Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Stanley Goldfoot, Chief of Intelligence of Lehi: Two Men of Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                                              

            Grand Mufti of Jerusalem meeting with Hitler November 1941
Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini was born in 1893 and died in 1974.  He was appointed the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the Jewish British High commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel in 1921.  He was also appointed the head of the Supreme Moslem Council at the same time.  This is when Arabs were attacking Jews in Jaffa and Petach Tikvah with the help of  the British officials.  As a result of the attacks,  the British  suspended Jewish immigration.  They used this as the reason why.

Again in 1928 al Husseini incited Arabs to attack Jews at the Wailing Wall (Western Wall)  in Jerusalem.  He went on to incite Arabs to attack Jews in other towns  of Safed and Hebron, two of the four Holy Cities  of Israel.   Jews were massacred in Hebron on August 24,  1929 for which Mufti and his party were responsible.   67 Jews were killed of which 23 were college students. The Arabs were incited by rumors planted that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem.  Many were left wounded or maimed.   Then on August 29, 1929, the Arabs massacred Jews in Safed in the Galilee  "The Mufti of Jerusalem, told his followers that Jews were preparing to take over the Al Aqsa Mosque.   Anti-Jewish riots erupted across Palestine that became known as the 1929 Palestine riots. The Safed pogrom was part of this wave of violence."  Homes were pillaged and synagogues were ransacked.  They rioted and assaulted Jerusalem Jews and many Jewish villages.  This was deliberate religious inflammation.  By now Husseini had made friends with Jack Philby, double agent and spy, a  traitor to Britain who was working in favor of the USA and in creating oil reserves in Saudi Arabia.  Jack converted to Islam to please the Grand Mufti, Husseini.

In 1933 Husseini gave a violent speech against Jewish immigration which caused strikes and anti-Jewish riots.  Hitler came into power at this time.
Stanley Goldfoot was born on May 2, 1914 in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa, and died in 2006 in Jerusalem.   I met this 3rd cousin of mine when he was  67 in 1981 and he was tall and  lanky with a very marked British accent. We met in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel.  I asked how I would know him and he answered, "Don't worry.  I'll know you.!"   He had heard a speech about the Zionist vision by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, which appealed very strongly to him. It was all he needed to hear before packing a bag, leaving a shocked family and heading for Palestine at age 18 after graduating high school. He joined a HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz and had the job of  picking eggplants in the fields  and making floor tiles, called "balatot".

Since he arrived alone without an entry permit, the British police soon shipped him out of the country together with another South African.  In South Africa, he was drafted into the South African Army, where he learned to handle a rifle.

 In 1936 Goldfoot had returned to Israel. On his return trip, the German ship he was on put up the Swastika flag.  He didn't know if he'd make it to shore or not.  He did, and was approached by members of the Stern Group (Lehi) and joined  this underground Revisionist Party (another name for Lehi). It was the Fighters for Freedom of Israel Party, a militant group founded by Avraham Stern.  "Its avowed aim was forcibly evicting the British authorities from Palestine, allowing unrestricted immigration of Jews and the formation of a Jewish state."  Soon he was appointed the Chief of Intelligence for the Stern Group.  He was rubbing elbows with such people as Yitzhak Shamir.

At first opportunity, he returned to Tel Aviv to open the first "School of English" which gave him entry into the British High Society where he was privy to important information from the top echelon of the British Army. He was now able to pass this invaluable information on to other Lehi members.Stanley Goldfoot did this with alacrity, under cover of legitimately representing English and French news. His valuable "press cards" gained him admittance everywhere!  This was when he and many of his Sternists were imprisoned by the British in Acre, which is on the coast of the Mediterranean.  I went through it and saw that they hung some of these young fellows.  It was hot and horrible in there.  Evidently they were yelling and carrying on in there a lot.

He was active in many other activities against the British Mandatory Power, while working in Jerusalem as a respected journalist.  Some of those activities were so sensitive that they were never made public.

In 1936 when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem  was Chairman of the Arab Supreme Council, The Mufti  organized the Palestine disturbances which were anti-Jewish pogroms and riots that were happening all over Palestine.  He hated the Jews and the British.  Arabs were striking with the imported assistance of hired Syrian and Iraqi mercenaries.  This became known as the Arab Revolt.   For this he was sentenced to exile in 1937 which meant 10 years in prison.  Instead, he fled to Lebanon right next door. It was Herbert Samuel, a Jew who had appointed him as the Grand Mufti, who then gave him amnesty.   In return, Husseini managed to cause guerrilla warfare which was supplemented with imported Arab rebels in Palestine in 1938.  They occupied the Old City of Jerusalem.  The Mufti had a plan of systematic extermination of his opponents, the Jews.  In 1939 he had a rival, Nashashibi.  They entered into their own violence and rebellion with 348 dying in the first quarter of that year.  Arab leaders collaborated with the Nazis.  England declared war on Germany and the axis powers.

In 1942, almost all the Sternists, including Goldfoot, had been jailed by the British. Many were hung by them.   Most of them were teenagers.  In 1946, Stanley Goldfoot and the Stern Group were involved in the King David Hotel of Jerusalem being bombed.   Later, on September 17, 1948 they planned and carried out the assassination of Count Bernadotte, who was the U.S. appointed Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden to mediate between the Arabs and the Israelis.  They considered his plan disastrous.

During WWII The Grand Mufti participated in Rashid Ali's pro-Axis coup in Iraq before leaving for Europe, where he helped Hitler and was largely responsible for the liquidation of the Jews in the Moslem areas of Bosnia.  In 1946 he escaped to Egypt.  After 1948, he set up a short-lived "Palestine Government " in Gaza and later in Cairo.

After the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel, Stanley  made aliyah legally in 1956. His main goal became his desire to establish a Zionist English newspaper "The Times of Israel", which eventually appeared on the streets of Israel, New York and the West Coast of the USA. For this purpose, he even spent a year in New York to raise funds to promote his newspaper.

In the first issue of the "Times of Israel", Stanley Goldfoot wrote his famous controversial "Letter to the World from Jerusalem", which at the time, caused a huge stir. His article is still relevant. Stanley had a lovely home in Jerusalem near Golda Meier's home.

Later in life Stanley was involved with the Temple Mount group.  "Dolphin, a Christian Evangelical,  seems to be promoting the works of Stanley Goldfoot and another Temple Mount zealot, Gershon Solomon, who is the founder and leader of a group called The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement."  He spent time speaking in large football stadiums in California and other states about building the 3rd Temple.

Both the Grand Mufti and Stanley Goldfoot were in and out of Jerusalem.  They were fighting against each other but most likely never met.  Each stood for different values.  The Mufti wanted Jews out and Goldfoot fought to have Jews in.

Resource: Stanley Goldfoot, "Letter to the World" -
  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Genesis 1948-The first Arab-Israeli War by Dan Kurzman,_Israel

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