Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, set off a firestorm on October 21 by saying that the Mufti of Jerusalem had actually planted the idea of exterminating the Jews in Hitler's mind; that Hitler would have simply ousted them from Europe.
Scholars, academicians, politicians, friends and enemies of Jews, Israel, and Netanyahu leapt to the barricades. The Washington Post had the story on the front page. Twitter and blogs have overflowed with it. The Chancellor of Germany found it oddly necessary to say, "Germany is responsible for the Holocaust."
But enough about who, between two long-dead anti-Semites, was the worst. It is a distraction and provides cover for today's racists and those who would destroy Israel.
Palestinian Authority (PA) strongman Mahmoud Abbas, a Holocaust denier at least since his PhD days (and now in the 10th year of his four-year term, so he cannot be called "President") did not say anything on that subject. He does, however continue to incite Palestinians to kill Jews. Right now, today, this minute.
Abbas has been lying about threats to the status quo on the Temple Mount, and proposing his own change: The Jews, he said, have no right to "desecrate" the mosque with their "filthy feet." He then assures those Palestinians who go out to kill Jews -- because they understood the recommendation to be officially sanctioned -- that, "Every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure, every shahid [martyr] will reach paradise, and every injured person will be rewarded by God."
Also, right now, today, this minute, the United Nations is labeling one of the oldest existing symbols of Jewish patrimony in the Land of Israel -- the Tomb of Rachel, wife of the biblical patriarch Jacob -- as a Muslim holy site. The U.S., U.K., Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Estonia voted against this surreal piracy. But 26 other countries voted in favor of a resolution, totally fraudulent, that condemned Israel for aggression and illegal measures taken against the "freedom of worship and access" of Muslims to Al-Aqsa mosque and Israel's "attempts to break the status quo since 1967."
The UN had not a word, however, about the Muslims who burned the Jewish holy site at Joseph's Tomb last week. This omission raises a different question: the same Joseph is also a prophet in Islam; what are they doing firebombing his tomb?
In addition, right now, today, this minute, the State of Israel is under physical and political attack, and its best ally, the United States, is largely absent. Secretary of State John Kerry admonished, "We continue to urge everybody to exercise restraint and restrain [sic] from any kind of self-help in terms of the violence, and Israel has every right in the world to protect its citizens, as it has been, from random acts of violence."
No self-help? Kerry specifically said it; he meant that if the government shows up and kills the terrorist before he kills, fine, but he does not want Israelis to take their defense into their own hands. That is not the way defense is done in America, and it is not the way it is done in Israel. The United States is abandoning a core American value in pursuit of the chimera of Israeli-Palestinian "peace."
Right now, this minute, young Palestinian children are being marinated in Jew-hatred by their parents and by their society. Watch a beautiful little girl with a large knife tell her approving father, "I want to stab a Jew." Watch a Palestinian children's TV program in which a girl of about 10, her hair covered, draped in a Palestinian shawl, tell other children that the "martyrs" are "grown up kids." She compares their number to the number of dead Israelis. "It's almost like a game," she says.
(Image source: MEMRI)
In 2000, before the so-called "second intifada," the New York Times wrote about Yasser Arafat's summer "war-game camps" in Gaza, teaching young Palestinian children how to prepare for the battle they would fight. That is fifteen years of learning to kill Jews -- and fifteen years of creating child soldiers: a violation of the UN Convention on Child Soldiers, and one reason so many young Palestinians are primed for violence. Any Palestinian now under the age of, say, 23 could have had that "training." In the summer of 2015, tens of thousands of teenagers in Gaza participated in these "summer camps" to learn from their Hamas teachers to kill Jews.
Even before that -- since the Palestinians created their own school curriculum 21 years ago, in 1994, under the Oslo Accords -- Palestinian children have been exposed to lies, incitement to violence and raw anti-Semitism, in the schools of the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA. Palestinians under the age of 30 spend most of their formative years in schools that deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel and that deny any connection of the Jews to the land.
We are currently seeing the results of the long-term abuse of Palestinian children by their parents and teachers -- abetted by the United Nations.
There have been many calls for the U.S. to defund the Palestinian Authority, either completely or in part. This week Congress, in rare bipartisan agreement, took up part of the challenge, stripping $80 million from $370 million of U.S. economic aid to the Palestinian Authority.
History provides a framework for understanding today's politics. The Mufti of Jerusalem was not only a kindred spirit of Hitler; he spent much of the war in Berlin as the guest of like-minded practitioners of Jew-hatred. If what happened in the 1930s and 1940s, however, is allowed to turn our attention from the current threats to the Jewish State, we will have granted them a belated victory they do not deserve.