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Israel's UN ambassador holds up photo of Hitler with Palestinian mufti

During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Monday (April 8) in New York, Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, held up a historic photograph showing the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, sitting alongside Adolf Hitler, November 30, 1941, as he reports on his X account (formerly Twitter).

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Israel's UN ambassador holds up photo of Hitler with Palestinian mufti

During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Monday (April 8) in New York, Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, held up a historic photograph showing the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, sitting alongside Adolf Hitler, November 30, 1941, as he reports on his X account (formerly Twitter). A way of virulently demonstrating its opposition to the examination of Palestine's request to join the UN, by the Security Council, which must decide by the end of April. The Palestinian Authority is present in the West Bank, partly occupied by Israel; The governance of the Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, was driven out of the Gaza Strip when Hamas took power in 2007.

Citing the Israeli army's ground offensive in Gaza, Palestinian leaders last week officially revived a 2011 request to become full members of the UN. The Security Council decided on Monday to begin the process of examining this application for membership, the chances of which remain slim.

But where does this photo held up by Gilad Erdan come from? In 1921, Hadj Amin al-Husseini became the Sunni Muslim cleric responsible for the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. A central figure in Palestinian nationalism, he was expelled from Palestine by the British in 1937. The Grand Mufti did not hesitate to meet party leader Adolf Hitler in Germany in November 1941. He then sought to obtain support for Arab independence from the mandate of Great Britain and Jewish immigrants coming to the Holy Land. However, nothing very concrete came out of the interview during which the Führer declared that after the victory of the Third Reich against England and the USSR, Germany would aim for the destruction of the Jews living in "the Arab sphere under British protection.

“Research has demonstrated that the meeting between the mufti and Adolf Hitler will have had only a negligible role on Nazi policy,” Dani Dayan, president of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, reported on the museum website in 2021. Dani Dayan then deplored "pressures" on the museum to "expand the role of the mufti within its History Museum" and said he refused to allow himself to be "taken over by any political agenda whatsoever", to the detriment of the historical truth.

On Monday April 8, Gilad Erdan nevertheless maintained during his speech to the UN that “the root of this conflict has not changed”. “Since long before the creation of the United Nations or the State of Israel, the objective of the Palestinians has been clear: the elimination of the Jews,” he declared from the podium of the UN, before continuing : “The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem [...] worked hand in hand with Hitler to achieve this.”

Erdan directly accused the UN of considering recognizing “a ‘Palestinazi’ state.” “If Hitler were alive today, he would praise the UN,” he joked again on his X account on Monday.

For his part, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour argued Monday at the UN that the Palestinians' demand consists only of taking their "legitimate place within the community of Nations."

Gilad Erdan, former member of the right-wing Likud party in the Knesset for nearly 17 years, was placed at the head of several ministries under the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of whom he is close. Moreover, in 2015, Netanyahu himself sparked controversy after similar comments on the links between al-Husseini, Hitler and the Shoah.

Gilad Erdan has made a habit of making provocative gestures at the UN in recent months. In October 2023, a few days after the Hamas terrorist attack, he hung a yellow star with the words “Never again” on his chest during a Security Council meeting. A symbol referring to the star whose wearing was imposed on Jews by the regime of Nazi Germany. A gesture which aroused indignation, including from his fellow citizens, like Dani Dayan, the president of Yad Vashem: “We were sorry to see the members of the Israeli delegation to the UN wearing a yellow star. This act dishonors the victims of the Holocaust as well as the State of Israel,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

In December of the same year, Gilad Erdan displayed a sign at the UN podium with the name of Hamas number one Yahya Sinwar, as well as his alleged telephone number.

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