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US Congress 1947: Arab Higher Committee, Mufti & assoc. Crimes

Reader comment on item: The Year the Arabs Discovered Palestine [Long version]

Submitted by Sally (United States), Jul 31, 2020 at 01:59

Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the ... Volume 93, Part 11, United States Congress, 1947, pp.2819-2821

The Leaders of the So-Called Arab Higher Committee Should Be on Trial at Nuremberg, Not Accredited to the United Nations



Mr. Speaker, the decent people of America learned with horror a few weeks ago that the so-called Higher Arab Committee, headed by the notorious collaborator with the Nazis, Haj Amin El-Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem, has been accredited to the United Nations Assembly,

I would have thought the Mufti's blood-stained record is known to all. I have in my own files a copy of a carefully documented statement showing his war record of active collaboration with the Axis, which was presented to our State Department more than a year ago his sins Forgiven.

It now appears, however, that not only will the Mufti not face trial for his war crimes in company with his accomplices in international crime and race murder, but that he is to be welcomed back into the family of nations, his sins forgotten and forgiven. The Mufti was one of those who enthusiastically... horrible Hitler plan for killing off all Jewish people.

But, fortunately for world morality, not everyone has forgotten. I have received, and I believe that every Member has received, a copy of a brilliant study of the Arab Higher Committee and of the self-appointed Arab spokesmen, and the Mufti, prepared by the Nation Associates, thoroughly documented, and presented briefly and concisely.

Under permission to extend my remarks, I now insert in the RECORD the first nine pages of this document, and urge Members to look at their own copy and see there the reproduction of photo graphs of the Mufti with Hitler, with Himmler, with his storm troops, and copies of official Nazi documents proving the Mufti's blood guilt:


The Political Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations decided on May 7, 1947, without a dissenting vote, to invite the Arab Higher Committee to testify before it on the Palestine question.
The invitation was extended after an as surance from the delegation of the United Kingdom that the Arab Higher Committee represents a considerable portion of the Arab population of Palestine. Moreover, a special sitting of the General Assembly was convened, under pressure of the Arab states, in order to issue the invitation in a form which would invest the Arab Higher Committee with the same diplomatic status as the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the internationally recognized representative of the Jewish people.

It is important, in view of the extraordinary emphasis placed on the testimony of the Arab Higher Committee, to examine its origin, its membership, its leadership and its purpose.


The Arab Higher Committee of Palestine is a creature of the Arab League comprising Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

The head of the Arab Higher Committee is the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, a full partner of the Axis before and during World War II, and an escaped prisoner of war who has found asylum in the Palace of the King of Egypt.

The Arab Higher Committee, representing the six Arab parties of Palestine, came into existence in 1936. A year later it was established that the Mufti and his associates in the Arab Higher Committee were responsible for the 1936 riots which took a toll of hundreds of British. Jewish, and Arab lives. Accordingly, the Palestine Government in 1937 declared the committee illegal and ordered it disbanded. Some of its members were arrested and sent to Seychelles.
Others, including its chairman, the Mufti of Jerusalem escaped to Syria, whence they continued to direct Arab operations. During his exile in Syria, the Mufti even succeeded in liquidating most of the Arab leaders of Palestine who opposed him and his policies.

Until 1943, the Arab Higher Committee had no formal existence. The Mufti, in the interval, had moved from Syria to Iraq, where he organized the revolt against the British in 1941. When that failed, he fled to Germany and there played his role as Axis ally in the war against the United Nations.
In 1943, a number of prominent Pales tinian Arabs made an effort to establish an Arab Higher Committee but were prevented from achieving their purpose by followers of the Mufti who had remained in Palestine during the war and who feared that, in the absence of the Mufti, the new body would oust them from leadership.
In 1944, however, the effort to establish an Arab Higher Committee was given stim ulus when the Arab states, under British incentive, began to form what has now be come known as the Arab League. In Sep tember of that year, political leaders from neighboring Arab countries came to Palestine to urge Palestinian Arabs to agree among themselves on the composition of an Arab Higher Committee. These attempts again met with failure, due in every instance to the opposition of the followers of the Mufti who were hopefully awaiting his return from Germany and his resumption of leadership.
A temporary truce was established in 1944 when Musa el Alami, a mild supporter of the Mufti, was recognized by the Arab League as the sole representative of Palestinian Arabs, pending the formation of a Palestine Arab Higher Committee.

A few months after VE-day, when the Husseini family, to their great astonishment, found that the British were reluctant to try the Mufti as a war criminal, they were em boldened openly to demand the return of the Mufti and his aides to Palestine. In this they were joined by the Arab states and the Arab League.

In November 1945, the Foreign Minister of Syria, Jamil Mardam, headed an Arab del egation to Palestine, the sole purpose of which was to solve the problem of setting up an Arab Higher Committee. The Husseini family finally agreed to the establishment of an Arab Higher Committee on the promise that the Arab League would induce the British to release Jamal Husseini, nephew of the Muſti, from his internment in Rhodesia as a pro-Axis leader.

Assurance was also given to them that the chairman ship of the Arab Higher Committee would be held open for the Mufti on his return, and that the vice chairmanship would be assigned to Jamal Husseini. When most of the seats had also been assigned to the Husseini family, the Arab Higher Committee was established.

Leaders of the other Palestine Arab parties attacked the formation of the committee on the ground that it was unrepresentative. The Arab press demanded the holding of elections. No notice, however, was taken of these objections. Soon after its formation, however, the committee was boycotted even by some of its own members and was again dissolved.

In February 1946, Jamal Husseini was re leased by the British and permitted to return to Palestine. He immediately reestablished the Arab Higher Committee and enlarged it to include some 29 members. But two-thirds of the membership was assigned to the Mufti's representatives or supporters of his policies. Again this action was opposed by the leaders of the five other Palestine Arab parties. Ten members of the Arab Higher Committee split with it and formed another group known as the Arab Higher Front, leaving the Arab Higher Committee to the exclusive possession of the Husseini family.

In June of 1946, the Mufti escaped from his forced residence in Paris and reached Egypt. The Arab League, meeting then in Bludan, Syria, entered into negotiations with the Mufti and, soon thereafter, took things into its own hands and appointed the present membership of the Arab Higher Committee, establishing the Mufti as chairman; his nephew, Jamal Husseini, as vice chairman;
Dr. Hussein Khalidi as secretary general; and Emil Ghouri and Ahmad Hilmi as members.


The Arab League was established in February of 1945 and its principal function to date has been to demand the independence of Palestine and the ending of Jewish immigration, and in general, to prevent the implementation of the Palestine Mandate.

In 1945, the member states of the Arab League adopted the following resolution on Palestine: "At the end of the last war, Palestine, like the other Arab states detached from the Ottoman Empire, was liberated from Ottoman domination. Having become autonomous, she was no longer dependent on any other state.

"The Treaty of Lausanne proclaimed that her fate would be settled by the interested parties. But if Palestine has not been able to order her own destiny, it is nevertheless true that it is on the basis of the recognition of her independence that the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1919 settled her status. "Her international existence and independ ence therefore cannot de jure be questioned any more than can the independence of any other Arab country. "If, for reasons beyond her will, her independence has failed to materialize, this circumstance cannot constitute an obstacle to the participation of Palestine in the work of the council of the League.
"The State signatories of the present Covenant consider that, under these conditions and by reason of the special circumstances involving Palestine, until that country can exercise all the effective attributes of her in dependence, it behooves the Council of the League to designate an Arab representative from Palestine who will participate in its Work." The existence of the Arab League was officially registered at the organizing conference of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.
The League was the culmination of more than 4 years of effort which had been encouraged by Anthony Eden, then Foreign Secretary of Great Britain.


Since the opening of the Extraordinary Session of the United Nations on Palestine, all pretenses have been dropped as to the role of the Mufti of Jerusalem as Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee and the man who gives it orders.

The titular recognition accorded the Mufti is further strengthened by the list of delegates named by the Arab Higher Committee to represent it before the Political Committee of the United Nations. In a message addressed to the Secretary General on May 4, 1947, from Cairo, the headquarters of the Mufti, Hussein Khalidi presented the following names: Emil Ghouri, Rajai Husseini, Henry Katan, Wasef Kamal, Isa Nakhleh, Rasem Khalidi.

Of this list, Emil Ghouri alone is a member of the Arab Higher Committee. Of the five other members, one is a cousin of the Mufti, and two—Wasef Kamal and Rasem Khalidi–are notorious for their long-time association with the Mufti in his Axis activities.


Haj Amin el-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem

Haj Amin el-Husseini has a long-time record of complicity with terrorism. Responsible for the Arab riots in Palestine in 1920, he fled to Transjordan to escape a 10-year sentence of imprisonment, returning only after complete amnesty had been granted.

In 1922, he became the Mufti of Jerusalem and later the President of the Supreme Moslem Council, during which period he had at his disposal more than 100,000 pounds a year.

The Shaw Commission, appointed by the British Government to investigate the 1929 riots, attributed to the Mufti a share in the responsibility for these riots, in which 133 Jews were killed and 239 wounded. No action was taken to curb his activities, with the result that in 1936 he again was responsible for new attacks upon the Jews of Palestine. At the same time, he caused the assassination of hundreds of prominent Arabs, including 24 leading Palestine Arabs who refused to accept his leadership.

The captured files of the German High Command in Flansburg at the war's end reveal that the Arab riots of 1936 in Palestine were carried out by the Mufti with funds supplied by the Nazis. The report states: "Only through funds made available by Germany to the Grand Mufti, of Jerusalem, was it possible to carry out the revolt in Palestine."

Following his escape from Palestine to Syria and later to Iraq, he and his henchmen were directly responsible for the anti Jewish pogrom in which almost 400 Jewish men, women and children were stabbed or brutally clubbed to death in the streets of Bagdad. An investigating committee appointed by the legitimate Iraq Government, following its restoration after the revolt in 1941, declared that the causes of the disturbance, "are, in the opinion of the investigating committee, Nazi propaganda emanating from the following sources:
(1) the German League; (2) the Mufti of Jerusalem and his henchmen who followed him to Iraq. This man was accorded enthusiastic reception in Iraq and has turned it to his own use to disseminate many-sided Nazi propaganda. His influence on government and army circles became so strong that he could give orders to his group to set to work to spread anti-Jewish and anti-British propaganda among all classes of the population."

In Iraq the Mufti's first undertaking was to organize the Iraqi revolt with Jemal el Husseini, now vice chairman of the Arab Higher Committee, as his chief of staff.
After the failure of the Iraqi revolt, the Mufti escaped to Tehran and found refuge in the Japanese embassy. From there he escaped to Italy. In October of 1941, he conferred with Mussolini, Ciano, and Dino Alfieri.

From Rome he communicated with Balkan Moslems under Italian rule in Yugoslavia and Albania. In November 1941, he went to Berlin. The Nazis established a special office for him in Berlin entitled, "Buro des Grosmufti," with branches organized later in other parts of Germany and Italy. His activities included propaganda, espionage, organization of Moslem military units in Axis-occupied countries and in north Africa and russia, establish ment of Arab legions, of an Arab brigade and organization of fifth-column activities in the Middle East, including sabotage and parachutist expeditions.

In the course of his propaganda work, the Grand Mufti had at his disposal not only the German-controlled radio, but radio sta tions in Bari, Rome, Tokyo, and Athens. In addition, he was responsible for sending to the Middle East various propaganda publications in Arabic.

His espionage service extended throughout the Middle East. He had a Suboffice in Geneva linking him to Egypt and Turkey, and another in Istanbul, branching out all along the Syrian-Turkish frontier in Mersine, Alex andretta, Antioch, Adana, and Diarbekr.

These stations received information directly from the Mufti's agents in Palestine, Syria, and Iraq, and maintained close contact with members of the German Intelligence in Turkey.

In Athens the Mufti established a para chutist and sabotage school for Arabs. In The Hague, under his direction, Arab Students Were trained in Wireless trans mission, high explosives, and demolitions.
The Mufti's agents were parachuted into Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. A number of them were caught by the British. On a number of occasions these agents, with the help of local Arabs, cut telephone and pipe lines in Transjordan and Palestine and sabotaged railways and bridges in Iraq.

Another of the Mufti's accomplishments was the organization of Moslem military units. He attempted to recruit for the German military command some 500,000 soldiers from Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. In Asiatic Russia, he collaborated with Moslem Russian Quislings and White Russian traitors whom he helped to form pro-Axis legions.

In 1942, he started to organize Axis Arab legions from among Arab students in Ger many and Arab prisoners of war who followed him to Germany. His legionnaires wore the German uniform with Free Arabia patches On their shoulders.

After the Jewish Brigade had been recognized by Winston Churchill in 1944, the Mufti, on November 2, with the consent of Ribbentrop, called upon all Arabs in Germany hailing from Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria to join the Arab Brigade.

Accepting a proposal of the Japanese that he broadcast to Moslems in the South Pacific and India, the Mufti recorded numerous broadcasts which were beamed to India, Indonesia, and Java.

On September 3, 1941, Maj. Gen. Erwin Lahousen, one of the top officials of the Abwehr, whose secret diary was among the captured German documents, wrote: "The Grand Mufti, who left Iraq to go to Iran, is currently in connection with the Abwehr II (sabotage division of the Abwehr). According to reports from Tehran he is safe with the Japanese envoy." A year later, on June 2, 1942, Lahousen wrote in his secret diary: "The Italian national, Captain Simen, took part in discussions with the Grand Mufti concerning the utilization of the connections with the Grand Mufti for the purpose of Abwehr II, in order to demonstrate the solidarity of the Axis Powers."

A month later, on July 13, 1942, Lahousen made the further entry in his secret diary: "A meeting between the chief of the Abwehr" (Admiral Canaris, who was also Hitler's representative in arranging for the Franco revolt against the Spanish Republican Government), and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem took place in the apartment of the chief. I (Lahousen) took part in the discussion. The Mufti made an offer to the chief that the followers of the Arabian Freedom Movement, which was led by him, as well as the followers of the former Iraq Prime Minister, Kailani(leader of the Iraqi revolt against Britain), were to be used for purposes of sabotage and sedition in the Near East in accordance with the purposes of Abwehr II."


Wasef Kamal, member of a well-known Nablus family and a teacher by profession, is notorious for his extremist propaganda among his students and for his association with the Istakiil Party during the disturbances in Palestine in and after 1936. He was a member of the National Committee in Nablus and played a role in the organization of the 1936 riots.

Arrested in that year, he soon escaped to Transjordan and later to Iraq. An ally of the Mufti, he played an important role in the Iraqi rebellion of 1941 against the British.

From Iraq, he escaped to Turkey. During the first part of the war he remained in Turkey as an agent of the German Secret Service from which he received a salary. In 1943 he went to Italy and Germany where he served as one of the closest collaborators of the Mufti. He returned to Syria in April 1946.

He was one of the few Arab leaders excluded from the amnesty of November 1946, because he is regarded as dangerous.

In April 1947, Wasef Kamal was appointed by the Arab Higher Committee as a member of a propaganda delegation to the United States. Having arrived in this country, he is in attendance at the sessions of the United Nations.


Rasem Khalidi, member of a well-known Jerusalem family and a former Palestine Government official, has been one of the closest collaborators of the Husseini family, and particularly of the Mufti.

In 1936. at the outbreak of the Axis-sponsored Palestinian Arab uprisings, he was a member of the most intimate inner circle of Haj Amin el-Husseini.

In 1937, after the dissolution of the Arab Higher Committee, he was a member of an underground committee which directed Arab terrorism in Palestine. After his arrest in 1938, he fled to Syria and then to Iraq, where he joined the Mufti in organizing the Iraqi rebellion of 1941. After its failure he fled to Ankara and thence to Italy and Germany.

In the midst of the war, in 1943, he served as an announcer on the Axis-Arabic radio station in Athens. Since 1944 he has been a member of the Mufti's personal entou rage, first in Berlin and later in Paris.

In July 1945, he returned to Egypt and in November 1946 was included in the Palestine Government's amnesty. Although permitted to return. to Palestine, he preferred to remain in Egypt. Most recently, the United States Consul refused to grant him a visa to the United States because of his activities in Nazi Germany.


Emil Ghouri, a member of the Arab Higher Committee, has long been active in extremist politics in Palestine. After the dissolution of the Arab Higher Committee in 1937, he was exiled and moved to Egypt and Iraq.

In Iraq, he worked with the Mufti as a member of his Foreign Relations Committee in charge of propaganda. A report of the British General Service of Intelligence, on December 1, 1941, listed Emil Ghouri as one of a group "who are responsible for propaganda, intrigue, and subversive activities in side and outside Iraq."

Ghouri was permitted to return to Pales tine in 1941 on condition that he would not engage in politics. This condition, however, has not been met. He has been a member of each of the three Arab Higher committees named since 1941, and is the political editor of the Husseini daily, Al Wahda. He is the organizer and political leader of the underground Arab army, and is alleged to be one of those responsible for internal terror against Arab opponents of the Mufti and Arabs who sell land to the Jews.
He advocates that all Jews who came to Palestine since 1918 be regarded as for eigners and be deprived of rights in an independent Arab Palestine.


Jamal Husseini, nephew of the Mufti and for many years his right-hand man, has been the head of the Palestine Arab party, the Mufti's party, since 1935. He was the

closest assistant of the Mufti in organizing the 1936–39 Arab rebellion. In 1939 he joined the Mufti in Bagdad and organized the pro-Axis fifth column in Iraq which culminated in the Iraqi rebellion.

He fled from Bagdad en route to Tehran, but was captured there by the British before he could make good his escape. He was placed in internment in Rhodesia as a dangerous pro-Axis leader. There he spent 4 years until he was finally released in February 1946 and allowed to return to Palestine owing to the pressure of the Arab League.

Five months ago, in January 1947, at the Mufti's request, three of his aides in the Axis adventure were added to the Arab Higher Committee. These were Izzat Dar waza, Is'haq Darwish, and Muin el Madi. The latter was the head of the Mufti's espionage onice in Turkey, while the former two operated in Germany and Athens.
Today, unquestionably the center of activity of the Arab Higher Committee is in Cairo, with the Mufti playing a game which he hopes will bring about his recognition by the Arab states as the Palestine Arab government-in exile.

The extent of the alliance of the Mufti and his aides with the Axis is presented in the following pages in photographs and photo static copies of documents found among the papers of the Mufti in his villas and offices in Germany at the war's end, and among the official papers of the Nazi government.

Most, if not all, of these documents are now in the possession of the State Department of the United States.

The record shows that the chairman of the Arab Higher Committee and his principal representatives were involved in an active partnership with Rome and Tokyo, with the Moslem quislings of the Balkans and the Soviet Union, with Axis representatives in the Middle East, and with Vichyites in the French territories of north Africa.

The documents prove, moreover, that due to the insistence of the Mufti, the exterination program of the Nazis was carried out even in those satellite countries which were willing to permit the rescue of the Jews.

It is to these men, whose acts establish their place among the worst of the Axis war criminals, that the United Nations has accorded the honor of appearing in behalf of the Arabs of Palestine.


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