Himmler’s Forgotten Telegram to the Mufti, and What It Means

Last month, Israeli researchers discovered a telegram—dated to November 1943—from the SS chief Heinrich Himmler to the former grand mufti of Jerusalem Amin Haj al-Husseini, marking the anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration and their shared hope for preventing its realization. Joel Fishman explains the telegram’s significance:

[Nazi Germany’s] alliance [with Husseini and his followers and supporters throughout the Arab world] was based on mutual support for the destruction of world Jewry, which both sides openly declared to be a shared interest and the basis of their friendship. The purpose of the telegram was to reaffirm publicly the existence of this partnership and the transaction it represented. Any discussion of Husseini’s ideological collaboration must also point out his remarkable claim that Nazism and Islam have a basic affinity. Examples of such shared values are the “Führer Principle,” discipline, and obedience which, according to him, find clear expression in the Quran. . . .

One should not overlook the essential fact that this ideological collaboration was reciprocal. The Nazi elite had a special respect and great admiration for Islam. Although these views have been documented, they have not yet been placed in context. . . . Heinrich Himmler’s doctor, Felix Kersten, wrote [in his postwar biography] an entire chapter on his patient’s “enthusiasm for Islam,” a chapter excluded from the English translation. According to Kersten, “Himmler saw Islam as a masculine, soldierly religion.” . . .

Beyond the discussion of Himmler’s telegram to Husseini, the basic challenge of honest history-writing is to place on the agenda the greater problem of Husseini’s partnership with Nazi Germany. . . . In Israel, part of the elite once argued that forgetting history is necessary in order to advance the cause of peace and understanding with the Palestinian Arabs. On the merits of the issue, it is unsound to argue that there is a virtue in preserving blank spots in our national history.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, Heinrich Himmler, History & Ideas, 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