In his 2004 book The Return of Anti-Semitism, Gabriel Schoenfeld declared that "the ancient and modern strands of anti-Semitism" have been "successfully fused today" in the Muslim world, "and from there the hatred of Jews receives its main propulsion outward." In the 2003 Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, Abraham Foxman added, "Virulent anti-Semitism is widespread throughout the Arab Middle East.... Anti-Semitism is tolerated or openly endorsed by Arab governments, disseminated by the Arab media, taught in [Muslim] schools and universities, and preached in mosques. No segment of [Islamic] society is free of its taint." And in the 1999 Semites and Anti-Semites, Bernard Lewis concluded, "Classical anti-Semitism is an essential part of Arab intellectual life at the present time."
It is possible to trace modern Islamic anti-Semitism back along a number of different historical and intellectual threads, but, no matter which one you choose, they all seem to pass, at one point or another, through the hands of one figure--Hitler's mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the viciously anti-Semitic grand mufti of Jerusalem and the leader of Muslim fundamentalists in Palestine, who resided in Berlin as a welcome guest of the Nazis throughout the years of the Holocaust.
The child of a wealthy and influential Palestinian Arab family, al-Husseini was born in Jerusalem in 1893. Living in Jerusalem during the 1920s, he quickly emerged as the recognized leader of the Arabs under the British government in Palestine. From his earliest years, Kenneth R. Timmerman recently noted, al-Husseini was "a ferocious opponent of Jewish immigration to Palestine," with an unrelenting hatred of the Jews and the British. His career as an anti-Semitic agitator and terrorist began on April 4, 1920, when he and his followers went on a murderous rampage, attacking Jews on the street and looting Jewish stores. He was subsequently convicted by a military tribunal of inciting the anti-Semitic violence that had resulted in the killing of five Jews and the wounding of 211 others.
Sadly, the British--recognizing his status among the Palestinians--disregarded his record and appointed him to the prestigious post of grand mufti of Jerusalem in 1922, which made him both the religious and political leader of the Palestinian Arabs. Only two months after his appointment, his propaganda, including a new translation into Arabic of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, precipitated a second anti-Jewish riot in Palestine. On August 23, 1929, al-Husseini led a massacre of sixty Jews in Hebron and another forty-five in Safad.
Then, in the early 1930s, al-Husseini began to make...