At some point, heated rhetoric can go too far, and become incitement. Bibi Netanyahu was teetering on the edge, but now he's gone straight over it into the abyss.
In a speech to delegates at the 37th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the premier claimed that Hitler's original intentions were solely to expel the Jews.
According to Netanyahu, the Fuhrer changed his mind at the insistence of the Palestinian Arab leader at the time, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who argued that the expulsion of the Jews would result in their arrival en masse to Palestine, which at the time was under British Mandatory rule.
Netanyahu made the claim as part of an effort to illustrate the Palestinian propensity to use the holy places in Jerusalem as pretexts for committing acts of violence against Jews.
"My grandfather came to this land in 1920 and he landed in Jaffa, and very shortly after he landed he went to the immigration office in Jaffa," Netanyahu told delegates on Tuesday. "And a few months later it was burned down by marauders. These attackers, Arab attackers, murdered several Jews, including our celebrated writer [Yosef Haim] Brenner."
"And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution," the premier said. "He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here.' 'So what should I do with them?' he asked. He said, 'Burn them'."
This officially places Bibi in the category of conspiracy theorist with regard to the Holocaust. This particular theory has been debunked by historians, as Zaid Jilani notes:
This statement is almost too absurd to debunk, but for the record, Haj Amin al-Husseini met Hitler in November 1941. Although the origins of the Final Solution itself have been hotly debated among historians, we do know that by March of that year Hitler was openly talking about a need to make sure the “Jewish-Bolshevik elite” would be killed, as well as “all Jews and card-carrying Communists” in the lands that Germany was taking from the Soviet Union; this order was carried out by Heinrich Himmler, who delivered these instructions to the Einsatzgruppen on March 13th, 1941. The phrase “complete solution of the Jewish question” was first uttered by Nazi leader Hermann Goering who gave the task to SS General Reinhardt Heydrich on July 31st, 1941. The killing centers in Poland were organized under so-called Operation Reinhard, and work on these units began in October 1941, a month before the Mufti visited Jerusalem.
It is quite difficult to be a reasonable person about Israel when the Prime Minister makes remarks like this. I have always believed in a two-state solution, and thought it should be attainable were it not for stiff-necked people behaving like jackasses. Today's candidate for Jackass of the Day is Bibi, for using truly detestable language to justify Israel's continued apartheid toward Palestinians rather than working toward a peaceful outcome.