The Daily Compass


Dean Acheson's Promise


Recent reports from Damascus inform us of a secret agreement between the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and the Syrian dictator Zayim.

On Aug. 28, 1946, Dean Acheson, then Undersecretary and Acting Secretary of State, announced that the State Dept. was preparing a White Paper on the activities of the ex-Mufti, comprised of documents seized in Germany by the Allied armies. The White Paper was not published. Mr. Acheson stepped out of the State Dept.; others there remained silent as to the promise of the ex-Secretary and obviously disavowed it. During the war in Palestine, State Dept. officials would not publishe the documents concerning the ex-Mufti; this failure to act was not explained.

It is now several months since Mr. Acheson has been back in the State Dept., this time as Secretary of State. Now, to fulfill the promise he made when Undersecretary, he does not need the consent of a superior in the department—he is the chief. He is therefore respectfully requested to release, as promised by him almost three years ago, a full account of the documents concerning the ex-Mufti seized in Germany.

If these documents prove that the ex-Mufti is a war criminal and a criminal against humanity, then holding them back casts a shadow on the silken curtain.

If a person must be tried at the place where he committed the crime the ex-Mufti ought to be brought to trial in Palestine where he and his henchmen in 1936-39 killed and wounded more than one thousand Jews from ambush and as many Arabs of rival families and a number of Britons, and from where, after hiding in a mosque, he fled in the garb of a woman to Syria. He ought to be tried in Syria where he was a spy on Mussolini’s payroll and from where he fled to Iraq.

He ought to be tried in Iraq, the state which he, by intrigue and bribe, brought into the war against the Allies at the critical time when Nazi troops were entering Greece, Crete and Egypt, and from where, the rebellion having been quashed, he fled to Iran, but not before he had 400 Jews assassinated in a pogrom in Bagdad. On July 2, 1941, the Investigating Committee appointed by a new Iraqi Government declared: “The causes of the outbursts are Nazi propaganda emanating from (1) the German Legation, (2) the Mufti of Jerusalem and his henchmen who followed him to Iraq.” Gen. Wavell’s price on his head ($100,000) is still valid. After hiding in the Japanese Legation in Iran, he fled to Rome. He ought to be brought to trial there: in his radio speeches from Italy he incited the Arabs to murder and cursed the American people.

Then to Germany, where he was the chief instigator of the annihilation of the Jews, a counselor of Himmler and Eichman, and a visitor of gas chambers. And to Yugoslavia where he, a British-Palestinian subject, formed the Bosnian Legion to fight the Allies. And to Hungary, from where, following his letter to the Hungarian Government, Jewish children were sent to Poland to be killed there; and to Romania, where he did the same thing; and to North Africa, where he helped organize troops against the American forces; and finally to the French zone in Germany where he was caught with the bags of gold he received from Hitler before the Führer reached the end of his rope.

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Can it be that the documents seized at that time by the American Army in Germany exonerate the ex-Mufti? And to a degree that none of these trials should take place? Then they should certainly be made public to protect the good name of an innocent person, especially in view of the fact that he has embarked on new activity in Syria.