Netanyahu Holocaust comment: ‘Obviously not a mistake’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused former Palestinian leader Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin Al-Husseini of being partly guilty for the holocaust.
RT: How do you view this statement from Netanyahu, and why would he choose to bring up such an emotive issue?
Robert Naiman: I can’t say it’s surprising. It is obviously not a mistake. Netanyahu who has history of making extremely inflammatory statements…he knew perfectly well what he was doing. What is particularly shocking is that people expect different behavior from government officials, but Netanyahu doesn’t conform to those standards. I think at this point Netanyahu’s behavior in this regard is so well established that we should look away from Netanyahu to the Western governments that are supporting Netanyahu – the US government first of all, but also the Western European governments, and ask them what they are going to do about this.
RT: The US State Department said that Netanyahu’s statement was not supported by scholarly evidence. Washington hasn’t condemned him though. What do you make of such reaction from?
RN: Netanyahu made inflammatory comments around the time of the Israeli election both in his walking away from the two-state solution and in his inflammatory comments about Arab voters – citizens of Israel. The US didn’t shy away from speaking up. So this is a choice again by the US ….
In the past they’ve specifically criticized inflammatory statements by the Israeli government as they’ve specifically criticized inflammatory statements by Palestinian leaders. They don’t have any shyness about doing that... This is off the charts. As I said this is reputation for Netanyahu. So I think that people draw the conclusion when the US is so weak in response that the US is enabling. .. I think the same is also true for the Western European governments. And we should [bring] all those governments to account.
We’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of the assassination of [Yitzhak] Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister. When the peace crowd in Rabin Square heard that Robin had been assassinated – they started chanting “Bibi – murderer!” because they held Netanyahu responsible for the incitement against Rabin on the Israeli right, that proceeded the Rabin assassination. So this is a 20-year history with Netanyahu and it continues because North American [and] Western European governments enable Netanyahu.
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