Haj Amin al-Husseini

Haj Amin al-Husseini
Haj Amin al-Husseini
al-Husseini in 1929.
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
In office
Preceded by Kamil al-Husayni
Succeeded by Husam Al-din Jarallah
President of the Supreme Muslim Council
In office
Personal details
Born 1895 or 1897
Sanjak of Jerusalem
Died July 4, 1974(1974-07-04) (aged 79)
Beirut, Lebanon
Political party Arab Higher Committee
Religion Sunni Islam

Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini (Arabic: محمد أمين الحسيني‎, also al-Husayni,[1]Hajj, and Al-Hajj; born 1895 or 1897; died July 4, 1974) was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot that broke out over the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.[2] From 1921 to 1937[3] al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, using the position to promote Islam and rally Palestinian nationalism against Zionism.

His opposition to the British started during the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1937, evading an arrest warrant, he fled Palestine and took refuge in, successively, the French Mandate of Lebanon and the Kingdom of Iraq, until he established himself in Italy and finally Germany. During World War II he actively collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, meeting Adolf Hitler personally and asking him to back Arab independence. He requested, as part of the Pan-Arab struggle, Hitler's support to oppose the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. He was promised the leadership of the Arabs after German troops had driven out the British.[4] He helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS. At war's end, he came under French protection, and managed to slip away to Cairo to avoid eventual prosecution.

During the 1948 Palestine War, Husseini represented the Arab Higher Committee and opposed both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and King Abdullah's entente with Zionists to annex the Arab part of British Mandatory Palestine to Jordan. In September 1948, he participated in establishment of All-Palestine Government. Seated in Egyptian ruled Gaza, this government won a limited recognition of Arab states, but was eventually dissolved by Gamal Nasser in 1959. After the war and subsequent Palestinian exodus, his claims to leadership, wholly discredited, left him eventually sidelined by the Palestine Liberation Organization, and he lost most of his residual political influence.[5] He died in Beirut, Lebanon, in July 1974.

Husseini was and remains a highly controversed figure. Historians debate to what extent his fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both.


Early life

Amin al-Husseini was born either in 1895 or, more probably, in 1897[6] in Jerusalem, the son of the then mufti of that city and prominent early opponent of Zionism, Tahir al-Husayni.[7] The al-Husseini clan consisted of wealthy landowners in southern Palestine, centred around the district of Jerusalem. Thirteen members of the clan had been Mayors of Jerusalem between 1864 and 1920. Another member of the clan and Amin's half-brother,[8] Kamil al-Husayni, also served as Mufti of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini attended an Qur'anic school (kuttub), and Ottoman government secondary school (rüshidiyye) where he learnt Turkish, and a Catholic secondary school run by French missionaries, the Catholic Frères, where he learnt French.[9] He also studied at the Alliance Israélite Universelle with its Non-Zionist Jewish director Albert Antébi.[10] In 1912 he studied Islamic law briefly at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and at the Dar al-Da'wa wa-l-Irshad, under Rashid Rida, a salafi intellectual, who was to remain Amin's mentor till his death in 1935.[11] Though groomed to hold religious office from youth, his education was typical of the Ottoman effendi at the time, and he only donned a religious turban in 1921 after being appointed mufti.[9]

In 1913 at the age of 18, al-Husseini accompanied his pious mother Zainab to Mecca and received the honorary title of Hajj. Prior to World War I, he studied at the School of Administration in Istanbul, the most secular of Ottoman institutions.[12]

World War I

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, al-Husseini first joined the Ottoman Turkish army, receiving a commission as an artillery officer and being assigned to the Forty-Seventh Brigade stationed in and around the city of Izmir. In November 1916 he left the Ottoman army on a three month disability leave and returned to Jerusalem, which was captured by the British while he was recovering from an illness there.[12] The British and Sherifian armies conquered Ottoman-controlled Palestine and Syria in 1918 with Arab Palestinian recruits also taking part in the offensive against the Turks,[13] alongside Jewish troops. As a Sherifian officer, al-Husseini recruited men to serve in Faisal bin Al Hussein Bin Ali El-Hashemi's army during the Arab Revolt, a task he undertook while employed as a recruiter by the British military administration in Jerusalem and Damascus. The post-war Palin Report noted that the English recruiting officer, Captain C.D.Brunton, found al-Husseini, with whom he cooperated, very pro-English, and that, via the diffusion of War Office pamphlets dropped from the air promising them peace and prosperity under English rule, 'the recruits (were) being given to understand that they were fighting in a national cause and to liberate their country from the Turks'.[14]

Early political activism

In 1919, al-Husseini attended the Pan-Syrian Congress held in Damascus where he supported Emir Faisal for King of Syria. That year al-Husseini founded the pro-British Jerusalem branch of the Syrian-based 'Arab Club' (Al-Nadi al-arabi), which then vied with the Nashashibi-sponsored 'Literary Club' (Al-muntada al-adabi) for influence over public opinion, and he soon became its President.[15][16] At the same time he wrote articles for the Suriyya al-Janubiyya (Southern Syria). The paper was published in Jerusalem beginning in September 1919 by the lawyer Muhammad Hassan al-Budayri, and edited by Aref al-Aref, both prominent members of al-Nadi al-'Arabi.

During the annual Nabi Musa procession in Jerusalem in April 1920, violent rioting broke out in protest at the implementation of the Balfour Declaration which supported the establishment in Palestine of a homeland for the Jewish people. Much damage to Jewish live and property was caused. The Palin Report laid the blame for the explosion of tensions on both sides.[17] Ze'ev Jabotinsky, organiser of Jewish paramilitary defences, received a 15-year sentence.[18] Al-Husseini, then a teacher at the Rashidiya school, near Herod's Gate in East Jerusalem, was charged with inciting the Arab crowds with an inflammatory speech and sentenced in absentia to ten years inprisonment by a military court.[19] It was asserted soon after, by Chaim Weizmann and British army Lieutenant Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, that al-Husseini had been put up to inciting the riot by British Field-marshal Allenby's Chief of Staff, Colonel Bertie Harry Waters-Taylor, to demonstrate to the world that Arabs would not tolerate a Jewish homeland in Palestine.[20][21] For a reading which follows closely Meinertzhagen's reading of the events as a British army plot, see Sicker 2000, pp. 23ff..</ref> The assertion was never proven, and Meinertzhagen was dismissed.[22]

After the April riots an event took place that turned the traditional rivalry between the Husseini and Nashashibi clans into a serious rift,[23] with long-term consequences for al-Husseini and Palestinian nationalism. According to Sir Louis Bols, great pressure was brought to bear on the military administration from Zionist leaders and officials such as David Yellin, to have the Mayor of Jerusalem, Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husayni, dismissed, given his presence in the demonstration of the previous March. Colonel Storrs, the Military Governor of Jerusalem, removed him without further inquiry, replacing him with Raghib al-Nashashibi of the rival Nashashibi clan. This, according to the Palin report, 'had a profound effect on his co-religionists, definitely confirming the conviction they had already formed from other evidence that the Civil Administration was the mere puppet of the Zionist Organization.'[24]

Until late 1921, al-Husseini focused his efforts on Pan-Arabism and the ideology of the Greater Syria in particular, with Palestine understood as a southern province of an Arab state whose capital was to be established in Damascus. Greater Syria was to include territory now occupied by Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. The struggle for Greater Syria collapsed after Britain ceded control over present day Syria and Lebanon to France in July 1920 in accordance with the prior Sykes-Picot Agreement. The French army entered Damascus at that time, overthrew King Faisal and put an end to the project of a Greater Syria.

Al-Husseini, like many of his class and period, then turned from Damascus-oriented Pan-Arabism to a specifically Palestinian ideology centered on Jerusalem, which sought to block Jewish immigration to Palestine. The frustration of pan-Arab aspirations lent an Islamic colour to the struggle for independence, and increasing resort to the idea of restoring the land to Dar al-Islam.[25] From his election as Mufti until 1923, al-Husseini exercised total control over the secret society, Al-Fida’iyya (The Self-Sacrificers), which, together with al-Ikha’ wal-‘Afaf (Brotherhood and Purity), played an important role in clandestine anti-British and anti-Zionist activities, and, via members in the gendarmerie, had engaged in riotous activities as early as April 1920.[26]

Mufti of Jerusalem

Following the death of Amin's half-brother, the mufti Kamil al-Husayni in March 1921, the British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel pardoned al-Husseini. He and another Arab had been excluded from the general amnesty, six weeks earlier, because they had fled before their convictions had been passed down. Elections were then held, and of the four candidates running for the office of Mufti, al-Husseini received the least number of votes, the first three being Nashashibi candidates. Nevertheless, Samuel was anxious to keep a balance between the al-Husseinis and their rival clan the Nashashibis.[27] A year earlier the British had replaced Musa al-Husayni as Mayor of Jerusalem with Ragheb al-Nashashibi. They then moved to secure for the Husseini clan a compensatory function of prestige by appointing one of them to the position of mufti, and, with the support of Ragheb al-Nashashibi and Sheikh Hussam Jārallāh, prevailing upon the Nashashibi front-runner, Sheikh Hussam ad-Din Jarallah, to withdraw. This automatically promoted Amin al-Husseini to third position, which, under Ottoman law, allowed him to qualify, and Samuel then chose him as Mufti.[28] His initial appointment was as Mufti, but when the Supreme Muslim Council was created in the following year, Husseini demanded and received the title Grand Mufti that had earlier been created, perhaps on the lines of Egyptian usage,[29] by the British for his half-brother Kamil.[30][31][32] The position came with a life tenure.[33]

In 1922, al-Husseini was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in 1921.[34] The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds[35] and the orphan funds, worth annually about £50,000, as compared to the £600,000 in the Jewish Agency's annual budget.[36] In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.

The British initially balanced appointments to the Supreme Muslim Council between the Husseinis and their supporters (known as the majlisiya, or council supporters) and the Nashashibis and their allied clans (known as the mu'aridun, the opposition).[37] The mu'aridun, were more disposed to a compromise with the Jews, and indeed had for some years received annual subventions from the Jewish Agency.[38] During most of the period of the British mandate, bickering between these two families seriously undermined any Palestinian Arab unity. In 1936, however, they achieved a measure of concerted policy when all the Palestinian Arab groups joined to create a permanent executive organ known as the Arab Higher Committee under al-Husseini's chairmanship.

The Haram ash-Sharif and the Western Wall

The Supreme Muslim Council and its head al-Husseini, who regarded himself as guardian of one of the three holy sites of Islam, launched an international campaign in Muslim countries to gather funds to restore and improve the Noble Sanctuary (Haram ash-Sharif) or Temple Mount, and particularly its mosques, Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock(which houses the holiest site in Judaism).[39] The whole area required extensive restoration, given the disrepair into which it had fallen from neglect in Ottoman times. Jerusalem was the original direction towards which Muslims prayed, until the Qibla was reorientated towards Mecca. In one tradition it would reassume its prior role at the end of time.[40] Al-Husseini commissioned the Turkish architect Mimar Kemalettin.[41] In restoring the site, al-Husseini was also assisted by the Mandatory power's Catholic Director of Antiquities, Ernest Tatham Richmond.[42] Under Richmond's supervision, the Turkish architect drew up a plan, and the execution of the works gave a notable stimulus to the revival of traditional artisan arts like mosaic tesselation, glassware production, woodcraft, wickerwork and iron-mongering.[43][44]

Al-Husseini's vigorous efforts to transform the Haram into a symbol of pan-Arabic and Palestinian nationalism were intended to rally Arab support against the postwar influx of Jewish immigrants. In his campaigning, al-Husseini often accused Jews of planning to take possession of the Western Wall of Jerusalem, which belonged to the waqf of Abu Madyan as an inalienable property, and rebuild the Temple over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[45] He took certain statements, for example, by the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook regarding the eventual return in time of the Temple Mount back to Jewish hands, and turned them to a concrete political plot to seize control of the area.[46] Al-Husseini's intensive work to refurbish the shrine as a cynosure for the Muslim world, and Jewish endeavours to improve their access to, and establish a ritually appropriate ambiance on the plaza by the Western Wall, led to increased conflict between the two communities, each seeing the site only from their own traditional perspective and interests.[47] Zionist narratives pinpointed al-Husseini's works on, and publicity about, the site and threats to it, as attempts to restore his own family's waning prestige. Arab narratives read the heightened agitation of certain Jewish groups over the Wall as an attempt to revive diaspora interest in Zionism after some years of relative decline, depression and emigration.[48] Each attempt to make minor alterations to the status quo, still governed by Ottoman law, was bitterly protested before the British authorities by the Muslim authorities. If Moslems could cite an Ottoman regulation of 1912 specifically forbidding objects like seating to be introduced, the Jews could cite testimonies to the fact that before 1914 certain exceptions had been made to improve their access and use of the Wall.[49] The decade witnessed several such episodes of strong friction, and the simmering tensions came to a head in late 1928, only to erupt, after a brief respite, into an explosion of violence a year later.

1929 Arab Riots


Arab protest delegations against British policy in Palestine during 1929

On August 10, 1928, a constituent assembly convened by the French in Syria was rapidly adjourned when calls were made for a reunification with Palestine.[50] Al-Husseini and Awni Abd al-Hadi met with the Syrian nationalists[51] and they made a joint proclamation for a unified monarchical state under a son of Ibn Sa'ud. On the 26th.[52] the completion of the first stage of restoration work on the Haram's mosques was celebrated with great pomp, in the presence of representatives from the Muslim countries which had financed the project, the Mandatory authorities, and Abdullah, Emir of Jordan. A month later, after an article appeared in the Jewish press proposing the purchase and destruction of houses in the Moroccan quarter bordering on the wall to improve pilgrim access and further thereby the 'Redemption of Israel.'[53] Soon after, on September 23,[54] Yom Kippur, a Jewish beadle introduced a screen to separate male and female worshippers at the Wall. Informed by residents in the neighbouring Mughrabi quarter, the waqf authority complained to Harry Luke, acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine, that this virtually changed the lane into a synagogue, and violated the status quo, as had the collapsible seats in 1926. British constables, encountering a refusal, used force to remove the screen, and a jostling clash ensued between worshippers and police.[53]

Zionist allegations that disproportionate force had been employed during what was a solemn occasion of prayer created an outcry throughout the diaspora. Worldwide Jewish protests remonstrated with Britain for the violence exercised at the Wall. The Jewish National Council Vaad Leumi ‘demanded that British administration expropriate the wall for the Jews’.[55] In reply, the Muslims organized a Defence Committee for the Protection of the Noble Buraq,[56] and huge crowd rallies took place on the Al-Aqsa plaza in protest. Work, often noisy, was immediately undertaken on a mosque above the Jewish prayer site. Disturbances such as opening a passage for donkeys to pass through the area, angered worshippers.[57] After intense negotiations, the Zionist organisation denied any intent to take over the whole Haram Ash-Sharif, but demanded the government expropriate and raze the Moroccan quarter. A law of 1924 allowed the British authorities to expropriate property, and fear of this in turn greatly agitated the Muslim community, though the laws of donation of the waqf explicitly disallowed any such alienation. After lengthy deliberation, a White Paper was made public on December 11, 1928 in favour of the status quo.[58]

After the nomination of the new High Commissioner Sir John Chancellor to succeed Lord Plumer in December 1928, the question was re-examined, and in February 1929 legal opinion established that the mandatory authority was within its powers to intervene to ensure Jewish rights of access and prayer. Al-Husseini pressed him for a specific clarification of the legal status quo regarding the Wall. Chancellor mulled weakening the SMC and undermining al-Husseini's authority by making the office of mufti elective. The Nabi Musa festival of April that year passed without incident, despite al-Husseini's warnings of possible incidents. Chancellor thought his power was waning, and after conferring with London, admitted to al-Husseini on 6 May that he was impotent to act decisively in the matter. Al-Husseini replied that, unless the Mandatory authorities acted, then, very much like Christian monks protecting their sacred sites in Jerusalem, the sheikhs would have to take infringements of the status quo into their own hands, and personally remove any objects introduced by Jews to the area. Chancellor asked him to be patient, and al-Husseini offered to stop works on the Mount on condition that this gesture not be taken as a recognition of Jewish rights. A change of government in Britain in June led to a new proposal: only Muslim works in the sector near where Jews prayed should be subject to mandatory authorisation: Jews could employ ritual objects, but the introduction of seats and screens would be subject to Muslim authorisation. Chancellor authorised the Muslims to recommence their reconstructive work, while, responding to further Zionist complaints, prevailed on the SMC to stop the raucous Zikr ceremonies in the vicinity of the wall.[59] He also asked the Zionist representatives to refrain from filling their newspapers with attacks on the government and Muslim authorities. Chancellor then departed for Europe where the Mandatory Commission was deliberating.[60]


With Chancellor abroad, and the Zionist Commission itself, with its leader Colonel Frederick Kisch, in Zurich for the 16th. Zionist Congress (attended also by Ze'ev Jabotinsky), the SMC resumed works, confidentially authorised, on the Haram only to be met with outcries from the Jewish press. The administration rapidly published the new rules on 22 July, with a serious error in translation that fueled Zionist reports of a plot against Jewish rights.[61] A protest in London led to a public declaration by a member of the Zionist Commission that Jewish rights were bigger than the status quo, a statement which encouraged in turn Arab suspicions that local agreements were again being overthrown by Jewish intrigues abroad. News that the Zurich Congress, in creating the Jewish Agency on August 11., had brought unity among Zionists and the world Jewish community, a measure that would greatly increase Jewish investment in British Palestine,[62] set off alarm bells. On 15 August, Tisha B'Av, a day memorializing the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the revisionist Betar movement, despite Pinhas Rutenberg's plea on 8 August to the acting High Commissioner Harry Luke to stop such groups from participating,[63] rallied members from Tel Aviv to join them in the religious commemoration. Kisch, before leaving, had banned Jewish demonstrations in Jerusalem's Arab quarters. The Betar youth gave the ceremony a strong nationalist tinge by singing the Hatikvah, waving the flag of Israel, and chanting the slogan 'The Wall is Ours'.[64][65] The following day coincided with mawlid (or mawsin al-nabi),[66] the anniversity of the birth of Islam's prophet, Muhammad. Muslim worshippers, after prayers on the esplanade of the Haram, passed through the narrow lane by the Wailing Wall and ripped up prayer books, and kotel notes (wall petitions), without harming however three Jews present. Contacted by Luke, al-Husseini undertook to do his best to maintain calm on the Haram, but could not stop demonstrators from gathering at the Wall.

On 17 August a young Jewish boy was stabbed to death by Arabs while retrieving a football, while an Arab was badly wounded in a brawl with Palestinian Jews.[67] Strongly tied to the anti-Hashemite party,[68] and attacked by supporters of Abdullah in Transjordan for misusing funds marked out for campaigning against France, al-Husseini asked for a visa for himself and Awni Abd al-Hadi to travel to Syria, where the leadership of the Syrian anti-French cause was being contested.[69] Averse to his presence in Syria, the French asked him to put off the journey. Meanwhile, despite Harry Luke's lecturing journalists to avoid reporting such material, rumours circulated in both communities, of an imminent massacre of Jews by Muslims, and of an assault on the Haram ash-Sharif by Jews. On 21 August a funeral cortège, taking the form of a public demonstration for the dead Jewish boy, wound its way through the old city, with the police blocking attempts to break into the Arab quarters. On the 22nd, Luke convoked representatives of both parties to calm things down, and undersign a joint declaration. Awni Abd al-Hadi and Jamal al-Husayni were ready to recognize Jewish visiting rights at the Wall in exchange for Jewish recognition of Islamic prerogatives at the Buraq. The Jewish representative, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, considered this beyond his brief- which was limited to an appeal for calm- and the Arabs in turn refused. They agreed to pursue their dialogue the following week.

On 23 August, a Friday, two or three Arabs were murdered in the Jewish quarter of Mea Shearim.[70] It was also a day of Muslim prayer. A large crowd, composed of many people from outlying villages, thronged into Jerusalem, many armed with sticks and knives. It is not known whether this was organized by al-Husseini or the result of spontaneous mobilisation. The sermon at Al-Aqsa was to be delivered by another preacher, but Luke prevailed on al-Husseini to leave his home and go to the mosque, where he was greeted as 'the sword of the faith' and where he instructed the preacher to deliver a pacific sermon, while sending an urgent message for police reinforcements around the Haram. Deluded by the lenitive address, extremists harangued the crowd, accusing al-Husseini of being an infidel to the Muslim cause. The same violent accusation was launched in Jaffa against sheikh Muzaffir, an otherwise radical Islamic preacher, who gave a sermon calling for calm on the same day.[71] An assault was launched on the Jewish quarter. Violent mob attacks on Jewish communities, fueled by wildfire hearsay about ostensible massacres of Arabs and attempts to seize the Wall, took place over the following days in Hebron, Safed and Haifa. In all, in the killings and subsequent revenge attacks, 136 Arabs and 135 Jews died, while 340 of the latter were wounded, as well as an estimated 240 Arabs.[72]


Many observers saw al-Husseini as the mastermind behind the riots, dispatching secret emissaries to inflame regional passions. In London, Lord Melchett demanded his arrest for orchestrating all anti-British unrest throughout the Middle East. Consular documentation discarded the plot thesis rapidly, and identified the deeper cause as political, not religious, namely in what the Palin report had earlier identified[73] as profound Arab discontent over Zionism. Arab memoirs on the fitna (troubles) follow a contemporary proclamation for the Defence of the Wall on 31 August, which justified the riots as legitimate, but nowhere mention a coordinated plan. Izzat Darwaza, an Arab nationalist rival of al-Husseini, alone asserts, without details, that al-Husseini was responsible. Al-Husseini in his memoirs never claimed to have played such a role.[74]

The High Commissioner received al-Husseini twice officially on October 1, 1929 and a week later, and the latter complained of pro-Zionist bias in an area where the Arab population still viewed Great Britain favorably. Al-Husseini argued that the weakness of the Arab position was that they lacked political representation in Europe, whereas for millennia, in his view, the Jews dominated with their genius for intrigue. He assured Chancellor of his cooperation in maintaining public order.[75]

Two official investigations were conducted by the British and the League of Nations's Mandatory Commission. The former, The Shaw Report, concluded that the incident on August 23 consisted of an attack by Arabs on Jews, but rejected the view that the riots had been premeditated. Al-Husseini certainly played an energetic role in Muslim demonstrations from 1928 onwards, but could not be held responsible for the August riots, even if he had 'a share in the responsibility for the disturbances'.[76] He had nonetheless collaborated from the 23rd. of that month in pacifying rioters and reestablishing order. The worst outbreaks occurred in areas, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, and Haifa where his Arab political adversaries were dominant. The root cause of the violent outbreaks lay in the fear of territorial dispossession.[77] In a Note of Reservation, Mr. Harry Snell, who had apparently been swayed by Sir Herbert Samuel's son, Edwin Samuel[78] states that, although he was satisfied that the Mufti was not directly responsible for the violence or had connived at it, he believed the Mufti was aware of the nature of the anti-Zionist campaign and the danger of disturbances.[79] He therefore attributed to the Mufti a greater share of the blame than the official report had.[79] The Dutch Vice-Chairman of the Permanent Mandates Commission, M. Van Rees, argued that 'the disturbances of August 1929, as well as the previous disturbances of a similar character, were, in brief, only a special aspect of the resistance offered everywhere in the East, with its traditional and feudal civilisation, to the invasion of a European civilisation introduced by a Western administration' but concluded that in his view 'the responsibility for what had happened must lie with the religious and political leaders of the Arabs'.[80]

Political Activities 1930-1935

Al-Husseini (center) in a visit to Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s. To his left is Hashim al-Atassi, who later became president of Syria and to al-Husseini's right is Shakib Arslan, an Arab nationalist philosopher from Lebanon.

In 1931, al-Husseini founded the World Islamic Congress, on which he was to serve as president. Versions differ as to whether or not al-Husseini supported Izz ad-Din al-Qassam when he undertook clandestine activities against the British Mandate authorities. His appointment as imam of the al-Istiqlal mosque in Haifa had been approved by al-Husseini. Lachman argues that he secretly encouraged, and perhaps financed al-Qassam at this period. Whatever their relations, the latter's independent activism, and open challenge to the British authorities appears to have led to a rupture between the two.[81] By 1935 al-Husseini did take control of one clandestine organization, of whose nature he had not been informed until the preceding year,[82] which had been set up in 1931 by Musa Kazim al-Husayni's son, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and recruited from the Palestinian Arab Boy Scout movement, called the 'Holy Struggle' (al-jihad al-muqaddas).[83] This and another paramilitary youth organization, al-Futuwwah, paralleled the clandestine Jewish Haganah. Rumours, and occasional discovery of caches and shipments of arms, strengthened military preparations on both sides.[84]

Arab revolt of 1936-1939

On April 19, 1936, a wave of protest strikes and attacks against both the British authorities and Jews was unleashed in Palestine. Initially, the riots were led by Farhan al-Sa'di, a militant sheik of the northern al-Qassam group, with links to the Nashashibis. After the arrest and execution of Farhan, al-Husseini seized the initiative by negotiating an alliance with the al-Qassam faction.[85] Apart from some foreign subsidies, including a substantial amount from Fascist Italy,[86] he controlled waqf and orphan funds that generated annual income of about 115,000 Palestine pounds. After the start of the revolt, most of that money was used to finance the activities of his representatives throughout the country. To Italy's Consul-General in Jerusalem, Mariano de Angelis, he explained in July that his decision to get directly involved in the conflict arose from the trust he reposed in Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's backing and promises.[87] Upon al-Husseini's initiative, the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans formed the Arab Higher Committee under the Mufti's chairmanship. The Committee called for nonpayment of taxes after May 15 and for a general strike of Arab workers and businesses, demanding an end to the Jewish immigration. The British High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Arthur Wauchope, responded by engaging in negotiations with al-Husseini and the Committee. The talks, however, soon proved fruitless. Al-Husseini issued a series of warnings, threatening the 'revenge of God Almighty' unless the Jewish immigration were to stop, and the general strike began, paralyzing the government, public transportation, Arab businesses and agriculture.[88]

As the time passed, by autumn the Arab middle class had exhausted its resources.[89]> Under these circumstances, the Mandatory government was looking for an intermediary who might help persuade the Arab Higher Committee to end the rebellion. Al-Husseini and the Committee rejected King Abdullah of Transjordan as mediator because of his dependence on the British and friendship with the Zionists, but accepted the Iraqi Foreign Minister Nuri as-Said. As Wauchope warned of an impending military campaign and simultaneously offered to dispatch a Royal Commission of Inquiry to hear the Arab complaints, the Arab Higher Committee called off the strike on October 11.[90] When the promised Royal Commission of Inquiry arrived in Palestine in November, al-Husseini testified before it as chief witness for the Arabs.[90]

In July 1937, British police were sent to arrest al-Husseini for his part in the Arab rebellion, but, tipped off, he managed to escape to the sanctuary of asylum in the Haram. He stayed there for three months, directing the revolt from within. Four days after the assassination of the Acting District Commissioner for that area Lewis Yelland Andrews by Galilean members of the al-Qassam group on September 26, al-Husseini was deposed from the presidency of the Muslim Supreme Council, the Arab Higher Committee was declared illegal, and warrants for the arrest of its leaders were issued, as being at least 'morally responsible', though no proofs existed for their complicity.[91] Of them only Jamal al-Husayni managed to escape to Syria: the remaining five were exiled to the Seychelles. Al-Husseini was not among the indicted but, fearing imprisonment, on October 13–14, after sliding under cover of darkess down a rope from the Haram's wall, he himself fled via Jaffa to Lebanon, disguised as a Bedouin,[92][93] where he reconstituted the committee under his leadership.[94] Al-Husseini's tactics, his abuse of power to punish other clans, and the killing of 'traitors', alienated many Palestinian Arabs. One local leader, Abu Shair, told Da'ud al-Husayni, an emissary from Damascus who bore a list of people to be assassinated during the uprising that:

'I don’t work for Husayniya ('Husayni-ism') but for wataniya (nationalism).'[95]

He remained in Lebanon for two years, under French surveillance in the Christian village of Zouk,[96] but, in October 1939, his deteriorating relationship with the French and Syrian authorities led him to withdraw to the Kingdom of Iraq. By June 1939, after the disintegration of the revolt, Husseini's policy of killing only proven turncoats changed to one of liquidating all suspects, even members of his own family, according to one intelligence report.[97]

The rebellion itself had lasted until March 1939, when it was finally quelled by British troops. It forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands. Jewish immigration was to continue but under restrictions, with a quota of 75,000 places spread out over the following five years. On the expiry of this period further Jewish immigration would depend on Arab consent. Besides local unrest, another key factor in bringing about a decisive change in British policy was Nazi Germany's preparations for a European war, which would develop into a worldwide conflict. In British strategic thinking, securing the loyalty and support of the Arab world assumed an importance of some urgency[citation needed]. While Jewish support was unquestioned, Arab backing in a new global conflict was by no means assured. By promising to phase out Jewish immigration into Palestine, Britain hoped to win back support from wavering Arabs.[98] Al-Husseini nonetheless felt that the concessions did not go far enough, and he rejected the new policy. See also Peel Commission, White Paper of 1939.

Neve Gordon writes that al-Husseini regard all alternative nationalist views as treasonous, opponents became traitors and collaborators, and patronizing or employing Jews of any description illegitimate.[99] From Beirut he continued to issue directives. The price for murdering opposition leaders and peace leaders rose by July to 100 Palestinian pounds: a suspected traitor 25 pounds, and a Jew 10.</ref> Notwithstanding this, ties with the Jews were reestablished by leading families such as the Nashashibis, and by the Fahoum of Nazareth.[100]

Ties with the Axis Powers during World War II

The nature of al-Husseini's support for the Axis powers, and his alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy is hotly disputed. Some, like Renzo de Felice, deny that the relationship can be taken to reflect a putative affinity of Arab nationalism with Nazi/Fascist ideology, and that men like Husseini chose them as allies for purely strategic reasons,[101] on the grounds that, as Husseini later wrote in his memoirs,'the enemy of your enemy is your friend',[102] others think that Husseini's motives were deeply inflected by antisemitism from the outstart.[citation needed]


In 1933, within weeks of Hitler's rise to power in Germany, the German Consul-General in Palestine, the pro-nazi Heinrich Wolff,[103] sent a telegram to Berlin reporting al-Husseini's belief that Palestinian Muslims were enthusiastic about the new regime and looked forward to the spread of Fascism throughout the region. Wolff met al-Husseini and many sheiks again, a month later, at Nabi Musa. They expressed their approval of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany and asked Wolff not to send any Jews to Palestine.[104] Wolff subsequently wrote in his annual report for that year that the Arabs' political naïvety led them to fail to recognize the link between German Jewish policy and their problems in Palestine, and that their enthusiasm for Nazi Germany was devoid of any real understanding of the phenomenon.[105] The various proposals by Palestinian notables like al-Husseini were rejected consistently over the years out of concern to avoid disrupting Anglo-German relations, in line with Germany's policy of not imperilling their economic and cultural interests in the region by a change in their policy of neutrality, and respect for British interests. Hitler's Englandpolitik essentially precluded significant assistance to Arab leaders.[106] Italy also made the nature of its assistance to the Palestinians contingent on the outcome of its own negotiations with Britain, and cut off aid when it appeared that the British were ready to admit the failure of their pro-Zionist policy in Palestine.[107] Al-Husseini's adversary, Ze'ev Jabotinsky had at the same time cut off Irgun ties with Italy after the passage of antisemitic racial legislation.

Though Italy did offer substantial aid, some German assistance also trickled through. After asking the new German Consul-General, Hans Döhle on 21 July 1937 for support, the Abwehr briefly made an exception to its policy and gave some limited aid. But this was aimed to exert pressure on Britain over Czechoslovakia. Promised arms shipments never eventuated.[108] This was not the only diplomatic front on which al-Husseini was active. A month after his visit to Döhle, he met with the American Consul George Wadsworth (August 1937), to whom he professed his belief that America was remote from imperialist ambitions and therefore able to understand that Zionism 'represented a hostile and imperialist aggression directed against an inhabited country’. In a further interview with Wadsworth on August 31, he expressed his fears that Jewish influence in the United States might persuade the country to side with Zionists.[109] In the same period he courted the French government by expressing a willingness to assist them in the region.[110]

In the Middle East

With the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 the Iraqi Government complied with a British request to break off diplomatic relations with Germany, interned all German nationals, and introduced emergency measures putting Iraq on a virtual war-footing.[111] A circle of 7 officers opposed this decision and the measures taken. With Nuri as-Said's agreement - he wished to persuade al-Husseini of the value of the British White Paper of 1939 - they invited al-Husseini to Iraq in October 1939, and he was to play an influential role there in the following two years. A quadrumvirate of four younger generals among the seven, three of whom had served with al-Husseini in WW1, were hostile to the idea of subordinating Iraqi national interests to Britain's war strategy and requirements.[112][113] In March 1940, the nationalist Rashid Ali replaced Nuri as-Said. Ali made covert contacts with German representatives in the Middle East, though he was not yet an openly pro-Axis supporter, and al-Husseini's personal secretary Kemal Hadad acted as a liaison between the Axis powers and these officers.[114]

In mid May 1940, despairing of their ability to secure control of Iraq's oil fields and deny access to Germany, the British turned to the extremist Irgun, approaching one of its commanders, David Raziel, whom they had imprisoned in Palestine. They asked him if he would undertake to destroy Iraq's oil refineries, and thus turn off the spigots to Germany. Raziel agreed on condition he be allowed to kidnap the Mufti and bring him back to Palestine. The mission plan was changed at the last moment, however, and Raziel died when his plane was shot down by a German fighter.[115][116]

When the Anglo-Iraqi War broke out, like many clerics in Iraq, al-Husseini issued a fatwa for a holy war against Britain. When the coup d'état failed, - what little German and Italian assistance was given played a negligible role in the war[117] - he escaped to Persia, where he was granted legation asylum first by Japan, and then by Italy. On October 8, after the occupation of Persia by the Allies and after the new Persian government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi severed diplomatic relations with the Axis powers, al-Husseini fled through Turkey to Axis Europe.[118][119] Specifically, he fled to Fascist Italy with the Italian diplomats who provided him with an Italian service passport. To avoid recognition, al-Husseini changed his appearance by shaving his beard and dying his hair.[120]

In Nazi-occupied Europe

Al-Husseini arrived in Rome on October 11, 1941, and immediately contacted Italian Military Intelligence (Servizio Informazioni Militari, or SIM). He presented himself as head of a secret Arab nationalist organization with offices in all Arab countries. On condition that the Axis powers 'recognize in principle the unity, independence, and sovereignty, of an Arab state, including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan', he offered support in the war against Britain and stated his willingness to discuss the issues of 'the Holy Places, Lebanon, the Suez Canal, and Aqaba'. The Italian foreign ministry approved al-Husseini's proposal, recommended giving him a grant of one million lire, and referred him to Benito Mussolini, who met al-Husseini on October 27. According to al-Husseini's account, it was an amicable meeting in which Mussolini expressed his hostility to the Jews and Zionism.[121]

Back in the summer of 1940 and again in February 1941, al-Husseini submitted to the German government a draft declaration of German-Arab cooperation, containing a clause:

Germany and Italy recognize the right of the Arab countries to solve the question of the Jewish elements, which exist in Palestine and in the other Arab countries, as required by the national and ethnic (völkisch) interests of the Arabs, and as the Jewish question was solved in Germany and Italy.[122]

Now, encouraged by his meeting with the Italian leader, al-Husseini prepared a draft declaration, affirming the Axis support for the Arabs on November 3. In three days, the declaration, slightly amended by the Italian foreign ministry, received the formal approval of Mussolini and was forwarded to the German embassy in Rome. On November 6, al-Husseini arrived in Berlin, where he discussed the text of his declaration with Ernst von Weizsäcker and other German officials. In the final draft, which differed only marginally from al-Husseini's original proposal, the Axis powers declared their readiness to approve the elimination (Beseitigung) of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.[123]

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler (December 1941).

On November 20, al-Husseini met the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop[124] and was officially received by Adolf Hitler on November 28.[125] He asked Hitler for a public declaration that 'recognized and sympathized with the Arab struggles for independence and liberation, and that would support the elimination of a national Jewish homeland'.[126] Hitler refused to make such a public announcement, saying that it would strengthen the Gaullists against the Vichy France,[127] but asked al-Husseini to 'to lock ...deep in his heart' the following points, which Christopher Browning summarizes as follows, that

‘Germany has resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time, direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well'. When Germany had defeated Russia and broken through the Caucasus into the Middle East, it would have no further imperial goals of its own and would support Arab liberation... But Hitler did have one goal. "Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power". (Das deutsche Ziel würde dann lediglich die Vernichtung des im arabischen Raum unter der Protektion der britischen Macht lebenden Judentums sein). In short, Jews were not simply to be driven out of the German sphere but would be hunted down and destroyed even beyond it.’[128]

Al-Husseini meeting with Muslim volunteers, including the Legion of Azerbaijan, at the opening of the Islamic Central Institute in Berlin on 18 December 1942, during the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha.

A separate record of the meeting was made by Fritz Grobba, who until recently had been the German ambassor to Iraq. His version of the crucial words reads 'when the hour of Arab liberation comes, Germany has no interest there other than the destruction of the power protecting the Jews".[129] Al-Husseini's own account of this point, as recorded in his diary, is very similar to Grobba's.[130]

In December 1942, al-Husseini held a speech at the celebration of the opening of the Islamic Central Institute (Islamische Zentralinstitut) in Berlin, of which he served as honorary chair. In the speech, he harshly criticised those he considered as aggressors against Muslims, namely "Jews, Bolsheviks and Anglo-Saxons." At the time of the opening of the Islamic Central Institute, there were an estimated 3,000 Muslims in Germany, including 400 German converts. The Islamic Central Institute gave the Muslims in Germany institutional ties to the 'Third Reich'.[131]

The Holocaust

Al-Husseini had been residing in Berlin during the war, though denied knowing of the Holocaust in the aftermath trial.

On November 2, 1943, Himmler sent a telegram to the Mufti: To the Grand Mufti: The National Socialist movement of Greater Germany has, since its inception, inscribed upon its flag the fight against the world Jewry. It has therefore followed with particular sympathy the struggle of freedom-loving Arabs, especially in Palestine, against Jewish interlopers. In the recognition of this enemy and of the common struggle against it lies the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between the National Socialist Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims of the whole world. In this spirit I am sending you on the anniversary of the infamous Balfour declaration my hearty greetings and wishes for the successful pursuit of your struggle until the final victory. Reichsfuehrer S.S. Heinrich Himmler

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Heinrich Himmler (1943).

Husseini intervened on May 13, 1943, with the German Foreign Office to block possible transfers of Jews from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, after reports reached him that 4000 Jewish children accompanied by 500 adults had managed to reach Palestine. He asked that the Foreign Minister "to do his utmost" to block all such proposals and this request was complied with.[132] A year later, on the 25 July 1944, he wrote to the Hungarian foreign minister to register his objection to the release of certificates for 900 Jewish children and 100 adults for transfer from Hungary, fearing they might end up in Palestine. He suggested that if such transfers of population were deemed necessary, then:

"it would be indispensable and infinitely preferable to send them to other countries where they would find themselves under active control, as for example Poland, thus avoiding danger and preventing damage."[133]

Among the acts of sabotage al-Husseini attempted to implement, Michael Bar Zohar reports a chemical warfare assault on the second largest and predominantly Jewish city in Palestine, Tel Aviv. According to him, five parachutists were sent with a toxin to dump into the water system. The police caught the infiltrators in a cave near Jericho, and according to Jericho district police commander Fayiz Bey Idrissi, 'The laboratory report stated that each container held enough poison to kill 25,000 people, and there were at least ten containers.'. Medoff concludes,

Under Husseini's direction, teams of Arab saboteurs were parachuted into Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine, where they attacked Allied facilities such as telephone lines, pipelines, bridges and railways. One such sabotage team was armed with a substantial quantity of poison that they were supposed to dump into the Tel Aviv water system. (In a separate but related matter, the Mufti repeatedly urged the Germans to bomb Tel Aviv[134] and Jerusalem 'in order to injure Palestinian Jewry and for propaganda purposes in the Arab world', as his Nazi interlocutors put it. The proposals were rejected as militarily unfeasible.[135]

Wolfgang G. Schwanitz notes that in his memoirs Husseini recalled that Heinrich Himmler, in the summer of 1943, while confiding some German war secrets, inveighed against Jewish "war guilt", and, speaking of Germany’s persecution of the Jews said that "up to now we have exterminated (in Arabic, abadna) around three million of them". In his memoirs, Husseini wrote he was astonished to hear this. Schwanitz doubts the sincerity of his surprise since, he argues, Husseini had publicly declared that Muslims should follow the example Germans set for a "definitive solution to the Jewish problem".[136]

In September 1943, intense negotiations to rescue 500 Jewish children from the town of Arbe in Croatia collapsed due to the objection of al-Husseini who blocked the children's departure to Turkey because they would end up in Palestine.[137]

According to two researchers, Klaus Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, recent Nazi documents uncovered in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Archive Service in Freiburg indicate that, in the event of the British being defeated in Egypt by Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, the Nazis planned to deploy a special unit called Einsatzkommando Ägypten to exterminate Palestinian Jews and that they wanted Arab support to prevent the emergence of a Jewish state.

Propaganda and recruitment

Insignia of the 13th Handschar Division
November 1943 al-Husseini greeting Bosnian Waffen-SS volunteers.

Throughout World War II, al-Husseini worked for the Axis Powers as a broadcaster in propaganda targeting Arab public opinion. The Mufti was paid “an absolute fortune” of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year).[138] Walter Winchell called him 'the Arabian Lord Haw-Haw.'[139]

He recruited Muslim volunteers for the German armed forces operating in the Balkans. Beginning in 1941, al-Husseini visited Bosnia, and convinced Muslim leaders that a Muslim S.S. division would be in the interest of Islam. In spite of these and other propaganda efforts, "only half of the expected 20,000 to 25,000 Muslims volunteered'.[140] Al-Husseini was involved in the organization and recruitment of Bosnian Muslims into several divisions of the Waffen SS and other units. The largest was the 13th Handschar division of 21,065 men, which conducted operations against Communist partisans in the Balkans from February 1944,[141] committing numerous atrocities against their traditional ethnic rivals the local Christian Serbs.[142]

In 1942, al-Husseini helped organize Arab students and North African emigres in Germany into the "Arabisches Freiheitkorps," an Arab Legion in the German Army that hunted down Allied parachutists in the Balkans and fought on the Russian front.[143]

On March 1, 1944, while speaking on Radio Berlin, al-Husseini said: 'Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.'[144][145][146] He was promised the leadership of Palestine after German troops had driven out the British.[147] At the end of the war, he was allowed to flee to Syria as part of an attempt to prevent the alienation of Middle Eastern regimes.[147]

Nuremburg and postwar accusations

One of Adolf Eichmann's deputies, Dieter Wisliceny, stated after the war that al-Husseini had actively encouraged the extermination of European Jews, and that he had had an elaborate meeting with Eichmann at his office, during which Eichmann gave him an intensive look at the current state of the “Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe” by the Third Reich. This testimony was denied by Eichmann at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem. Eichmann stated that he had only been introduced to al-Husseini during an official reception, along with all other department heads. In the final judgement, the Jerusalem court stated: 'In the light of this partial admission by the Accused, we accept as correct Wisliceny's statement about this conversation between the Mufti and the Accused. In our view it is not important whether this conversation took place in the Accused's office or elsewhere. On the other hand, we cannot determine decisive findings with regard to the Accused on the basis of the notes appearing in the Mufti's diary which were submitted to us.'[148][149] Hannah Arendt, who attended the complete Eichmann trial, concluded in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil that, 'The trial revealed only that all rumours about Eichmann's connection with Haj Amin el Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, were unfounded.'[150] Rafael Medoff concludes that 'actually there is no evidence that the Mufti's presence was a factor at all; the Wisliceny hearsay is not merely uncorroborated, but conflicts with everything else that is known about the origins of the Final Solution.'[143] Bernard Lewis also called Wisliceny's testimony into doubt: 'There is no independent documentary confirmation of Wisliceny's statements, and it seems unlikely that the Nazis needed any such additional encouragement from the outside.'[151] Some have argued that efforts by the Mufti to halt Jewish emigration to Palestine set the stage for the Nazi extermination programme.[152]

Activities after World War II

Arrest and flight

After the end of the Second World War, al-Husseini fled to Switzerland, was detained and expelled back to Germany.[citation needed]. He was arrested at Constanz by the French occupying troops on 5 May 1945, and on 19 May, he was transferred to the Paris region and put under house arrest.[153]

Henri Ponsot, a former ambassador of France in Syria, lead the discussions with him and had a decisive influence on the events.[153] The French authorities expected an improvement of France status in the Arab world through his intermediaries and accorded him "special detention conditions, benefits and ever more important privileges and constantly worried about his well-being and that of his entourage'.[153] In October, he was even given permission to buy a car in the name of one of his secretaries and enjoyed some freedom of movement and could also meet whoever he wanted.[153] Al-Husseini proposed to the French two possibilities of cooperation: 'either an action in Egypt, Iraq and even Transjordan to calm the anti-French excitement after the events in Syria and because of its domination in North Africa; or that he would take the initiative of provocations in [Palestine], in Egypt and in Iraq against Great Britain', so that the Arabs countries will pay more attention to British policy than to that of France.[153] Al-Husseini was very satisfied with his situation in France and stayed there for a full year.[153]

As early as 24 May, Great Britain requested al-Husseini's extradition, arguing that he was a British citizen who had collaborated with the Nazis.[153] Despite the fact that he was on the list of war criminals, France decided to consider him as a political prisoner and refused to comply with the British request. France also refused to extradite him to Yugoslavia where the government wanted to prosecute him for the massacres of Serbs.[153] Poussot believed al-Husseini's claims that the massacre of Serbs had been performed by General Mikhailovitch and not by him. Al-Husseini also explained that 200,000 Muslims and 40,000 Christians had been assassinated by the Serbs and that he had established a division of soldiers only after Bosnian Muslims had asked for his help, and that Germans and Italians had refused to provide any support to them.[153] In the meantime, the Zionist authorities—fearing that al-Husseini would escape—backed Yugoslavia's request for extradition. They stated that al-Husseini was also responsible for massacres in Greece and pointed out his action against the Allies in Iraq in 1941; additionally they requested the support of the United States in the matter.[153]

In June, Yishuv leaders decided to eliminate al-Husseini. Although al-Husseini was located by Jewish Army members who began to plan an assassination, the mission was canceled in December by Moshe Sharett or by David Ben Gurion,[154] probably because they feared turning the Grand Mufti into a martyr.[153]

In September, the French decided to organize his transfer to an Arab country. Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Yemen were considered and diplomatic contacts were made with their authorities and with the Arab League.[153]

On 29 May, al-Husseini left France on a TWA flight for Cairo using a fake Syrian passport. It took more than 12 days for the French Foreign Minister to realize he had fled, and the British were not able to arrest him in Egypt.[153]

On 12 August 1947, al-Husseini wrote to French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, thanking him for French behavior towards him and suggesting that France continue this policy to increase its prestige in the eyes of all Muslims. In September, a delegation of the Arab Higher Committee went to Paris and proposed that Arabs would adopt a neutral position on the North African question in exchange of France's support in the Palestinian question.[153]

1948 Palestine War and establishment of All-Palestine Government

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Gamal Abdel Nasser, the future Egyptian president in 1948

On the eve of the United Nations' partition of Mandatory Palestine, King Abdullah, who shared with Zionists an hostility to Palestinian nationalism, reached a secret entente with Golda Meir to thwart the mufti and annex the part of Palestine in exchange for Jordan's dropping its opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state. The meeting, in Shlaim's words, 'laid the foundations for a partition of Palestine along lines radically different from the ones eventually envisaged by the United Nations'.[155] Husseini's popularity in the Arab world had risen during his time with the Nazis, and Arab leaders rushed to greet him on his return, and the masses accorded him an enthusiastic reception, an attitude which was to change rapidly after the defeat of 1948, when he was singled out as a scapegoat to blame for the failure.[156]

From his Egyptian exile, al-Husseini used what influence he had to encourage the participation of the Egyptian military in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He was involved in some high level negotiations between Arab leaders - before and during the War - at a meeting held in Damascus in February 1948, to organize Palestinian Field Commands and the commanders of the Holy War Army. Hasan Salama and Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (his nephew), were allocated to the Lydda district and Jerusalem respectively. This decision paved the way for undermining the Mufti's position among the Arab States. On February 9, four days after the Damascus meeting, he suffered a severe setback at the Arab League's Cairo session, when his demands for more Palestinian self-determination for Palestine's fate were rejected. His demands included, the appointment of a Palestinian to the League's General Staff, the formation of a Palestinian Provisional Government, the transfer of authority to local National Committees in areas evacuated by the British, and both a loan for Palestinian administration and an appropriation of large sums to the Arab Higher Executive for Palestinians entitled to war damages.[157]

The Arab League blocked recruitment to al-Husseini's forces,[158] and they collapsed following the death of one of his most charismatic commanders, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, on April 8.

Following rumors that King Abdullah I of Transjordan was reopening the bilateral negotiations with Israel that he had previously conducted clandestinely with the Jewish Agency, the Arab League - led by Egypt - decided to set up the All-Palestine Government in Gaza on 8 September 1948 under the nominal leadership of al-Husseini. Avi Shlaim writes:

'The decision to form the Government of All-Palestine in Gaza, and the feeble attempt to create armed forces under its control, furnished the members of the Arab League with the means of divesting themselves of direct responsibility for the prosecution of the war and of withdrawing their armies from Palestine with some protection against popular outcry. Whatever the long-term future of the Arab government of Palestine, its immediate purpose, as conceived by its Egyptian sponsors, was to provide a focal point of opposition to Abdullah and serve as an instrument for frustrating his ambition to federate the Arab regions with Transjordan'.[159]

The All-Palestine Government was under the nominal leadership of Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. Ahmed Hilmi Abd al-Baqi was named Prime Minister. Hilmi's cabinet consisted largely of relatives and followers of Amin al-Husseini, but also included representatives of other factions of the Palestinian ruling class. Jamal al-Husayni became foreign minister, Raja al-Husayni became defense minister, Michael Abcarius was finance minister, and Anwar Nusseibeh was secretary of the cabinet. Twelve ministers in all, living in different Arab countries, headed for Gaza to take up their new positions. The decision to set up the All-Palestine Government made the Arab Higher Committee irrelevant, but Amin al-Husseini continued to exercise an influence in Palestinian affairs. A Palestinian National Council was convened in Gaza on 30 September 1948, under the chairmanship of Amin al-Husseini. The council passed a series of resolutions culminating on 1 October 1948 with a declaration of independence over the whole of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.[160]

Abdullah regarded the attempt to revive al-Husseini's Holy War Army as a challenge to his authority and on October 3, his minister of defense ordered all armed bodies operating in the areas controlled by the Arab Legion to be disbanded. Glubb Pasha carried out the order ruthlessly and efficiently.[161] The sum effect was that:

'The leadership of al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Arab Higher Committee, which had dominated the Palestinian political scene since the 1920s, was devastated by the disaster of 1948 and discredited by its failure to prevent it.'[162]

The nakba narratives, according to Hillel Cohen, tend to ignore the open resistance to al-Husseini by many influential Palestinians. A member of the Darwish family on expressing dissent with Husseini's war objective in favour of negotiation was told by the mufti: idha takalam al-seif, uskut ya kalam – 'when the sword talks, there is no place for talking'.[163] Many recalled his policy of assassinating mukhtars in the Revolt of 1936-39 and viewed Husseini and his kind as 'an assembly of traitors'.[164]

Exile from Jerusalem

King Abdullah I had assigned the position of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to Husam Al-din Jarallah. The king was assassinated on 20 July 1951, on the eve of projected secret talks with Israel, by a militant, Mustafa Ashu, of the jihad al-muqaddas, while entering the Haram ash-Sharif to pray. There is no evidence al-Husseini was involved, though Musa al-Husayni was among the six indicted and executed after a disputed verdict.[165] Abdullah was succeeded by King Talal - who refused to allow al-Husseini entry into Jerusalem. Abdullah's grandson, Hussein, who had been present at the murder, eventually lifted the ban in 1967, receiving al-Husseini as an honoured guest in his Jerusalem royal residence after uprooting the PLO from Jordan.[166]

Al-Husseini remained in exile at Heliopolis in Egypt throughout much of the 1950s. As before 1948 when the Yishuv believed the ex-Mufti's hand could be detected 'behind every anti-Jewish pogrom, murder, and act of sabotage',[167] Israel persisted in asserting that al-Husseini was behind many border raids from Jordanian and Egyptian-held territory, and Egypt expressed a readiness to deport him if evidence were forthcoming to substantiate the charges.[168] In 1959 he moved to Lebanon. Al-Husseini died in Beirut, on 4 July 1974. He wished to be buried in Jerusalem, but the Israeli government refused this request, and as in the meantime, during the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel had captured East Jerusalem from Jordan, it exercised administrative jurisdiction over the area. His granddaughter married Ali Hassan Salameh, the founder of PLO's Black September.

Aftermath: Amin al-Husseini and antisemitism

al-Husseini is pictured by many scholars as a staunch antisemite[169] Others state that he was not at all antisemitic.[170]

Zvi Elpeleg, while rehabilitating him from other charges,[171] concludes his chapter concerning al-Husseini's involvement in the extermination of the Jews as follows:

'[i]n any case, there is no doubt that Haj Amin's hatred was not limited to Zionism, but extended to Jews as such. His frequent, close contacts with leaders of the Nazi regime cannot have left Haj Amin any doubt as to the fate which awaited Jews whose emigration was prevented by his efforts. His many comments show that he was not only delighted that Jews were prevented from emigrating to Palestine, but was very pleased by the Nazi's Final Solution'.[172]

This is also reported by Walter Laqueur[173] In a study dedicated to the role and use of the Holocaust in Israeli nationalist discourse, Idith Zertal takes a new look at al-Husseini's alleged antisemitism. She states that 'in more correct proportions, [he should be pictured] as a fanatic nationalist-religious Palestinian leader'.[174] Benny Morris has recently argued that 'al-Husayni was deeply anti-Semitic', since he 'explained the Holocaust as owing to the Jews' sabotage of the German war effort in World War I and [their] character: (...) their selfishness, rooted in their belief that they are the chosen people of God'.[175] For Morris attempts to picture al-Husaini as merely anti-Zionist are wrong, given his expressions of extreme hatred towards the Jews in general.[176] In the same lecture he affirmed his belief that al-Huseini certainly knew of the Holocaust during his sojourn in Berlin, and that, while not one of the perpertrators, he was 'rather happy it is taking place'.[177]

Klaus Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers write that, 'Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, was the Nazis' most important collaborator and an absolute Arab anti-Semite.'[178]

Historical assessments

In the immediate postwar period, al-Husseini was almost invariably characterised as antisemitic. His first biographer, Moshe Pearlman, described him as virulently antisemitic,[179] as did, a decade and a half later, Joseph Schechtman.[180] More recent biographers like Mattar and Elpeleg, writing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began to emphasize his nationalism.[181] While the Palestinian historian Mattar blames him as the main culprit of sowing the seeds of the Arab-Israeli conflict,[182] Israeli historian Elpeleg, who formerly governed both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, compares him to Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and even to Theodor Herzl.[183]

Peter Novick has argued that the post-war historiographical depiction of al-Husseini reflected complex geopolitical interests that distorted the record.

'The claims of Palestinian complicity in the murder of the European Jews were to some extent a defensive strategy, a preemptive response to the Palestinian complaint that if Israel was recompensed for the Holocaust, it was unjust that Palestinian Muslims should pick up the bill for the crimes of European Christians. The assertion that Palestinians were complicit in the Holocaust was mostly based on the case of the Mufti of Jerusalem, a pre-World War II Palestinian nationalist leader who, to escape imprisonment by the British, sought refuge during the war in Germany. The Mufti was in many ways a disreputable character, but post-war claims that he played any significant part in the Holocaust have never been sustained. This did not prevent the editors of the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust from giving him a starring role. The article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and Goering, longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann--of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly, by the entry for Hitler.'[184]

In a report of recently declassified information by the American government and published in the National Archives, the British head of Palestine’s Criminal Investigation Division told an American military attaché that the Mufti might be the only person who could unite the Palestinian Arabs and 'cool off the Zionists'.[185]

See also


  1. ^ "Husseini" is the French transliteration preferred by the family itself, from the time when French was the dominant Western language taught in the Ottoman Empire. Laurens 1999, p. 19
  2. ^ Laurens 1999, pp. 506–512.
  3. ^ Efrat 2011, pp. 17–18: 'In 1937, due to Hajj Amin-al-Husseini's involvement in the revolt, the British deposed him as Mufti and declared the Arab Higher Committee illegal.'
  4. ^ Fisk 2006, p. 443.
  5. ^ Brynen 1990, p. 20:'The leadership of al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Arab Higher Committee, which had dominated Palestinian political scene since the 1920s, was devastated by the disaster of 1948 and discredited by its failure to prevent it. The socio-economic base underlying the political power of traditional Palestinian notables was severely disrupted.'
  6. ^ Mattar 1992, p. ? explains there is a controversy about his birth date due to the transcription from the Islamic calendar and concludes he was born in 1895 and not in 1893;Laurens 2002, p. 624,n.5 remarks that al-Husseini had obvious reasons for passing himself off as older than he was. In the first volume of his trilogy (Laurens 1999, p. 425) Laurens had used Mattar's dating
  7. ^ Mattar 1992, p. 6;Pappé 1994, p. 2.
  8. ^ Laurens 1999, p. 425.
  9. ^ a b Krämer 2008, p. 219.
  10. ^ Laurens 1999, pp. 425–6:Laurens 2002, pp. 467. Antébi considered al-Husseini his pupil, and refers to him in a letter, for which see Elizabeth Antébi,L’homme du Sérail, NiL, Paris, 1996 p. 563, cited by Laurens.
  11. ^ Sicker 2000, p. 33; Krämer 2008, p. 219
  12. ^ a b Matthews 2006, p. 31.
  13. ^ Laurens 1999, p. 409
  14. ^ Huneidi 2001, p. 35.
  15. ^ Friedman & 2000 pp.239-240.
  16. ^ Tauber 1994, pp. 79ff., esp96ff..
  17. ^ Huneidi 2001, p. 40.The report was never published, the newly appointed High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel informing the War Office that it was best forgotten.
  18. ^ Schechtman 1986, pp. 334–337 writes that Jabotinsky was charged with contravening proclamations 36, 57, and articles 45,56, 58 of the Ottoman Penal Code.
  19. ^ The charge was for violating paragraphs 32, 57, and 63 of the Ottoman code, dealing with incitement to riot.[citation needed]. In his memoirs, Sir Ronald Storrs wrote: 'The immediate fomenter of the Arab excesses had been one Haj Amin al-Husseini, the younger brother of Kāmel Effendi, The Mufti. Like most agitators, having incited the man in the street to violence and probable punishment, he fled.' Storrs & 1972 p.
  20. ^ Laurens 1999, pp. 506–512
  21. ^ Segev 2001, p. 140
  22. ^ Regarding the whole period preceding the riot, marked by conflicting rumours, Laurens writes:'For several months, the intelligence service Zionists organised in 1918 multiplied warnings about plots by Arab activists. These pieces of information never received any confirmation from the British (or French) intelligence service. Later Arab sources show this quite clearly: no one claimed responsibility for any planning (prémeditation) for the events, even several decades afterwards'. Laurens 1999, p. 506.
  23. ^ Tauber 1994, p. 102.
  24. ^ Huneidi 2001, p. 37 citing the Palin Report, pp. 29-33.
  25. ^ Nicosia 2008.
  26. ^ Tauber 1994, pp. 105–109.
  27. ^ Morris 1999, pp. 111ff..
  28. ^ Elpeleg 1993, pp. 7–10.
  29. ^ Kupferschmidt 1987, pp. 19,78:'Soon after the British began to style Kāmil al-Husaynī as the Grand Muftī (al-muftī al-akbar), a title which had hitherto been unknown in Palestine but which was probably copied from Egypt.This gesture was, in part, meant as a reward for Kāmil’s cooperation with the British, but it may have been intended to substitute some kind of a new hierarchy for the former Ottoman one'.
  30. ^ Elpeleg 1993, p. 11:'He demanded that the title Grand Mufti, which had been granted to his brother by the British for cooperating with them, also be given to him, and that his salary be higher than that of the other muftis. Richmond and Storrs supported this claim, arguing that since, from the spiritual and religious points of view, the status of Jerusalem was superior to that of other regions in Palestine, the Mufti of Jerusalem should be considered head of the country's Muslim community. '.
  31. ^ Khalidi 2001, p. 22:'After their occupation of the country, the British created the entirely new post of "grand mufti of Palestine" (al-mufti al-akbar), who was also designated the "mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestine region" (mufti al-Quds wal-diyar al-filistiniyya).
  32. ^ Cohen 1989, p. 69.
  33. ^ Sicker 2000, pp. 32f.:Elpeleg 1993, p. 48.
  34. ^ Matthews 2006, pp. 31–32:'It was not scholarly religious credentials that made Hajj Amin an attractive candidate for president of the SMC in the eyes of colonial officials. Rather, it was the combination of his being an effective nationalist activist and a member of one of Jerusalem’s most respected notable families that made it advantageous to align his interests with those of the British administration and thereby keep him on a short tether.'
  35. ^ Reiter & 1996 pp22-24 for details.
  36. ^ Huneidi 2001, p. 38 This excludes funds for land purchases. The 'Jewish Agency', mentioned in article 4 of the Mandate only became the official term in 1928. At the time the organisation was called the Palestine Zionist Executive.
  37. ^ Robinson 1997, p. 6.
  38. ^ Morris 1999, p. 111
  39. ^ Kupferschmidt 1987, pp. 131–132 for a detailed list of the several sites on the Haram that underwent extensive renovation.
  40. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 156writes that Mahdi of the last days was also to appear at the al-Aqsa mosque.
  41. ^ Monk 2002, p. 61 The name is occasionally given as Kamal Bey, or Kamal al-Din in primary and secondary sources)
  42. ^ Monk 2002, pp. 42–72 for a detailed account of Richmond's role. Richmond authored an important volume on the Haram (Ernest Tatham Richmond, The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem: A description of its structure and decoration, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1924).
  43. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 156.
  44. ^ Kupferschmidt 1987, pp. 127ff.,130. The mosaic tesserae however were manufactured in, and imported from, Turkey.
  45. ^ Sicker 2000, p. 77.
  46. ^ Benvenisti 1996, pp. 77f. writes that Rabbi Kook had preached as early as 1920:'The Temple Mount is Israel’s holy place, and even should it be under the hand of others for long days and periods of time, it will finally come into our hands. . ,' which could merely mean however that, in rabbinical thought, with the coming of the Messiah, the Temple would automatically revert to the Jews.
  47. ^ Yaeger 1996, pp. 196ff..
  48. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 154.
  49. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 163.
  50. ^ The longest accounts for the riots are in Kolinksy 1993, pp. 42–70 and Segev 2001, pp. 309–327.
  51. ^ Among them Shukri al-Quwatli, Ihsan al-Jabiri and Adil Arslan
  52. ^ Kupferschmidt 1987, p. 131 gives the 26th: Laurens 2002, p. 155 gives the 17th.
  53. ^ a b Laurens 2002, p. 158.
  54. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 157: Kupferschmidt 1987, p. 131 gives September 24.
  55. ^ Ovendale 2004, p. 71.
  56. ^ Lajnat al-Difa and al-Buraq al-Sharif. See Monk 2002, p. 70. The Muslim name for the contested section of the wall, where Mohammed was said to have tethered his steed Buraq while on his famous visionary flight to heaven. See Krämer 2008, p. 225.
  57. ^ Gonen 2003, p. 141
  58. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 153,158–161,162
  59. ^ Muslims in the Mughrabi Quarter were to make similar complaints against the racket of Hasidic ritual dancing in the area on the night of the anniversary of Muhammad's birth, 16th.August 1929.Laurens 2002, p. 170.
  60. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 163–165.
  61. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 632. n.3: 'Fixed hours of Jewish worship' was given, instead of 'customary hours of Jewish worship'.
  62. ^ Sicker 2000, p. 79:'This was done to ensure a new major influx of non-Zionist American wealth into the country to support the development of a Jewish national home'.
  63. ^ Sicker 2000, pp. 179ff..
  64. ^ Laqueur 2002, pp. 168–169.
  65. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 168–169.
  66. ^ Krämer 2008, p. 230.
  67. ^ Krämer 2008, p. 230 writes that it was in revenge for the former incident.
  68. ^ Particularly with Riad al-Suhl
  69. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 171 asserts that 'The matter was sufficiently important. . for this not to be (read as) an attempt to secure an alibi for subsequent events'.
  70. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 168–172.
  71. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 173.
  72. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 179; Sicker 2000, p. 46 gives 133 Jewish killed, and 339 wounded, 116 Arabs known to be killed, and 232 known to be wounded, the latter almost entirely due to police actions. The Arab wounded are those registered by the Mandatory authorities. Many preferred to hide their injuries.
  73. ^ Huneidi 2001, p. 36 citing Palin Report p. 184.
  74. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 175–176.
  75. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 180–181.
  76. ^ Great Britain 1930, pp. 158–159
  77. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 199.
  78. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 200 citing Samuel 1970, p. 96, which records several long talks of members of Brit Shalom with Snell.
  79. ^ a b Great Britain 1930, p. 172.
  80. ^ Permanent Mandates Commission 1930.
  81. ^ Lachman 1982, pp. 75–76.
  82. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 297.
  83. ^ Rosen 2005, p. 104. Rosen notes that, by 1934, it had 63 cells (400 youths).
  84. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 292,297f. One such discovery, in the port of Haifa, in October 1935, of a shipment of arms from Germany, with the apparent authorization of the Nazi MInistry for Internal Affairs, and destined for the Haganah, led to great agitation and played into the hands of those Arabs who pressed for more radical activities.
  85. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 376.
  86. ^ De Felice 1990, pp. 210–211 mentions £138,000 from 10 September 1936 to 15 June 1938. Earlier, in January 1936 Italy had given al-Husseini £12,000 of a promised £25,000.
  87. ^ De Felice 1990, pp. 210.
  88. ^ Sachar 2006, pp. 199–200.
  89. ^ Sachar 1972, p. 73.
  90. ^ a b Sachar 2006, pp. 200–201.
  91. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 373:Levenberg 1993, p. 8 provides the text of the decree.
  92. ^ Rose 1986, p. 332.
  93. ^ Mattar 1988, p. 83.
  94. ^ Fieldhouse 2006, p. 169.
  95. ^ Swedenburg 2003, p. 87.
  96. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 374.
  97. ^ Cohen 2009, p. 171.
  98. ^ Hilberg 1973, p. 716.
  99. ^ Gordon 2008.
  100. ^ Cohen 2009, pp. 172–174
  101. ^ De Felice 1990, pp. 212–213:'It should be quite clear that this relation (arose) not, as a number of authors have nonetheless argued, because of a presumed affinity of their ideology with that of the Nazis or Fascists, no such thing existed, but by virtue of the wholly political logic (of events) that saw in the enemies (in deed or potentially) of their own enemies their own friends, particularly if the latter have already provided evidence - and this was, precisely, the case with Germany, and all the more so, with Italy -of being interested, in terms of the same political logic, in giving support to their cause'.('E questo, sia ben chiaro, non -come pure è stato sostenuto da vari autori - per una presunta affinità della loro ideologia con quelle nazista e fascista, che non esisteva, ma in forza della logica tutta politica che vede nei nemici (in atto o potenziali) dei propri nemici i propri amici, specie se essi hanno già dato prova - e questo era appunto il caso della Germania ed ancor più dell'Italia - di essere interessati, nella stessa logica politica, a sostenere la loro causa').
  102. ^
    واعتبرت المانيا بلدآ صديقآ لأنها لم تكن دولة مستعمرة ولم يسبق لها أن تعرضت بسوء لأية دولة عربية أو اسلامية, ولأنها كانت تقاتل أعداءنا من مستعمرين و صهيونيين, ولان عدو عدوك صديقك, و كنت موقنآ, أن انتصار المانيا سينقذ بلادنا حتمآ من خطر الصهيونية و الاستعمار

    Translation: 'I have considered Germany to be a friendly country, because it was not a colonizing country, and it never harmed any Arab or Islamic country, and because it was fighting our colonialist and Zionist enemies, and because the enemy of your enemy is your friend. And I was certain that Germany's victory would definitely save our countries from the danger of Zionism and colonization'.Mudhakkirat al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni, Damascus 1999 p.96.
  103. ^ Yahil 1990, p. 676, n.53 Wolff's wife was Jewish, and he was forced to resign in 1936. Hans Döhle replaced him.
  104. ^ Nicosia 2000, pp. 85–86.
  105. ^ Nicosia 2000, pp. 86–87.
  106. ^ Nicosia 2008, pp. 71,95,196.Check
  107. ^ De Felice 1990, pp. 211–212.
  108. ^ Nicosia 2007, pp. 105,185ff..
  109. ^ Davidson 2001, p. 239.
  110. ^ Laurens 2002, p. 467.
  111. ^ Tripp 2002, p. 99
  112. ^ Black 2049, p. 310.
  113. ^ Tripp 2002, pp. 100–102
  114. ^ Hirszowicz 1966, pp. 82–83.
  115. ^ Black 2004, pp. 324–6.
  116. ^ Mattar 1984, p. ?: Joseph Nevo, 'Al-Hajj Amin and the British in World War II', in Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 20, No. 1 (1984) pp. 3–16.
  117. ^ Tripp 2002, p. 105
  118. ^ Laurens 2002, pp. 463–4
  119. ^ Fisk 2006, p. 442
  120. ^ Lewis 1999, p. 150.
  121. ^ Lewis 1999, pp. 150–151.
  122. ^ Lewis 2002, p. 190
  123. ^ Lewis 1999, pp. 151–152.
  124. ^ Segev 2001, p. 463.
  125. ^ Lewis 1999, p. 152.
  126. ^ Lewis 2002, p. 190.
  127. ^ Lewis 1999, p. 151.check
  128. ^ Browning 2004, p. 406 drawing on Yisraeli 1974, p. 310.
  129. ^ Yisraeli 1974, p. 310:denn die Stunde der Befreieung der Araber habe dann geschlagen, Deutschland habe dort keine anderen Interessen als die Vernichtung der das Judentum protegierenden Macht.
  130. ^ Schechtman 1965, pp. 307–308:'Germany has no ambitions in this area but cares only to annihilate the power which produces the Jews'. And earlier: 'It is clear that the Jews have accomplished nothing in Palestine and their claims are lies. Everything that has been achieved in Palestine is due to the Arabs and not the Jews. I (Hitler) have decided to find a solution to the Jewish problem, approaching it step by step without holding back. In this regard, I am about to make a just and indispensable appeal, firstly to all the European countries and, later, to countries outside of Europe'. Also in Laurens 2002, pp. 664–666 n.47
  131. ^ Günther & Zankel 2006, p. 7.
  132. ^ Hilberg 1973, p. 504.
  133. ^ SchechtmanJoseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Führer, ibid. pp. 154-155
  134. ^ Lewis 1997, p. 311
  135. ^ Medoff 1996 citing Bar-Zohar & Haber 2002, pp. 45–66 (check pagination). A British intelligence report on the interrogation of two captured members of one of the Mufti's sabotage teams is reprinted in The Arab War Effort: A Documented Account, New York, 1947, pp. 43-46. Internal German correspondence on this subject [the proposed bombing of Palestine], in German and in English translation, is appended to The Nation Associates, The Record of Collaboration of King Farouk of Egypt with the Nazis and Their Ally The Mufti: Memorandum Submitted to the United Nations, June 1948, New York, 1948.(The French version appeared in May 1947)
  136. ^ Schwanitz 2008 citing Abd al-Karim al-Umar (ed.), Memoirs of the Grand Mufti, Damascus, 1999, p.126.
  137. ^ Carpi 1977, p. 39.
  138. ^ Breitman & Goda 2011
  139. ^ Medoff 1996, p. 317
  140. ^ Mousavizadeh 1996, p. 23.
  141. ^ Patterson 2006, p. 118
  142. ^ Medoff 1996, p. ?.
  143. ^ a b Medoff 1996, p. ?
  144. ^ Sachar 1961, p. 231
  145. ^ Pearlman 1947, p. 51
  146. ^ Stillman 2000, p. 143.
  147. ^ a b Roberts 2010.
  148. ^ http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/Judgment/Judgment-050.html Eichmann trial: The Judgment
  149. ^ Eichmann had, indeed, been sent to Palestine in 1937, but that was on office business at a time when he was not even a commissioned officer. Apparently it concerned the Ha'avara Agreement for Jewish immigration into Palestine from Germany. As for contacting the Arab rebels in Palestine, or their leader the Mufti, Eichmann was turned back by the British authorities at the Egyptian border. It is doubtful whether Eichmann made contact with al-Husseini even in 1942, when the latter resided in Berlin. If this fallen idol makes an occasional appearance in Eichmann's office correspondence it is because Eichmann's superiors at the Foreign Office found the Mufti a very useful sacred cow, always to be invoked when the reception of Jewish refugees in Palestine was under discussion. Dieter Wisliceny even believed that Eichmann regarded al-Husseini as a colleague in a much expanded post-war Final Solution.'Reitlinger 1971, pp. 27–28.
  150. ^ Arendt 1965, p. 13.
  151. ^ Lewis 1999, p. 156.
  152. ^ Jakobovitz, Immanuel (1988). "Faith, Ethics and the Holocaust:Some personal, theological and religious responses to the Holocaust". Holocaust and genocide studies. Pergamon. p. 377. http://books.google.com/books?id=RGpFAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved 12 October 2011. "Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner, in the first analytical response (1978) to the Holocaust from those quarters, argued that the Mufti 's visit to Germany in 1942, in his efforts to prevent Jewish emigration to Palestine as urged by the Zionists, set the extermination programme of the Final Solution into motion." 
  153. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hershco 2006.
  154. ^ Shlaim 2000, pp. 156–7 regarding Ben-Gurion's relationship with al-Husseini writes of '(his) old tactic of projecting an image of reasonableness and placing the onus for the deadlock on the shoulders of his Arab opponents. This was the tactic that had served him so well in relation to the grand Mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and other Arab leaders in the pre-Independence period'.
  155. ^ Shlaim 2001, p. 30.
  156. ^ Elpeleg 1993, p. 106.
  157. ^ Levenberg 1993, p. 198.
  158. ^ Sayigh 2000, p. 14.
  159. ^ Shlaim 2001, p. 97.
  160. ^ Kassim 1988, p. 294.
  161. ^ Shlaim 2001, p. 99.
  162. ^ Brynen 1990, p. 20.
  163. ^ Cohen 2008, p. 257
  164. ^ Cohen 2008, p. 237.
  165. ^ Laurens 2007, p. 308.
  166. ^ Laurens 2007, p. 694.
  167. ^ Morris 1997, p. 57
  168. ^ Morris 1997, pp. 57ff.,232:'Both before and after 1948, the Yishuv was convinced that the ex-Mufti’s hand was behind every anti-Jewish pogrom, murder, and act of sabotage. The Jordanian authorities, always apprehensive of the Palestinians, suspected that the ex-Mufti – and various Arab regimes - were sponsoring terrorism from Jordan against Israel in order to foment trouble between the two and to destabilize the Hashemite rule’. . .There were persistent suspicions in Amman and Jerusalem that trhe Mufti and AHC had organized and were running a permanent anti-Israel, anti-Hashemite undergound in the West Bank. But not such organization was discovered between 1949 and 1956. The truth was somewhat more prosaic. The ex-Mufti had managed, through contact men and supporters in Jordan, to 'subcontract' occasional raids against Israel.'
  169. ^ Sachar 1961, p. 231.
  170. ^ Laurens 2002, p. ?
  171. ^ Rouleau 1994
  172. ^ Elpeleg 1993, p. 73.
  173. ^ Laqueur & Rubin 2001, p. 51.
  174. ^ Zertal 2005, pp. 102,175:'the demonization of the Mufti serves to magnify the Arafatian threat', . . the '[portrayal of the Mufti as] one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry (...) has no (...) historical substantiation'. (p.175).
  175. ^ Morris 2008, pp. 21–22.
  176. ^ Morris 2011:'Haj amin al-Husayni was an antisemite. This is clear from his writings. I'm not saying he was anti-Zionist, he hated Jews - 'Jews are evil' (he said)'.
  177. ^ Morris 2011:'He (al-Husseini) knew of the Holocaust. I dont say he was one of the perpertrators, but he was rather happy it is taking place'.
  178. ^ Press Release 2006:„Bedeutendster Kollaborateur der Nationalsozialisten und zugleich ein bedingungsloser Antimsemit auf arabischer Seit war Haj Amin el-Husseini, der Mufti von Jerusalem“, schreiben Mallmann und Cüppers.'
  179. ^ Pearlman 1947
  180. ^ Schechtman 1965.
  181. ^ Rouleau 1994.
  182. ^ Mattar 1992, p. 13.
  183. ^ Rouleau 1994:'C’est surtout dans l’appréciation globale de l’ancien mufti de Jérusalem et de son action que nos deux historiens s’opposent. Médiocre et velléitaire pour le Palestinien, Haj Amin est, pour l’Israélien, un homme « hors du commun », « comparable à Haïm Weizmann, David Ben Gourion, ou même à Theodor Herzl ». Ancien gouverneur militaire à Gaza et en Cisjordanie, qui passait autrefois pour un « faucon », Zvi Elpeleg témoigne de l’évolution des esprits en Israël, où son livre a reçu le meilleur des accueils dans les médias.'
  184. ^ Novick 2000, pp. 157–158.
  185. ^ Breitman & Goda 2011, p. 21.


  • Ben-Ze'ev, Efrat (2011). Remembering Palestine in 1948: Beyond National Narratives. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-19447-1. 
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  • Carpi, Daniel (1983). "The Mufti of Jerusalem: Amin el-Husseini, and his diplomatic activity during World War II, October 1941-July 1943". Studies in Zionism VII: 101–131. 
  • Great Britain (1930). Report of the Commission on the disturbances of August 1929 (Shaw Commission report). Command paper 3530. 
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  • al-Husayni, Haj Amin (1999). Abd al-Karim al-Umar. ed. Memoirs of the Grand Mufti. Damascus. 
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  • Medoff,, Rafael (1996). "'The Mufti's Nazi Years Re-examined". The Journal of Israeli History. 17. pp. 317–333. doi:10.1080/13531049608576090. ISBN 1049608576090. 
  • Nevo, Joseph (1984). Al-Hajj Amin and the British in World War II. 20. Middle Eastern Studies. pp. 1–20. 
  • Scholch, Alexander (November 1985). "The Demographic Development of Palestine 1850-1882". International Journal of Middle East Studies. XII. pp. 485–505. 
  • Yisraeli, David. The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University. 

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