1943 to raise up a Muslim SS company, which was responsible for killing ninety percent of the Jews in Bosnia, as well as for the burning of numerous Serbian churches. He noted the convergence of the goals of Islamic jihad and those of the Nazis. “It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to…drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries…. Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endgültige Lösung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world.”
In a 1944 broadcast, he made that “definitive solution” explicit: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion.” His call was an echo of the Qur’an’s call to “kill them wherever you find them” (2:191, 4:89) and to “kill the idolaters wherever you find them.” (9:5)
Al-Husseini was arrested by French troops in May 1945, but the French refused requests from the British to turn him over to their custody. The British may have wanted to put him on trial, as he was a British citizen (of their Palestinian mandate) and a collaborator with the Nazis. Instead, the French put him on a plane to Cairo, where he resumed his jihad against the Jews. The Muslim Brotherhood successfully prevailed upon the Egyptian government to grant him asylum. He died peacefully in 1974.