Seventy years ago, the then leader of the Palestinian Arabs persuaded Hitler to reject a plan to release Jewish children from Europe. In 1943, Haj Amin el-Husseini, better known as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, heard of a plan to allow 4,000 Jewish children, accompanied by 500 adults, to travel to Palestine in exchange for the release of 20,000 German prisoners of war. Both the Germans and the British had agreed the exchange, but the Germans backed down when the Mufti objected.

The Mufti had moved to Germany during World War II where he attempted to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies and propaganda in the Middle East. During the war, he broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda to the Arabs from Berlin[1]. According to Edy Cohen of Israel State Archives, members of the Mufti’s entourage in Berlin translated leaflets and broadcasts written by Nazi authors into Arabic. A group was parachuted into Palestine in 1944 intending to poison the Tel Aviv water supply: the British police intercepted them before they could carry out their plan[2].

Cohen is currently researching the role of Nazi and Axis propaganda in the Middle East. He is working through Arabic leaflets and radio broadcasts that were collected and analysed by Haganah intelligence in the 1930s and ’40s. To attract attention, some leaflets were printed on the back of facsimile British pounds or American dollars, and carried simple but direct headings such as “Kill the Jews and the British!”

Among the documents that Cohen found is a British internal memo from police headquarters in Jerusalem in 1939. The memo reports that the Arab population in Palestine were gathering in coffee shops to listen to the Mufti’s broadcasts from Berlin and that the “uneducated classes are undoubtedly being influenced” by the Nazi propaganda.

Although the British attempted to secure the support of the Arabs during the war, the Arabs remained sympathetic to Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. Early in the war, Egypt’s minister of defence passed military secrets to Italy; while Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia were open in their support for the Nazis[3]. Following the defeat of Germany, some Nazi criminals even found refuge in Egypt[4].

Moreover, documents from World War II preserve the record of a conversation between Hitler and the Mufti about Germany’s support for Arab independence and “the elimination of the Jewish national home”[5]. While resident in Germany, the Mufti also helped to recruit Bosnian Muslims to fight against the Allies[6].

The Mufti left Berlin during the closing days of the war but was caught by the French who placed him under house arrest. Yielding to Arab pressure, the French allowed him to escape, and he found refuge in Cairo. The Mufti later moved to Beirut, where he continued his anti-Jewish activities until his death in 1974.

More recently, the Palestinian Authority chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, spoke in praise of the Mufti as a great man and an example for Palestinians to emulate. Significantly, Abbas wrote his doctorate at the University of Moscow on how the World Zionist Organisation was responsible for the destruction of European Jewry, not the Nazis[7]. Thus, so long as the highest level of the Palestinian Arab leadership openly sympathises with the Mufti’s pro-Nazi position and hatred toward the Jews, there is little hope that his followers will come to accept the State of Israel anytime soon.

But, the Scriptures are very clear that all the enemies of Israel shall perish in the day when Christ reveals his power to the world. As Micah prophecies: “Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of Yahweh, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor” (4:11–12; see also, Isaiah 41:11; 49:25–26; 60:12–14; Zeph 3:19–20). look at the day of deliverance for Israel is near and will also bring blessing to all who love the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Christopher Sykes, Crossroads to Israel, Mentor, 1967 pg


[2] Rafael Medoff, ‘New research sheds light on Nazi influence

in Arab world’, 30 April, 2013 http://www.


[3] Oscar I. Janowsky, Foundations of Israel, Van Nostrand,

1959 pg 31

[4] I.F. Stone, ‘Holy War’ in, Walter Laqueur (ed.), The Israel-

Arab Reader, revised ed., Penguin, 1970 pg 374; Isi Leibler,

The Case For Israel, Executive Council of Australian Jewry,

1972 pg 21

[5] ‘Adolf Hitler, Zionism and the Arab Cause’ in, Walter

Laqueur (ed.), The Israel-Arab reader, revised ed., Penguin,

1970 pg 106–111

[6] Reader Bullard, Britain and the Middle East, 3rd revised ed.

Hutchinson University Library, 1964. p. 106

[7] David Lev, ‘Abbas: “Mufti is my Hero”’, israelnationalnews.

com 6 January 2013