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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Mufti and the crossing of the line

Harry's Place has a clip from German TV showing the Mufti of Jerusalem being welcomed by Hitler and reviewing SS troops.

Here's one of the comments on the post, signed 'SueC':-

'Gene, is it not possible that Arab antipathy towards Jews in Palestine both before and during WW2 had something to do with the purchase of land by the Jewish National Fund from absentee Arab landowners and the disposession of Arab tenant farmers? You constantly seek to represent such anti-Jewish feeling as solely attributable to inherent Arab anti-semitism (please, would all posters spare me the relevant quotations from the Koran and Hadith, I know them already) but is it not at least possible that it was grounded in simple economics? Before the zionist movement got going, Arab and Jew in Palestine seemed to rub along reasonably aimicably; once it became clear, however, that an increasing number of Jews in Palestine meant Arabs were losing their land, then anti-Jewish sentiments grew.'

This takes the outlook of the 'anti-Zionist' left so far into the realm of self-parody that one might question whether SueC is for real. I fear, however, that she is both real and all too representative in her inability to draw the most fumdamental of moral distinctions: that between shit and genocide.

Shit is the thing that proverbially happens (translation for the pious: we are sinners living in a fallen world). It has unquestionably happened to the Palestinans, as it has happened to many peoples at many times throughout history. For instance, the Germans in 1918 and after.

Your landlord sells out to people who want to farm the land themselves? Bad luck! But maybe you can get one of the new jobs which are being created in the booming local economy (booming at least partly due to the influx of Jewish immigrants).

Whereas genocide is the thing that, above all other things, simply must not happen. She who makes shit an excuse for supporting genocide - whether those excused are German or Palestinian - crosses the line beyond which all moral judgments dissolve into emotionalism and relativism.


Anonymous said...

Ironically, given SueC's opening remarks, Amin al-Husseini himself was an effendi who profited at the expense of dislocating fellahin and small private landholders who were indebted to him. Some of the land that Amin al-Husseini grabbed for a pittance as repayment for a debt, he then flipped over to eager Jewish buyers at quadruple its assessed value. And in selling the land to Jewish buyers, Husseini never placed covenents or stipulations on the contract that would have

And this is the same man who:

not only denied that Jews bought land, claiming instead that they had stolen it from Arab patrimony;

but also invented the statistically unsupportable claim, at least by the population data available to the British Colonial Office at the time, that Jewish migration to Mandate Palestine posed a demographic threat to the local non Jewish population;

as well as the man who disseminated the libel that Jews praying at the Western Wall in 1928 were conspiring to destroy the Al Asqa mosque and what is now called the Dome of the Rock as the casus belli for the organized jihadi pogrom that he led.

Anonymous said...

I'll try again this time completing the sentence:

And in selling the land to Jewish buyers, Husseini never placed covenents or stipulations on the title/deed to provide for the needs of the fellahin (peasant farm labourers) he was displacing. Apparently they were of no concern to him, at least compared with his greed.