Mufti of Jerusalem (1893 – 1974)

Haj Amin Al Husseini was appointed Mufti, and then designated the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by Sir Herbert Samuel, the first Jewish British High Commissioner of Palestine in 1920. He became the leader of the Palestinian Arab community, wielding wide-spread influence in the region. A national extremist, he instigated the early terror attacks on Jews until in 1936 he was banned from Palestine. In 1943, from his exile in Rome, he urged the Hungarian government to stop immigration of Jews to Palestine through Romania and Black Sea ports and rather deport them to Poland. He became a regular in Hitler’s court, where he tirelessly urged the annihilation of the ‘Jewish Scourge.’ A personal friend and advisor to Eichmann he urged him on to greater effort of eliminating Jews. He organized Bosnian Moslems into two SS divisions, known for their ferocity and brutality against Jews and other non-Moslem minorities in Yugoslavia. He petitioned Hitler for two more additional divisions which he envisioned would follow Rommel upon the conquest of Palestine by the Germans. His importance and influence waned after the defeat of the Arab armies by Israel in 1948. He died in Cairo in 1974, aged eighty-one.

 

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