The mistake made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday was both diabolical and blatant and ridiculous. Had he been wrong about the era of Nero Claudius Caesar or about the era of Vercingetorix, so be it. But Netanyahu wasn’t wrong about something that happened 2,000 years ago, he was wrong about events that happened only 70 years ago. There are hundreds if not thousands of experts on that period in the world today. Erring on something like that is foolish and despicable.
Netanyahu was raised and educated in the home of one of the greatest and highly regarded professors of history in the world. With such a past, he can't afford to say the nonsense he did.
Why every beginning student who studies the history of World War II knows that Adolf Hitler and his party included the extermination of Jews in their platform. Why even in his autobiographical manifesto "Mein Kampf," which he wrote while in prison in Landsberg in 1932, Hitler elaborated on his plans for the future and mentioned that the Jews must be annihilated. While he didn't detail exactly how it should be done, he definitely described the options. In 1935, Hitler's people established the first concentration camp, and the first death camp was built in 1941.
How can the prime minister of Israel claim that Haj Amin al-Husseini, one of the biggest Israel haters in the history of mankind and a person who was "addicted" to the Führer, was the one who suggested that Hitler burn the Jews, when during their meeting more than one million Jews had already been massacred and annihilated in Germany and in occupied Europe?
There is no doubt that the mufti from Jerusalem praised and glorified Hitler for his actions, but it's also clear that he was not the inventor of the method. It's also true that al-Husseini organized and founded Muslim SS units which fought alongside the German forces, but he did not invent the "patent." He only took advantage of it.
I don’t understand what got into Netanyahu when he voiced such nonsense on the eve of his trip to Germany. What exactly was he trying to achieve? To prove to the Germans that the Arabs had always wanted to destroy the Jews, even before there was an occupation? Are there any intellectuals or politicians in Germany today who are not aware of that and of the fact that there is a wave of terror taking place against Jews these days? Is that why he has to make up historical lies? That's strange, very strange.
Noah Klieger is a Holocaust survivor.