A Palestinian Authority radio contest featured a laudatory biography of Adolf Hitler replete with his military victories, heroism and no mention of the Holocaust.
"His golden year was 1940, when his armies invaded Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Holland, and Belgium and defeated France…By mid 1942, his country controlled the largest land area in Europe…He refused to surrender and continued to fight for two more years, but, his bitter end came in the spring of 1945 when he took his own life…Who is he?" was the question broadcast as a Voice of Palestine radio contest on November 27.
The question was part of the official Palestinian Authority-run radio’s Ramadan quiz - rebroadcast this past week, and documented by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
The broadcast presents Hitler heroically, detailing his two Medals of Honor in World War I, his rise to power, his launching of World War II and specifies country after country that he conquered.
“Not surprisingly, though citing his victories and 'bitter' fall in great detail, the Holocaust is not mentioned,” the latest PMW report states. “This is consistent with Palestinian education in general which erases the Holocaust from history." A recent PMW report on the new 12th grade PA history schoolbook showed that many pages were dedicated to the history of World War II and even to Nazi racism, but neither Jews nor the Holocaust were mentioned.
According to the PMW report, “[I]t is important to understand that the revulsion of Hitler expected in the West is not true in Palestinian society. Palestinians can be found who are named "Hitler" as a first name: Hitler Salah [Al Hayat Al Jadida (Fatah), Sept. 28, 2005], Hitler Abu-Alrab [Al Hayat Al Jadida (Fatah), Jan. 27, 2005], Hitler Mahmud Abu-Libda [Al Hayat Al Jadida (Fatah), Dec.18, 2000.] Articles have appeared in both Fatah and Hamas newspapers which demonstrate Hitler's admired status.”
The Voice of Palestine contest offered a prize of 600 shekels to the person who guessed Hitler's name.
Long History of PA Adulation of Hitler
Admiration of Hitler in PA newspapers is nothing new. A PA newspaper which proudly listed the ways in which different foreign leaders singled out the Arabs of Israel as examples of ideal revolutionaries proudly began the article with a quote from Adolf Hitler:
"Adolf Hitler, while exciting the Germans of the Sudetenland - the Sudetenland is a German province that the Allies had annexed to Czechoslovakia after the First World War - told them in his broadcasts: Look at what the Palestinian revolutionaries are doing to Great Britain!!"
[Al-Rissala (Hamas Weekly), May 18, 2006]
The phenomenon of PA Arabs being named after Hitler was explained in an article in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah) on April 13, 2000:
"Even Adolf Hitler, who after the fall of Nazi Germany turned into a political horror for most of the writers and artists, during the last decades has started to return himself to his part of the picture. There are some in Britain who defended Hitler and tried to do justice for him. There are elderly people, among them Arabs, who still carry the name Hitler since their fathers, who were charmed by him, linked them [their children] with his name."
The admiration for Hitler is consistent with the status of Mein Kampf, which a PA daily cited as a best-seller in PA-controlled areas [Al Hayat Al Jadida (Fatah), Sept. 2, 1999].
Historic Nazi Ties
The Hitler - Arab alliance during World War II is a factor in the continued admiration for Hitler apparent in PA society. Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Arab leader in pre-state Israel under the British Mandate, was a staunch ally of Hitler. The meetings between the Mufti and Hitler are well documented.
“Those Were the Days”
The PMW report closes with the translation of an interview from a PA daily of Sheikh Ali Hussein Abu-Ibrahim, a Palestinian resident of Lebanon who claims he is 116 years old and describing his professed friendship with Hitler, as well as his pride in fighting for the Nazi leader. “Whereas this is a personal account whose historical accuracy is not important, what is significant is the positive, even proud attitude about his friendship with Hitler, that is being expressed so routinely,” the report states:
"Question: What are the important events in your life that left the biggest impression?”
“Answer: The first was the Hitler event. I met him in Jerusalem in one of the Turkish Army camps, and the friendship between us was very tight. At the time, I was a sergeant while Hitler was a simple private. The relationship between us tightened even more once Turkey entered the war together with Germany. The second event was when I participated [with the Nazi army] in entering France and conquering it. I was in charge of the cannon that shelled Paris, which had an active influence on the fall of the French capital and its conquest without any notable resistance. Hitler congratulated me on this shelling and its consequences… As an artillery officer, I took part in many operations against the English and France, until the end of the Second World-War …" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 12, 2003.]