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The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini — Enemy of My Enemy — Videos

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451px-Al-Husayni1929headAl-Husayni1929delegationHaj_Amin_al-Husseini_meeting_with_Adolf_Hitler Heinrich Himmler - Haj AminHeinrich Himmler with Haj Amin El Husseini Hitler y Husseini 2

The Nazi Collaborators: The Grand Mufti

In this film, history evidence is shown, showing the Muslim Brotherhood and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem [Haj Amin al-Husseini] working alongside Adolf Hitler in World War 2.

The Turban and the Swastika, Amin Al-Husseini and the nazis

Haj Amin al-Husseini

Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini (Arabic: محمد أمين الحسيني‎;[5] c. 1897;[6][7] – 4 July 1974) was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in Mandatory Palestine.[8]

Al-Husseini was the scion of a family of Jerusalemite notables.[9] After receiving an education in Islamic, Ottoman and Catholic schools, he went on to serve in the Ottoman army in World War I. At war’s end, he positioned himself in Damascus as a supporter of the Arab Kingdom of Syria. Following the fiasco of the Franco-Syrian War and the collapse of the Arab Hashemite rule in Damascus, his early position on pan-Arabism shifted to a form of local nationalism for Palestinian Arabs and he moved back to Jerusalem. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot that broke out over the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Al-Husseini was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, but was pardoned by the British.[10] Starting in 1921, al-Husseini was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, using the position to promote Islam, while rallying a non-confessional Arab nationalism against Zionism.[11][12]

His opposition to the British peaked during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1937, evading an arrest warrant, he fled Palestine and took refuge in, successively, the French Mandate of Lebanon and the Kingdom of Iraq, until he established himself in Italy and Germany. During World War II he collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy by making propagandistic radio broadcasts and by helping the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. On meeting Adolf Hitler he requested backing for Arab independence and support in opposing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. At war’s end, he came under French protection, and then sought refuge in Cairo to avoid prosecution.

In the lead-up to the 1948 Palestine war, Husseini opposed both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and King Abdullah‘s designs to annex the Arab part of British Mandatory Palestine to Jordan, and, failing to gain command of the ‘Arab rescue army’ (jaysh al-inqadh al-‘arabi) formed under the aegis of the Arab League, formed his own militia, al-jihad al-muqaddas. In September 1948, he participated in establishment of All-Palestine Government. Seated in Egyptian-ruled Gaza, this government won a limited recognition of Arab states, but was eventually dissolved by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1959. After the war and subsequent Palestinian exodus, his claims to leadership, wholly discredited, left him eventually sidelined by the Palestine Liberation Organization, and he lost most of his residual political influence.[13] He died in Beirut, Lebanon, in July 1974. Husseini was and remains a highly controversial figure. Historians dispute whether his fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both.

Early life

Amin al-Husseini was born around 1897[14] in Jerusalem, the son of the mufti of that city and prominent early opponent of Zionism, Tahir al-Husayni.[15] The al-Husseini clan consisted of wealthy landowners in southern Palestine, centred around the district ofJerusalem. Thirteen members of the clan had been Mayors of Jerusalem between 1864 and 1920. Another member of the clan and Amin’s half-brother,[16] Kamil al-Husayni, also served as Mufti of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini attended a Qur’an school (kuttub), and Ottoman government secondary school (rüshidiyye) where he learnt Turkish, and a Catholic secondary school run by French missionaries, the Catholic Frères, where he learnt French.[17] He also studied at the Alliance Israélite Universelle with its non-Zionist Jewish director Albert Antébi.[18] In 1912 he studied Islamic law briefly at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and at the Dar al-Da’wa wa-l-Irshad, under Rashid Rida, a salafi intellectual, who was to remain Amin’s mentor till his death in 1935.[19] Though groomed to hold religious office from youth, his education was typical of the Ottoman effendi at the time, and he only donned a religious turban in 1921 after being appointed mufti.[17]

In 1913, approximately at the age of 16, al-Husseini accompanied his mother Zainab to Mecca and received the honorary title of Hajj. Prior to World War I, he studied at the School of Administration in Istanbul, the most secular of Ottoman institutions.[20]

World War I

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, al-Husseini received a commission in the Ottoman Army as an artillery officer and was assigned to the Forty-Seventh Brigade stationed in and around the city of Izmir. In November 1916 he obtained a three-month disability leave from the army and returned to Jerusalem.[21] He was recovering from an illness there when the city was captured by the British a year later.[20] The British and Sherifian armies, for which some 500 Palestinian Arabs were estimated to have volunteered, completed their conquest of Ottoman-controlled Palestine and Syria in 1918.[22][23] As a Sherifian officer, al-Husseini recruited men to serve in Faisal bin Al Hussein bin Ali El-Hashemi‘s army during the Arab Revolt, a task he undertook while employed as a recruiter by the British military administration in Jerusalem and Damascus. The post-war Palin Report noted that the English recruiting officer, Captain C. D. Brunton, found al-Husseini, with whom he cooperated, very pro-British, and that, via the diffusion of War Office pamphlets dropped from the air promising them peace and prosperity under British rule, ‘the recruits (were) being given to understand that they were fighting in a national cause and to liberate their country from the Turks’.[24] Nothing in his early career to this point suggests he had ambitions to serve in a religious office: his interests were those of an Arab nationalist.[20]

Early political activism[edit]

In 1919, al-Husseini attended the Pan-Syrian Congress held in Damascus where he supported Emir Faisal for King of Syria. That year al-Husseini founded the pro-British Jerusalem branch of the Syrian-based ‘Arab Club’ (Al-Nadi al-arabi), which then vied with the Nashashibi-sponsored ‘Literary Club’ (al-Muntada al-Adabi) for influence over public opinion, and he soon became its President.[25][26] At the same time, he wrote articles for theSuriyya al-Janubiyya (Southern Syria). The paper was published in Jerusalem beginning in September 1919 by the lawyer Muhammad Hassan al-Budayri, and edited by Aref al-Aref, both prominent members of al-Nadi al-‘Arabi.

Al-Husseini was a strong supporter of the short-living Arab Kingdom of Syria, established in March 1920. In addition to his support to pan-Arabist policies of King Faisal I, al-Husseini tried to destabilize the British rule in Palestine, which was declared to be part of the Arab Kingdom, even though no authority was exercised in reality.

During the annual Nabi Musa procession in Jerusalem in April 1920, violent rioting broke out in protest at the implementation of the Balfour Declaration which supported the establishment in Palestine of a homeland for the Jewish people. Much damage to Jewish life and property was caused. The Palin Report laid the blame for the explosion of tensions on both sides.[27] Ze’ev Jabotinsky, organiser of Jewish paramilitary defences, received a 15-year sentence.[28] Al-Husseini, then a teacher at the Rashidiya school, near Herod’s Gate in East Jerusalem, was charged with inciting the Arab crowds with an inflammatory speech and sentenced in absentia to 10-years imprisonment by a military court, since by then he had fled to Syria.[29] It was asserted soon after, by Chaim Weizmann and British army Lieutenant Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, that al-Husseini had been put up to inciting the riot by British Field-marshal Allenby‘s Chief of Staff, Colonel Bertie Harry Waters-Taylor, to demonstrate to the world that Arabs would not tolerate a Jewish homeland in Palestine.[30][31][32] The assertion was never proven, and Meinertzhagen was dismissed.[33]

After the April riots an event took place that turned the traditional rivalry between the Husseini and Nashashibi clans into a serious rift,[34] with long-term consequences for al-Husseini and Palestinian nationalism. According to Sir Louis Bols, great pressure was brought to bear on the military administration from Zionist leaders and officials such as David Yellin, to have the Mayor of Jerusalem, Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husayni, dismissed, given his presence in the demonstration of the previous March. Colonel Storrs, the Military Governor of Jerusalem, removed him without further inquiry, replacing him with Raghib al-Nashashibi of the rival Nashashibi clan. This, according to the Palin report, ‘had a profound effect on his co-religionists, definitely confirming the conviction they had already formed from other evidence that the Civil Administration was the mere puppet of the Zionist Organization.’[35]

Until late 1920, al-Husseini focused his efforts on Pan-Arabism and the ideology of the Greater Syria in particular, with Palestine understood as a southern province of an Arab state, whose capital was to be established in Damascus. Greater Syria was to include territory of the entire Levant, now occupied by Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinian Authority and Israel. The struggle for Greater Syria collapsed after France defeated the Arab forces in Battle of Maysalun in July 1920. The French army entered Damascus at that time, overthrew King Faisal and put an end to the project of a Greater Syria, put under the French Mandate in accordance with the prior Sykes-Picot Agreement. Palestinian notables responded to the disaster by a series of resolutions at the 1921 Haifa conference, which set down a Palestinian framework and passed over in silence the earlier idea of a south confederated with Syria. This framework set the tone of Palestinian nationalism for the ensuing decades.[36][37]

Al-Husseini, like many of his class and period, then turned from Damascus-oriented Pan-Arabism to a specifically Palestinian ideology, centered on Jerusalem, which sought to block Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine.[38] The frustration of pan-Arab aspirations lent an Islamic colour to the struggle for independence, and increasing resort to the idea of restoring the land to Dar al-Islam.[39] From his election as Mufti until 1923, al-Husseini exercised total control over the secret society, Al-Fida’iyya (The Self-Sacrificers), which, together with al-Ikha’ wal-‘Afaf (Brotherhood and Purity), played an important role in clandestine anti-British and anti-Zionist activities, and, via members in the gendarmerie, had engaged in riotous activities as early as April 1920.[40]

Mufti of Jerusalem

Following the death of Amin’s half-brother, the mufti Kamil al-Husayni in March 1921, the British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel pardoned al-Husseini. He and another Arab had been excluded from the generalamnesty, six weeks earlier, because they had fled before their convictions had been passed down. Elections were then held, and of the four candidates running for the office of Mufti, al-Husseini received the least number of votes, the first three being Nashashibi candidates. Nevertheless, Samuel was anxious to keep a balance between the al-Husseinis and their rival clan the Nashashibis.[41] A year earlier the British had replaced Musa al-Husayni as Mayor of Jerusalem with Ragheb al-Nashashibi. They then moved to secure for the Husseini clan a compensatory function of prestige by appointing one of them to the position of mufti, and, with the support of Ragheb al-Nashashibi and Sheikh Hussam Jārallāh, prevailing upon the Nashashibi front-runner, Sheikh Hussam ad-Din Jarallah, to withdraw. This automatically promoted Amin al-Husseini to third position, which, under Ottoman law, allowed him to qualify, and Samuel then chose him as Mufti.[42] His initial appointment was as Mufti, but when the Supreme Muslim Council was created in the following year, Husseini demanded and received the title Grand Mufti that had earlier been created, perhaps on the lines of Egyptian usage,[43] by the British for his half-brother Kamil.[44][45][46] The position came with a life tenure.[47]

In 1922, al-Husseini was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in 1921.[48] Matthews argues that the British considered the combinations of his profile as an effective Arab nationalist and a scion of a noble Jerusalem family ‘made it advantageous to align his interests with those of the British administration and thereby keep him on a short tether.’.[49] The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds[50] and the orphan funds, worth annually about £50,000, as compared to the £600,000 in the Jewish Agency‘s annual budget.[51] In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.

The British initially balanced appointments to the Supreme Muslim Council between the Husseinis and their supporters (known as the majlisiya, or council supporters) and the Nashashibis and their allied clans (known as the mu’aridun, the opposition).[52] Themu’aridun, were more disposed to a compromise with the Jews, and indeed had for some years received annual subventions from the Jewish Agency.[53] During most of the period of the British mandate, bickering between these two families seriously undermined any Palestinian Arab unity. In 1936, however, they achieved a measure of concerted policy when all the Palestinian Arab groups joined to create a permanent executive organ known as the Arab Higher Committee under al-Husseini’s chairmanship.

Haram ash-Sharif and the Western Wall

The Supreme Muslim Council and its head al-Husseini, who regarded himself as guardian of one of the three holy sites of Islam, launched an international campaign in Muslim countries to gather funds to restore and improve the Haram ash-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) or Temple Mount, and particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the shrine Dome of the Rock (which houses the holiest site in Judaism).[54] The whole area required extensive restoration, given the disrepair into which it had fallen from neglect in Ottoman times. Jerusalem was the original direction towards which Muslims prayed, until the Qibla was reorientated towards Mecca by Mohammed in the year 624. Al-Husseini commissioned the Turkish architect Mimar Kemalettin.[55] In restoring the site, al-Husseini was also assisted by the Mandatory power’s Catholic Director of Antiquities, Ernest Richmond.[56] Under Richmond’s supervision, the Turkish architect drew up a plan, and the execution of the works gave a notable stimulus to the revival of traditional artisan arts like mosaic tesselation, glassware production, woodcraft, wickerwork and iron-mongering.[57][58]

Al-Husseini’s vigorous efforts to transform the Haram into a symbol of pan-Arabic and Palestinian nationalism were intended to rally Arab support against the postwar influx of Jewish immigrants. In his campaigning, al-Husseini often accused Jews of planning to take possession of the Western Wall of Jerusalem, which belonged to the waqf of Abu Madyan as an inalienable property, and rebuild the Temple over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[59] He took certain statements, for example, by the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook regarding the eventual return in time of the Temple Mount back to Jewish hands, and turned them to a concrete political plot to seize control of the area.[60] Al-Husseini’s intensive work to refurbish the shrine as a cynosure for the Muslim world, and Jewish endeavours to improve their access to, and establish a ritually appropriate ambiance on the plaza by the Western Wall, led to increased conflict between the two communities, each seeing the site only from their own traditional perspective and interests.[61]Zionist narratives pinpointed al-Husseini’s works on, and publicity about, the site and threats to it, as attempts to restore his own family’s waning prestige. Arab narratives read the heightened agitation of certain Jewish groups over the Wall as an attempt to revivediaspora interest in Zionism after some years of relative decline, depression and emigration.[62] Each attempt to make minor alterations to the status quo, still governed by Ottoman law, was bitterly protested before the British authorities by the Muslim authorities. If Muslims could cite an Ottoman regulation of 1912 specifically forbidding objects like seating to be introduced, the Jews could cite testimonies to the fact that before 1914 certain exceptions had been made to improve their access and use of the Wall.[63] The decade witnessed several such episodes of strong friction, and the simmering tensions came to a head in late 1928, only to erupt, after a brief respite, into an explosion of violence a year later.[citation needed]

1929 Palestine Riots

Main article: 1929 Palestine riots


Arab protest delegations against British policy in Palestine during 1929

On 10 August 1928, a constituent assembly convened by the French in Syria was rapidly adjourned when calls were made for a reunification with Palestine.[64] Al-Husseini and Awni Abd al-Hadi met with the Syrian nationalists[65] and they made a joint proclamation for a unified monarchical state under a son of Ibn Sa’ud. On the 26th.[66] the completion of the first stage of restoration work on the Haram’s mosques was celebrated with great pomp, in the presence of representatives from the Muslim countries which had financed the project, the Mandatory authorities, and Abdullah, Emir of Transjordan. A month later, after an article appeared in the Jewish press proposing the purchase and destruction of houses in the Moroccan quarter bordering on the wall to improve pilgrim access and further thereby the ‘Redemption of Israel.’[67] Soon after, on 23 September,[68] Yom Kippur, a Jewish beadle introduced a screen to separate male and female worshippers at the Wall. Informed by residents in the neighbouring Mughrabi quarter, the waqf authority complained to Harry Luke, acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine, that this virtually changed the lane into a synagogue, and violated the status quo, as had the collapsible seats in 1926. British constables, encountering a refusal, used force to remove the screen, and a jostling clash ensued between worshippers and police.[67][69]

Zionist allegations that disproportionate force had been employed during what was a solemn occasion of prayer created an outcry throughout the diaspora. Worldwide Jewish protests remonstrated with Britain for the violence exercised at the Wall. The Jewish National Council Vaad Leumi ‘demanded that British administration expropriate the wall for the Jews’.[70] In reply, the Muslims organized a Defence Committee for the Protection of the Noble Buraq,[71] and huge crowd rallies took place on the Al-Aqsa plaza in protest. Work, often noisy, was immediately undertaken on a mosque above the Jewish prayer site. Disturbances such as opening a passage for donkeys to pass through the area, angered worshippers.[72] After intense negotiations, the Zionist organisation denied any intent to take over the whole Haram Ash-Sharif, but demanded the government expropriate and raze the Moroccan quarter. A law of 1924 allowed the British authorities to expropriate property, and fear of this in turn greatly agitated the Muslim community, though the laws of donation of the waqf explicitly disallowed any such alienation. After lengthy deliberation, a White Paper was made public on 11 December 1928 in favour of the status quo.[73]

After the nomination of the new High Commissioner Sir John Chancellor to succeed Lord Plumer in December 1928, the question was re-examined, and in February 1929 legal opinion established that the mandatory authority was within its powers to intervene to ensure Jewish rights of access and prayer. Al-Husseini pressed him for a specific clarification of the legal status quo regarding the Wall. Chancellor mulled weakening the SMC and undermining al-Husseini’s authority by making the office of mufti elective. The Nabi Musa festival of April that year passed without incident, despite al-Husseini’s warnings of possible incidents. Chancellor thought his power was waning, and after conferring with London, admitted to al-Husseini on 6 May that he was impotent to act decisively in the matter. Al-Husseini replied that, unless the Mandatory authorities acted, then, very much like Christian monks protecting their sacred sites in Jerusalem, the sheikhs would have to take infringements of the status quo into their own hands, and personally remove any objects introduced by Jews to the area. Chancellor asked him to be patient, and al-Husseini offered to stop works on the Mount on condition that this gesture not be taken as a recognition of Jewish rights. A change of government in Britain in June led to a new proposal: only Muslim works in the sector near where Jews prayed should be subject to mandatory authorisation: Jews could employ ritual objects, but the introduction of seats and screens would be subject to Muslim authorisation. Chancellor authorised the Muslims to recommence their reconstructive work, while, responding to further Zionist complaints, prevailed on the SMC to stop the raucous Zikr ceremonies in the vicinity of the wall.[74] He also asked the Zionist representatives to refrain from filling their newspapers with attacks on the government and Muslim authorities. Chancellor then departed for Europe where the Mandatory Commission was deliberating.[75]


With Chancellor abroad, and the Zionist Commission itself, with its leader Colonel Frederick Kisch, in Zurich for the 16th. Zionist Congress (attended also by Ze’ev Jabotinsky), the SMC resumed works, confidentially authorised, on the Haram only to be met with outcries from the Jewish press. The administration rapidly published the new rules on 22 July, with a serious error in translation that fueled Zionist reports of a plot against Jewish rights.[76] A protest in London led to a public declaration by a member of the Zionist Commission that Jewish rights were bigger than the status quo, a statement which encouraged in turn Arab suspicions that local agreements were again being overthrown by Jewish intrigues abroad. News that the Zurich Congress, in creating the Jewish Agency on 11 August., had brought unity among Zionists and the world Jewish community, a measure that would greatly increase Jewish investment in British Palestine,[77] set off alarm bells. On 15 August, Tisha B’Av, a day memorializing the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the revisionist Betar movement, despite Pinhas Rutenberg‘s plea on 8 August to the acting High Commissioner Harry Luke to stop such groups from participating,[78] rallied members from Tel Aviv to join them in the religious commemoration. Kisch, before leaving, had banned Jewish demonstrations in Jerusalem’s Arab quarters. The Betar youth gave the ceremony a strong nationalist tinge by singing the Hatikvah, waving the flag of Israel, and chanting the slogan ‘The Wall is Ours’.[79][80] The following day coincided with mawlid (or mawsin al-nabi),[81] the anniversary of the birth of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Muslim worshippers, after prayers on the esplanade of the Haram, passed through the narrow lane by the Wailing Wall and ripped up prayer books, and kotel notes (wall petitions), without harming however three Jews present. Contacted by Luke, al-Husseini undertook to do his best to maintain calm on the Haram, but could not stop demonstrators from gathering at the Wall.

On 17 August a young Jewish boy was stabbed to death by Arabs while retrieving a football, while an Arab was badly wounded in a brawl with Palestinian Jews.[82] Strongly tied to the anti-Hashemite party,[83] and attacked by supporters of Abdullah in Transjordan for misusing funds marked out for campaigning against France, al-Husseini asked for a visa for himself and Awni Abd al-Hadi to travel to Syria, where the leadership of the Syrian anti-French cause was being contested.[84] Averse to his presence in Syria, the French asked him to put off the journey. Meanwhile, despite Harry Luke’s lecturing journalists to avoid reporting such material, rumors circulated in both communities, of an imminent massacre of Jews by Muslims, and of an assault on the Haram ash-Sharif by Jews. On 21 August a funeral cortège, taking the form of a public demonstration for the dead Jewish boy, wound its way through the old city, with the police blocking attempts to break into the Arab quarters. On the 22nd, Luke convoked representatives of both parties to calm things down, and undersign a joint declaration. Awni Abd al-Hadi and Jamal al-Husayni were ready to recognize Jewish visiting rights at the Wall in exchange for Jewish recognition of Islamic prerogatives at the Buraq. The Jewish representative, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, considered this beyond his brief—which was limited to an appeal for calm—and the Arabs in turn refused. They agreed to pursue their dialogue the following week.

On 23 August, a Friday, two or three Arabs were murdered in the Jewish quarter of Mea Shearim.[85] It was also a day of Muslim prayer. A large crowd, composed of many people from outlying villages, thronged into Jerusalem, many armed with sticks and knives. It is not known whether this was organized by al-Husseini or the result of spontaneous mobilisation. The sermon at Al-Aqsa was to be delivered by another preacher, but Luke prevailed on al-Husseini to leave his home and go to the mosque, where he was greeted as ‘the sword of the faith’ and where he instructed the preacher to deliver a pacific sermon, while sending an urgent message for police reinforcements around the Haram. Deluded by the lenitive address, extremists harangued the crowd, accusing al-Husseini of being an infidel to the Muslim cause. The same violent accusation was launched in Jaffa against sheikh Muzaffir, an otherwise radical Islamic preacher, who gave a sermon calling for calm on the same day.[86] An assault was launched on the Jewish quarter. Violent mob attacks on Jewish communities, fueled by wildfire hearsay about ostensible massacres of Arabs and attempts to seize the Wall, took place over the following days in Hebron, Safed and Haifa. In all, in the killings and subsequent revenge attacks, 136 Arabs and 135 Jews died, while 340 of the latter were wounded, as well as an estimated 240 Arabs.[87]


Two official investigations were subsequently conducted by the British and the League of Nations‘s Mandatory Commission. The former, The Shaw Report, concluded that the incident on 23 August consisted of an attack by Arabs on Jews, but rejected the view that the riots had been premeditated. Al-Husseini certainly played an energetic role in Muslim demonstrations from 1928 onwards, but could not be held responsible for the August riots, even if he had ‘a share in the responsibility for the disturbances’.[88] He had nonetheless collaborated from the 23rd. of that month in pacifying rioters and reestablishing order. The worst outbreaks occurred in areas, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, and Haifa where his Arab political adversaries were dominant. The root cause of the violent outbreaks lay in the fear of territorial dispossession.[89] In a Note of Reservation, Mr. Harry Snell, who had apparently been swayed by Sir Herbert Samuel‘s son, Edwin Samuel[90] states that, although he was satisfied that the Mufti was not directly responsible for the violence or had connived at it, he believed the Mufti was aware of the nature of the anti-Zionist campaign and the danger of disturbances.[91] He therefore attributed to the Mufti a greater share of the blame than the official report had.[91] The Dutch Vice-Chairman of the Permanent Mandates Commission, M. Van Rees, argued that ‘the disturbances of August 1929, as well as the previous disturbances of a similar character, were, in brief, only a special aspect of the resistance offered everywhere in the East, with its traditional and feudal civilisation, to the invasion of a European civilisation introduced by a Western administration’ but concluded that in his view ‘the responsibility for what had happened must lie with the religious and political leaders of the Arabs’.[92]

Many observers saw al-Husseini as the mastermind behind the riots, accusing him of dispatching secret emissaries to inflame regional passions [citation]. In London, Lord Melchett demanded his arrest for orchestrating all anti-British unrest throughout the Middle East. Consular documentation discarded the plot thesis rapidly, and identified the deeper cause as political, not religious, namely in what the Palin report had earlier identified[93] as profound Arab discontent over Zionism. Arab memoirs on the fitna (troubles) follow a contemporary proclamation for the Defence of the Wall on 31 August, which justified the riots as legitimate, but nowhere mention a coordinated plan. Izzat Darwaza, an Arab nationalist rival of al-Husseini, alone asserts, without details, that al-Husseini was responsible. Al-Husseini in his memoirs never claimed to have played such a role.[94]

The High Commissioner received al-Husseini twice officially on 1 October 1929 and a week later, and the latter complained of pro-Zionist bias in an area where the Arab population still viewed Great Britain favorably. Al-Husseini argued that the weakness of the Arab position was that they lacked political representation in Europe, whereas for millennia, in his view, the Jews dominated with their genius for intrigue. He assured Chancellor of his cooperation in maintaining public order.[95]

Political activities, 1930–1935

Al-Husseini (center) in a visit to Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s. To his left is Hashim al-Atassi, who later became president of Syria and to al-Husseini’s right isShakib Arslan, an Arab nationalist philosopher fromLebanon.

By 1928–1929 a coalition of a new Palestinian nationalist group began to challenge the hegemony so far exercised by al-Husseini. The group, more pragmatic, hailed from the landed gentry and from business circles, and was intent on what they considered a policy of more realistic accommodation to the Mandatory government. From this period on, a rift emerged, that was to develop into a feud between the directive elite of Palestinian Arabs.[96]

In 1931, al-Husseini founded the World Islamic Congress, on which he was to serve as president. Versions differ as to whether or not al-Husseini supported Izz ad-Din al-Qassam when he undertook clandestine activities against the British Mandate authorities. His appointment as imam of the al-Istiqlal mosque in Haifa had been approved by al-Husseini. Lachman argues that he secretly encouraged, and perhaps financed al-Qassam at this period. Whatever their relations, the latter’s independent activism, and open challenge to the British authorities appears to have led to a rupture between the two.[97] He vigorously opposed the Qassamites’ exactions against the Christian and Druze communities.[98] By 1935 al-Husseini did take control of one clandestine organization, of whose nature he had not been informed until the preceding year,[99]which had been set up in 1931 by Musa Kazim al-Husayni‘s son, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and recruited from the Palestinian Arab Boy Scout movement, called the ‘Holy Struggle’ (al-jihad al-muqaddas).[100] This and another paramilitary youth organization, al-Futuwwah, paralleled the clandestine Jewish Haganah. Rumours, and occasional discovery of caches and shipments of arms, strengthened military preparations on both sides.[101]

1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine

On 19 April 1936, a wave of protest strikes and attacks against both the British authorities and Jews was unleashed in Palestine. Initially, the riots were led by Farhan al-Sa’di, a militant sheik of the northern al-Qassam group, with links to the Nashashibis. After the arrest and execution of Farhan, al-Husseini seized the initiative by negotiating an alliance with the al-Qassam faction.[102] Apart from some foreign subsidies, including a substantial amount from Fascist Italy,[103] he controlled waqf and orphan funds that generated annual income of about 115,000 Palestine pounds. After the start of the revolt, most of that money was used to finance the activities of his representatives throughout the country. To Italy’s Consul-General in Jerusalem, Mariano de Angelis, he explained in July that his decision to get directly involved in the conflict arose from the trust he reposed in Italian dictator Benito Mussolini‘s backing and promises.[104] Upon al-Husseini’s initiative, the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans formed the Arab Higher Committee under the Mufti’s chairmanship. The Committee called for nonpayment of taxes after 15 May and for a general strike of Arab workers and businesses, demanding an end to the Jewish immigration. The British High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Arthur Wauchope, responded by engaging in negotiations with al-Husseini and the Committee. The talks, however, soon proved fruitless. Al-Husseini issued a series of warnings, threatening the ‘revenge of God Almighty’ unless the Jewish immigration were to stop, and the general strike began, paralyzing the government, public transportation, Arab businesses and agriculture.[105]

As the time passed, by autumn the Arab middle class had exhausted its resources.[106] Under these circumstances, the Mandatory government was looking for an intermediary who might help persuade the Arab Higher Committee to end the rebellion. Al-Husseini and the Committee rejected King Abdullah of Transjordan as mediator because of his dependence on the British and friendship with the Zionists, but accepted the Iraqi Foreign Minister Nuri as-Said. As Wauchope warned of an impending military campaign and simultaneously offered to dispatch a Royal Commission of Inquiry to hear the Arab complaints, the Arab Higher Committee called off the strike on 11 October.[107] When the promised Royal Commission of Inquiry arrived in Palestine in November, al-Husseini testified before it as chief witness for the Arabs.[107]

In July 1937, British police were sent to arrest al-Husseini for his part in the Arab rebellion, but, tipped off, he managed to escape to the sanctuary of asylum in the Haram. He stayed there for three months, directing the revolt from within. Four days after the assassination of the Acting District Commissioner for that area Lewis Yelland Andrews by Galilean members of the al-Qassam group on 26 September, al-Husseini was deposed from the presidency of the Muslim Supreme Council, the Arab Higher Committee was declared illegal, and warrants for the arrest of its leaders were issued, as being at least ‘morally responsible’, though no proofs existed for their complicity.[108] Of them only Jamal al-Husayni managed to escape to Syria: the remaining five were exiled to theSeychelles. Al-Husseini was not among the indicted but, fearing imprisonment, on 13–14 October, after sliding under cover of darkness down a rope from the Haram’s wall, he himself fled via Jaffa to Lebanon, disguised as a Bedouin,[109][110] where he reconstituted the committee under his leadership.[111] Al-Husseini’s tactics, his abuse of power to punish other clans, and the killing of political adversaries he considered ‘traitors’,[112] alienated many Palestinian Arabs. One local leader, Abu Shair, told Da’ud al-Husayni, an emissary from Damascus who bore a list of people to be assassinated during the uprising “I don’t work for Husayniya (‘Husayni-ism’) but for wataniya (nationalism).”[113] He remained in Lebanon for two years, under French surveillance in the Christian village ofZouk,[114] but, in October 1939, his deteriorating relationship with the French and Syrian authorities led him to withdraw to the Kingdom of Iraq. By June 1939, after the disintegration of the revolt, Husseini’s policy of killing only proven turncoats changed to one of liquidating all suspects, even members of his own family, according to one intelligence report.[115]

The rebellion itself had lasted until March 1939, when it was finally quelled by British troops. It forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands. Jewish immigration was to continue but under restrictions, with a quota of 75,000 places spread out over the following five years. On the expiry of this period further Jewish immigration would depend on Arab consent. Besides local unrest, another key factor in bringing about a decisive change in British policy was Nazi Germany’s preparations for a European war, which would develop into a worldwide conflict. In British strategic thinking, securing the loyalty and support of the Arab world assumed an importance .of some urgency.[116] While Jewish support was unquestioned, Arab backing in a new global conflict was by no means assured. By promising to phase out Jewish immigration into Palestine, Britain hoped to win back support from wavering Arabs.[117] Husseini, allied to radical elements in exile, hailing from provincial Palestinian families, convinced the AHC, against moderate Palestinian families who were minded to accept it, to reject the White Paper of 1939, which had recommended an Arab-majority state and an end to building a Jewish national home. The rejection was based on its perceived failure to promise an end to immigration; the land policy it advocated was thought to provide imperfect remedies: and the promised independence appeared to depend on Jewish assent and cooperation. Husseini, who also had personal interests threatened by these arrangements,[118] also feared that acceptance would strengthen the hand of his political opponents in the Palestine national movement, such as the Nashashibis.[119][120] Schwanitz and Rubin argue that Husseini’s rejectionism was, ironically, the real causal factor for the establishment of the state of Israel.[121]

Neve Gordon writes that al-Husseini regarded all alternative nationalist views as treasonous, opponents became traitors and collaborators, and patronizing or employing Jews of any description illegitimate.[122] From Beirut he continued to issue directives. The price for murdering opposition leaders and peace leaders rose by July to 100 Palestinian pounds: a suspected traitor 25 pounds, and a Jew 10. Notwithstanding this, ties with the Jews were reestablished by leading families such as the Nashashibis, and by the Fahoum of Nazareth.[123]

Ties with the Axis Powers during World War II

Throughout the interwar period, Arab nationalists bore Germany no ill-will, despite its earlier support for the Ottoman Empire. Like many Arab countries, it was perceived as a victim of the post-World War 1 settlement. Hitler himself often spoke of the ‘infamy of Versailles’. Unlike France and Great Britain it had not exercised imperial designs on the Middle East, and its past policy of non-intervention was interpreted as a token of good will.[124] While the scholarly consensus is that Husseini’s motives for supporting the Axis powers and his alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were deeply inflected by anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist ideology from the outset,[125] some scholars, notably Renzo De Felice, deny that the relationship can be taken to reflect a putative affinity of Arab nationalism with Nazi/Fascist ideology, and that men like Husseini chose them as allies for purely strategic reasons,[126] on the grounds that, as Husseini later wrote in his memoirs,’the enemy of your enemy is your friend’.[127] When Husseini eventually met with Hitler and Ribbentrop in 1941, he assured Hitler that ‘The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends because they had the same enemies… namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists’.[128]


In 1933, within weeks of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, the German Consul-General in Palestine, the pro-nazi Heinrich Wolff,[129] sent a telegram to Berlin reporting al-Husseini’s belief that Palestinian Muslims were enthusiastic about the new regime and looked forward to the spread of Fascism throughout the region. Wolff met al-Husseini and many sheiks again, a month later, at Nabi Musa. They expressed their approval of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany and asked Wolff not to send any Jews to Palestine.[130] Wolff subsequently wrote in his annual report for that year that the Arabs’ political naïvety led them to fail to recognize the link between German Jewish policy and their problems in Palestine, and that their enthusiasm for Nazi Germany was devoid of any real understanding of the phenomenon.[131] The various proposals by Palestinian Arab notables like al-Husseini were rejected consistently over the years out of concern to avoid disrupting Anglo-German relations, in line with Germany’s policy of not imperilling their economic and cultural interests in the region by a change in their policy of neutrality, and respect for British interests. Hitler’s Englandpolitik essentially precluded significant assistance to Arab leaders.[132] Italy also made the nature of its assistance to the Palestinian contingent on the outcome of its own negotiations with Britain, and cut off aid when it appeared that the British were ready to admit the failure of their pro-Zionist policy in Palestine.[133] Al-Husseini’s adversary, Ze’ev Jabotinsky had at the same time cut off Irgun ties with Italy after the passage of antisemitic racial legislation.

Though Italy did offer substantial aid, some German assistance also trickled through. After asking the new German Consul-General, Hans Döhle on 21 July 1937 for support, the Abwehr briefly made an exception to its policy and gave some limited aid. But this was aimed to exert pressure on Britain over Czechoslovakia. Promised arms shipments never eventuated.[134] This was not the only diplomatic front on which al-Husseini was active. A month after his visit to Döhle, he met with the American Consul George Wadsworth(August 1937), to whom he professed his belief that America was remote from imperialist ambitions and therefore able to understand that Zionism ‘represented a hostile and imperialist aggression directed against an inhabited country’. In a further interview with Wadsworth on 31 August, he expressed his fears that Jewish influence in the United States might persuade the country to side with Zionists.[135] In the same period he courted the French government by expressing a willingness to assist them in the region.[136]

Al-Husseini in Iraq

With the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 the Iraqi Government complied with a British request to break off diplomatic relations with Germany, interned all German nationals, and introduced emergency measures putting Iraq on a virtual war-footing.[137] A circle of 7 officers opposed this decision and the measures taken. With Nuri as-Said‘s agreement—he wished to persuade al-Husseini of the value of the British White Paper of 1939—they invited al-Husseini to Iraq in October 1939, and he was to play an influential role there in the following two years.[138] A quadrumvirate of four younger generals among the seven, three of whom had served with al-Husseini in World War I, were hostile to the idea of subordinating Iraqi national interests to Britain’s war strategy and requirements.[139] In March 1940, the nationalist Rashid Ali replaced Nuri as-Said. Ali made covert contacts with German representatives in the Middle East, though he was not yet an openly pro-Axis supporter, and al-Husseini’s personal secretary Kemal Hadad acted as a liaison between the Axis powers and these officers.[140] As the European situation for the Allies deteriorated, Husseini advised Iraq to adhere to the letter to their treaty with Great Britain, and avoid being drawn into the war in order to conserve her energies for the liberation of Arab countries. Were Russia, Japan and Italy to side with Germany however, Iraqis should proclaim a revolt in Palestine.[141]

In mid May 1940, despairing of their ability to secure control of Iraq’s oil fields and deny access to Germany, the British turned to the extremist Irgun, approaching one of its commanders, David Raziel, whom they had imprisoned in Mandatory Palestine. They asked him if he would undertake to destroy Iraq’s oil refineries, and thus turn off the spigots to Germany. Raziel agreed on condition he be allowed to “acquire”(kidnap) the Mufti and bring him back to Palestine. The mission plan was changed at the last moment, however, and Raziel died when his plane was shot down by a German fighter.[142][143]

Al-Husseini used his influence and ties with the Germans to promote Arab nationalism in Iraq. He was among the key promoters of the pan-Arab Al-Muthanna Club, and supported the coup d’état by Rashid Ali in April 1941. The situation of Iraq’s Jews rapidly deteriorated, with extortions and sometimes murders taking place.[144] When the Anglo-Iraqi War broke out, al-Husseini used his influence to issue a fatwa for a holy war against Britain. As the British advanced on the capital, the Farhud pogrom in Baghdad, led by members of the Al-Muthanna Club,[145] which had served as a conduit for German propaganda funding,[146] erupted in June 1941, following the Iraqi defeat and the collapse of Rashid Ali‘s government. The pogrom was rooted in antisemitic incitement during the preceding decade against the backdrop of the conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine.[144]

When the war failed for the Iraqis—given its paucity, German and Italian assistance played a negligible role in the war[147]—al-Husseini escaped to Persia (together with Rashid Ali), where he was granted legation asylum first by Japan, and then by Italy. On 8 October, after the occupation of Persia by the Allies and after the new Persian government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi severed diplomatic relations with the Axis powers, al-Husseini was taken under Italian protection and conveyed through Turkey to Axis Europe[148][149] in an operation organized by Italian Military Intelligence (Servizio Informazioni Militari, or SIM).[150]

In Nazi-occupied Europe

Al-Husseini arrived in Rome on 10 October 1941. He outlined his proposals before Alberto Ponce de Leon. On condition that the Axis powers ‘recognize in principle the unity, independence, and sovereignty, of an Arab state, including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan’, he offered support in the war against Britain and stated his willingness to discuss the issues of ‘the Holy Places, Lebanon, the Suez Canal, and Aqaba‘. The Italian foreign ministry approved al-Husseini’s proposal, recommended giving him a grant of one million lire, and referred him to Benito Mussolini, who met al-Husseini on 27 October. According to al-Husseini’s account, it was an amicable meeting in which Mussolini expressed his hostility to the Jews and Zionism.[151]

Back in the summer of 1940 and again in February 1941, al-Husseini submitted to the Nazi German Government a draft declaration of German-Arab cooperation, containing a clause:

Germany and Italy recognize the right of the Arab countries to solve the question of the Jewish elements, which exist in Palestine and in the other Arab countries, as required by the national and ethnic (völkisch) interests of the Arabs, and as the Jewish question was solved in Germany and Italy.[152]

Encouraged by his meeting with the Italian leader, al-Husseini prepared a draft declaration, affirming the Axis support for the Arabs on 3 November. In three days, the declaration, slightly amended by the Italian foreign ministry, received the formal approval of Mussolini and was forwarded to the German embassy in Rome. On 6 November, al-Husseini arrived in Berlin, where he discussed the text of his declaration with Ernst von Weizsäcker and other German officials. In the final draft, which differed only marginally from al-Husseini’s original proposal, the Axis powers declared their readiness to approve the elimination (Beseitigung) of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.[153]

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler (December 1941).

On 20 November, al-Husseini met the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop[154] and was officially received by Adolf Hitler on 28 November.[155] He asked Adolf Hitler for a public declaration that ‘recognized and sympathized with the Arab struggles for independence and liberation, and that would support the elimination of a national Jewish homeland’.[156] Hitler refused to make such a public announcement, saying that it would strengthen the Gaullists against the Vichy France,[157] but asked al-Husseini ‘to lock …deep in his heart’ the following points, which Christopher Browning summarizes as follows, that

‘Germany has resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time, direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well’. When Germany had defeated Russia and broken through the Caucasus into the Middle East, it would have no further imperial goals of its own and would support Arab liberation… But Hitler did have one goal. “Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power”. (Das deutsche Ziel würde dann lediglich die Vernichtung des im arabischen Raum unter der Protektion der britischen Macht lebenden Judentums sein). In short, Jews were not simply to be driven out of the German sphere but would be hunted down and destroyed even beyond it.’[158]

Al-Husseini meeting with Muslim volunteers, including the Legion of Azerbaijan, at the opening of the Islamic Central Institute in Berlin on 18 December 1942, during the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha.

A separate record of the meeting was made by Fritz Grobba, who until recently had been the German ambassor to Iraq. His version of the crucial words reads “when the hour of Arab liberation comes, Germany has no interest there other than the destruction of the power protecting the Jews”.[159] Al-Husseini’s own account of this point, as recorded in his diary, is very similar to Grobba’s.[160] According to Amin’s account, however, when Hitler expounded his view that the Jews were responsible for World War I, Marxism and its revolutions, and this was why the task of Germans was to persevere in a battle without mercy against the Jews, he replied: “We Arabs think that Zionism, not the Jews, is the cause of all of these acts of sabotage.”[161]

In December 1942, al-Husseini held a speech at the celebration of the opening of the Islamic Central Institute (Islamische Zentralinstitut) in Berlin, of which he served as honorary chair. In the speech, he harshly criticised those he considered as aggressors against Muslims, namely “Jews, Bolsheviks and Anglo-Saxons.” At the time of the opening of the Islamic Central Institute, there were an estimated 3,000 Muslims in Germany, including 400 German converts. The Islamic Central Institute gave the Muslims in Germany institutional ties to the ‘Third Reich’.[162]

The Holocaust

Al-Husseini and the Holocaust

In post-war historiography some attempts have been made to portray Husseini as an architect of the Holocaust, a thesis revived recently by Schwanitz and Rubin.[163] Documents, such as the testimony of Fritz Grobba,[164]confirm that an associate of al-Husseini’s, together with three associates of former Iraqi Prime Minister certainly did visit the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as part of a German secret police “training course” in July 1942. At the time, the Sachsenhausen camp housed large numbers of Jews, but was only transformed into a death camp in the following year.[165] Their tour through the camp presented it as a re-educational institution, and they were shown the high quality of objects made by inmates, and happy Russian prisoners who, reformed to fight Bolshevism, were paraded, singing, in sprightly new uniforms. They left the camp very favourably impressed by its programme of educational indoctrination.[166]

Various sources have repeatedly alleged that he visited other concentration camps, and also the death camps of Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka and Mauthausen, and according to Höpp there is little conclusive documentary evidence to substantiate these other visits.[167] Although some historians have questioned al-Husseini’s knowledge of the Holocaust while it was in progress, Wolfgang G. Schwanitz notes that in his memoirs Husseini recalled that Heinrich Himmler, in the summer of 1943, while confiding some German war secrets, inveighed against Jewish “war guilt”, and revealed the on-going extermination (in Arabic, abadna) of the Jews.[168]

Gilbert Achcar, referring to this meeting with Himmler, observes:

The Mufti was well aware that the European Jews were being wiped out; he never claimed the contrary. Nor, unlike some of his present-day admirers, did he play the ignoble, perverse, and stupid game of Holocaust denial…. His amour-propre would not allow him to justify himself to the Jews….gloating that the Jews had paid a much higher price than the Germans… he cites… : ‘Their losses in the Second World War represent more than thirty percent of the total number of their people …’. Statements like this, from a man who was well placed to know what the Nazis had done … constitute a powerful argument against Holocaust deniers. Husseini reports that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler … told him in summer 1943 that the Germans had ‘already exterminated more than three million’ Jews: “I was astonished by this figure, as I had known nothing about the matter until then.” …. Thus. in 1943, Husseini knew about the genocide….[169]

The memoir then continues:-

Himmler asked me on the occasion: ‘How do you propose to settle the Jewish question in your country?’ I replied: ‘All we want from them is that they return to their countries of origin.’ He (Himmler) replied: ‘We shall never authorize their return to Germany.’Laurens 2002, p. 469.

By Husseini’s admission therefore he was informed of the Nazi genocide of the Jews certainly by the summer of 1943. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz doubts the sincerity of his surprise since, he argues, Husseini had publicly declared that Muslims should follow the example Germans set for a “definitive solution to the Jewish problem”.[170]

Subsequently, the Mufti declared in November, 1943:

It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to … drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries….Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endgültige Lösung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world. ….[171]

At the Nuremberg trials, one of Adolf Eichmann‘s deputies, Dieter Wisliceny, stated that al-Husseini had actively encouraged the extermination of European Jews, and that he had had an elaborate meeting with Eichmann at his office, during which Eichmann gave him an intensive look at the current state of the “Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe” by the Third Reich. These allegations are controversial.[172] A single affidavit by Rudolf Kastner reported that Wisliceny told him that he had overheard Husseini say he had visited Auschwitz incognito in Eichmann’s company.[173] Eichmann denied this at his trial in Jerusalem in 1961. He had been invited to Palestine in 1937 with his superior Hagen by a representative of the Haganah, Feival Polkes,[174] Polkes supported German foreign policy in the Near East and offered to work for them in intelligence. Eichmann and Hagen spent one night in Haifa but were refused a visa to stay any longer.[175] They met Polkes in Cairo instead.[176][177] Eichmann stated that he had only been introduced to al-Husseini during an official reception, along with all other department heads. The Jerusalem court accepted Wisliceny’s testimony about a key conversation between Eichmann and the mufti,[178] and found as proven that al-Husseini had aimed to implement the Final Solution.[179] Hannah Arendt, who was present at the trial, concluded in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil the evidence for an Eichmann- al-Husseini connection was based on rumour and unfounded.[180][181]

Rafael Medoff concludes that ‘actually there is no evidence that the Mufti’s presence was a factor at all; the Wisliceny hearsay is not merely uncorroborated, but conflicts with everything else that is known about the origins of the Final Solution.’[182] Bernard Lewis also called Wisliceny’s testimony into doubt: ‘There is no independent documentary confirmation of Wisliceny’s statements, and it seems unlikely that the Nazis needed any such additional encouragement from the outside.’[183] Bettina Stangneth called Wisliceny’s claims “colourful stories” that “carry little weight”.[184]

Al-Husseini’s attempts to block Jewish refugees

The Mufti opposed all immigration of Jews into Palestine. The Mufti’s numerous letters appealing to various governmental authorities to prevent Jewish emigration to Palestine have been widely republished and cited as documentary evidence of his collaboration with Nazis and his participative support for their genocidal actions. For instance, Husseini intervened on 13 May 1943, before the meeting with Himmler when he was informed of the Holocaust,[185] with the German Foreign Office to block possible transfers of Jews from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, after reports reached him that 4,000 Jewish children accompanied by 500 adults had managed to reach Palestine. He asked that the Foreign Minister “to do his utmost” to block all such proposals and this request was complied with.[186] According to Idith Zertal, none of the documents presented at Eichmann’s trial prove that it was the Mufti’s interference, in these ‘acts of total evil,’ that prevented the children’s rescue.[187] In June 1943 the Mufti recommended to the Hungarian minister that it would be better to send Jews in Hungary to Concentration Camps in Poland rather than let them find asylum in Palestine (it is not entirely clear that the Mufti was aware of the Extermination Camps in Poland, e.g. Auschwitz, at this time). A year later, on 25 July 1944 (when he certainly knew the details about the Nazi program to destroy the Jews) he wrote to the Hungarian foreign minister to register his objection to the release of certificates for 900 Jewish children and 100 adults for transfer from Hungary, fearing they might end up in Palestine. He suggested that if such transfers of population were deemed necessary, then:

I ask your Excellency to permit me to draw your attention to the necessity of preventing the Jews from leaving your country for Palestine, and if there are reasons which make their removal necessary, it would be indispensable and infinitely preferable to send them to other countries where they would find themselves under active control, for example, in Poland, thus avoiding danger and preventing damage.”[188][189]

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting withHeinrich Himmler (1943).

Haj Amin al-Husseini and Nazi collaborator Mile Budak in occupied Sarajevo (1943).

Achcar quotes the Mufti’s memoirs about these efforts to influence the Axis powers to prevent emigration of Eastern European Jews to Palestine:

We combatted this enterprise by writing to Ribbentrop, Himmler, and Hitler, and, thereafter, the governments of Italy, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and other countries. We succeeded in foiling this initiative, a circumstance that led the Jews to make terrible accusations against me, in which they held me accountable for the liquidation of four hundred thousand Jews who were unable to emigrate to Palestine in this period. They added that I should be tried as a war criminal in Nurenberg.[190]

In November, 1943 (when he certainly was aware of the genocidal nature of the Nazi Final Solution) the Mufti said:

It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to … drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries….Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endgültige Lösung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world. ….[171]

In September 1943, intense negotiations to rescue 500 Jewish children from the Arbe concentration camp collapsed due to the objection of al-Husseini who blocked the children’s departure to Turkey because they would end up in Palestine.[191]

Intervention in Palestine and Operation Atlas

The Mufti collaborated with the Germans in numerous sabotage and commando operations in Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine, and repeatedly urged the Germans to bomb Tel Aviv[192] and Jerusalem ‘in order to injure Palestinian Jewry and for propaganda purposes in the Arab world’, as his Nazi interlocutors put it. The proposals were rejected as unfeasible.[182] The Italian Fascists envisaged a project to establish him as head of an intelligence centre in North Africa, and he agreed to act as commander of both regular and irregular forces in a future unit flanking Axis troops to carry out sabotage operations behind enemy lines.[193]

Operation ATLAS was one such joint operation. A special commando unit of the Waffen SS was created, composed of three members of the Templer religious sect in Palestine, and two Palestinian Arabs recruited from the Mufti’s associates, Hasan Salama and Abdul Latif (who had edited the Mufti’s Berlin radio addresses).[194] It has been established that the mission, briefed by al-Husseini before departure, aimed at establishing an intelligence-gathering base in Palestine, radioing information back to Germany, and buying support among Arabs in Palestine, recruiting and arming them to foment tensions between Jews and Arabs, disrupting the Mandatory authorities and striking Jewish targets.[195] The plan ended in fiasco: they received a cold reception in Palestine,[196] three of the five infiltrators were quickly rounded up, and the matériel seized. Their air-dropped cargo was found by the British, and consisted of explosives, submachine guns, and dynamite, radio, submachine guns, dynamite, radio equipment, 5,000 Pound sterling, a duplicating machine, a German-Arabic dictionary,[197] and a quantity of poison.[194] Michael Bar-Zohar and Eitan Haber, report that the mission included a plan to poison the Tel Aviv water supply,[198] There is no trace of this poison plot in the standard biographies, Palestinian and Israeli, of Husseini.[199]


Bosniak soldiers of the SS 13 Division, reading Husseini’s pamphletIslam and Judaism

Throughout World War II, al-Husseini worked for the Axis Powers as a broadcaster in propaganda targeting Arab public opinion. He was thereby joined by other Arabs such as Fawzi al-Qawuqji[200] and Hasan Salama. The Mufti was paid “an absolute fortune” of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year),[201] the equivalent today of $12,000,000 a year.[121] Walter Winchell called him ‘the Arabian Lord Haw-Haw.’[202]

The Mufti also wrote a pamphlet for the 13th SS Handschar division, translated as Islam i Zidovstvo (Islam and Judaism) which closed with a quotation from Bukhari-Muslim by Abu Khurreira that states:”The Day of Judgement will come, when the Muslims will crush the Jews completely: And when every tree behind which a Jew hides will say: ‘There is a Jew behind me, Kill him!”.[203]

On 1 March 1944, while speaking on Radio Berlin, al-Husseini said: ‘Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.’[204][205][206]


Haj Amin el-Husseini reviewing SS 13th Division soldiers from a car

Among the Nazi leadership, the greatest interest in the idea of creating Muslim units under German command was shown by Heinrich Himmer, who viewed the Islamic world as a potential ally against the British Empire and regarded the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia as a ‘ridiculous state’.[208] Himmler had a romantic vision of Islam as a faith ‘fostering fearless soldiers’, and this probably played a significant role[209][210] in his decision to raise three Muslim divisions under German leadership in the Balkans from Bosnian Muslims and Albanians:[211][212] the 13th Handschar,[213] the 21st Skanderberg, and the 23rd Kama (Shepherd’s dagger). Riven by interethnic conflict, the region’s Jewish, Croat, Roma, Serb and Muslim communities suffered huge losses of life,[214][215] Bosnian Muslims losing around 85,000 from a genocidal Chetnik ethnic cleansing operations alone.[216] The Muslims had three options: to join the Croatian Ustaše, or the Yugoslav partisans, or to create local defense units. Following a tradition of service in the old Bosnian regiments of the former Austro-Hungarian army, they chose an alliance with Germany, which promised them autonomy. Husseini, having been petitioned by the Bosnian Muslim leaders, was well informed of their plight.[217] Dissatisfied with low enlistenment, Himmler asked the mufti to intervene.[218] Husseini negotiated, made several requests, mostly ignored by the SS, and conducted several visits to the area.[219] His speeches and charismatic authority proved instrumental in improving enlistment notably.[220] In one speech he declared that:

Those lands suffering under the British and Bolshevist yoke impatiently await the moment when the Axis (powers) will emerge victorious. We must dedicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Britain -that dungeon of peoples – and to the complete destruction of the British Empire.We must dedicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Bolshevist Russia because communism is incompatible with Islam.’

One SS officer reporting on impressions from the mufti’s Sarajevo speech said Husseini was reserved about fighting Bolshevism, his main enemies being Jewish settlers in Palestine and the English.[221] During a visit in July 1943 the Mufti said: “The active cooperation of the world’s 400 million Muslims with their loyal friends, the German, can be of decisive influence upon the outcome of the war. You, my Bosnian Muslims, are the first Islamic division [and] serve as an example of the active collaboration….My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” [222] Himmler in addressing the unit on another occasion declared “Germany [and] the Reich have been friends of Islam for the past two centuries, owing not to expediency but to friendly conviction. We have the same goals.”[223]

In an agreement signed by Husseini and Himmler on May 19, 1943, it was specified that no synthesis of Islam and Nationalism was to take place.[224][225] Husseini asked that Muslim divisional operations to be restricted to the defense of the Moslem heartland of Bosnia and Herzegovina; that partisans be amnestied if they laid down their arms; that the civilian population not be subject to vexations by troops;that assistance be offered to innocents injured by operations; and that harsh measures like deportations, confiscations of goods, or executions be governed in accordance with the rule of law.[226] The Handschar earned a repute for brutality in ridding north-eastern Bosnia of Serbs and partisans: many local Muslims, observing the violence, were driven to go over to the communist partisans.[227][228] Once redeployed outside Bosnia, and as the fortunes of war turned, mass defections and desertions took place, and Volksdeutsche were drafted to replace the losses.[229] The mufti blamed the mass desertions on German support for the Četniks.[230] Many Bosnians in these divisions who survived the war sought asylum in Western and Arab countries, and of those settling in the Middle East, many fought in Palestine against the new state of Israel.[231] In 1942, al-Husseini helped organize Arab students and North African emigres in Germany into the “Arabisches Freiheitkorps,” an Arab Legion in the German Army that hunted down Allied parachutists in the Balkans and fought on the Russian front.[182]

Activities after World War II

Arrest and flight

After the end of the Second World War, al-Husseini attempted to obtain asylum in Switzerland but his request was refused.[232] He was taken into custody at Constanz by the French occupying troops on 5 May 1945, and on 19 May, he was transferred to the Paris region and put under house arrest.[233]

At around this time, the British head of Palestine’s Criminal Investigation Division told an American military attaché that the Mufti might be the only person who could unite the Palestinian Arabs and ‘cool off the Zionists’.[234]

Henri Ponsot, a former ambassador of France in Syria, led the discussions with him and had a decisive influence on the events.[233] The French authorities expected an improvement in France’s status in the Arab world through his intermediaries and accorded him “special detention conditions, benefits and ever more important privileges and constantly worried about his well-being and that of his entourage”.[233] In October, he was even given permission to buy a car in the name of one of his secretaries and enjoyed some freedom of movement and could also meet whoever he wanted.[233] Al-Husseini proposed to the French two possibilities of cooperation: ‘either an action in Egypt, Iraq and even Transjordan to calm the anti-French excitement after the events in Syria and because of its domination in North Africa; or that he would take the initiative of provocations in [Palestine], in Egypt and in Iraq against Great Britain’, so that the Arabs countries will pay more attention to British policy than to that of France.[233] Al-Husseini was very satisfied with his situation in France and stayed there for a full year.[233]

As early as 24 May, Great Britain requested al-Husseini’s extradition, arguing that he was a British citizen who had collaborated with the Nazis.[233] Despite the fact that he was on the list of war criminals, France decided to consider him as a political prisoner and refused to comply with the British request. France also refused to extradite him to Yugoslavia where the government wanted to prosecute him for the massacres of Serbs.[233] Poussot believed al-Husseini’s claims that the massacre of Serbs had been performed by General Mikhailovitch and not by him. Al-Husseini also explained that 200,000 Muslims and 40,000 Christians had been assassinated by the Serbs and that he had established a division of soldiers only after Bosnian Muslims had asked for his help, and that Germans and Italians had refused to provide any support to them.[233] In the meantime, Zionist representatives—fearing that al-Husseini would escape—backed Yugoslavia’s request for extradition. They stated that al-Husseini was also responsible for massacres in Greece and pointed out his action against the Allies in Iraq in 1941; additionally they requested the support of the United States in the matter.[233]

The reputation of Haj Amin al-Husseini among Jews in the immediate postwar period is indicated by the observation by Raul Hilberg that when culpability for the destruction of the European Jews was debated in 1945, al-Husseini was the only specific individual singled out to be put on trial.[235] In June, Yishuv leaders decided to eliminate al-Husseini. Although al-Husseini was located by Jewish Army members who began to plan an assassination, the mission was canceled in December by Moshe Sharett or by David Ben-Gurion,[236] probably because they feared turning the Grand Mufti into a martyr.[233]

A campaign of intimidation was launched to convince the mufti that at Léon Blum’s request he would be handed over to the British.[237] In September, the French decided to organize his transfer to an Arab country. Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Yemen were considered and diplomatic contacts were made with their authorities and with the Arab League.[233]

On 29 May, after an influential Moroccan had organized his escape, and the French police had suspended their surveillance, al-Husseini left France on a TWA flight for Cairo using travel papers supplied by a Syrian politician who was close to the Muslim brotherhood. It took more than 12 days for the French Foreign Minister to realize he had fled, and the British were not able to arrest him in Egypt, after that country granted him political asylum.[233][237]

On 12 August 1947, al-Husseini wrote to French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, thanking France for its hospitality and suggesting that France continue this policy to increase its prestige in the eyes of all Muslims. In September, a delegation of the Arab Higher Committee went to Paris and proposed that Arabs would adopt a neutral position on the North African question in exchange of France’s support in the Palestinian question.[233]

1948 Palestine war

The U.N. Partition Resolution

When the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine delivered its recommendations for the partition of Palestine, the High Commissioner of Palestine, Alan Cunningham sent emissaries to Cairo to sound out the Mufti, though transferring any power of state to him was unthinkable. Interviewed on the Ist of September, he said that the proposed partition was unjust, since it deprived the Arabs of Palestine of what belonged to them, and would not satisfy in any case the Zionists, who desired all of the country. He cited the example of Chaim Weizmann, who opposed the idea of a Jewish state in 1922, approved partition in 1937, and at the Biltmore Conference in 1942, laid claim to the whole of Palestine. It was said of Hitler, he added, that he would never try to apply the ideas he set forth in Mein Kampf. The Zionists, he asserted, would never restrict their programme to a part of Palestine, for l’appétit vient en mangeant(the more you get the more you want). The English would never have ceded a part of their country in exchange for peace with the Nazis. Zionism was a bluff like Italian fascism, which would collapse at the first shock.[238]

The wartime reputation of Haj Amin al-Husseini was employed as an argument for the establishment of a Jewish State during the deliberations at UN in 1947. The Nation Associates under Freda Kirchwey prepared a nine page pamphlet with annexes for the United Nations entitled The Arab Higher Committee, Its Origins, Personnel and Purposes. This booklet included copies of communications between Haj Amin al-Husseini and high ranking Nazis (e.g. Heinrich Himmler, Franz von Papen, Joseph Goebbels), the Mufti’s diary account of meeting Hitler, several letters to German officials in several countries where he requested that Jews never be permitted to emigrate from Europe to a Jewish Home in Palestine, and many photographs of the Mufti, Rashid Ali, and other Arab politicians in the company of Nazis and their Italian and Japanese allies. It claimed to demonstrate that German Nazis and Palestinian politicians (some of whom were requesting recognition at the UN in 1947 as representatives of the Palestinian Arab population) had made common cause during World War II in their opposition to the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. In May 1948, the Israeli government thanked Kirchwey for “having a good and honorable share of our success”, at least partly as a consequence of distributing information on al-Husseini to the UN representatives.[239]

On the eve of the United Nations’ partition of Mandatory Palestine, King Abdullah, who shared with Zionists a hostility to Palestinian nationalism, reached a secret entente with Golda Meir to thwart the mufti and annex the part of Palestine in exchange for Jordan’s dropping its opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state. The meeting, in Shlaim’s words, ‘laid the foundations for a partition of Palestine along lines radically different from the ones eventually envisaged by the United Nations’.[240] Husseini’s popularity in the Arab world had risen during his time with the Nazis, and Arab leaders rushed to greet him on his return, and the masses accorded him an enthusiastic reception, an attitude which was to change rapidly after the defeat of 1948, when he was singled out as a scapegoat to blame for the failure.[241]

The war

From his Egyptian exile, al-Husseini used what influence he had to encourage the participation of the Egyptian military in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. He was involved in some high level negotiations between Arab leaders—before and during the War—at a meeting held in Damascus in February 1948, to organize Palestinian Field Commands and the commanders of the Holy War Army. Hasan Salama and Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (Amin al-Husseini’s nephew), were allocated the Lydda district and Jerusalem respectively. This decision paved the way for undermining the Mufti’s position among the Arab States. On 9 February 1948, four days after the Damascus meeting, he suffered a severe setback at the Arab League‘s Cairo session, when his demands for more Palestinian self-determination in areas evacuated by the British, and for financial loans were rejected.[242] His demands included, the appointment of a Palestinian Arab representative to the League’s General Staff, the formation of a Palestinian Provisional Government, the transfer of authority to local National Committees in areas evacuated by the British, and both a loan for Palestinian administration and an appropriation of large sums to the Arab Higher Executive for Palestinian Arabs entitled to war damages.[242]

The Arab League blocked recruitment to al-Husseini’s forces,[243] and they collapsed following the death of one of his most charismatic commanders, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, on 8 April 1948.

Anwar Nusseibeh, a supporter of the Mufti, said the Mufti refused to issue arms to anyone except his loyal supporters and only recruited loyal supporters for the forces of the Holy War Army. This partially accounts for the absence of an organized Arab force and for the insufficient amount of arms, which plagued the Arab defenders of Jerusalem.[244]

Establishment of All-Palestine Government

Following rumors that King Abdullah I of Transjordan was reopening the bilateral negotiations with Israel that he had previously conducted clandestinely with the Jewish Agency, the Arab League—led by Egypt—decided to set up the All-Palestine Government in Gaza on 8 September 1948, under the nominal leadership of al-Husseini. Avi Shlaim writes:

‘The decision to form the Government of All-Palestine in Gaza, and the feeble attempt to create armed forces under its control, furnished the members of the Arab League with the means of divesting themselves of direct responsibility for the prosecution of the war and of withdrawing their armies from Palestine with some protection against popular outcry. Whatever the long-term future of the Arab government of Palestine, its immediate purpose, as conceived by its Egyptian sponsors, was to provide a focal point of opposition to Abdullah and serve as an instrument for frustrating his ambition to federate the Arab regions with Transjordan’.[245]

The All-Palestine Government was declared in Gaza on 22 September, in a way as a countermeasure against Jordan. According to Moshe Ma’oz this was “a mere tool to justify Cairo’s occupation of the Gaza Strip” [246] Pre-conference by the Arab League obtained an agreement to have Ahmad Hilma Pasha preside over the government, while giving al-Husseini a nominal role, devoid of responsibilities. A Palestinian National Council was convened in Gaza on 30 September 1948, under the chairmanship of Amin al-Husseini. On 30 September, al-Husseini was elected unanimously as President, but had no authority outside the areas controlled by Egypt. The council passed a series of resolutions culminating on 1 October 1948 with a declaration of independence over the whole of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.[247]

The All-Palestine Government was hence born under the nominal leadership of Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, named as its President.[248][249] Ahmed Hilmi Abd al-Baqi was named Prime Minister. Hilmi’s cabinet consisted largely of relatives and followers of Amin al-Husseini, but also included representatives of other factions of the Palestinian ruling class. Jamal al-Husayni became foreign minister, Raja al-Husayni became defense minister, Michael Abcarius was finance minister, and Anwar Nusseibeh was secretary of the cabinet. Twelve ministers in all, living in different Arab countries, headed for Gaza to take up their new positions. The decision to set up the All-Palestine Government made the Arab Higher Committee irrelevant, but Amin al-Husseini continued to exercise an influence in Palestinian affairs.

Jordan’s Abdullah retaliated on 2 October by organizing a Palestinian congress, which countermanded the decision taken in Gaza. Abdullah regarded the attempt to revive al-Husseini’s Holy War Army as a challenge to his authority and on 3 October, his minister of defense ordered all armed bodies operating in the areas controlled by the Arab Legion to be disbanded. Glubb Pasha carried out the order ruthlessly and efficiently.[250] Nonetheless, Egypt, which manipulated its formation, recognized the All-Palestine Government on 12 October, followed by Syria and Lebanon on 13 October, Saudi Arabia the 14th and Yemen on the 16th. Iraq’s decision to the same was made formally on the 12th, but was not made public. Both Great Britain and the US backed Jordan, the US saying that the mufti’s role in World War II could be neither forgotten nor pardoned.[251] The sum effect was that:

‘The leadership of al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Arab Higher Committee, which had dominated the Palestinian political scene since the 1920s, was devastated by the disaster of 1948 and discredited by its failure to prevent it.’[252]

The nakba narratives, according to Hillel Cohen, tend to ignore the open resistance to al-Husseini by many influential Palestinians. A member of the Darwish family on expressing dissent with Husseini’s war objective in favour of negotiation was told by the mufti: idha takalam al-seif, uskut ya kalam—’when the sword talks, there is no place for talking’.[253] Many recalled his policy of assassinating mukhtars in the Revolt of 1936–39 and viewed Husseini and his kind as ‘an assembly of traitors’.[254] The opposition of a relevant percentage of the Palestinian society to al-Husseini goes back to an earlier period and was also connected to the British way of dealing with the local majority: ‘The present administration of Palestine’, lamented for example the representatives of the Palestine Arab Delegation in a letter to British public opinion in 1930, ‘is appointed by His Majesty’s Government and governs the country through an autocratic system in which the population has no say’.[246]

Exile from Palestine

Although al-Husseini had been removed from the Supreme Muslim Council and other administrative roles by the British government in 1937, they did not remove him from the post of mufti of Jerusalem.[255] They later explained this as due to the lack of legal procedure or precedent.[256] However, on December 20, 1948, Abdullah announced his replacement as mufti by his long-term rival Husam Al-din Jarallah.[257]

The king was assassinated on 20 July 1951, on the eve of projected secret talks with Israel, by a militant, Mustafa Ashu, of the jihad al-muqaddas, while entering the Haram ash-Sharif to pray. There is no evidence al-Husseini was involved, though Musa al-Husayni was among the six indicted and executed after a disputed verdict.[258] Abdullah was succeeded by King Talal—who refused to allow al-Husseini entry into Jerusalem. Abdullah’s grandson, Hussein, who had been present at the murder, eventually lifted the ban in 1967, receiving al-Husseini as an honoured guest in his Jerusalem royal residence after uprooting the PLO from Jordan.[259]

The Palestinian Government was entirely relocated to Cairo in late October 1948 and became a government-in-exile, gradually losing any importance. Having a part in the All-Palestine Government, al-Husseini also remained in exile at Heliopolis in Egypt throughout much of the 1950s. As before 1948, when the Yishuv believed the ex-Mufti’s hand could be detected ‘behind every anti-Jewish pogrom, murder, and act of sabotage’,[260] Israel persisted in asserting that al-Husseini was behind many border raids from Jordanian and Egyptian-held territory, and Egypt expressed a readiness to deport him if evidence were forthcoming to substantiate the charges.[261] The All-Palestine Government was eventually dissolved in 1959 by Nasser himself, who envisaged a United Arab Republicembracing Syria, Egypt and Palestine. That year he moved to Lebanon. He refused requests to lend his support to the emergent PLO after the Six Day War of 1967,[232] was opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state on the west Bank after 1967.[262] and his closest collaborator, Emil Ghuri, continued to work for the Jordanian monarchy even after the massacre of Palestinians there in 1970.[262]

Al-Husseini died in Beirut, on 4 July 1974. He had wished to be buried on the Haram ash-Sharif in Jerusalem. However, Israel had captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Supreme Muslim Council asked the Israeli government permission to bury him there but permission was refused. Three days later, al-Husseini was buried in Beirut. Within two years, the Christian Lebanese Phalange sacked his villa, and stole his files and archives.[263] His granddaughter married Ali Hassan Salameh, the founder of PLO’sBlack September, who was later killed by Mossad for his involvement in the Munich massacre. According to Zvi Elpeleg, almost all trace of his memory thereafter vanished from Palestinian awareness, and Palestinians have raised no monument to his memory, or written books commemorating his deeds.[264]

Amin al-Husseini and antisemitism

Al-Husseini’s first biographer, Moshe Pearlman, described him as virulently antisemitic,[265] as did, a decade and a half later, Joseph Schechtman.[266] More recent biographers like Mattar and Elpeleg, writing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began to emphasize hisnationalism.[267] While the Palestinian historian Mattar blames him as the main culprit of sowing the seeds of the Arab–Israeli conflict,[268] Israeli historian Elpeleg compares him to Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and even to Theodor Herzl.[269] Peter Wien judges that his behaviour in World War II deserved the image among Zionists of him as an ‘arch villain’, but adds that Israeli and Zionist leaders have long since used this to denigrate the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation as inspired by Nazism and anti-semitism.[270]

Scholarly opinion is divided on the issue, with many scholars viewing him as a staunch antisemite[271] while some deny the appropriateness of the term, or argue that he became antisemitic.[272] Robert Kiely sees Husseini as moving “incrementally toward anti-Semitism as he opposed Jewish ambitions in the region.”[273] Historian Zvi Elpeleg, who formerly governed both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while rehabilitating him from other charges,[274] concludes his chapter concerning al-Husseini’s involvement in the extermination of the Jews as follows:

‘[i]n any case, there is no doubt that Haj Amin’s hatred was not limited to Zionism, but extended to Jews as such. His frequent, close contacts with leaders of the Nazi regime cannot have left Haj Amin any doubt as to the fate which awaited Jews whose emigration was prevented by his efforts. His many comments show that he was not only delighted that Jews were prevented from emigrating to Palestine, but was very pleased by the Nazis’ Final Solution’.[275]

Walter Laqueur,[276] Benny Morris, Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers[197] are among the historians who share the view that al-Husseini was biased against Jews, not just against Zionists. Morris, for instance, notes that al-Husseini saw the Holocaust as German revenge for a putative Jewish sabotaging of their war effort in World War I,[277] and has written that “Haj Amin al-Husseini was an antisemite. This is clear from his writings. I am not saying he was just an anti-Zionist, he hated the Jews, ‘Jews were evil'”.[278]In a study dedicated to the role and use of the Holocaust in Israeli nationalist discourse, Idith Zertal reexamining al-Husseini’s antisemitism, states that ‘in more correct proportions, [he should be pictured] as a fanatic nationalist-religious Palestinian leader’.[279]

Evaluations of Husseini’s historical significance

Robert Fisk, discussing the difficulties of describing al-Husseini’s life and its motivations, summarized the problem in the following way:

‘(M)erely to discuss his life is to be caught up in the Arab–Israeli propaganda war. To make an impartial assessment of the man’s career—or, for that matter, an unbiased history of the Arab–Israeli dispute—is like trying to ride two bicycles at the same time.’[280]

Peter Novick has argued that the post-war historiographical depiction of al-Husseini reflected complex geopolitical interests that distorted the record.

‘The claims of Palestinian complicity in the murder of the European Jews were to some extent a defensive strategy, a preemptive response to the Palestinian complaint that if Israel was recompensed for the Holocaust, it was unjust that Palestinian Muslims should pick up the bill for the crimes of European Christians. The assertion that Palestinians were complicit in the Holocaust was mostly based on the case of the Mufti of Jerusalem, a pre-World War II Palestinian nationalist leader who, to escape imprisonment by the British, sought refuge during the war in Germany. The Mufti was in many ways a disreputable character, but post-war claims that he played any significant part in the Holocaust have never been sustained. This did not prevent the editors of the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust from giving him a starring role. The article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and Göring, longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann—of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly, by the entry for Hitler.’[281][282]

In 2014 Schwanitz and Rubin claimed Husseini exercised a huge influence on Hitler and was indeed the architect of the Final Solution, a thesis Mikics, who regards Husseini as a ‘radical anti-semite, finds both ‘astonishing’ and ‘silly’, since it would logically entail the collateral thesis that the Zionist movement triggered the Holocaust.

Gilbert Achcar sums up al-Husseini’s significance:

“One must note in passing that Amin al-Husseini’s memoirs are an antidote against Holocaust denial: He knew that the genocide took place and boasted of having been perfectly aware of it from 1943 on. I believe he is an architect of the Nakba (the defeat of 1948 and the departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had been driven out of their lands) in the sense that he bears a share of responsibility for what has happened to the Palestinian people.”[283]

See also

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Erin Arvedlund — Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff — Videos

Posted on November 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Computers, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Photos, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Religion, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |



Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff Part 1

Erin Arvedlund first wrote about Bernie Madoff for Barrons in 2001 and published her book, Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff in August of 2009. In this episode of The Massachusetts School of Law’s Books of our Time, Dean Velvel, himself a Madoff victim, and Arvedlund discuss the history of the brokerage industry, the possible culpability of the entire Madoff family, the difference between Madoff’s legitimate brokerage firm and his illegitimate hedge fund and the steps that lead up to the largest Ponzi scheme in American History. Arvedlund tells the story of Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme with the knowledge and detail of an insider, and sheds new light on the greatest financial enigma of American History.

The Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public in television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books. For more information visit mslawledu.

Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff Part 2


Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

Harry Markopolos — No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller — Videos

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Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look–James Kirchick–Gay Neoconservative!–The Hit Man Behind The Smear Attack On Ron Paul–Blacks, Jews, and Libertarians For Ron Paul Respond–Videos

Posted on January 5, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Expanded, Revised and Updated January 20 and 24, 2012

James Kirchick

James Kirchick lied about Ron Paul four years ago as the following report clearly shows.

Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look

Ron Paul- Full Truth About Newsletter FOLLOW-UP Day 2

Author Of Ron Paul Racist Newsletters Revealed

Ron Paul’s “Racist Writings” DEBUNKED. Real Author: James B. Powell exposed by Ben Swann & TMOT

“…Reality Check has done it again!!! Ben Swann does some REAL investigative reporting!!! It turns out that the “most racist” newsletter issued under Ron Paul’s name has a byline that has someone else’s name on it… JAMES B. POWELL

The New Republic magazine that issued the original attack against Paul has apparently kept this fact hidden and is refusing to talk to other media outlets about who exactly penned the newsletter. When they originally released PDF scans of the news letter in question, they left off half of the last page which contained the byline of another author. They attributed the article to Paul, knowing full well that he didn’t write it.

Out of the 240 articles in question, only about 9 contain objectionable material. Of those 9, they appeared in sequence, which lends credence to the claim that the racist commentary did indeed come from an editor other than Paul and that Paul didn’t keep that author around for any great deal of time. …”

Ron Paul revealed

Jamie Kirchick interview on NPR. (see Tucker vid for update)

New Republic Author Exposes Ron Paul’s Past Writings!

CNN asks Ron Paul about racist writings he didn’t author


Ron Paul quits CNN interview after being asked about racist newsletters

CNN and Fox Both Gunning for Ron Paul: Conspiracy or Reality?

Ron Paul: Damn It, Don’t Ask Bout My Racist Writings

The Bogus Scandal of the Ron Paul Newsletters

Kirchick wants the viewer to think that for twenty years the newsletter was filled with “racist” content when in fact more than 230 of the 240 plus issues of the monthly newsletter contain absolutely no such content and the one special edition of the newsletter that had the most offensive content was written by someone else under a byline which Kirchick fails to disclose. The writer of the special edition was James B. Powel. Kirchick also fails to disclose that he supports an interventionist neoconservative foreign policy that Paul has repeatly been critical of.

Paul takes full moral responsibility for the newsletter under whose name it was published, as he should.

Paul repeatedly denied he wrote the offensive passages in the  newsletter. He deplored the offensive racist passages that appeared in nine issues of the more than 240 monthly newsletters published from 1976 to 1996. He only became aware of these passages ten years latter when he was running for president.

A Rankled Ron Paul Grapples With Radio Caller’s Newsletter Questions

Kirchick continues his smear attack on Paul on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies website in a Jan. 7 article from The New Republic entitled: What Are Ron Paul’s Liberal Fans Thinking?

“For anyone moderately familiar with Ron Paul’s record, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a litany of racists, anti-Semites, conspiracy-theorists, and militia members back his presidential campaign. Paul, after all, has spent decades cultivating the support of the far-right, not least by publishing for years a newsletter steeped in bigotry. (Read my 2008 article “Angry White Man,” for ample evidence.) Much more disconcerting is the fact that so many prominent liberals have been eagerly lining up behind Paul’s candidacy. Unfortunately, this isn’t an aberration, but a telling indication of the skewed political priorities of many on the left. …”

 Kirchick is now attacking Paul for giving speeches at John Birch Society meetings in an attempt to marginalize him as a member of the radical right.

“…And he continues to speak regularly before the John Birch Society, an organization so reactionary that William F. Buckley Jr. wrote it out of the nascent conservative movement that he was building—in 1962. …”

The John Birch Society is not a reactionary organization but an anti-communist study group. It simply favors a constitutional republic with a non-interventionist foreign policy, opposes foreign aid to all countries, wants all wars to be declared according to the Constitution and wants to get the United Nations out of the United States and the United States out of the United Nations. Paul agrees and supports the John Birch Society.

Only progressive neoconservatives of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies such as Kirchick would consider the John Birch Society reactionary instead of a patriotic organization.

Why does Kirchick now mention Paul’s long association with the John Birch Society?

The John Birch Society is exposing the neoconservatives for what they really are in their betrayal of the Constitution:

Betrayal of the Constitution  An Exposé of the Neoconservative Agenda

A speech by John McManus of The John Birch Society Monday May 2,  2011 at the Marriott Hotel Albany, NH.

What is The John Birch Society?

Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

“…Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society, predicted today’s problems with uncanny accuracy back in 1958 and prescribed solutions in 1974 that are very similar to Ron Paul’s positions today. …”

A Hard Look at the United Nations

Ron Paul Endorses The John Birch Society

“Dr. Ron Paul, Texas congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, was the featured speaker Saturday evening, October 4 on the final day of the John Birch Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The topic of his keynote address was “Restoring the Republic:  Lessons From a Presidential Campaign,” in which he lectured the audience on how our republic can be restored with groups such as the John Birch Society (JBS) and his own Campaign for Liberty leading the way.’

Stand up for Freedom  Part 5 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

Stand up for Freedom – Part 6 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

Stand up for Freedom – Part 7 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

The History of NAFTA and the Council on Foreign Relations

“John McManus of the John Birch Society gives you a fascinating briefing on the history of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and NAFTA. You may never look at world events the same after you learn some of these facts.”

Council on Foreign Relations Calls for Bombing Iran

“In this weekly news update for January 16-22, 2012, JBS CEO Art Thompson discusses why the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) wants the U.S. to bomb Iran and how Mitt Romney surrounds himself with CFR members while Newt Gingrich himself is a CFR member.”

Bill Buckley was duped by the communists when he attacked the John Birch Society.

Buckley’s National Review is no longer a libertarian conservative or traditional conservative magazine but largely a  progressive neoconservative magazine. Buckley was building a progressive neoconservative movement that libertarian conservatives and traditional conservative now deplore and want no part of.

The neoconservatives including James Kirchick and Jeffrey Lord and many so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts, commentators, journalists and reporters recently continued the smear attack on Paul by again bringing up the so-called “racist” newsletter issue and implying that Paul is a racist and anti-Semite just before the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

The neoconservatives are right-wing progressives that advocate an aggressive foreign policy of intervention abroad.

Neoconservatives want the United States to have an aggressive interventionist foreign policy that includes the U.S being the world’s policeman, engaging in empire or nation building abroad, providing foreign and military aid to Israel,  and starting undeclared  preemptive wars.

Ron Paul advocates  a strong national defense and a non-interventionist foreign policy that includes the elimination of all foreign aid, bringing the troops home and all wars being declared by Congress as set forth in the Constitution.

Ron Paul 2012 – “We now promote preemptive war.”

Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!

Troops say – If Everyone is saying; Support the troops, why is no one listening..

Paul has been one of the leading critics of the neoconservative interventionist foreign policy of both Presidents Bush and Obama.

CIA Chief Endorses Ron Paul

Ron Paul on foreign policy – Tea Party Debate – Analysis by Michael Scheuer

The Neocon Agenda

Bill Moyers on the rise of NeoCons

Pat Buchanan vs Neo-Cons

Neo-cons: Invasion of the Party Snatchers Part 1

Neo-cons: Invasion of the Party Snatchers Part 2

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

The neoconservatives and their friends in the mainstream media and talk radio are attempting to smear Ron Paul by trying to label him a racist, anti-Semite and isolationist instead of addressing the costs and benefits of an interventionist foreign policy in comparison with a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Mark Levin – Who Wrote Ron Paul’s Newsletters In The 1990’s They’re Full Of Racist Statements

Mark Levin On “Crackpot” Ron Paul

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 1

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 2

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 3 

Ron Paul Newsletter Controversy

Doug Wead Responds to Last-Minute Smear Attacks on Ron Paul

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

Pro-Israel Lobby  the Media

Illuminating discussion of how Israel is portrayed in the media as sparks fly between Time Magazine political columnist Joe Klein and Assistant Editor of The New Republic James Kirchick. With Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi and Ori Nir.

Israel and GOP join forces to oust Obama and Marginalize Paul

A favorite tactic of both right-wing Republican progressives and left-wing Democrat progressives is to play the race card and if that fails call the person an anti-Semite.

This is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals playbook.

Alinsky advocated using a personal attack  by identifying a problem, targeting a person, identifying the problem with the person and attacking the targeted person.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives’  problem is a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives’ target is Ron Paul.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives have identified Ron Paul as an isolationist with a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The  Republican progressive neoconservatives are attacking Ron Paul.

From Al Capone to Saul Alinsky to Barack Obama -Methods of Organizing

Rules for Radicals  – Rule #10 

Rules for Radicals – Rule #13 

Mark Levin Compares Ron Paul To A Little Weasel 

SA@TAC – The End of Right-Wing Progressivism? 

Propaganda & Mind Control Report

Mind Control Hate Propaganda, Hate Speech & Crime, Black PR

Against the USA, Naked Communist Conspiracy Theory, NWO, Mind Control Report

The fact that Ron Paul is not a racist, anti-Semite or isolationist is besides the point to these Republican progressive neoconservatives.

Big government progressive neoconservative Republican candidates include Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorium and Rick Perry.

All of the Republican progressive neoconservative candidates support an big government aggressive interventionist foreign policy abroad.

While some of the progressive neoconservatives like to “talk” conservative in their rhetoric, they very much “walk” progressive in their actions for they favor big government budgets at the Federal and state level to support government intervention at home and abroad.

Limited Government Libertarian Conservative Ron Paul vs. Big Government Progressive Neoconservatives Romney, Gingrich, Santorum–Videos

None of the  progressive neoconservative Republican candidates for President are for limited government in terms its size, scope and power that libertarian conservatives such as Paul advocate.

Neocons Shamelessly Attack Ron Paul for Being ‘Anti-Semitic’ 

SA@TheDC – Does Attacking Neoconservatism Reflect Racism or Reality?

SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’ 

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffery Lord On Ron Paul Supporters Using Neo Con As An Anti-Semitic Slur

Experts detail the danger of Israeli lobby in US politics

Mark Levin, Ron Paul Hater, Put in His Place

Mark Levin Avoids the “Empire” Question

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

TrueLeaks – David Horowitz calls Ron Paul “A little Satan” 

Ron Paul Is A Sick Racist? = AIPAC Spin Machine Tactics

Ron Paul On Iran And Israel 

Ron Paul: Foreign Policy & Israel

Jews for Ron Paul, by Walter Block of Loyola University, New Orleans MIRROR

“Professor Walter Block is proud to be Jewish and proud to be a close friend of Ron Paul.”

Jews for Ron Paul

American Jew for Ron Paul

Ron Paul Supports Israel vs. Ronald Reagan? “Jews for Ron Paul” 

The Compassion of Dr. Ron Paul

James Williams of Matagorda County, Texas recounts a touching true story. Living in a still prejudiced Texas In 1972, his wife had a complication with her pregnancy. No doctors would care for her or deliver their bi-racial child. In fact one of the hospital nurses called the police on James.
Dr. Ron Paul was notified and took her in, delivering their stillborn baby. Because of the compassion of Dr. Ron Paul, the Williams’ never received a hospital bill for the delivery.
Ron Paul views every human being as a unique individual, afforded the rights endowed by our creator and codified in the Bill of Rights.

Ron Paul Ad “Disarms” MSM’s Racist Campaign of Lies: Gary Franchi Reports

12-29-11 Ron Paul reacts to new ad 

Do Black Americans Believe Ron Paul Is Racist? 

Ron Paul is NOT a Racist Walter Williams defends Dr Paul on Rush Limbaugh Show

Chris Rock supports Ron Paul 2012??


Seems that  James Kirchick, progressive neoconservative, was smearing Ron Paul four years ago and is now  warning liberals that Paul supports the John Birch Society by speaking at some of its meetings. While not a member of the John Birch Society, I will defend Paul’s good judgement in supporting such an organization.

Looks like the media should check out James Kirchick and his association with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

When are the so called objective journalists and reporters going to do their jobs and connect some of the dots and tell the truth?

When hell freezes over.

NY Times, MSM Attacks Ron Paul & Alex Jones For Living in the Real World 3/3

“…Gingrich-linked smear specialist James Kirchick is presumably nonplussed that his attempt to regurgitate the 15-year-old debunked non-story of Ron Paul’s ‘racist’ newsletters has had absolutely no effect on the polls, but he is forging ahead anyway with further attacks, this time in the form of a New York Times editorial that labels Paul a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” for discussing manifestly provable issues.

As we previously documented in our response to Kirchick’s regurgitation of a story he originally pushed four years ago, the New Republic writer is an apologist for Newt Gingrich and other neo-cons of his ilk.

Kirchick is a proud neo-con who serves as a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, an influential neo-conservative collective funded by numerous noted billionaires. The group’s list of “distinguished advisors” includes former CIA and FBI heads. The group is virtually a lobbying front for the state of Israel, which explains perfectly why Kirchick is so upset with Paul, who has promised to put a stop to the billions in foreign aid the United States sends to Israel every year.

Sitting on the group’s Leadership Council is none other than Newt Gingrich, one of Ron Paul’s main rivals in the Republican primary. Given that association, it’s unsurprising that Kirchick has chosen to dredge up a series of debunked smears at this key time in the election cycle, with Gingrich’s campaign now imploding and Ron Paul’s popularity surging. …”

The neoconservatives at the Weekly Standard published Kirchick’s article.

I wonder why?

Kirchick is a neoconservative!

He is also a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where the neoconservatives gather (see background information below).

The Kirchick and Lord smear attack on Ron Paul was amplified and repeated by several so-called “conservative” radio talk show hosts and/or their fill-in hosts prior to and over the Christmas holidays.

This included Bennett, Hewitt, Levin, Gibson, Medved and Limbaugh just to name a few.

All favored one of the remaining Republican big government  progressive neoconservative candidates–Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry.

They repeated Kirchick’s charges in the two to three weeks prior to the Iowa caucus.

At the time Ron Paul was leading in the Iowa polls and it looked like he would be first in Iowa.

The concerted and organized smear attack of Paul on “conservative” talk radio was successful in that Paul came in  third behind Santorium and Romney by less than 3,900 votes.

Mission accomplished by the progressive neoconservatives, the Israeli lobby and the Likud party.

Not a single one of these so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts support the conservative libertarian advocate of limited government, Ron Paul.

SA@TAC – The Biggest Earmark is Empire

SA@TheDC – ‘Fixing’ Big Government is Not Conservative

SA@TheDC – Russell Kirk and 9/11 

SA@TAC – Identity vs. Philosophy 

I have been a conservative or traditional libertarian since Barry Goldwater ran for President in 1964.

The only truly conservative president that the U.S. has had since then is Ronald Reagan.

Many traditional libertarians that were expecting fiscal responsibility under Reagan with balanced budgets and a smaller Federal government, became very disappointed when Reagan failed to delivery on these promises.

Reagan definitely talked conservative but the economic results were decidedly progressive with growing deficits and increases in the national debt.

Under Reagan the size and scope of the Federal government significantly increased.

This is why Ron Paul, an early supporter of Ronald Reagan, left the Republican Party and ran for President in 1988 as the Libertarian Party’s candidate.

In 1988 the Republican Party successful elected a Republican big government progressive  George H.W. Bush that now endorses another Republican big government progressive neoconservative, Mitt Romney.

I view Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry as Republican big government progressive neoconservatives.

I will not vote for any progressive of either political party and especially those who identify themselves as neoconservative.

The  progressive neoconservatives in the Republican Party smeared Ron Paul by playing both the race card and anti-Semite card.

Unfortunately, the progressive neoconservatives were partially successful for many of the listeners of talk radio simply do not know the history of the conservative intellectual movement in America since 1945 and the role the progressive neoconservatives played in smearing Paul.

SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’

If I truly thought Ron Paul was either a racist or anti-Semite, I would not support him.

I will support and vote for Ron Paul.

I will not vote for any Republican big government progressive neoconservative.

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

 RONALD REAGAN, Reason Magazine, Jul. 1, 1975

Background Articles and Videos

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

James Kirchick

last updated: December 27, 2011

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

“…James (“Jamie”) Kirchick is a Prague-based fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a contributing editor at the New Republic. A former writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kirchick has also contributed to various rightist outlets like the Weekly Standard and Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog, as well as numerous mainstream publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Politico.[i]

Among Kirchick’s more widely noted articles is his January 2008 New Republic piece about libertarian leader Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Titled “Angry White Man,” the article sought to throw light on Paul’s track record as he gained national attention as a Republican Party presidential candidate who opposed the war in Iraq. Reviewing the various newsletters that Paul published over the years, Kirchick wrote that they reveal “decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing—but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.”[2]

In late 2011, as Paul’s campaign to be the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee began to gain momentum as a result of surging poll numbers in some primary states, Kirchick published a follow up piece to his 2008 New Republic article. Kirchcik lamented that despite Paul’s “voluminous record of bigotry and conspiracy theories,” his star remains “undimmed.” He added: “Not only do the latest polls place him as the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses, but he still enjoys the support of a certain coterie of professional political commentators who, like Paul himself, identify as libertarians.” Kirchick highlighted support from the likes of blogger Andrew Sullivan as well as numerous other writers. He concluded: “If Paul is responsible for conjuring the apocalyptic atmosphere of a prophet, it’s his supporters who have to answer for submitting to it. Surely, those who agree with Paul would be able to find a better vessel for their ideas than a man who once entertained the notion that AIDS was invented in a government laboratory or who, just last January, alleged that there had been a ‘CIA coup’ against the American government and that the Agency is ‘in drug businesses.’”[3]

Paul responded to the criticism surrounding his association with the newsletter by claiming that at the time he did not read the offending material and that he does not endorse the views espoused therein. His Republican primary opponents attempted to capitalize on the issue. Newt Gingrich said: “These things are really nasty, and he didn’t know about it, wasn’t aware of it. But he’s sufficiently ready to be president? It strikes me it raises some fundamental questions about him.”[4]

Track Record

Kirchick joined the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) in November 2011, which was announced—together with the hiring of the abrasive “pro-Israel” writer Lee Smith—in a November 2011 press release. Said FDD executive director Cliff May, “Lee and Jamie are two of the most probing, incisive and insightful journalists covering the international scene today. They will add important dimensions to FDD’s national security and foreign policy analysis.”[5] …”

“…Kirchick is an erstwhile liberal who apparently had veered to the right by the time he arrived at Yale, where he graduated in 2006. In a 2007 article for the Boston Globe about dating difficulties as a conservative gay man, Kirchick described himself as a “gay recovering leftist,” adding that “there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose.”[6]

In 2006, as a contributor to the Yale Daily News, Kirchick was named Student Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; in 2007, the association named him Journalist of the Year.[v7]

On foreign policy, Kirchick has proved a steadfast critic of the Barack Obama administration as well as of those who oppose one-sided U.S. support for Israel or other militarist Middle East polices. In November 2011, for example,  Kirchick linked hawkishness toward Iran with criticism of the Obama administration’s “reset” of relations with Russia. When Moscow criticized a 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency report about apparent progress in the Iranian nuclear program, Kirchick took to theWall Street Journal to call it “the latest and most devastating blow to Mr. Obama’s ‘reset’ policy,” which he claimed was promoted as a mechanism to bring Russia into the U.S. fold with respect to Iran. Kirchick also criticized the reset initiative more generally, disapproving of the New START agreement on nuclear disarmament, the Obama administration’s decision to cancel planned missile defense bases in Czech Republic and Poland (although he neglected to mention that the sites were moved to Turkey), Washington’s lapse in arms sales to Georgia, and Russia’s admittance to the World Trade Organization.[8] …”

Ron Paul addresses charges of racism on CNN

Ron Paul – I Am The ANTI Racist – Wolf Blitzer Interview 2008

Ron Paul: ‘Human Flaw’ on Newsletter Oversight

Ron Paul Is NOT A Racist! Disgruntled Former Ron Paul Staffer Eric Dondero

Ron Paul On Racism

Ron Paul’s view on Racism

Ron Paul – Back When He Was Proud of the Newsletter, He Now Disavows (1995)

NAACP Nelson Linder speaks on Ron Paul and racism

Ron Paul is a Racist?

Why Don’t Libertarians Care About Ron Paul’s Bigoted Newsletters?

 James Kirchick

“…Nearly four years ago, on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, The New Republic published my expose of newsletters published by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The contents of these newsletters can best be described as appalling. Blacks were referred to as “animals.” Gays were told to go “back” into the “closet.” The “X-Rated Martin Luther King” was a bisexual pedophile who “seduced underage girls and boys.” Three months before the Oklahoma City bombing, Paul praised right-wing, anti-government militia movements as “one of the most encouraging developments in America.” The voluminous record of bigotry and conspiracy theories speaks for itself.

And yet, four years on, Ron Paul’s star is undimmed. Not only do the latest polls place him as the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses, but he still enjoys the support of a certain coterie of professional political commentators who, like Paul himself, identify as libertarians. Most prominent among them is Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, who gave Paul his endorsement in the GOP primary last week, as he did in 2008. But he is not alone: Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner recently bemoaned the fact that “the principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media,” while Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic argues that Paul’s ideas cannot be ignored, and that, for Tea Party Republicans, “A vote against Paul requires either cognitive dissonance—never in short supply in politics—or a fundamental rethinking of the whole theory of politics that so recently drove the Tea Party movement.”

“…Kirchick is an erstwhile liberal who apparently had veered to the right by the time he arrived at Yale, where he graduated in 2006. In a 2007 article for the Boston Globe about dating difficulties as a conservative gay man, Kirchick described himself as a “gay recovering leftist,” adding that “there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose.”[6]

In 2006, as a contributor to the Yale Daily News, Kirchick was named Student Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; in 2007, the association named him Journalist of the Year.[v7] …”

The Company Ron Paul Keeps

Dec 26, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 15 • By JAMES KIRCHICK

“…The Republican Jewish Coalition announced this month that congressman Ron Paul would not be among the six guests invited to participate in its Republican Presidential Candidates Forum. “He’s just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organization,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the RJC, adding that the group “rejects his misguided and extreme views.”

Paul’s exclusion caused an uproar, with critics alleging that his stand on Israel had earned the RJC’s ire; an absolutist libertarian, Paul opposes foreign aid to all countries, including the Jewish state. “This seems to me more of an attempt to draw boundaries around acceptable policy discourse than any active concern that President Dr. Ron Paul would be actively anti-Israel or anti-Semitic,” wrote Reason editor Matt Welch. Chris McGreal of the Guardian reported that Paul “was barred because of his views on Israel.” Even Seth Lipsky, editor of the New York Sun and a valiant defender of Israel (and friend and mentor of this writer), opined, “The whole idea of an organization of Jewish Republicans worrying about the mainstream strikes me as a bit contradictory.”

While Paul’s views on Israel certainly place him outside the American, never mind Republican, mainstream, there is an even more elementary reason the RJC was right to exclude him from its event. It is Paul’s lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories, for which he has yet to account fully, and his continuing espousal of extremist views, that should make him unwelcome at any respectable forum, not only those hosted by Jewish organizations. …”

James Kirchick

“…James Kirchick (pronounced /ˈkɜrtʃɨk/; born 1983) is a reporter, foreign correspondent and columnist. Having attended Yale University, Kirchick also wrote for the student newspaper on the campus, the Yale Daily News.[1] He is a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington;[2] prior to this he was writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.[3]

For over three years, Kirchick worked at The New Republic, covering domestic politics, intelligence, and American foreign policy. In 2008, he exposed racist and conspiratorial newsletters published by Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, a story that gained new prominence in the 2012 presidential election.[4][5] While he remains a contributing editor for TNR, Kirchick’s reportage has appeared in The Weekly Standard,[4] The American Interest, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Columbia Journalism Review, Prospect, Commentary and World Affairs Journal. He writes frequently for newspapers including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,[6] The Los Angeles Times,[7] and Ha’aretz.

Kirchick has worked as a reporter for The New York Sun, the New York Daily News, and The Hill, and has been a columnist for the New York Daily News and the Washington Examiner.

Kirchick is a regular book critic and reviews frequently for Azure,[8] Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, Policy Review, and World Affairs, among others. A leading voice on gay politics, he is a contributing writer to the Advocate, the nation’s largest gay publication,[9] and a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Excellence in Student Journalism Award and the Journalist of the Year Award.[10][11] …”

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

“…The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute “working to defend free nations against their enemies”. It was founded shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks to address what it regards as the “threat facing America, Israel and the West”. Its stated objectives are promoting human rights, defending “free and democratic nations”, and opposing terrorism which it defines as “the deliberate use of violence against civilians to achieve political objectives”.[1]


It conducts “research and education on international terrorism—the most serious security threat to the United States and other free, democratic nations. It advocates United States military intervention in various muslim majority nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, and Palestine.

Board of Directors, advisors and fellows

FDD’s chairman is James Woolsey. FDD’s president is Clifford D. May and its executive director is Mark Dubowitz. Its Leadership Council is composed of prominent thinkers and leaders from the defense, intelligence, and policy communities including Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Bill Kristol, Louis J. Freeh, Joseph Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, Max Kampelman, and Robert McFarlane.

Its Board of Advisors include Gary Bauer, Rep. Eric Cantor, Gene Gately, General P.X. Kelley, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, Richard Perle, Steven Pomerantz, Oliver “Buck” Revell, Bret Stephens, and Francis J. “Bing” West.[2]

Foundation fellows and senior staff are Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research, Khairi Abaza, Senior Fellow, Tony Badran, Research Fellow, Levant, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director, Center for Study of Terrorist Radicalization, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Senior Fellow. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow, Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism, Jonathan Kay, Visiting Fellow, Dr. Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar, Andrew C. McCarthy, Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, David B. Rivkin, Jr., Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism[3]


The foundation has initiated the following centers, coalitions, committees and ongoing projects:

  • The Iran Energy Project
  • The Center for The Study of Terrorist Radicalization
  • The Center for Law & Counterterrorism
  • The Coalition Against Terrorist Media
  • The Committee on the Present Danger

It engages in investigative reporting.

The Iran Energy Project

The foundation has promoted the utility of energy sanctions as part of a comprehensive economic warfare strategy against the Iranian regime. To this end, it provides leading research and analysis in support of strong, broad-based energy sanctions, including gasoline, natural gas, and oil sanctions, as part of a comprehensive strategy to end the Iranian regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, and abuse of human rights. The foundation also analyzes the prominent role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran’s energy industry.

It will continue to monitor the Iranian energy sector for new entrants into the Iranian energy trade and any signs that companies which have reportedly left the market have resumed their trade.

The focus on energy sanctions has changed the debate in Washington. No longer a discussion over how to achieve a “grand bargain” with the Iranian regime, the debate now focuses on how to use sanctions to deter an aggressive regime dedicated to pursuing nuclear weapons, supporting terrorism, and repressing its own people.[4]

As the foundation’s Mark Dubowitz noted, “the push for broad-based sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, including steps taken to make it more difficult for Iran to import gasoline, acquire key energy technology, and attract investment for its energy sector, has already had a major impact. Not only are Iran’s gasoline suppliers exiting the market, but energy investors, banks, technology providers, and insurers now face growing pressure to decide between doing business with the Iranian regime and continuing their business relationships in the lucrative U.S. market … President Obama needs to enforce U.S. law and put these companies to a choice.”[5]

Preemptive War Debate (Part 1)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 2)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 3)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 4)

‘Racist newsletter’ timeline: What Ron Paul has said

Ron Paul has had to explain racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in his name in the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s what he’s said over the years.

By Mark Trumbull, Staff writer / December 29, 2011

“…It’s the biggest setback to hit Ron Paul’s candidacy for president: publicity about racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in Mr. Paul’s name in the 1980s and 1990s.

On Thursday he responded at some length to the concerns during an Iowa radio interview, calling the newsletter statements “terrible” but insisting that he wasn’t the one who wrote them. He added that the offensive comments totaled about “about eight or 10 sentences.”

Some journalists who have researched the newsletters say it was a lot more than 10 sentences, and that the Texas congressman’s response on the issue has changed over the years.

Here, in timeline format, are some prominent Paul statements tied to the issue drawn from transcripts, video clips, and news reports. …”

Newsletters Fallout – Hardball (see Tucker vid for update) 

James Kirchick interview, part 1

“…interview with James Kirchick, assistant editor at the New Republic, who wrote a piece in the Advocate, criticizing activists and reporters who exposed Congressman Mark Foley, and criticized me for writing about and focusing on the fact that John McCain’s chief of staff, Mark Buse, is gay.”

James Kirchick interview, part 2 

Another boyfriend of Mark Buse, McCain’s top gay

The New Republic

“…The New Republic (TNR) is an American magazine of politics and the arts published continuously since 1914. A weekly for most of its history, it is published twenty times per year as of 2011, at a circulation of approximately 50,000. The editor as of 2011 is Richard Just.

Political views

Domestically, the TNR as of 2011 supports a largely neo-liberal stance on fiscal and social issues, according to former editor Franklin Foer, who stated that it “invented the modern usage of the term ‘liberal’, and it’s one of our historical legacies and obligations to be involved in the ongoing debate over what exactly liberalism means and stands for.”[2] As of 2004, however, some, like Anne Kossedd and Steven Randall, contend that it is not as liberal as it was before 1974.[3] The magazine’s outlook is associated with the Democratic Leadership Council and “New Democrats” such as former President Bill Clinton and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who received the magazine’s endorsement in the 2004 Democratic primary; so did Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008.[4] Whilst defending federal programs, like Medicare and the EPA, it has advocated some policies that, while seeking to achieve the ends of traditional social welfare programs, often use market solutions as their means, and so are often called “business-friendly.” Typical of some of the policies supported by both TNR and the DLC during the 1990s were increased funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit program and reform of the Federal welfare system. Supply side economics, especially the idea of reducing higher marginal income tax rates, received heavy criticism from senior editor Jonathan Chait.[5] Moreover, TNR is strongly in favor of universal health care. On certain high-profile social issues, such as its support of same-sex marriage, TNR could be considered more progressive than the mainstream of the Democratic Party establishment. In its March 2007 issue, TNR ran an article by Paul Starr (co-founder of the magazine’s main rival, The American Prospect) where he defined the type of modern American liberalism in his article War and Liberalism:

Liberalism wagers that a state… can be strong but constrained – strong because constrained… Rights to education and other requirements for human development and security aim to advance equal opportunity and personal dignity and to promote a creative and productive society. To guarantee those rights, liberals have supported a wider social and economic role for the state, counterbalanced by more robust guarantees of civil liberties and a wider social system of checks and balances anchored in an independent press and pluralistic society. – Paul Starr, volume 236, p. 21-24

Support for Israel has been another strong theme in The New Republic. According to Martin Peretz, owner of TNR, “Support for Israel is deep down an expression of America’s best view of itself.”[6] According to CUNY journalism professor, Eric Alterman, “Nothing has been as consistent about the past 34 years of TNR as the magazine’s devotion to Peretz’s own understanding of what is good for Israel…It is really not too much to say that almost all of Peretz’s political beliefs are subordinate to his commitment to Israel’s best interests, and these interests as Peretz defines them almost always involve more war.”[6]

Unsigned editorials prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq expressed strong support for military action, citing the threat of WMD as well as humanitarian concerns. Since the end of major military operations, unsigned editorials, while critical of the handling of the war, have continued to justify the invasion on humanitarian grounds, but no longer maintain that Iraq’s WMD facilities posed any threat to the United States. In the November 27, 2006 issue, the editors wrote:

At this point, it seems almost beside the point to say this: The New Republic deeply regrets its early support for this war. The past three years have complicated our idealism and reminded us of the limits of American power and our own wisdom.[7]

On June 23, 2006 Martin Peretz, in response to criticism of the magazine from the blog Daily Kos, wrote the following as a summary of TNR’s stances on recent issues

The New Republic is very much against the Bush tax programs, against Bush Social Security ‘reform,’ against cutting the inheritance tax, for radical health care changes, passionate about Gore-type environmentalism, for a woman’s entitlement to an abortion, for gay marriage, for an increase in the minimum wage, for pursuing aggressively alternatives to our present reliance on oil and our present tax preferences for gas-guzzling automobiles. We were against the confirmation of Justice Alito.[8]

The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States. In its May 2007 issue the magazine ran an editorial pointing to the humanitarian beliefs of liberals as being responsible for the recent plight of the American left. In another article TNR favorably cited the example of Denmark as evidence that an expansive welfare state and high tax burden can be consistent with, and in some ways contribute to, a strong economy.[9] Such editorials and articles exemplify the liberal political orientation of TNR.


Early years

The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann through the financial backing of heiress Dorothy Payne Whitney and her husband, Willard Straight, who maintained majority ownership. The magazine’s first issue was published on November 7, 1914. The magazine’s politics were liberal and progressive, and as such concerned with coping with the great changes brought about by America’s late-19th century industrialization. The magazine is widely considered important in changing the character of liberalism in the direction of governmental interventionism, both foreign and domestic. Among the most important of these was the emergence of the U.S. as a Great Power on the international scene, and in 1917 TNR urged America’s entry into World War I on the side of the Allies.

One consequence of World War I was the Russian Revolution of 1917, and during the inter-war years the magazine was generally positive in its assessment of the Soviet Union and its communist government. This changed with the start of the Cold War and the 1948 departure of leftist editor Henry A. Wallace to run for president on the Progressive ticket. After Wallace, TNR moved towards positions more typical of mainstream American liberalism. During the 1950s it was critical of both Soviet foreign policy and domestic anti-communism, particularly McCarthyism. That said, the magazine was guilty of publishing a 1947 article entitled “The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich” apparently filled with distortions and innuendos. During the 1960s the magazine opposed the Vietnam War, but was also often critical of the New Left.

Up until the late 1960s, the magazine had a certain “cachet as the voice of re-invigorated liberalism”, in the opinion of Eric Alterman, a commentator who has criticized the magazine’s politics from the left. That cachet, Alterman wrote, “was perhaps best illustrated when the dashing, young President Kennedy had been photographed boarding Air Force One holding a copy”.[6]

Peretz ownership and eventual editorship, 1974–1979

In March 1974, the magazine was purchased for $380,000[6] by Harvard University lecturer Martin Peretz,[10] from Gilbert Harrison.[6] Peretz was a veteran of the New Left who had broken with that movement over its support of various Third World liberationist movements, particularly the Palestine Liberation Organization. Peretz transformed TNR into its current form. Under his ownership, TNR has advocated both strong U.S. support for the Israeli government and a hawkish U.S. foreign policy.[6] On domestic policy, it has advocated a self-critical brand of liberalism, taking positions that range from traditionally liberal to neoliberalism. It has generally supported Democratic candidates for president, although in 1980 it endorsed the moderate Republican John B. Anderson, running as an independent, rather than the Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Harrison continued editing the magazine, expecting Peretz to let him continue running the magazine for three years. But by 1975, when Peretz became annoyed at having his own articles rejected for publication while he was pouring money into the magazine to cover its losses, he fired Harrison. Much of the staff, including Walter Pincus, Stanley Karnow, and Doris Grumbach, was either fired or quit, being replaced largely by recent Harvard graduates lacking in journalistic experience. Peretz himself became the editor and stayed in that post until 1979. As other editors have been appointed, Peretz has remained editor-in-chief.[6]

Kinsley and Hertzberg editorships, 1979–1991

Michael Kinsley, a neoliberal (in the American sense of the term), was editor (1979–1981; 1985–1989), alternating twice with Hendrik Hertzberg (1981–1985; 1989–1991), who has been called “an old-fashioned social democrat”. Kinsley was only 28 years old when he first became editor and was still studying law[6] at George Washington University.

Writers for the magazine during this era included neoliberals Mickey Kaus and Jacob Weisberg along with Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke, Sidney Blumenthal, Robert Kuttner, Ronald Steel, Michael Walzer, and Irving Howe.[6]

During the 1980s the magazine generally supported President Ronald Reagan’s anti-Communist foreign policy, including provision of aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. It has also supported both Gulf Wars and, reflecting its belief in the moral efficacy of American power, intervention in “humanitarian” crises, such as those in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during the Yugoslav wars.

The magazine also became known for its originality and unpredictability in the 1980s. It was widely considered a “must read” across the political spectrum. An article in Vanity Fair judged TNR “the smartest, most impudent weekly in the country,” and the “most entertaining and intellectually agile magazine in the country.” According to Alterman, the magazine’s prose could sparkle and the contrasting views within its pages were “genuinely exciting”. He added, “The magazine unarguably set the terms of debate for insider political elites during the Reagan era.”[6]

With the less predictable opinions, more of them leaning conservative than before, the magazine won the respect of many conservative opinion leaders and 20 copies were messengered to the Reagan White House each Thursday afternoon. Norman Podhoretz called the magazine “indispensable”, and George Will said it was “currently the nation’s most interesting and most important political journal.” National Review described it as “one of the most interesting magazines in the United States.”[6]

Credit for its quality and popularity was often assigned to Kinsley, whose wit and critical sensibility were seen as enlivening a magazine that had for many years been more conventional in its politics, and Hertzberg, a writer for The New Yorker and speechwriter for Jimmy Carter.

Hertzberg and Kinsley not only alternated as editor but also alternated as the author of the magazine’s lead column, “TRB from Washington”. Its perspective was described as left-of-center in 1988.[11]

A final ingredient that led to the magazine’s increased stature in the 1980s was its “back of the book” or literary, cultural and arts pages, which were edited by Leon Wieseltier. Peretz discovered Wieseltier, then working at Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and put him in charge of the section. Wieseltier reinvented the section along the lines of The New York Review of Books, allowing his critics, many of them academics, to write longer, critical essays instead of mere book reviews. Alterman calls the hire “probably […] Peretz’s single most significant positive achievement” in running the magazine. During other changes of editors, Wieseltier has remained as cultural editor. Under him the section has been “simultaneously erudite and zestful”, according to Alterman, who adds, “Amazingly, a full generation later, it still sings.”[6]

Sullivan editorship, 1991–1996

In 1991, Andrew Sullivan, a 28-year-old gay Catholic from Britain, became editor and took the magazine in a somewhat more conservative direction, though the majority of writers remained liberal or neoliberal. Hertzberg soon left the magazine to return to The New Yorker. Kinsley left the magazine in 1996 to found the online magazine Slate.[6]

Sullivan invited Charles Murray to contribute a controversial 10,000-word article that contended blacks may be, as a whole, less intelligent than whites due to genetics. The magazine also published a very critical article about Hillary Clinton’s health care plan by Elizabeth McCaughey, an article that Alterman called “the single most influential article published in the magazine during the entire Clinton presidency”. However, this article was later shown to be inaccurate and the magazine would later apologize for the story. Sullivan also published a number of pieces by Camille Paglia.[6]

Ruth Shalit, a young writer for the magazine in the Sullivan years, was repeatedly criticized for plagiarism. After the Shalit scandals, the magazine began using fact-checkers during Sullivan’s time as editor. One was Stephen Glass, who would be found to have made up quotes, anecdotes and facts in his own articles, while he served as a reporter years later.[6]

Kelly, Lane, Beinart, Foer, Just editorships, 1996–present

After Sullivan stepped down in 1996, David Greenberg and Peter Beinart served jointly as Acting Editors. After the 1996 election, Michael Kelly served as editor for a year. During his tenure as editor and afterward, Kelly, who also wrote the TRB column, was intensely critical of President Clinton.[6] Writer Stephen Glass had been a major contributor under Kelly’s editorship; Glass was later shown to have falsified and fabricated numerous stories, which was admitted by The New Republic after an investigation by Kelly’s successor, Charles Lane. Kelly had consistently supported Glass during his tenure, including sending scathing letters to those challenging the veracity of Glass’s stories.[12]

Chuck Lane held the position between 1997 and 1999. During Lane’s tenure, the Stephen Glass scandal occurred. Peretz has written that Lane ultimately “put the ship back on its course,” for which Peretz said he was “immensely grateful.” But Peretz later fired Lane, who only got the news when a Washington Post reporter called him for a comment.[6]

Peter Beinart, a third editor who took over when he was 28 years old,[6] followed Lane and served as editor from 1999 to 2006.

Franklin Foer took over from Beinart in March 2006. In the magazine’s first editorial under Foer, it said “We’ve become more liberal … We’ve been encouraging Democrats to dream big again on the environment and economics […]”.[6] Foer is the brother of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated (2002).

Richard Just took over as editor of the magazine on December 8, 2010.

Other prominent writers who edited or wrote for the magazine in these years include senior editor and TRB columnist Jonathan Chait, Lawrence F. Kaplan, John Judis and Spencer Ackerman.[6]

In 2005, TNR created its blog, called The Plank, which is written by Michael Crowley, Franklin Foer, Jason Zengerle, and other TNR staff. The Plank is meant to be TNR’s primary blog, replacing the magazine’s first three blogs, &c., Iraq’d, and Easterblogg. The Stump, TNR’s blog on the 2008 Presidential Election was created in October 2007.

The magazine remains well known, with references to it occasionally popping up in popular culture. Lisa Simpson was once portrayed as a subscriber to The New Republic for Kids. Matt Groening, The Simpsons’ creator, once drew a cover for TNR.[citation needed] In the pilot episode of the HBO series Entourage, which first aired on July 18, 2004, Ari Gold asks Eric Murphy: “Do you read The New Republic? Well, I do, and it says that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” …”


“…Likud (Hebrew: הַלִּכּוּד‎ HaLikud, lit. The Consolidation) is the major center-right political party in Israel.[3][4][5][6] It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud’s victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country’s political history, marking the first time the left had lost power. However, after ruling the country for most of the 1980s, the party lost the Knesset election in 1992. Nevertheless, Likud’s candidate Benjamin Netanyahu did win the vote for Prime Minister in 1996 and was given the task to form a government after the 2009 elections. After a convincing win in the 2003 elections, Likud saw a major split in 2005, when Likud leader Ariel Sharon left the party to form the new Kadima party. This resulted in Likud slumping to fourth place in 2006 elections. Following the 2009 elections, the party appears to have mostly recovered from its loss, and now leads the Israeli government under Prime Minister Netanyahu.

A member of the party is often called a Likudnik (Hebrew: לִכּוּדְנִיק‎).[7]

Formation and Begin years

The Likud was formed by an alliance of several right wing parties prior to the 1973 elections; Herut and the Liberal Party had been allied since 1965, and were joined by the Free Centre, the National List and the Movement for Greater Israel. It was given the name Likud, meaning “Consolidation”, as it represented the consolidation of the right-wing in Israel.[8] It worked as a coalition of its factions led by Menachem Begin’s Herut until 1988 when the factions formally dissolved and Likud became a unitary political party. From its establishment in 1973, Likud enjoyed great support from blue-collar Sephardim who felt discriminated against by the ruling Alignment.

The first Likud prime minister was Menachem Begin, who had led the party to victory in the 1977 elections, the first time the left-wing had lost power in Israel’s political history. A former leader of the hard-line paramilitary Irgun, Begin helped initiate the peace process with Egypt, which resulted in the Camp David Accords and the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.

Shamir, Netanyahu first term, and Sharon

The second premier was Yitzhak Shamir, who first became PM in October 1983 following Begin’s resignation. Shamir, a former commander of the Lehi underground, was widely seen as a hard-liner with an ideological commitment both to the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the growth of which he encouraged, and to the idea of aliyah, facilitating the mass immigration of Jews to Israel from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union.

The third Likud premier was Benjamin Netanyahu, elected in May 1996, following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Netanyahu proved to be less hard-line in practice than he made himself out to be rhetorically, and felt pressured by the United States and others to enter negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat, despite his harsh criticism of the Oslo accords and hawkish stance in comparison to Labour.

In 1998, Netanyahu reluctantly agreed to cede territory in the Wye River Memorandum. While accepted by many in the Likud, some Likud MKs, led by Benny Begin (Menachem Begin’s son), Michael Kleiner and David Re’em, broke away and formed a new party, named Herut – The National Movement, in protest. Yitzhak Shamir (who had expressed harsh disappointment in Netanyahu’s leadership), gave the new party his support. Less than a year afterward, Netanyahu’s coalition collapsed, resulting in the 1999 election and Labour’s Ehud Barak winning the premiership on a platform of immediate settlement of final status issues. Likud spent 1999-2001 on the opposition benches.

Barak’s “all-or-nothing” strategy failed, however, and new elections were called for March 2001. Surprisingly, Netanyahu declined to be the Likud candidate for Prime Minister, meaning that the fourth Likud premier would be Ariel Sharon. Sharon, unlike past Likud leaders, had been raised in a Labour Zionist environment and had long been seen as something of a maverick. In the face of the Second Intifada, Sharon pursued a varied set of policies, many of which were controversial even within the Likud. The final split came when Sharon announced his policy of unilateral disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank; the idea proved so divisive both on the Likud and the opposition Labour benches that Sharon announced the formation of a new party, Kadima, from the ranks of both Likud and Labour supporters of unilateral disengagement.

Kadima split

Ariel Sharon’s perceived leftward shift to the political center, especially in his execution of the Disengagement Plan, alienated him from some Likud supporters and fragmented the party. He faced several serious challenges to his authority shortly before his departure. The first was in March 2005, when he and Netanyahu proposed a budget plan which met fierce opposition, though it was eventually approved. The second was in September 2005, when Sharon’s critics in Likud forced a vote on a proposal for an early leadership election, which was defeated by 52% to 48%. In October, Sharon’s opponents within the Likud Knesset faction joined with the opposition to prevent the appointment of two of his associates to the Cabinet, demonstrating that Sharon had effectively lost control of the Knesset and that the 2006 budget was unlikely to pass.

The next month, Labor announced its withdrawal from Sharon’s governing coalition following its election of the left wing Amir Peretz as leader. On 21 November 2005, Sharon announced he would be leaving Likud and forming a new centrist party, Kadima, and that elections would take place in early 2006. As of 21 November seven candidates had declared themselves as contenders to replace Sharon as leader: Netanyahu, Uzi Landau, Shaul Mofaz, Yisrael Katz, Silvan Shalom and Moshe Feiglin. Landau and Mofaz later withdrew, the former in favour of Netanyahu and the latter to join Kadima.

Netanyahu second term

Netanyahu went on to win the Likud Party Chairman elections in December, obtaining 44.4% of the vote. Shalom came in a second with 33%, leading Netanyahu to guarantee him second place on the party’s list of Knesset candidates. Shalom’s perceived moderation on social and foreign-policy issues were considered to be an electoral asset. Observers noted that voter turnout in the elections was particularly low in comparison with past primaries, with less than 40 percent of the 128,000 party members casting ballots. There was much media focus on “far-right” candidate Moshe Feiglin achieving 12.4% of votes, who is the only candidate who aims to see Likud actually pursue the policies presented in its own official charter.

The founding of Kadima was a major challenge to the Likud’s generation-long status as one of Israel’s two major parties. Sharon’s perceived centrist policies have drawn considerable popular support as reflected by public opinion polls. The Likud is now led by figures who oppose further unilateral evacuations, and its standing in the polls has suffered. After the founding of Kadima, Likud came to be seen as having more of a right-wing tendency than a moderate centre-right one. However there exist several parties in the knesset which are more right wing than the post-Ariel Sharon Likud.

Prior to the 2006 election the party’s Central Committee relinquished control of selecting the Knesset list to the ‘rank and file’ members at Netanyahu’s behest.[9] The aim was to improve the party’s reputation, as the central committee had gained a reputation for corruption.[10]

In the election, the Likud vote collapsed in the face of the Kadima split. Other right-wing nationalist parties such as Yisrael Beiteinu gained votes, with Likud coming only fourth place in the popular vote, edging out Yisrael Beiteinu by only 116 votes. With only twelve seats, Likud was tied with the Shas for the status of third-largest party.

In the 2009 Israeli legislative election, Likud won 27 seats, a close second place finish to Kadima’s 28 seats, and leading the other parties. After more than a month of coalition negotiations, Benjamin Netanyahu was able to form a government and become Prime Minister.

A leadership election will be held on 31 January 2012 between Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe Feiglin, and Vladimir Herczberg. …”

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President Barack Hussein Obama Assists Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei By Cutting Off Federal Funding of Iranian Talk Radio–Silencing The Lambs!

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By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

“…Newsmax has learned that the Obama administration also has zeroed out funding for pro-democracy programs inside Iran from the State Department budget for fiscal 2010, just as protests in Iran are ramping up.

Funding for pro-democracy programs began in 2004, when Congress earmarked $1.5 million of the State Department budget for “educational, humanitarian, and non-governmental organizations and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of democracy and human rights in Iran.”

The funding ramped up dramatically two years later, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested $75 million for pro-democracy programs. More than half of the $66.1 million Congress finally appropriated went to expand U.S. government-funded Persian language broadcasting services at Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

But no money has been earmarked for such programs in the administration’s fiscal 2010 foreign operations budget request. Congressional sources told Newsmax they doubted that a Democrat-controlled Congress would add it when the budget comes before a committee next week.

Controversy has surrounded the programs from the start, with pro-regime lobbying groups, such as the National Iranian-American Council urging the State Department to cancel the funding.

And although Bush administration officials told pro-democracy activists they wanted to fund projects inside Iran (as called for in the original legislative language), State Department desk officers intervened to block funding for any projects other than cultural exchanges and “think tanks and studies,” insiders told Newsmax.

One key opponent of the funding, who weighed in at meetings to block specific grant requests aimed at helping pro-democracy groups inside Iran, was Suzanne Maloney, who is now at the Brookings Institution.

Speaking at a Washington forum that the National Iranian-American Council sponsored Wednesday, Maloney applauded President Obama’s do-nothing policy. “The best thing we can do for Iranian democracy is sit back and let Iranians fight it out for themselves,” she said, echoing the president’s own words from a brief press statement the day before.

Program supporters say the efforts of people such as Maloney inside the State Department to blunt the original intent have made the funding virtually meaningless.

“The State Department never did a lot with all the funding we gave them, so I’m not sure that zeroing it out is a huge loss,” an aide to a key congressional supporter of the funding told Newsmax.  …”


Supreme Leader of Iran

“…The post of Supreme Leader (Persian: رهبر انقلاب, Rahbare Enqelab,[1] lit. Leader of the Revolution, or مقام رهبری, Maghame Rahbari,[2] lit. Leadership Authority) was created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the highest ranking political and religious authority of the nation, in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists.[3] The title “Supreme” Leader (Persian: رهبر معظم, Rahbare Moazzam) is often used as a sign of respect; however, this terminology is not found in the constitution of Iran, which simply referred to the “Leader” (rahbar).

More powerful than the president of Iran, the Leader appoints the heads of many powerful posts – the commanders of the armed forces, the director of the national radio and television network, the heads of the major religious foundations, the prayer leaders in city mosques, and the members of national security councils dealing with defence and foreign affairs. He also appoints the chief judge, the chief prosecutor, special tribunals and, with the help of the chief judge, the 12 jurists of the Guardian Council – the powerful body that decides both what bills may become law and who may run for president or parliament.[4]

Iran has had two Supreme Leaders; currently the post is occupied by Ali Khamenei.

The Supreme Leader is elected by the Assembly of Experts, which is also in charge of overseeing the Supreme Leader, and also has the power to dismiss him. As the name indicates, the Supreme Leader is considered as the ultimate head of the Iranian political and governmental establishment, above that of Iran’s president. According to the constitution, he has the last say in internal and foreign policies, control of all of the armed forces (Army, Revolutionary Guards, Police), and control of state broadcast and others (see below). The head of the Judicial branch (in Persian: قوه قضائیه) is also directly appointed by him.

The President of Iran, who is elected by universal suffrage, is the Executive President (Head of government). In 1989, the Prime Minister’s office was merged with the President’s office to form the current post of President of Iran. However, certain executive powers, such as command of the armed forces and declaration of war and peace, remain in the hands of the Supreme Leader.[5] Furthermore the Supreme Leader may even dismiss the president and prevent the legitimation of any law (appointed by assembly) by the institutions under his control, the Guardian Council and the Expediency Council. …”




“….Marja (Arabic/Persian: مرجع), also appearing as Marja Taqlid or Marja Dini (Arabic/Persian: مرجع تقليد / مرجع ديني), literally means “Source to Imitate/Follow” or “Religious Reference”. It is the label provided to Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Qur’an and the Prophets and Imams, marjas are the highest authority on religious laws in Usuli Twelver Shia Islam.

Currently, marjas are accorded the title Grand Ayatollah (Arabic/Persian: آية ‌الله العظمی Ayatollah al-Uzma), however when referring to one, the use of Ayatollah is acceptable. Previously, the titles of Allamah[1] and Imam[2] have also been used.

The marja’yiat of an Ayatollah transpires when he becomes a celebrated figure in the hawza and his students and followers trust him in answering their questions, and ask him to publish his juristic book, the resalah amaliyah – a manual of practical rulings arranged according to topics dealing with ritual purity, worship, social issues, business, and political affairs. The resalah contains an ayatollah’s fatwas on different topics, according to his knowledge of the most authentic Islamic sources and their application to current life. Traditionally only the most renowned Ayatollahs of the given time published a resalah, while today many Ayatollahs of various illustriousness have published one, while some of the renowned ones have refused to do so.

Where a difference in opinion exists between the marjas, each of them provide their own opinion and the Muqallid will follow his/her own marja’s opinion on that subject. [3] A mujtahid, i.e. someone who has completed advanced training (dars kharij) in the hawza and has acquired the license to engage in ijtihad (ejazaye ijtihad) from one or several ayatollahs, is exempted from the requirement to follow a marja. One should note, however, that ijtihad is not always comprehensive and so a mujtahid may be an expert in one particular area of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and exercise ijtihad therein, but follow a marja in other areas of fiqh.

Several senior Grand Ayatollahs constitute the hawza, a religious institution. The hawza of Qom and Najaf are preeminent seminary centers for the training of Shia clergymen. However, there are other smaller hawzas in other cities around the world, such as Karbala in Iraq and Mashhad, and Isfahan in Iran. …”

Consumer Sovereignty

Consumer sovereignty is a term which is used in economics to refer to the rule or sovereignty of purchasers in markets as to production of goods. It is the power of consumers to decide what gets produced. People use the this term to describe the consumer as the “king,” or ruler, of the market, the one who determines what products will be produced. [1] Also, this term denotes the way in which a consumer ideologically choices to buy a good or service. Furthermore,the term can be used as either a norm (as to what consumers should be permitted) or a description (as to what consumers are permitted).

In unrestricted markets, those with income or wealth are able to use their purchasing power to motivate producers as what to produce (and how much). Customers do not necessarily have to buy and, if dissatisfied, can take their business elsewhere, while the profit-seeking sellers find that they can make the greatest profit by trying to provide the best possible products for the price (or the lowest possible price for a given product). In the language of cliché, “The one with the gold makes the rules.”

To most neoclassical economists, complete consumer sovereignty is an ideal rather than a reality because of the existence — or even the ubiquity — of market failure. Some economists of the Chicago school and the Austrian school see consumer sovereignty as a reality in a free market economy without interference from government or other non-market institutions, or anti-market institutions such as monopolies or cartels. That is, alleged market failures are seen as being a result of non-market forces. However, it has also been argued (e.g., by Goutam U. Jois) that even a “pure” market system violates the consumer sovereignty norm.


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