New Republic Editor in Twitter War Over Refusal to Condemn Abbas’s Glorification of Mufti
A Twitter feud erupted on Thursday between a Jewish writer and a senior editor at The New Republic, who refused to condemn Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for praising the Nazi-supporting Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.
New Republic editor Jeet Heer had published an essay on Wednesday accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “dangerous historical revisionism,” in connection with his recent comments about the Mufti’s involvement in the Holocaust. Netanyahu was lambasted for saying that al-Husseini had persuaded Adolf Hitler to exterminate, rather than expel, the Jews of Europe.
On Thursday, novelist David Sachs took to Twitter to ask Heer when he would similarly criticize Abbas, who called the Mufti his “hero” in 2013.
“When do we get your thoughts on the safe and cute promotion of the Nazi-supporting Mufti as a hero by Abbas?” Sachs asked Heer, before adding, “You seem strangely determined to draw attention anywhere except Abbas’ promotion of the Nazi Mufti.”
Heer responded by citing a statement from Abbas denouncing the Holocaust. However, the rebuttal didn’t suffice for Sachs, who continued pushing Heer to criticize Abbas.
Heer continued to defend himself against Sachs’ accusations, but failed to directly mention, or condemn, Abbas’ canonization of the Mufti.
At one point, he told Sachs he finds his question “baffling since Abbas is [a] person with no power.”
After much back-and-forth with Heer, Sachs sarcastically tweeted that perhaps Abbas’ “Nazi-promotion” and the current Mufti’s call for the death of Jews, are “not worth mentioning.” Pressing Heer one last time, he wrote, “Is it really so hard to say ‘Abbas’ promotion of the Nazi Mufti is dangerous’? Would it have been irrelevant to yesterday’s frenzy?”