JIHAD AND JEW-HATRED: ISLAMISM, NAZISM AND THE ROOTS OF 9/11
By Matthias Kuntzel
Telos Press Publishing, $29.95, 180 pages
REVIEWED BY MARTIN RUBIN
This brief but important book begins with an all too familiar image: “[T]he skyscrapers turning into huge burning torches and falling hither and thither, and the reflection of the disintegrating city in the dark sky.” The skyscrapers are Manhattan’s, but it is not September 11, 2001. Adolf Hitler is salivating over his plan to use suicide bombers to attack the United States, as reported by Albert Speer, who confided to his diaries that:
“In the latter stages of the war, I never saw Hitler so beside himself as when, as if in a delirium, he was picturing to himself and to us the downfall of New York in towers of flame.”
As German historian Matthias Kuntzel tells us, the fuhrer was planning such an attack: “Not only Hitler’s fantasy but also his plan for realising it, recall what happened in 2001: the idea was for Kamikaze pilots to fly explosive-crammed light aircarft lacking landing gear into the Manhattan skyscrapers.
“The drawings for the Daimler-Benz “Amerikabomber” from spring 1944 actually exist … The rapture into which Hitler was plunged by the thought of Manhattan in flames indicates the motive behind this fantasy. Hitler did not merely wish to fight a military adversary. He wanted to kill Jews to liberate mankind.”
The thrust of Mr. Kunzel’s impassioned, white-hot book is that the Nazis deliberately passed along this intended mission to the Islamic community, using the bitter opposition of Islamic extremists to Zionism and the presence in Berlin during World War II of the influential Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin-el Husseini:
“A biography of the Mufti published in Berlin in 1943 makes plain the ideological affinities between National Socialism and Islamism from the German point of view. The very existence of this book is remarkable, since it shows that not only was the Mufti enamoured of the Germans, but that the Germans reciprocated the sentiment. Still more instructive, however, is the admiration the author displays for the efforts of the Mufti’s gangs to impose Islamic social conformity in the 1937-39 period.”
The years to which Mr. Kuntzel refers are the time of the Arab Revolt in British Mandated Palestine, aimed at blocking further Jewish emigration there. He shows that this effort, which ultimately blocked the Peel Commission plan for partition of Palestine into a small Jewish, and larger Arab, state, was deliberately financed and backed from Berlin.
Following the withdrawal of the Peel plan, the British White Paper of 1939 effectively promised to close off Jewish settlement in Palestine without Arab consent after five years. Thus, even before the World War II broke out, the Nazis had achieved a significant policy aim in Britain’s backyard.
But what animates Mr. Kuntzel’s understandable fury is that although Nazi ideology was stamped out in Europe after 1945, it has continued to work its poisonous mission in the Muslim world. He cites Nazi influence on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which transformed that nation from one where Jews were respected and influential to one where they had no place.
And, in a break with the traditional Muslim attitude towards Jews of inequality but relative tolerance, he cites example after example of vile libels against Jews which would not be out of place in the infamous Nazi paper “Der Sturmer”:
“This tsunami of madness is only indirectly connected to the anti-Jewish passages in the core Islamic texts … Hostility to the Jews was connected to the abasement … Now, as ‘rulers of the world,’ they are deemed responsible for all misfortunes, and this leaves only one way out: to save the world by eradicating them.
“The extermination of Jewry throughout the world,” declared aq Nazi directive from 1943, is “the precondition for an enduring peace.”
The dots are not hard to connect, and Mr. Kuntzel draws a clear line from Nazi Berlin to September 11. He is almost as outraged by the indifference of Western societies to the transfer of this poisonous ideology as he is to the phenomenon itself.
And he points with despair and anguish at everything from the Allies’ refusal to punish the Mufti and worse yet letting him return to the Middle East to recent efforts by European governments to quash condemnation of such race hatred outside their continent. He cites German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in 2004 “arguing that antisemitism was a European problem, ‘not one for other countries and cultures.’ ”
If there is any comfort to be gained from this book, it is in its author’s righteous indignation , informed as it is by what he has learned from his own nation’s ability to reject and try to atone for its terrible past. And he ends with a stirring question:
“If we do not challenge the ideological roots of Islamism, it will be impossible to confront the Muslim world with the real alternative: will it choose an orientation towards life or towards death? Will it stand up for the individual and social self-determination or submit to the programme of uniformity of a death-obsessed clique of Mullahs and its integral Jew-hatred?”
Martin Rubin is a writer and critic in Pasadena, Calif.