On the Hitler-Loving-Mufti Photo

Seth Lipsky thinks it's actually a good thing that Avigdor Lieberman is encouraging Israeli government officials to circulate a picture of Haj Amin el-Husseini, the late mufti of Jerusalem, palling around with Hitler in 1941. Lipsky laments that Lieberman's decision was greeted with ridicule inside Israel's own foreign ministry -- and by me, by the way -- but then cites a piece I wrote in 2008 to make a semi-reasonable sound argument that the mufti's ties to Nazi Germany actually had a pretty significant impact on the rampant anti-Semitism seen around the world today. It is true that the Mufti was a terrible genocidal Nazi; it's also true, however, that he's dead. In the interest of encouraging Palestinian moderates -- the sort of people who scare Lieberman the most -- I think it's not overly useful to equate the Palestinians of today with their long-gone leader.