Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Wednesday that Iran will only observe the nuclear deal with the P5+1 if it is given blanket immunity on its behavior, terrorism and human rights violations. Any sanctions, Khamenei declared, placed on Iran for any reason would violate the agreement and render it null and void. In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, Khamenei wrote, “Any comments suggesting the sanctions structure will remain in place or [new] sanctions will be imposed, at any level and under any pretext, would be a violation of the JCPOA.” This would include sanctions on Iran for its support for terrorism and human rights violations. The Obama administration has insisted that the accord would only result in the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions, that other sanctions would remain in place, and that additional sanctions relating to Iran’s support for terror and human rights violations could be imposed on Iran. In August, President Obama said, “We will continue to have sanctions in place on Iran’s support for terrorism and violation of human rights.” In a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July, Secretary of State John Kerry assured Congress: “[W]e will not violate the JCPOA if we use our authorities to impose sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights, missiles or any other non-nuclear reason.”
In recent weeks, Iran has stepped up its regional aggression. Thousands of Iranian-led fighters, including IRGC-Quds Force members, as well as Iraqi Shiite militias and the terrorist group Hezbollah, have gathered for an offensive on Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city. The operation is under the command of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, a U.S.-designated terrorist who leads the Quds Force and enjoys the support of Russian warplanes and Syrian Army troops . Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the city in the face of the assault. One of the Shiite militias taking part in the attack is Kata’ib Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that is financed and trained by Iran and that was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the Iraq War. In addition, on Monday, an Iranian court, characterized as a “kangaroo court,” convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian on espionage-related charges.
Recent news has renewed interest in Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem and founder of Palestinian nationalism, and has also shined a spotlight on the ties between Palestinian nationalism and Nazism. Here is what you need to know:
1) Husseini used the “Temple Mount” libel to drive the 1929 Arab massacre of Jews in Hebron.
The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg recounted last week how Husseini’s incitement against Jews in pre-state Israel served as a model for the current terror against Jews in Israel.
The spiritual leader of Palestine’s Muslims, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, incited Arabs in Palestine against their Jewish neighbors by arguing that Islam itself was under threat. (Husseini would later become one of Hitler’s most important Muslim allies.) Jews in British-occupied Palestine responded to Muslim invective by demanding more access to the Wall, sometimes holding demonstrations at the holy site. By the next year, violence directed against Jews by their neighbors had become more common: Arab rioters took the lives of 133 Jews that summer; British forces killed 116 Arabs in their attempt to subdue the riots. In Hebron, a devastating pogrom was launched against the city’s ancient Jewish community after Muslim officials distributed fabricated photographs of a damaged Dome of the Rock, and spread the rumor that Jews had attacked the shrine.
The current “stabbing Intifada” now taking place in Israel—a quasi-uprising in which young Palestinians have been trying, and occasionally succeeding, to kill Jews with knives—is prompted in good part by the same set of manipulated emotions that sparked the anti-Jewish riots of the 1920s: a deeply felt desire on the part of Palestinians to “protect” the Temple Mount from Jews.
2) Husseini worked closely with Adolf Eichmann on the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust.
At the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, the testimony of convicted Nazi war criminal Dieter Wisliceny was used to show that Eichmann had close ties with Husseini:
Mr. Steiner [the prosecutor] first tells us that Wisliceny described his talks with Eichmann, why Palestine cannot be considered as the destination for emigration: “When I asked him why, he laughed and asked whether I had never heard of the Grand Mufti Husseini. He explained that the Mufti has very close contact and cooperation with Eichmann, and therefore Germany cannot agree to Palestine being the final destination, as this would be a blow to Germany’s prestige in the Mufti’s eyes.”
Then he goes on: “At this further conversation Wisliceny gave me more details about the cooperation between Eichmann and the Mufti. The Mufti is a sworn enemy of the Jews and has always fought for the idea of annihilating the Jews. He sticks to this idea always, also in his talks with Eichmann” – and here we have one of the points about which Wisliceny has reservations – “who, as you know, is a German who was born in Palestine. The Mufti is one of the originators of the systematic destruction of European Jewry by the Germans, and he has become a permanent colleague, partner and adviser to Eichmann and Himmler in the implementation of this programme.”
3) Husseini’s role throughout World War II was as an anti-Semitic, anti-Allied propagandist.
As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recounts:
In exile between 1937 and 1945, al-Husayni, claiming to speak for the Arab nation and the Muslim world, sought an alliance with the Axis powers (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) based on their publicly recognizing 1) the independence of the Arab states; 2) the right of those states to form a union reflecting a dominant Muslim and specifically Arab culture; 3) the right of those states to reverse steps taken towards the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine; and 4) al-Husayni himself as the spiritual and political representative of this pan-Arab, Muslim entity. In exchange, al-Husayni collaborated with the German and Italian governments by broadcasting pro-Axis, anti-British, and anti-Jewish propaganda via radio to the Arab world; inciting violence against Jews and the British authorities in the Middle East; and recruiting young men of Islamic faith for service in German military, Waffen-SS , and auxiliary units. In turn, the Germans and the Italians used al-Husayni as a tool to inspire support and collaboration among Muslim residents of regions under Axis control and to incite anti-Allied violence and rebellion among Muslims residing beyond the reach of German arms.
To continue reading the list, go to TheTower.org.