In a surprisingly powerful and frank speech at Bar Ilan University, delivered in a calm and almost informal manner, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pointed to a deep link between the Palestinian national movement and the Nazi regime in Germany.
At the heart of the oration was the determination that Arab rhetoric notwithstanding, the “territories” and “settlements” are not the heart of the territorial conflict between Jews and Arabs – but that the conflict stems from the historic refusal of the Arabs to accept a Jewish state.
Netanyahu provided quotes and evidence showing that the supreme leader of the Palestinian Arabs in the first half of the 20th century, Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was actively involved in encouraging Adolf Hitler and his henchmen in their project of annihilating the Jewish people.
The Jewish-Palestinian conflict began, said the prime minister, in 1921, when Arabs attacked Beit Haolim in Yafo (Jaffa), which housed new Jewish immigrants. They murdered several Jews, including famed writer Yosef Haim Brenner.
"My own grandfather had arrived at Yafo, to the same house, one year earlier,” said Netanyahu. “This attack was not against territories or settlements,” he noted. “It was against the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel.”
The prime minister went on to list Arab pogroms against Jews in 1929 – when the Jewish community in Hevron was annihilated “with endless cruelty" – and later in 1936-39. In 1947, the Arabs refused to accept a partition plan that gave the Jews a state, he said. In 1967, again, Arab nations formed “a ring of strangulation” around Israel – but then, too, “there were no territories. There was no occupation. Unless Tel Aviv and Yafo are occupied.”
Moving on to the present day, Netanyahu noted that he recently heard Iran's representative “muttering half heartedly” about the crimes of the Nazis, and then going on immediately to say that the Jews must not be allowed to use the Nazi issue in order to commit crimes against the Palestinians.
The historical truth is the opposite of this presentation, he said.
He then began quoting numerous historical sources showing that the Mufti was “one of the initiators of the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe,” and that he was constantly encouraging the Nazi leadership to annihilate the Jews, throughout the war. He cited evidence that the Mufti even visited the gas chambers at Auschwitz with Adolf Eichmann.
"The Mufti is still a greatly admired figure in the Palestinian national movement," said Netanyahu. "These are the weeds that need to be uprooted," he said. "The root of the conflict is the deep resistance among a hard core of Palestinians to the right of the Jewish people to its own state in Israel."
Netanyahu hinted that this is something that the Palestinian negotiators are unwilling to state in the current negotiations, and made it clear that unless they do so – the negotiations cannot succeed.
The Iranian fog
Regarding Iran's nuclear program, Netanyahu said: "The position of the international community should be like this: We are ready to reach a diplomatic solution but only one which dismantles Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons.”
He explained that nuclear disarmament means "no centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium and no plutonium reactor, and as long as Iran has not dismantled from its centrifuges and reactors – do not ease the sanctions. On the contrary – add to them."
"The truth is simple and it cuts through the fog they are trying to spread around here,” he explained. “If they want peace they will agree. If they don't want peace, they won't agree. If they dismantle, they'll receive [an easing of sanctions] – if they don't, they won't."