Hitler provided Haj Amin al-Husseini, who later sponsored Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, with a budget of 750,000 Reichsmark per month to foment Jihad in Palestine.
Dr. Tsilla Hershco
During the recent uproar over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks on the WWII-era grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the media failed to underline the important fact that although the mufti had collaborated with the Nazis, he was never brought to trial. The story of his detention in France and his subsequent escape is little known to the public, but has significant repercussions.
In May 1945, with the German surrender, the mufti chose to turn himself in to the French occupying troops in Konstanz, believing France to be the most convenient asylum. The French authorities granted him numerous VIP privileges: a comfortable villa in the Paris region, free correspondence, telephone calls, and special food from restaurants. He was allowed to receive visitors and money and keep his two faithful secretaries, and afforded some degree of freedom of movement.
The French police guarding the villa were apparently more preoccupied with securing the mufti’s safety than with preventing his escape. The French authorities were also preoccupied with the demands of Great Britain, Yugoslavia, the Jewish Agency and Jewish American organizations to extradite the mufti in order to bring him to trial as a war criminal. The French realized that rejecting this demand could harm their relations with their allies. On the other hand, they were under massive pressure by the Arab states and feared that allowing the extradition might undermine their prestige in the Arab and Muslim world. Hence the mufti’s detention in France became a “hot potato” for the French authorities.
In May 1946, the mufti escaped by taking a TWA flight to Cairo using a fake passport. It took 12 days for the seemingly relieved French authorities to report his disappearance from the loosely guarded villa. The local police chief was held responsible and punished. In their internal reports, however, the French concluded with satisfaction that the mufti affair had been successfully handled and that it had boosted French prestige in the Arab world.
In reality, this prestige was only temporary, as evidenced by the pressure the Arabs applied on France shortly thereafter to oppose the partition plan at the crucial U.N. vote in November 1947. They promised in return to stop the incitement against French rule in North Africa, a promise given previously and never fulfilled by the mufti.
The mufti’s escape and return to the Middle East had some disastrous implications for the region. His total rejection of the U.N. partition plan increased the radicalization of the Arab position. In addition, later Palestinian leaders such as PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, who were inspired by the mufti’s ideology, adopted his tactics of incitement, propagating the false allegation that the Jews wished to gain control of Al-Aqsa mosque.
Currently, the mufti’s legacy of using false allegations against Israel regarding Al-Aqsa is being resurrected by radical Muslims as incitement to commit terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.
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The Photo’s of Haj Amin al-Husseini and more documented history of the genocidal Nazi war criminal can be found at: