Between Warsaw and Budapest



The next time anyone tries to ply the line that Arabs may be anti-Israeli but in no way anti-Jewish, remember Budapest. Remember that 60 years after Hungarian Jewry was led to a systematic, industrialized death at the very end of WW II, when all was effectively already lost for the Third Reich, Arab terrorists sought to blow up the museum belatedly put up to document the colossal crime the world did nothing about.


There can be no earthly reason for seeking to destroy the minimal memorial than a deep, unabated, all-encompassing hatred for Jews - alive or dead - and an equal sense of identification with the mass murderers.


The dastardly scheme, thwarted by the Hungarian security forces, is of fundamental significance. It serves to remind those who tend to forget what the dispute here is all about. It has nothing to do with territory, settlements, fences, roadblocks, refugees, and other assorted red herrings.


It's about the whole package, life and death - our life and death.


The Arabs have spent decades mightily striving to obfuscate this truth and curry favor with whoever may find harangues about genocide unsavory. They had presented themselves not as heirs of Nazism's virulent collaborators but of resistance fighters. Concomitantly, they managed to tarnish Jews as Nazis.


It was a massive undertaking, Satanic and successful. As Goebbels's devout disciples, they implemented his big-lie theory and found the world all too receptive, if not altogether eager, to swallow this perfidy.


Exactly 21 years ago, as part of the fiendish plot, Yasser Arafat proposed to lay a wreath at the Warsaw Ghetto memorial. He never intended to pay homage to the ghetto's desperate (very Zionist) heroes but only win a PR coup, while deriding the Jewish tragedy and national resurgence. It was doubtlessly the cleverest hell-born contrivance since the UN equated Zionism with racism. More recently, he was up to his old tricks again and tried the same stunt at Washington's Holocaust Museum.


MOST SUCH museums tend to neglect the inextricable historic link between the Arabs' undying enmity toward the Jewish state and Hitler's final solution to the Jewish problem. It has become almost politically incorrect to note that the Arabs were among the first to latch on to Nazi ideology. Undisguised fascist parties proliferated - from Syria's Nationalist Socialists headed by Anton Saada to Ahmed Hussein's Young Egypt.


But Arafat's mentor and predecessor as Palestinian godfather, the still-revered Haj Amin el-Husseini, outdid them all. His then-unprecedented terrorist bloodletting between 1936-39 was financed by Hitler. He spent the war years in Berlin as Hitler's personal guest, convened with the fuehrer, and the two reached a perfect meeting of the minds on the Jewish question.


Husseini was lodged in a confiscated Zionist Hebrew school and awarded the equivalent of $10,000 a month (when the dollar was almighty) by the German foreign ministry. The sum was more than matched by the SS from its sonderfund (funds robbed from Jews). Himmler organized guided tours for Husseini in Auschwitz, and Husseini produced blueprints for a Mideastern extermination camp near Nablus.


He was put in charge of Nazi propaganda to Arabs and Muslims, and recruited Bosnians to torture, brutalize, and concentrate Balkan Jews for death transports, much as Ukrainians did the dirty work in Eastern Europe.


Himmler introduced Husseini to Eichmann, and the two got along famously. This is backed by ample documentation from both the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials.


At the end of 1942, Eichmann ordered 10,000 Jewish children sent from Poland to Theresienstadt. The Red Cross offered to trade German civilians for them. Husseini got wind of the plan and protested vehemently to Himmler, warning that "little Jews grow to become big Jews."


The deal was scuttled. But more than anything, Husseini is credited with having personally foiled any compromise on the fate of Hungarian Jewry. Husseini's direct intervention was felt in every attempted negotiation on Hungary's Jews in 1944. He sealed their fate. Perversely, then, it perhaps makes sense that six decades later his torchbearers would target even the remembrance of those same Jews.


The gamut of Arab attitudes toward the Holocaust is interspersed between Warsaw and Budapest. Holocaust denial, justification, revisionism, and cynical exploitation all thrive simultaneously in the Arab world.


In Warsaw, Arafat tried to cover up still-unaltered propensities and purposes. It proved way more effective and sophisticated than fiery oratory about finishing what Hitler began. Objectives hadn't changed, but the rhetoric became refined and conducive to winning friends and influencing people.


The sadly largely overlooked would-be Budapest bombing exposes the sinister underside of the face-lifted Arab image. It compellingly links Arab aspirations then and now. Those who designed regional gas chambers are no different from their progeny who contemplate spiking their human bombs with HIV.


Are these the people to whom we should cede strategic assets?

(©) The Jerusalem Post

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