33 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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I agree with D. Hunsicker's review: This is an important book, but a poorly written one. The "what if" chapter imagining what al-Husseini might have done if Hitler won the war is inappropriate in a history book. Given al-Husseini's role in fomenting anti-Jewish hatred among Muslim populations, given his role in making pro-Nazi propaganda broadcasts into the Middle East from Berlin in WWII, and given his role in helping recruit Muslims into the Wehrmacht and SS, there was plenty of real, factual history to work with here. So why all the what-ifs and hyperbole? The attempts to tie al-Husseini to every anti-semitic Arab and Muslim leader on the contemporary scene are ridiculous, while his real-life crimes are glossed over. It would have been much better to have included more transcripts of his radio broadcasts, to have gone into more detail of his work on behalf of the Nazis, of his post-war work in whipping up anti-Jewish bigotry. Instead, too much of the book is superficial. Coming from professors at Stanford and USF, such a poorly organized, poorly written book is a huge disappointment. Hopefully, another book on this topic using the same source material can be written to provide a more rigorous critique of al-Husseini's crimes against humanity.
63 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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On Tuesday, June 24th, we met Rabbi David Dalin at the Temple Judea in Coral Gables, Florida, where he was introducing his new book: Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam.
His presentation was excellent, detailing how in 1921, Haj Amin al-Husseini became the mufti of Jerusalem. After some research we learned that the word "mufti" means: (a) a Muslim jurist expert in the religious law, or (b) in the Ottoman Empire, a deputy of the chief Muslim legal adviser to the Sultan.
Mr. Husseini, a most eminent and influential Islamic leader in the Middle East helped foment enmity against Jews in the region and in 1937 joined Nazi Germany because they shared a common enemy, the Jews. Mr. Husseini was seen by Hitler as an honorary Aryan.
While Hitler had written racial inferiority remarks about the Muslims in his book "Mein Kampf," Hitler liked Mr. Husseini's looks, his "blond hair, red beard, and blue eyes, appeared to have been an exception." The cover of the book surfaces a photo that the author explained was hard to obtain, it is of a photograph taken of the mufti with the fuehrer himself, Adolf Hitler.
The book details how Al-Husseini recruits thousands of Muslims in Europe to fight for the Waffen-SS, his protests about allowing Jews to move into Palestine, prevent the escape of Jewish children from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, who accompanied by 400 adults were to enter Palestine in exchange for the release of twenty thousand German prisoners of war.
At some point, Al-Husseini "organized the dispatch of five parachuters to Palestine with ten containers of a toxin to poison Tel Aviv's water system. Fortunately, they were caught near Jericho before they could carry out their mission."
One of the most horrific details provided by the author is that al-Husseini was instrumental in the implementation of the "Final-Solution" used by Germans to eliminate millions of Jewish lives. "In a radio broadcast from Berlin on September 21, 1944, al-Husseini spoke of the 11 million Jews" of the world, a fact that he could have only known because of his participation in their elimination. As far as the world knew, the figure was closer to 17 million.
At the end of World War II, he left to live in France and later moved to Egypt, where he received a hero's welcome, developing relationships with the likes of Saddam Hussein's uncle, General Khairallah Talfah, Yasser Arafat, and his writings served to inspire terrorist groups, such as the Hamas, Hezbollah and others, hard at work to destroy the United States and Israel.
A statement that has immense value to us is that we must learn from history if we are to prevent it from repeating in the future. At the end of the session, the audience asked many questions, but in particular I was rather interested on the mention of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion because I had heard of these before, but was not sure of what they meant, so we asked:
1. What are "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?" His answer:
a. A czarist forgery, a fraudulent anti-Semitic write up, widely distributed throughout Palestine that alleges without proof that the Jewish people conspired on a plot to take hold of power, of a desire of world domination.
Well, I got home and read the book, simply excellent. It was a pleasure to meet the author, to have the opportunity to get my book autographed and to learn more about how the seeds planted by Hitler have produced so much evil, for he is also responsible for inspiring the likes of Castro... and many other dictators.
Don't miss this book!
27 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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This is an important and timely book. In order to understand the roots of modern Middle Eastern anti-semitism and the rise of radical Islamic violence it is essential to know this almost forgotten part of history. It should come as no surprise to find that it has its roots in the connection between the early 20th Century mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler himself.
This book is a must-read for a better grasp on this history and also to appreciate the surprising political naivete by members of the British civil administration of Palestine. By choosing a a thoroughly unsuitable and unqualified leader for Jerusalem's Muslims, the British set the scene for much of today's Middle-Eastern turmoil.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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Icon: someone or something regarded as embodying the essential characteristics of an era or group.
The book's thesis is that Haj Amin al-Husseini both led and became representative of Palestinian Nationalism, both in his time and thereafter. It's a brief read with a core text of 148 pages followed by a selection of the Mufti's writings, footnotes and a bibliography.
The basic facts of the book are sound, but there are a number of ways it could have been better. One problem was the interjection comments on what individuals supposedly thought - impossible to know and I felt it detracted from the case the authors were trying to build. One should watch for those moments and put them aside as editorials. I object less to Chapter 4 "The Mufti's Reflection" which speculated as to what might have happened had the Nazis opted to conquer the Middle East instead of breaking the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Russia. Here the authors are trying to describe the elements that were already in place for a final solution to the "Jewish Problem in Palestine". There were plans for a death camp to be built in the vicinity of Ramallah. The Mufti was shown to be an advocate for genocide and had positioned himself to be put in charge of Palestine in a Vichy style government. There was genuine concern that Rommel would continue his routs and push the British out and there was widespread support by the Arab peoples for a German victory.
On pp42 the following single line quote stood out: "The greatest contemporary Arab here - is probably Adolph Hitler". (Inside Asia: pp528, by John Gunther.) Shocking enough, but the authors should have drawn further on this source. I have the book, its part of a larger series covering Gunther's travels and knowledgeable first hand insights throughout his contemporary world of the 1930s. Gunther expands more fully that Haj Amin had a triple income, about $300,000 per year from Islamic religious foundations and land grants, a salary from the government as head of the Supreme Muslim Council, and a third job as head of the supervisory board of the Muslim religious courts. As such he could direct public funding and was also able to nominate judges throughout the countryside, and important source of patronage.
Another area where I think the book misses out is in covering terrorist acts the Mufti and his clan conducted against Arabs in Palestine. For example, Inside Asia points out that after a letter of opposition to the Mufti's revolt and attacks against fellow Arabs, 5-6 members of the rival Nashashibi clan were either attacked or murdered. Hillel Cohen's Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948 tells us more about these attacks, and discusses the assassination of Fakhri Nashashibi on November 9, 1941 in Baghdad by agents of the Mufti, including clan member Abd al-Qadr al-Husseini
Another al-Husseini who acted as the Mufti's agent was Jamal al-Husseini. Chair of the Mufti's political party, Hizb al Arabi (lit: Party of the Arabs) he also later represented the Mufti's Arab Higher Committee at the UN where he said:
"It must be remembered that there are as many Jews in the Arab world as there are in Palestine whose positions... will become very precarious. Governments in general have always been unable to prevent mob excitement and violence"
In other words, the Husseini policy was that Jews in Arab countries were being held hostage against the actions of Zionism. Jews in Muslim countries were widely attacked, and in the ensuing years had many of their rights and properties taken from them and most were subsequently forced to flee. Even in the Arab section of Iran many Jews were attacked by Arabs - the Shah offered protection either by helping them move to Tehran, or emigrate to Israel. After the fall of the Shah much of that protection and confidence disappeared. (Source: In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands)
In summary, yes I can recommend this book, because it adequately summarizes what became the defining elements of a Palestinian Nationalism that was fatally flawed by defining itself as a movement against the other. The Mufti himself was venal, xenophobic, and self interested. He used both terror and intimidation to suppress those who were more open to accepting and living with Jews. The books makes a correct link between the historical policies and attitude of the Mufti to modern mainstream Palestinian politics in the person of Arafat (another al-Husseini clan member), Fatah and Hamas, fanning the flames of a modern Judeophobia in the Muslim world. Had the Mufti not been so influential and more moderate Arabs had a voice there might have been a different outcome than a war in 1948, but that alas is the road not yet traveled as of this writing.
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This book should be required reading in all schools today. Young students need to see and read the truth, and this book does just that. The "Marriage" of ideas - and action - by the Mufti and Hitler needs to be explored and understood by all, especially how it influences world politics today. I am not going to give a long recap of the book and its accurate reading of history. I will only say, get this book ASAP - it will be an eye opener - and read it in context of what is happening today. History repeats - only the names change.