I've noted before that the past 15 years has seen a massive decline in the number of reputable current affairs documentaries being shown on ABC TV and SBS, particularly in relation to the contemporary Middle East, and their replacement by what seems to be a never-ending supply of World War II documentaries.
Which brings me to the Watch Now on TV section of yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald website. It read:
Hitler's Arab SS
Documents the rise of 'Grand Mufti' Husseini who set up Arab divisions of the SS to support the Nazi cause in WW II
The subject, of course, is Haj Amin al-Husseini (1895-1974), Mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Palestinian national movement at the time. As for those "Arab divisions of the SS," bide your time...
Click on Hitler's Arab SS, and you come to episode 8 in a 13-episode series (available at ABC shops!) called Nazi Collaborators.
Nazi Collaborators is listed under the heading Genre as History (!!!), and described thus:
"Nazi Collaborators explores the shocking tales of how individuals from all walks of life turned against their nations to fight alongside the Nazis."
Note the definition of 'collaborator' here: one who turns against his own country.
But wasn't Haj Amin al-Husseini's nation Palestine?
And wasn't Palestine under the British jackboot when World War II broke out in 1939?
And wasn't Haj Amin on the run from the Britz over his leadership of the Palestinian Revolt of 1936-39 at the time?
Under the heading About this episode we get this:
"When the Nazis came to power, Haj Amin el Husseini offered his services to them, broadcasting their message against the Allied invasion of Muslim countries. Husseini also set up Arab divisions of the SS to support the Nazi cause in World War II."
Oh, I see. So when the Nazis came to power in 1933 there was Haj Amin, knocking on their door? Not.
Google the series and you get this synopsis:
"Of those individuals who have been accused of collaboration with Hitler and the Nazis during World War 2, it is perhaps Mohammed Amin al-Husseini who is the most controversial of all."
But of course... anyone in a prominent position who voices an opinion contrary to the dominant Zionist narrative ipso facto becomes 'controversial'.
"Debate still rages to this day as to whether his apparent pact with the National Socialists was a purely individual act or whether al-Husseini was a mouthpiece for the wider, fanatically anti-Jewish Arab world. That he was sympathetic to the Nazi cause is in no doubt. But what were his motives? And how much did he really support the Nazi's intentions towards the Jews?"
What were his motives?
Hatred of Jews was in his DNA?
The Arabs sucked anti-Semitism from their mothers' breasts?
Nothing whatever to do, of course, with the fact that the Britz were flooding Palestine with fanatical European Jews who believed that that they were on a mission from God to make it as Jewish as England is English. Nah... too far fetched that one.
"This film takes a detailed look at the life of al-Husseini and explores the true nature of his collaboration with the Nazi's [sic]. It examines the legacy of his actions during World War 2 and explores the impact of his influence on the Middle East in the 21st century." (The Grand Mufti)
Now I hasten to add that I haven't seen this doco, but if the blurb is any guide to its content, and life being too short anyway, I doubt I'll be wasting my time. So here, for what they're worth, are the facts on the Mufti in wartime Germany:
The Mufti (still on the run from the Britz) reached Berlin in 1941. He wanted:
"... a [public] statement to the Arabs in which Germany would disavow imperial interests in the Arab world and would support Arab independence, especially the independence and unity of Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. Such a statement would, Amin insisted rally support for a revolt... The revolt would be preceded by appeals to the Arabs from the Mufti and by the formation of an Arab legion... Hitler pointed out, however, that such a statement would be premature... [so] the Mufti asked for a secret agreement... Hitler agreed...
"The key paragraph [of the secret agreement] stated that Germany and Italy were ready to grant to the Arab countries in the Near East, now suffering under British oppression, every possible aid in their fight for independence; to recognise their sovereignty and independence; to agree to their federation if this is so desired by the interested parties; as well as to the abolition of the Jewish National Homeland in Palestine'...
"Now that he had a commitment from the Axis, he had to fulfil his side of the bargain: spread propaganda, recruit Arab troops, promote sabotage, and call for revolt...
"The Mufti also began in late 1942 to help organize Arab recruits into an Arab Legion called the Deutsch-Arabische- Lehrabteilung (DAL)... To his mind, the DAL was a response to the Zionist recruitment in Palestine approved by Churchill in late 1940, and to the demands of Arabs living in Axis countries to free their own countries. He insisted that the recruits - Arabs living in Axis territory and Arab prisoners of war captured by the Germans in North Africa and Greece while fighting the Allies - should be used for only Arab objectives, fighting under Arab command and flag, and on Palestinian, Syrian or Egyptian soil...
"The Mufti's other military-related activities included helping to recruit Muslims for Yugoslavia and Albania in 1943 to fight in Croatia and Bosnia against the Communist forces of Tito and the Serbian forces of Draza Mihailovic... The results of these efforts were an abysmal failure... But the failure lay less with Amin, who played little part in the actual military and strategic planning, than with Germany, which failed to adequately mobilize its diplomatic, propaganda, and military machine for a challenge to the Allies in the Middle East.
"After the war, Zionist groups called on Britain to try the Mufti on charges of collaboration or treason. Britain replied that since he was not a British subject he could not be tried either as a traitor nor as a collaborator." (The Mufti of Jerusalem: Haj Amin Al-Husayni & the Palestinian National Movement, Philip Mattar, 1988, pp 104-05)
Neither traitor nor collaborator? So what's he doing in the series?
Thereby hangs a tale...