Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mandatory Nazi Party

In perhaps one of the more odd moments of pre-State Israeli historiography, a recent article in Haaretz has unveiled a collection of photos taken by the Palestinian Mandate Nazi Party, a small group-let of German immigrants who settled Palestine in the Mandatory era, probably to build on anti-British colonialist feelings at the time.
Indeed, Palestine was seen as a major point of collision between the Allies and the Central Powers during the First World War, the entire war had been caused by British rejection of German inroads into the petroleum trade with the Ottoman Empire.  This anti-Anglo sentiment was not exclusively European or Arab, many German Jews had fought in the War and still hoped for a Germany that would be able to stand as an equal to the Colonial powers.  However, the Balfour Declaration and pro-Zionist policies in Parliament turned the European immigrants to Palestine towards Anglo-French dominance in the region.  As a result, the Germans, utilizing the powerful vocabulary of Lenin's resolution to the National Question, actively courted the Arab population of Palestine in the name of halting the influx of Zionist settlers.  Of course, by accepting this aid, the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem forever tainted his character by association with Nazism, and in this respect history books themselves, especially those written by historians like Benny Morris, continue to mis-represent the roots of the conflict as an extension of the Nazi-Judaism confrontation, despite the fact Hitler had been dead for three years and Nazism crushed by 1948.


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