To hear scholars and historians tell it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu completely turned history on its head when he said that Haj Amin el Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, convinced Adolf Hitler to implement the Holocaust.
Netanyahu, who has walked back his assertions, was inaccurate in saying that Hitler needed anyone’s help to decide to annihilate Jews. He regrettably managed to make himself the center of attention while obscuring an important point about an issue that should stand on its own.
No historical invention is necessary to remind the world that Palestinian hostility to Jews is not a new phenomenon. For nearly 100 years, Palestinian riots focused not on colonial occupation by Ottomans or the British, but on violent attacks against Jews. Many recall the organized violence in 1929 and the even larger revolt of 1936, but only because the scale of the murders and destruction of Jewish homes and synagogues was so great that it captured outside attention.