By Brent Scher
The Washington Free Beacon
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken flack for his comments this week that overstated the influence that Haj Amin al-Husseini had on Adolf Hitler, but a leading historian says that al-Husseini nevertheless played a key role in Hitler’s plans outside of Europe.
Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz’s [and Barry Rubin’s] book on Hitler’s relationship with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is being credited as the source of Netanyahu’s belief that it was al-Husseini who convinced Hitler to exterminate the Jews rather than deport them from Europe.
Schwanitz, a scholar at the Middle East Forum, says that Netanyahu “exaggerated” his claim but insists that the broader argument that there has been a “long-standing incitement of people against Jews” emanating from the Middle East since the 1920s is “certainly correct”….
*Prof. Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz is a Visiting Professor at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a leading historian of the Middle East. A native of East Germany, he was raised in Egypt. He holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from Leipzig University, German. He has taught at several German and American universities. He was head of Middle Eastern history at the Academy of Science in Berlin, where he also worked at the Max Planck Society’s Orient Center. He has been a visiting fellow at the French Center in Cairo, Princeton University, and the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. The has authored and edited numerous books, in addition to over 150 scholarly articles on modern Middle Eastern history and international relations. He was a researcher and lecturer of Arabic, world history, and Middle Eastern history at Burlington County College in Pemberton, New Jersey, and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum of Philadelphia.