On the morning of Monday, May 20, the hundreds of residents of the Israeli town of Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, woke up to see “an oversized Nazi flag flying next to a mosque in the neighboring Arab town of Beit Omar.”
Apologists of fundamentalist Islam and terrorism often like to claim that their hatred of Israel is completely reconcilable with their alleged tolerance towards the Jews — the failed notion that one can be anti-Israel/anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic. The history of the Palestinian nationalist movement (and its collaboration with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis) and recent events like the revival of Nazi sentiment clearly prove this double standard otherwise. But to call this a revival of Palestinian— at the very least, pan-Arab — virulent and murderous anti-Semitism is wrong. There is no “revival” in genocidal, Nazi attitudes — it never left the mindset and fundamental principles of the Palestinian national movement.
The most powerful Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine, Grand Mufti Mohammad Amin Al-Husseni, was a friend, close ally, and frequent guest of honor of Adolf Hitler, and actively helped the Nazis during World War II. Al-Husseini recruited hundreds of thousands of Arab Muslims for the German SS — death squads — and worked with the Nazis to bring the Holocaust to Palestine, including “planning a chemical attack on Jewish civilians in Tel Aviv.” One of Al-Husseini’s most famous SS recruits was Yasser Arafat. During a personal tour of Auschwitz by Heinrich Himmler, he reportedly “admonished the guards running the gas chambers to work more diligently.”
Palestinian anti-Semitism and support for the Final Solution continues to this day. It makes sense when their society is governed by those who support a genocidal interpretation of their religious doctrine, such as jihad. At the same time that there are routinely broadcasted calls to “kill all the Jews” and state-sponsored newspapers publishing articles praising and thanking the Nazis, Holocaust denial is adamantly preached in Palestinian school textbooks. Signs like “Re-open Auschwitz” and “God Bless Hitler” pepper pro-Palestine rallies everywhere.
So, considering the history — especially from the beginning of the last century — it should come as no surprise that the residents of Beit Omar — an Arab outpost — fly the Nazi flag freely and unabashedly. Where is the outrage?