The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, with Nazi Encouragement, Made Anti-Semitism Part of Islamism

While some historians have argued otherwise, Amin Haj al-Husseini—the grand mufti of Jerusalem prior to World War II—did not influence the Final Solution; he did, however, form a close alliance with Nazi Germany, which protected him and supported him financially, in exchange for his production of pro-Nazi propaganda for the Muslim world. Most importantly, writes Jeffrey Herf, the mufti’s lasting legacy was his contribution to a particular strain of Islamic anti-Semitism:

In his confidential conversations with German diplomats and then in a major public speech in Syria in 1937, Husseini made clear that his opposition to Zionism was rooted in his interpretation of Islam. Husseini’s importance . . . lay in his ability to weave together an interpretation of Islam and the secular language of Arab nationalism and anti-colonialism. In his reading of the Quran and its commentaries, Islam emerges as a religion that is inherently anti-Semitic and is hostile both to the religion of Judaism and to [Jews themselves].

Husseini was one of the founding fathers of the ideological tradition [now] known as . . . Islamism. That tradition, which continues in our own time, has Sunni and Shia variations, but its original base was in the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, which inspired such subsequent organizations as al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah, and Islamic State—[as well as] the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite their differences, [these entities] all share a conviction that, among other things, the message of Islam is inherently anti-Jewish and anti-democratic and that it provides justification for terrorism against Jews, “non-believers,” and “infidels” such as Christians, as well as Muslims who take a different view of Islam.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Anti-Semitism, History & Ideas, Islamism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Nazism

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin