Following mufti comment, US urges Netanyahu to end ‘inflammatory rhetoric’

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The White House warned Benjamin Netanyahu against “inflammatory rhetoric” after the Israeli prime minister claimed a Palestinian religious leader provoked the Holocaust.

Responding to Netanyahu’s controversial claim Tuesday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz on Thursday said, “I don’t think there’s any doubt here at the White House who is responsible for the Holocaust that killed six million Jews,” the news agency AFP reported. Schultz added that the White House stresses “the importance of preventing inflammatory rhetoric, accusations or actions on both sides (that) can feed the violence.” He added: “We believe that inflammatory rhetoric needs to stop.”

Netanyahu on Tuesday suggested Hitler was not planning to exterminate the Jews until he met Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian nationalist, in 1941.

READ: Who was Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini?


Netanyahu’s comments were widely criticized, with Palestinian leaders and the Israeli opposition accusing him of distorting the past, while historians called them inaccurate.

The White House reaction comes after Secretary of State John Kerry met Netanyahu in Berlin and urged Palestinians and Israelis to halt all incitement.

Netanyahu later said he did not mean to imply that Hitler and Nazi Germany were not responsible for the Holocaust.

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