The Knife Intifada has demonstrated, once again, that the core conflict between Israel and Palestinians is not over final borders or “the occupation” of Judea and Samaria by Israel.

As Prof. Miriam Elman has pointed out at Legal Insurrection, What Do Palestinians Really Want? New Study Reveals Disturbing Answers, Palestinians hold deeply anti-Jewish views and do not accept the legitimacy of any Jewish national entity.

Those findings are consistent with some inconvenient history: The Grand Mufti, Hitler and the “Knife Intifada.”

[Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler (December 1941)] Der Führer empfing in Gegenwart des Reichsministers des Auswärtigen von Ribbentrop den Grossmufti von Palästina, Sayid Amin al Husseini, zu einer herzlichen und für die Zukunft der arabischen Länder bedeutungsvollen Unterredung. 9.12.41  Presse Hoffmann

[Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler (December 1941)]

So it was of great interest for me to read An interview with Benny Morris by Prof. Gabriel Noah Brahm at Fathom Journal.  Morris is the “controversial” Israeli historian who first pissed off the “right wing” by questioning some of the foundational beliefs as to how Israel came into being, and then equally pissing off the left by focusing on the role of anti-Jewish hate in the Arab opposition to the creation of Israel.

Morris’ views were explaind in the Middle East Forum in this interview in 2010 Benny Morris: “The 1948 War Was an Islamic Holy War” (emphasis added):

Morris: What I discovered in the documentation relating to the war, at least from the Arab side, was that the war had a religious character, that the central element in the war was an imperative to launch jihad. There were other imperatives of course, political and others—but the most important from the enemy’s perspective was the element of the infidels who had the nerve to take control over sacred Muslim lands and the need to uproot them from there. The decisive majority in the Arab world saw the war first and foremost as a holy war, but until today historians have not examined the documentation that proves this. In my view, they have also ignored Arab rhetoric of the day, which universally included religious hatred against the Jews, because they thought the Arabs adopted this as normal speech that did not emanate from deep mental resources. They thought this was something superficial, that everyone talked like this. But I am positive the Arab spokesmen in 1948 did go beyond this and clearly and explicitly talked about jihad.

In the Fathom interview, Morris revisited the role of Islame in the current opposition to Israel in the modern era (emphasis added):

GNB: In your view, was the Palestinian rejection of Israel always rooted in Islamism? Was 1948 a jihad?

BM: One of the things I understood from my work in the 1990s, and later, is that Islam plays a major role in the hatred of the Zionist movement by Arabs in the Middle East and in Palestine. It’s not just a political matter of territory; it’s also a matter of religion and culture which opposes the arrival of the infidel and his taking of Muslim holy land.

Sometimes Palestinian rejectionism is more political in nature, while at other times, such as now, Islam playsa major role in Palestinian thinking about the conflict with Israel and the Zionist movement. In 1929 the big riots were all about the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall and how these holy places are being threatened by the ‘infidel Jews’. We’re in one of those times again, partly because the entire Islamic world has radicalized, including the Palestinians. When I was young you could walk in the streets of East Jerusalem and you never see veiled women. Never. So the Muslim Arabs of Palestine have changed over the last 40 years and this is a reflection of what has happened in the Muslim Arab world in general.

You can’t avoid the conclusion that Islam is playing a major role in what’s happening….

Occasionally Israel captured would-be suicide bombers whose vest didn’t work or who were weak-willed and didn’t blow themselves up. Some were from the Fatah, which had began to copy Hamas and send out suicide bombers. When they interrogated the Fatah ‘secular’ suicide bombers, they found that their motivation was exactly the same as the Hamas suicide bombers: religion, the 70 virgins and paradise, and all the rest of it. The secularism of the Fatah is not that deep. It’s maybe a varnish…

Morris also opined on the reason peace has not been achieved.

It’s not actually that complicated, and it’s the same point reflected in the research set forth in Prof. Elman’s post and in dozens if not hundreds of posts at Legal Insurrection over the past several years: The Palestinians don’t accept the existence of Israel (emphasis added):

BM: ….Politically, the thing which has changed for me (and you can see that in my journalism), is my view of the Palestinians and their readiness to make peace with the Israelis. This is the crux. I would say that in the 1990s, while I was not persuaded by Arafat — the man was always a vicious terrorist and a liar— I thought maybe he is changing his approach because he now accepts the realities of power and what is possible.

But when it came to the crunch, when he was offered a two-state solution in 2000 by Barak, and then got an even better offer from Clinton at the end of 2000, Arafat said ‘no’. And I think this was the defining moment for me. He was simply unable to reach a compromise with Israelis.

GNB: And that affected you how, exactly?

BM: From that point on I lost a lot of sympathy for the Palestinians — which I had had before — and I came to understand that they are not willing to reach a two-state solution. And then there was Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection in 2008 of the Ehud Olmert proposals, which were fairly similar to the Clinton proposals of December 2000. Abbas was offered a state with 95 to 96 per cent of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and he too said ‘no’.

I understood that it wasn’t really a question of a bit of territory here or there—it was a matter of the Palestinians non-acceptance of the legitimacy of the Jewish state. That was what lay behind Abbas’s inability to accept any Jewish state next to a Palestinian state. This is really what it has always been about: for Arafat, for Abbas, and before them for [Haj Amin] al-Husseini in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Knife Intifada and the open expressions of Jew hate are just a continuation of this never-ending Jihad against the Jews, in Israel and almost everywhere opposition to the existence of Israel is publicly displayed:

Copenhagen Woman Heil Hitler w caption

The “Hitler 2 Store” (seriously) in Gaza is receiving attention for it mannequins holding knives: (emphasis added):

The current wave of violence has been often fueled by incitement in the form of writing or visuals that are floating on Palestinian social media. This store has gained much of its fame from its Facebook page where pictures of the mannequins are on display.

“I saw an advertisement on Facebook so I wanted to pass by the shop because of the knife, the koufeyeh and the mask are now symbols for intifada of Al-Aqsa. I want to buy from this shop I like the idea as it is supporting our people in Jerusalem and the West Bank, I like the idea,” added 20 year old Immad Mharib.

The name ‘Hitler 2’ has also attracted attention, which seems to raise the number of visitors to the clothing store.

“The name of the shop is ‘Hitler’ and I like him because he was the the most anti Jewish person. They have done us wrong, they took our rights in this land and they left us with nothing. It is better for us now to go and die, we are living like the dead. I like the clothes and the name, it is fantastic,” said 20 year old Hijaz Abu Shanab.

The Knife Intifada hasn’t changed anything.

But it has clarified a lot.


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