Edwin Black’s Letter

Edwin Black sent me a really long letter responding to many of the comments people have made on my blog. He asked me to share it, so here it is!

– Sarah


Dear All,

The reason I generally stay away from blogs is because it is so easy to omit, distort, reinvent, and fabricate history via little unvetted snippets which are either innocently uninformed or deliberately driven by an agenda. For this reason, I primarily devote myself to writing book-length works that present the facts in context over hundreds of pages with thousands of footnotes in each work. More than that—in every book I insist my readers read the entire book, front to back, or not at all. In British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement I wrote in the Introduction: “I ask my readers to read the entire book without skipping around—or not read it at all.” In IBM and the Holocaust, my Introduction states: “Skipping around in the book will only lead to flawed and erroneous conclusions. So if you intend to skim, or rely on selected sections, please do not read the book at all.” It is uncommon for authors to invite readers to put the book down unless they read it all—but it has been a well-received hallmark of my work.

With regard to this particular blog, Joe’s Israel, I did think it was a good idea to respond to yet another distortion of The Transfer Agreement. I see such distortions hourly on the Internet. From page xviii of the Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition 2009, you would see this: “An hour does not go by when the book and the topic is not debated, misused, and misquoted by the enemies of Israel and deniers of the Holocaust.” I thought that would correct the record here. Since then, I’ve seen–on this site, Joe’s Israel–numerous omissions, distortions and fabrications of history and of my own work. I don’t have the time and this blog doesn’t have the room needed to respond as fully as when I write my books and articles. But I will try to take some moments to correct the record here about Mideast history and Holocaust history as well as my own published work. Then I will have to do as I promised before– depart, and allow whatever continued distortions fly to do so without a response from me. This means that when you see replies to this post, do not consider them valid just because I have not rebutted them.

First, let’s deal with Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. It was stated by Andre De Angelis, “Rubbish. Husseini was in exile from 1937 and ceased to hold any influence from that moment.” Please let’s re-read De Angelis’ last sentence and examine the globally settled facts which can be obtained universally from numerous sources on the internet, archives, books, newspaper clippings, including Husseini’s diary and various published works, as well as my own book, The Farhud:  Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. Andre De Angelis is quite wrong.

Husseini did not just go into exile in 1937. Escaping into the night dressed as a woman, Husseini was a fugitive on a British arrest warrant for complicity in the murder of a high-ranking British official in the Galilee. From Palestine, Husseini made his way to Iraq where, along with a cadre of Nazi Arabs, he organized a fascist movement called The Golden Square. When I say Nazi Arabs, I mean an Arab movement which idealized Hitler, arranged for Arabic translations of Mein Kampf, and worked closely with the Gestapo and the Nazi Party itself. Many members of the Iraqi Arab national youth wing of this movement actually marched in the torch-lit parades in Nuremberg. In some cases they even adopted the swastika as part of their political party emblem. You can see a typical surviving example today at the Syrian National Socialist Party website named for Nazi National Socialism; in Syria this logo infuses the swastika as an emblem in motion.

The statement by De Angelis, “Husseini…from 1937…ceased to hold any influence from that moment” is especially wrong and should be dismissed by everyone for going against all history. Robust documentation from the Arabic sources to the English sources makes it completely clear that beginning in 1936 —and then after Husseini fled Palestine, the Mufti was chairman of the international Arab Higher Committee. This pan-Arab organization sought to unite Arabs and Muslims worldwide against the Jews and Great Britain in favor of Arab Nationalism and the Nazis. See UN document circa 1949 for a single molecule of this story referring to this Committee. When war broke out in 1939, it was the goal of Husseini and his comrades to interrupt the flow of oil to the Allies and transfer it to the Nazis. The Mufti utilized his special influence and prominence to aid the Nazis.

On June 1 and June 2, 1941, coordinated to precede Hitler’s push into Russia, Husseini and The Golden Square led a two-day mass pogrom of rape, murder, arson and pillage against the Jewish community.  That was the beginning of the end for many thousands of Jews who had lived peaceably in Iraq and Mesopotamia for more than 2,600 years, that is, 1,000 years before Mohammed. This horrible bloodletting, which included slicing babies in two and raping young girls in front of their parents, slicing open pregnant bellies and dashing unborn children came to be known as the Farhud, which is a Kurdish-Arabic term meaning violent dispossession. After two days, the British finally put the massacre down and Husseini fled to Iran, where he helped the Shah further entrench his country’s involvement with thousands of Nazi engineers attempting to remake Iran and Iraq into a supply route to help the Nazis invade Russia. Just a few months after the Farhud, when the Shah refused to expel his Nazi advisors, Churchill and the allies invaded Iran and, once again, went looking for Husseini. Husseini escaped once more, this time to Mussolini’s Italy and from there, to Nazi Germany. As the leading spokesman of the Arab Fascist movement, Husseini met with Hitler and everyone can see the iconic photo here and went on a widely-promoted campaign to publicize the alliance see newsreels here, went on the payroll and organized Radio Cairo, where he would broadcast nightly exhortations to kill Jews wherever they were found and to kill them on sight. You may see some of the Mufti’s exact words here if you search Google Books—always a challenge.  I have verified the transcripts in multiple government archives. See this Nazi video circa 1941 of Hitler and Husseini, plus some historian commentary following.

Not content with mere extermination propaganda, Husseini organized–under the direct sponsorship of Heinrich Himmler–three divisions of Waffen-SS (see an autographed picture here. See a few more of the many images here and here and here. These three divisions (one division generally requires 10,000 men) encompassed many thousands of Arab-Muslim volunteers; and while their field of operations stretched from Paris to Palestine, they were mainly fighting freedom forces in Yugoslavia and the Balkans. The names of the three Muslim divisions under Husseini’s stewardship were the Handschar, the Skanderbeg, and the Kama. These were not mere militias but regular troops of the Wehrmacht. Many books and articles have been written about these three divisions and anyone can see pictures of Husseini reviewing the troops, congratulating the troops and arranging for their accommodations. Husseini also visited several pivotal concentration camps, such as Sachsenhausen, which was part of a management complex that controlled all camps across Europe. This was well documented in the German archives and Husseini’s own diary, where he describes Eichmann as a “rare diamond.” All Husseini actions, and those of the Arab Higher Committee were devoted to exterminating the Jews in Palestine, and Europe to make sure they never got to Palestine, as well as Reich sponsorship of an Arab National State from Syria to Egypt.

I could go on and on because, in fact, I wrote at least one book on this topic as have other scholars. If you just take De Angeles’ post and re-read his one sentence claiming that Husseini “ceased to hold any influence from that moment [1937],” you can see what an incomplete, misleading, and erroneous picture you would get. The question that has arisen in my mind is whether De Angeles was just terribly misinformed and ignorant about so entrenched and universally settled a history, or was some other dynamic at play. Not only was Husseini the single most influential figure in Palestine until 1937, he arguably remained the leading influential Arab leader in Iraq, leading up to the 1941 coup and Farhud, and then in the potent circles of the Shah, Himmler, Hitler, and even the Nazi media throughout the worst part of WWII.

Now, let’s go to the issue of the Jews expelled from Arab lands. After Berlin fell in 1945, thousands of former SS Gestapo and camp officials escaped from Germany and took up positions in Arab governments to continue the Hitler program to destroy the Jews within their midst. It isn’t that the Jews left of their own accord. They left their homelands of 20 up to 26 centuries because they were compelled to by expulsion laws that stripped them of their property, freedom of religion, and even of their citizenship. In Iraq alone, more than 120,000 were subjected to these expulsions beginning in approximately 1948. The specific legislation was enacted on July 19, 1948, known as Law 51, criminalizing Jewish existence in Baghdad. Further Iraqi legislation, such as Law 5, enacted in March, 1951, permanently seized all Jewish assets as well as incorporating their de-naturalization. Those 120,000 Jews were expelled to Israel specifically by the Iraqi government to create a demographic time bomb wherein tens of thousands of penniless Jews, with even their earrings pulled from their ear lobes, would land on Israeli shores, with the expectation that Israel could never feed them. Prime Minister Nuri Said publicly demanded that Israel absorb 10,000 refugees every month, threatening Nazi-style concentration camps and even execution if Israeli did not move quickly and every week. Israel and Zionist agencies organized a day-and-night airlift using an unknown American airline, now known as Alaska Airlines; and what was then known as BOAC and BEA, now British Airways, were also recruited. The son of Iraqi Prime Minister Said, Saba Said, was the director general of Iraqi Airways. He was allowed to collect a 7.7 percent “travel fee” on every Jewish refugee, plus a personal payment of 5.5 percent to himself, individually, to ensure his assistance. Here are some pictures of the destitute Jews who had never seen an airplane before and who in many ways resembled their ordinary Arab neighbors. The estimated value of the Jewish property confiscated was approximately $300,000,000 in 21st-century money. A similar scenario played out in Arab states across North Africa and the Middle East. See this May 1948 front page NYT article citing mortal danger for 900,000 Jews in Arab lands. I could go on, but once again, time and space make it impossible to recite similar facts for each country. But, they were indeed similar. These expulsion and confiscation laws were published. These 120,000 Iraqi Jewish people were loaded into airplanes as were many hundreds of thousands of their brethren across Arab countries, and came to live in a country they knew nothing about and often rejected—Israel. They were targeted in their ancient homelands solely because of their religion. Hence, we can look at millions in Israel now who are there not because they fled Brooklyn or Bialystok or Berlin… but because they were expelled by hating government in Baghdad, Tunis, and Marrakesh.

Moving on to respond to Mr. Sieradski, I say this. I think I remember you from when you assisted me at the JTA. If that was you, at the time, I found you very helpful. With reference to The Transfer Agreement, the video posted by another blogger on Joe’s Israel which was mislabeled “New York from 1984,” was obviously from Chicago 1984. It only begins to scratch the surface of the complexity of the Zionist rescue of 60,000 Jews. Because the American public was fundamentally unaware of these complex negotiations, and because it amounted to a stunning hard-to-confront deal with the devil to save Jewish lives, it obviously provoked a great deal of controversy. As a young man, I had a hard time understanding it. While my book has been distorted by more than  a few as a piece of anti-Zionist documentation, it is in fact a detailed, minute-by-minute tribute to the brave men and women of the Zionist movement who believed Hitler from the very first moment when he promised to destroy the Jewish communities. The reason the book has been endorsed by the head of the Zionist Organization of America and features an Afterward by Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, is because it re-tells a story so complex and explosive that no one else was willing to re-tell it … specifically, the story of how the Zionists outwitted their killers and engineered a rescue. But it was a tough, shattered glass decision because the first instinct of the Jews was to boycott and fight back. Without that boycott—shown in the Chicago TV footage—the Zionists would have never been successful in saving the thousands they did. They two forces were synergistic. See my article in the Jerusalem Post. And my global TV event on C-Span with Mitchell Bard and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt answering questions from people submitted from around the world.

More than 6,000,000 were killed. Many more millions, including my parents, became refugees, and many billions of their assets were confiscated or pilfered. They did what Zionists always do–they saved a mere remnant. That remnant was 60,000 out of 6,000,000 and about $60 million out of the many billions. The Zionists led their people out–not into the desert to die–but to re-fortify a new land which had been their existing homeland for millennia and wherein there always had been a vibrant Jewish presence—a land that they could once again call their own.

The sudden Holocaust-era injection of a skilled middle class and their pittance in assets was one of their key vanguards in establishing the foundation that was correctly predicted to accept many more millions of Jews. Had the Russian-Jewish victims of Czarist pogroms in the early 20th century been led into Uganda, as was offered, we might have seen a Jewish homeland in Uganda. But, the Zionists led their people back to the land from where they had been expelled by the Romans. The precedent for The Transfer Agreement goes all the way back to Moses, who not only negotiated with Pharaoh for the release of his people but demanded the goats, sheep, and possessions go with.

A similar approach was taken right after the Kishinev Pogrom in 1903 when Herzl and the Zionists travelled immediately to Russia to negotiate with the Czarist regime to save Jews targeted for extermination—again with a portion of their possessions to restart their lives. Remember, Russia’s stated policy at the time was to kill a third. There was no possibility of a Jewish homeland in those days.  Instead, those Jewish refugees went en masse to Paris, London and New York. Daniel—were your ancestors among them? Flash forward a few decades. Had more transfer agreements been successfully implemented in the other Hitler-era European states where they were negotiated but aborted, it is possible that millions more might have been saved from the gas chambers. The Holocaust as we know it may have been of a completely different dimension. The war stopped further implementation of Transfer.

Flash forward once more—this time to just a few years after the fall of Berlin. However, the Arab regimes were unwilling to let their Jews out with even so much as a valuable ring or scarf. Publicly published legislation in those Arab countries took care of that. Back in 1984 when I wrote The Transfer Agreement, there was no discussion of money or assets in the survivor community, and no one wanted to admit that in order to save a few, the Zionists had to negotiate with their own killers. Today, assets, restitution, and reparation are the talk of every hour. My book was a decade ahead of its time and even I was not ready for it in 1984.

Daniel… As far as IBM and the Holocaust being discredited, as you stated, it is true that there were several attempts to distort the facts by reviewers with an agenda. But, many of those writers issued stunning, embarrassing retractions, and paid money damages as they publicly apologized for their false statements. See them here, Daniel. I feel there is no person and no entity too big or too small to issue a retraction for false statements about my work. In that vein, the retractions I posted on that page include obscure blogs in the US and Australia, academic journals– well-known and little-known, media–big and small, and bloggers–major and minor. I consider it a duty to correct the record, Daniel. I have proven time and again, as recently as last year, that I will commit the necessary resources to correct false statements. Fair comment is fair comment. Opinions are free of charge. I expect all to live by the same standard I live by—opinion is opinion–but false facts have a consequence. When I lecture to journ classes, I like to say “I tremble before I type.” If I went to the ends of the earth to document the facts about IBM’s Holocaust complicity, why would I stand by to see the work falsified? Those who signed these public retractions—check them here again— often retained expensive and powerful attorneys, and tried to rally others to dissuade me. But, the good news, Daniel, is that the truth will always prevail. I never back down from pursuing a corrected record. So yes, you may find some negative reviews among the thousands, but ask this… have those reviews been discredited, withdrawn, apologized for, or been the subject of successful retraction requests and financial payments during the past decade. See some other reviews below… http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/index.php?page=80172, and http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/index.php?page=80173… and elsewhere on the site.

IBM and the Holocaust, now with a million copies in print in scores of editions in more than 60 countries, has withstood the test of time and withstood a decade of trying to find a single error in it. When you accuse a multi-billion company of mass murder, you better have your facts battle-ready. The latest edition is an Expanded Edition, which came out earlier this year, and included 32 additional pages of documentation, photographs and archival documents to deepen the indefatigable case against IBM. See some info on that new documentation here in Huff Post. Understand that despite thousands of media and communal inquiries, IBM has never disputed a single sentence of the book. So if you, Daniel, personally know something the best lawyers on the planet do not know, send it to me offline. The reason the book won two awards, Best Book of the Year and Best Investigation of the Year by the American Society of Journalists and Authors … and the reason that I give continuing legal education (CLE) lectures to scores of attorneys year after year,  and the reason I keynoted the European Parliament in Brussels a few months ago on this topic … and lecture to universities here and abroad is because every sentence in IBM and the Holocaust (see some here and here and here and the European Parliament keynote here)  is simply true, fact-checked, and uncontradicted by the culprit corporation itself.

Now I know I have expended ten times the amount of energy needed and I’ve taken ten times the space I would normally devote to a blog. (This writing was thrice the size of a typical article for the Washington Post.) It may give insight into why I have no blog, no Facebook page, no Twitter, no Linked-in, etc. Periodically I find the distortions of history and my work to be so moving, so egregious, that I think it warrants setting the record straight. Now I’ve answered the posts, and I will not answer further, because obviously this type of exchange could go on forever. So, whatever is said or not said as a result of these lines, I am now done. However if anyone on the planet who reads this blog had a further question, go to my website and send me your phone number and full contact details plus a good time to reach you indicating time zone. I will call you personally and answer—be sure to mention “Joe’s Israel” and rest assured you will jump the two-year queue indicated in my autosponder. However, please do this within the week and specifically before EOB September 14 as I then go on extended book tour and of course the holidays. Otherwise, good bye and I wish all hag sameach.


Edwin Black

Washington DC

September 7, 2012

  • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

    I apologize for mischaracterizing IBM & the Holocaust, and I simply want to reiterate that my intent in citing the Transfer Agreement was not to misrepresent your work but to demonstrate that the Nazi-collaborationist argument was a dead end street if one desire’s a productive conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    • http://twitter.com/ProfessorRowe Evan W Rowe

      Whatever happened in the 30s, it has nothing to do with the basic superstitious bullshit that makes up race and ethnic foolishness. Israel grants special powers to those it arbitrarily deems to be in the correct ethnic group, and punishes those it deems to not be. It’s not any more or less arbitrary than slavery or the British in the Raj. I have to admit I am a huge fan of the IBM and the Holocaust research, but this type of apologetics is almost always used to justify things in these longstanding historical conflict terms–as if any baby born in 1950 had anything to do with what happened in 1949. Let alone any time after that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Dear Mr Black,

    I appreciate you taking the time to write such a lengthy response. Indeed, I have the highest respect for your
    work and contributions to the topic, but as you are aware, there have been a
    number of books apart from your own written on some of these topics. I also appreciate you not casting aspersions
    about what my motives might or might not have been.

    Robust documentation from the Arabic sources to
    the English sources makes it completely clear that beginning in 1936 —and then
    after Husseini fled Palestine, the Mufti was chairman of the international Arab
    Higher Committee.

    documentation will also tell you that there
    was a nine year hiatus after the British mandatory authorities outlawed the
    Arab Higher Committee beginning in 1935; so being chairman of a dormant body hardly
    gave him relevance or influence. In
    fact, the British had smashed any semblance of Palestinian leadership and they
    remained leaderless until the 1947 civil war.

    WWII, the Arab Higher Committee (AHC) and the Mufti were not the formal or elected
    representatives of the people of Palestine. Avi Shlaim noted that when the Arab Higher Committee
    (AHC) was reestablished in 1946 after it’s nine-year hiatus, it was not by the various
    Palestinian political parties themselves, as had been the case when it was
    founded in 1936, but by a decision of the Arab League of
    States. See page 1 of Avi Shlaim, The Rise and Fall of the All-Palestine
    Government in Gaza, Journal of Palestine Studies. 20: 37–53. (2001)

    February of 1948 the Council of the Arab League decided
    not to recognize the AHC or the Mufti as the representatives of the Palestinian
    people. Thereafter, all of the Leagues’ affairs were handled through its own
    Palestine Council, not through the Mufti or the AHC. See Politics in Palestine:
    Arab factionalism and social disintegration, 1939-1948,
    By Issa Khalaf, University of New York Press, 1991, ISBN 0-7914-0708-X, page

    you see Mr Black, the Mufti was head of a Committee that ceased to have any
    power even before he was chased out of Palestine.

    It therefore goes without saying that Mufti had no special
    influence and prominence with which to aid the Nazis. He couldn’t even command respect in his own
    land, much less a regime that would have looked down on him as a sub race. He did not enjoy much popular support and all
    his efforts to organize a popular resistance to the Partition Resolution were
    unsuccessful. According to Ian Bickerton, Carla Klausner, (“A Concise
    History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004),
    few Palestinians joined the Arab Liberation Army and many Palestinians favored
    partition and indicated a willingness to live alongside a Jewish state (page

    In many ways, the Mufti was really part of the British leadership that went rogue.
    The British appointed al-Husseini as a means to dividing and controlling
    competing Palestinian factions (even the title and position itself was a
    British creation). Like all puppet
    leaders hand picked by occupying powers, the Mufti was selected because he was NOT

    Muslim Committee responsible for voting on the list of candidates in the
    run-off elections for the position of Mufti awarded the
    most votes to Jaralla, followed by Khalidi and Budayri. Since High Commissioner
    Herbert Samuel was only supposed to consider the top three candidates, Al-Hajj
    Amin Al-Husayni shouldn’t have even been considered. However, Samuel appointed
    Husayuni as Grand Mufti despite his election loss. See
    Philip Mattar, The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin
    al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement, Columbia University Press,
    1988, page 25.

    Husseini hoped that, by collaborating with the enemy of the
    British, who he believed were facilitating the takeover of Palestine by Zionist
    settlers, he might be able both to prevent the creation of a Jewish state and
    establish himself as a regional power. If
    one were to take an objective view of any nationalist, his basic grievances were not that controversial.
    In fact, Zionist founders like Jabotinsky were not afraid to admit that such as
    response was predictable and would have to be crushed by military superiority.

    Husayuni’s motives were not unlike those of the Stern Gang, who’s
    overtures to Nazi Germany have been
    extensively documented. Like Husseini,
    the Zionist leadership were also anxious to rid themselves of the British and
    Nazi Germany was the only option at the time.

    Ben-Gurion rebuffed the various efforts of more pragmatic
    Palestinian Arabs to reach a modus vivendi since it was his “belief …
    that Zionist expansionism would be better served by leaving the leadership of
    the Palestinians in the hands of the extremist Mufti than
    in the hands of a ‘moderate’ opposition. ‘Rely on the Mufti’
    became his motto.” Blocked by Zionist policy from officially expressing
    their opposition to war, the Palestinian Arabs arranged
    “non-aggression” pacts with their Jewish neighbors. The relatively
    few who did take up arms did so primarily to defend themselves against feared
    attacks by the Jews. http://www.nimn.org/Resources/history/000054.php

    Of course, that didn’t stop the Zionist militias from expelling
    Arabs from those villages that had agreed to those non-aggression pacts or destroying
    their villages anyway.

    is worth nothing that much of the Mufti’s activities you go on to describe, had
    no connection to Palestine, but there is extensive documentation that reveals
    that the State of Israel played a central role in instigating the mass exodus
    of Jews from the Arab countries like Iraq, Yemen, and Morocco.

    Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern
    Affairs (Jones), Secret [WASHINGTON,] August 2,1951. Subject: Israel’s Concern
    Re Peace With the Arabs and Other Matters. Participants: Mr. Theodore Kollek,
    Embassy of Israel and Mr. G. Lewis Jones, NE, Foreign relations of the United
    States, 1951. The Near East and Africa, page 815


    a delegation of three top officials of the AJC visited Tunisia, Morocco, and
    Algeria in late 1954, AJC Executive Vice President John Slawson was critical of
    Zionists who encouraged the “panic migration” of North African Jews. He said he
    saw “salesmen for the Jewish Agency actually empty out whole villages.” Even
    after the government subsequently implemented restrictions, author Michael
    Fischbach noted that Jewish émigrés still managed to transfer assets when they
    departed for Israel or other countries. [See
    pages 83-84 of Michael Fischbach, Jewish Property Claims Against Arab
    Countries, Columbia University Press, 2008. ]

    while there is no doubt many Jews left penniless, there were certainly avenues
    whereby welaty Jews were able to forward their assets, Journalist and political activist Naeim
    Giladi reported that the Zionist’s banking subsidiary viewed thse newcomers as
    a source of windfall profits:

    “There were ways of getting Iraqi dinars out, but when the immigrants
    went to exchange them in Israel they found that the Israeli government kept 50
    percent of the value”

    Ben Gurion’s Scandals, 2nd ed, Dandelion, 2006, page 16

    record from the State of Israel’s own commissions and reports from Hashava
    establish that several State and Zionist Organization-owned banks reaped
    enormous windfalls by charging refugees exorbitant
    exchange rates – between 30 and 50 percent – and withholding assets invested
    during the mandate era by holocaust and other refugee
    populations from the heirs, e.g. see page 20 of The New York State Banking
    Department Holocaust Claims Processing Report regarding Bank Leumi.


    regard to the riots of 1941, there are many details that you omitted.

    label the officers who formed the Golden Square as
    Nazi Arabs is superficial and hyperbolic.
    They and Al-Kilani were nationalists
    who were determined to free themselves of British rule, and looked to Germany, which was the only alternative to
    Britain and it’s allies, for pragmatic reasons.
    Al-Husseini’s role and influence among this group is also largely exaggerated.

    As for your link to the UN to the UN document circa 1949, what is
    this “molecule” supposed to prove? It
    looks entirely benign.a single molecule of this story referring to this

    Again, it’s very telling that while this same sentiment was shared by the
    Irgun and Stern Gangs, only Arab’s are condemned
    for harbouring such goals and allegiances.
    In any case, they naturally turned to the Germans for support and this resulted
    in Abd al-Ilah dismissing al-Kilani in
    January 1941.

    also odd that you would accuse the Golden Square of supposedly co-ordinating the
    , The Farhud: riots, when in fact Al-Kilani and Golden Square officers had already fled to
    Iran my May 30. And to attribute the anti Jewish riots in Iraq to the Mufti is
    pushing the limits of credulity. By 1941, the anti Zionism had sewn enormous
    anger throughout the Arab world.

    In 1934, Sir Francis
    Humphreys, Britain’s Ambassador in Baghdad, noted that, while before WW I Iraqi
    Jews had enjoyed a more favorable position than any other minority in the country:
    “Zionism has sown
    dissension between Jews and Arabs, and a bitterness has grown up between the
    two peoples which did not previously exist.”

    The hostility in the Arab
    world had already been sewn long before the Nazi’s gained any foothold in Iraq
    and it wasn’t al-Husseini’s or even the Nazi’s fault and contrary to hasbra, it
    was not based on irrational hatred of Jews.

    This needs to be also taken
    in context with the desire of the Iraqi population to rid themselves of the
    British at a time when the British were weathering a major German offensive. The British sent a large military
    force to Basra in April of that year, which at the time, had a Jewish
    population of 30,000. On the same day,
    April 12, supporters of the pro-British regent notified the Jewish leaders that
    the regent (who had just dismissed Al-Kilani) who had just wanted
    to meet with them. The Jewish leaders
    were dropped off not at El-Said’s residence, but at
    the headquarters of the British forces. Photographs
    of the Jews appeared in the following day’s newspapers with the banner
    “Basra Jews Receive British Troops with Flowers.” The Regent was
    never in Basra – the whole exercise was
    a provocation by pro-British supporters to incite an ethnic war in order to
    give the British army a pretext to intervene.

    British continued to bring in more troops including those from their Gurkha
    unit. The soldiers, led by British officers, began looting the commercial district were plundered. Private homes were
    broken into. Cases of attempted rape were reported. Local residents, Jews and
    Muslims, responded but were no match for
    the heavily armed soldiers.

    conduct was completely uncharacteristic for the Gurkhas. It was learned that
    the soldiers acted with the blessing of their British commanders. The British
    goal clearly was to create chaos and to blacken the image of the
    pro-nationalist in Baghdad, thereby giving the British forces reason to proceed
    to the capital and to overthrow the al-Kilani government. Baghdad fell on May
    30 and as I already mentioned, Al-Kilani
    fled to Iran, along with the Golden Square officers.

    stations run by the British reported that Regent Abd al-Ilah would be returning
    to the city and that thousands of Jews and others were planning to welcome him.
    What inflamed young Iraqis against the Jews most, however, was the radio
    announcer Yunas Bahri on the German station “Berlin,” who reported in
    Arabic that Jews from Palestine were fighting alongside the British against
    Iraqi soldiers near the city of Faluja. The report was false.

    Meir, one of the most prominent activists in the Zionist underground movement
    in Iraq, known then as Yehoshafat, claims it was the
    British who were behind the behind the
    rioting in the Jewish quarter. Meir, who
    went on to work for the Israeli Defense Ministry, argued that, in order to make
    it appear that the regent was returning as the savior who would reestablish law
    and order, the British stirred up the riots against the most vulnerable and
    visible segment in the city, the Jews. And, not surprisingly, the riots ended
    as soon as the regent’s loyal soldiers entered the capital.

    some of the alleged Jewish victims who were brought to Baghdad
    hospital were found to be wearing dog tags or tattoos identifying them as British
    and Gurkha troops.

    This was also confirmed by David Kimche, who had been with British
    Intelligence during WW II and with the Mossad after the war, going on to become
    Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. During a speech to the British
    Institute for International Affairs in London., he told the audience that there
    was scant concern in the British Foreign Office when British Gurkha units
    participated in the murder of 500 Jews in the streets of Baghdad in 1941

    is made of Husseini’s meeting with Hitler. Where would Israeli apologists be
    without that infamous photograph? Some have gone so far as to suggest it was Husseini
    who convinced Hitler to send Jews to the ovens.
    There is little doubt that Husseini had extreme, racist views, and that
    he gave support to the Nazis in hopes of gaining advantage against the British
    and Zionist forces in Palestine, but the idea that Husseini, let alone the
    Palestinians as a whole, played a “significant role in Hitler’s
    Holocaust” is laughable. Does anyone
    believe the Nazis required one of the sub-human races to sign off on their
    plans for mass murder?

    BBC reported that Israeli embassies were
    being instructed to use that infamous photograph of the meeting with Adolf Hitler for public relations purposes.


    All Husseini actions, and those of the Arab Higher Committee were devoted to
    exterminating the Jews in Palestine, and Europe to make sure they never got to
    Palestine, as well as Reich sponsorship of an Arab National State from Syria to

    is simply hyperbole. Husseini actions,
    though clearly misguided and driven by an extreme ideology, were motivated by
    Arab nationalism and the promises Hitler gave for Arab independence. All Husseini and the AHC were determined to
    preventing Jews getting to Palestine yes, but to suggest that they wouldn’t
    settle for less than the extermination of Jews is absurd.

    of your arguments Mr Black, come down to inflammatory statements from Husseini. If you want to get into that game, there is a
    huge well of material to draw on from Zionist leaders that would give Husseini
    a run for his money.

    During negations between the Zionist
    leadership and European states to accommodate Jewish refugees, , Chaim Weizman stated:

    most valuable part of the Jewish nation is already in Palestine, and those Jews
    living outside Palestine are not too important”.

    thought that the majority of the exiles in Europe were little more than human
    dust with no future ahead of them. He had no intention of bringing them to


    Weizman’s cohort, Greenbaum, amplified this statement with the

    cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe”.

    to the issue of the Jews expelled from Arab lands starting with Iraq. Like I said earlier, the 850,000 figure
    refers to the total number of Jews that left the Arab states – be they
    expulsion, limits to their freedoms or
    messianic reasons.

    Israel and Zionist agencies organized
    a day-and-night airlift using an unknown American airline,
    now known as Alaska Airlines; and what was then known as BOAC and BEA, now
    British Airways

    It’s interesting that you should
    mention the airlift from Iraq. Shlomo Hillel, who
    was instrumental in facilitating these airlifts (Operation Ezra and Nehemiah) himself
    state that:

    “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab
    lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as

    Of course, one might argue that Hillel was romanticising the events
    after the fact ((“Magic Carpet”
    and “Operation Ezra and
    Nehemiah” were romantic phrases) but what is clear, is that there as a major
    backlash against this theory in Israel when Yaakov Meron from the World
    Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) first suggested in in the 1970’s.
    The organization’s claims infuriated many Mizrahi Israelis who defined
    themselves as Zionists.

    In a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically: “I have
    this to say: I am not a refugee.” He added: “I came at the behest of
    Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of
    redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”

    The opposition was so vociferous that Ora Schweitzer, chair of
    WOJAC’s political department, asked the organization’s secretariat to end its
    campaign. She reported that members of Strasburg’s Jewish community were so
    offended that they threatened to boycott organization meetings should the topic
    of “Sephardi Jews as refugees” ever come up again. Such remonstration
    precisely predicted the failure of the current organization, Justice for Jews
    from Arab Countries to inspire enthusiasm for its efforts.

    The Foreign Ministry proposed that the organization bring its
    campaign to a halt on the grounds that the description of Mizrahi Jews as
    refugees was a double-edged sword. Israel, ministry officials pointed out, had
    always adopted a stance of ambiguity on the complex issue raised by WOJAC. In
    1949, Israel even rejected a British-Iraqi proposal for population exchange –
    Iraqi Jews for Palestinian refugees – due to concerns that it would
    subsequently be asked to settle “surplus refugees” within its own

    Yaakov Meron was
    subsequently fired by Yossi Beilin from hos position at the the Arab legal
    affairs department.

    Yehouda Shenhav sums it up perfectly:

    reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy
    drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees
    did not want to leave Palestine. Many Palestinian communities were destroyed in
    1948, and some 700,000 Palestinians were expelled, or fled, from the borders of
    historic Palestine. Those who left did not do so of their own volition.

    In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of
    the State of Israel and Jewish organizations. Some came of their own free will;
    others arrived against their will. Some lived comfortably and securely in Arab
    lands; others suffered from fear and oppression.

    Many members of the Egyptian Jewish
    communities openly claimed that they had been Jewish Zionists and felt no
    loyalty to Egypt, e.g. http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft2290045n&chunk.id=s1.8.51&toc.id=ch8&brand=eschol

    It was widely reported that some members of the Haganah’s Mossad
    Le’aliyah Bet were recruited or sent to those communities and that they were
    conducting agit prop and black flag operations, e,g. http://www.archive.org/details/Ben-gurionScandals–HowTheHagannahAndTheMossadEliminatedJews

    • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

      The above reply shows some of the level of hostility and sometimes superficial level of seemingly sophisticated knowledge that one encounters in college campuses. I asked Edwin Black to once again share his thoughts, and this was his reply to me:

      Dear Sarah,

      My present lecture tour and commitments make it impossible to provide the extensive corrections and context to the many misstatements, bad sourcing, and unreliable references that were cobbled together to form the lengthy answer from Mr. Andre De Angelis. While Mr. Angelis demonstrates his thirst for knowledge, he has drunk from the wrong wells, swallowed wrong and digested wrong. This is why I write books based on original sources, present hundreds of lectures annually, publish 5000-word articles, and do extensive televised and filmed interviews … and why I avoid blogs and online debates.

      I covered much of the topic raised in my book The Farhud and also British Petroleum and Redline Agreement, as well as The Transfer Agreement. Most of the information and much of the sourcing from De Angelis should be disregarded by all. I wish I could spend all day every day correcting a world of errors and insufficient history. But if you multiply the De Angelis mis-statements by 100 daily across all my portfolios–from eugenics to Holocaust to oil, you see the volume makes it impossible. It was a mistake to post a reply on Joe’s Israel and I shall try to avoid the same mistake in the future. That said, if Mr. De Angelis wants to organize a conference phone call with any 50 of his colleagues, he can do that. I can answer any questions put to me in a live session. But I cannot type all day every day to correct fractured history.”

      all the best,
      Edwin Black

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

        The above reply shows some of the level of hostility and sometimes
        superficial level of seemingly sophisticated knowledge that one encounters in
        college campuses.

        I would ask that you take back this statement Sarah.

        My post was not hostile to Mr Black,
        in fact, I prefaced it with paying respect to Mr Black’s extensive contributions
        and thanked him for setting a civilized tone and not casting aspersions to my motives.

        While Mr Black’s work is extensive
        and he is highly respected in this field, his views are not sacrosanct or immune
        from scrutiny. As I explained, there are
        at least half a dozen equally noted historians and scholars who either refute
        some of Mr Back’s claims or have documented details which Mr Black’s account of the events of 1948 omits

        I appreciate that Mr Black
        does not have the time or the desire to begin and exhaustive back and forth
        on-line debate; indeed I agree that such
        an endeavour would be futile, but it was never my intention to begin one. When
        Mr Black addressed my comments directly in his letter, I felt compelled to respond.

        Lastly, you might want to
        reconsider what you refer to the “superficial knowledge
        one encounters in college campuses” given that:

        1. Your
        video presentation attracted so much criticism for being superficial and
        lacking substance – even from Israeli supporters

        2. You happen to be present on one of those