In his new book, The Farhud, Edwin Black traces the ‘legacy of hate’ against the Jews of the Middle East to earlier killing sprees – to Jerusalem in 1929. Thereafter, the Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, forged a Nazi-Arab alliance. The Cleveland Jewish News has published an extract from Black’s book:
It began in Jerusalem. “Itbach Al Yahood! Itbach Al Yahood!” Slaughter the Jews. Slaughter the Jews. With knives and clubs, the mob attacked every Jew in sight, burned Torah scrolls, and yanked supplication notes to God from the cracks in the Wall and set them aflame.
Attacks spread throughout the land over the following days. Jews were stabbed, shot, beaten down with rocks, maimed, and killed in various Jewish towns and suburbs. The chaos continued for days. With thousands of dagger- and club-wielding Arabs swarming throughout the city hunting Jews, wire services transmitted headlines such as “Thousands of Peasants Invaded Jerusalem and Raided all Parts of the City.”
Martial law was declared. Armored cars were brought in from Baghdad. British airplanes swept in to machine-gun Arab marauders.Violence continued to spread throughout Palestine. Jews fought back and retaliated with bricks and bars and whatever they could find. Then, on Aug. 23 and 24, Hebron became a bloody nightmare.
House to house, Arab mobs went, bursting into every room looking for hiding Jews. Religious books and scrolls were burned or torn to shreds. The defenseless Jews were variously beheaded, castrated, their breasts and fingers sliced off, and in some cases their eyes plucked from their sockets. Infant or adult, man or woman – it mattered not. The carnage went on for hours, with the Arab policemen standing down – or joining in.
One young boy, Yosef Lazarovski, later wrote of the horror: “I remember a brown-skinned Arab with a large mustache breaking through the door. He had a large knife and an axe that he swung through the doorjambs until he broke through. (He was) full of fury, screaming, ‘Allah Akbar!’ and ‘Itbach al Yahood!’ … My grandfather tried to hold my hand, then (he tried) to push me aside (and hide me), screaming, Shema Yisrael … and then I remember another Arab … with an axe that he brought down on my grandfather’s neck.”
Not a single victim was simply killed. Each was mutilated and tortured in accordance with their identities, the specific information provided by local Arabs. The Jewish man who lent money to Arabs was sliced open and the IOUs burned in his body. The Jewish baker’s head was tied to the stove and then baked.
London dispatched special investigative commissions that determined that under the Sharia status quo, Jews were not permitted to sit. Jews were even blamed for provoking the massacres by deliberately sitting.
The Mufti of Jerusalem used the Wall controversy to continue his campaign against the British and the Jews. As part of that war, the Mufti led a broadly accepted, international and popularly accepted Arab and Islamic alliance with Nazi Germany. Eventually, when the British tried to arrest him, he fled to Iraq. There, the Mufti and Nazi agents helped inspire the 1941 Farhud, a two-day spree of killing, looting and raping the Jews of Baghdad.
Once the British finally helped restore order, the Mufti fled again, this time to Germany, where he was taken under the personal auspices of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. The Mufti formed an 8,000-man plus Muslim Waffen-SS division, which partnered with the bloodthirsty Ustasha in Croatia to commit the most heinous crimes in the Holocaust. The Ustasha wore Jewish eyeballs on necklaces.
The alliance with the Nazis spanned every aspect of the war, from intelligence offices in Paris, to parachute units, to artillery battalions, to a plan to exterminate all Jews in Palestine. This alliance was more than one man, the Mufti of Jerusalem – it was a movement of popular international Islamic fervor that stretched across the Middle East and Europe.
After the fall of Hitler, the legacy of hate continued in the post-War expulsions of a million Jews from Arab lands. Periodically, the fervor that ignited the massacres of 1929 surfaces today. Intifadas arise, riots erupt, and the Arab rallying call, spoken and collectively remembered, continues in Jerusalem.