Did the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sit Next to Ben-Gurion?

Last week, when the British-appointed grand mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Haj al-Husseini, was the subject of numerous headlines, Martin Kramer circulated a photograph of David Ben-Gurion, his wife Paula, and the mufti seated in a row, apparently at some function coordinated by the British authorities in Palestine. Apart from this photograph, there is no evidence the two ever met:

This was indeed a very curious photograph. It suggested that in British-mandated Palestine, even avowed enemies could be made to sit together at the behest of the high commissioner. And it oozed irony, given the subsequent history of the mufti, and that notorious photograph of him with Hitler. In all histories of the period, the mufti and Ben-Gurion are two warships that passed in the night. . . . Was this previously unknown encounter one more opportunity missed?

Then a Palestinian journalist contacted Kramer to raise doubts about the identity of the man in the photograph—who, it turns out, is not the mufti at all:

In history, as in investments, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t. . . . As of this moment, this is a photograph of David Ben-Gurion seated alongside an unidentified Muslim dignitary. Feel free to lose interest right here and move on. But if you are still curious, we now have a mystery man.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Storify

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, David Ben-Gurion, Israel & Zionism, Israeli history, Mandate Palestine

 

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.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Critical Threats

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