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Tue Oct 27, 2015, 10:44 PM

 

Palling Around with Nazis: Netanyahu’s political ancestors are also guilty by association [View all]

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/netanyahus-ancestors-association

As for a strategic alliance, al-Husayni and Hitler never hashed out a deal, though they did maintain an acquaintanceship. When it comes to Nazism, guilt by association goes a long way, and there’s no reason for history to be kind to al-Husayni. (Accurate would be nice, though.)

But guess who else reached out to the Nazis looking for a partnership? A group known as Lehi (or the ‘Stern Gang’), a Zionist militia which had split from the Irgun – itself a splinter of the main Jewish army, the Haganah – in 1940. (Each breakaway militia felt the tactics of its parent group weren’t aggressive enough.)

The Zionist militias were looking for help seizing Palestine from the British, so it made sense to align themselves with Hitler. They offered to help fight on Germany’s side, in exchange for the transfer of Europe’s Jews to Palestine and Hitler’s support of a ‘totalitarian’ Jewish state. As Tel Aviv University history professor Yaacov Shavit writes, when a Lehi representative met with a Nazi diplomat in Beirut in January 1941, “he proposed a political as well as military cooperation leading to the establishment of a Jewish state on a nationalist and totalitarian footing, that would be linked by a treaty to the German Reich.”

Hitler didn’t respond to the overtures – as Shavit explains, “All that Lehi could in effect have offered Germany as its contribution to the Nazi war effort, was to act as a fifth column and try to place obstacles in the way of the British in Palestine“ – and the deal stalled.

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