The demolition of the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem to make way for the construction of a new Jewish settlement has kicked up a larger controversy than usual. The press insists that the Israeli authorities’ measure constitutes a further affront to President Obama, who had appealed for a settlement "freeze". However, Western commentators have kept silent about the historic character of this new annexation.

The building is nothing less than the former residence of mufti Mohammad Amin al-Husseini (1895-1974), the leader of the Palestinian revolt against British colonial rule. It was confiscated by Israel during the mufti’s exile, then sold to Florida-based bingo and gambling magnate Irving Moskowitz. The latter passed the building over to Ateret Cohanim, a Zionist association sponsored by him, to have it brought down and replaced by dwellings reserved for Jews.

Ever since its creation, Israel has proceeded to discredit mufti Mohammad Amin al-Husseini and to erase every trace of him. Zionist propaganda condemns him for having settled in Nazi Germany during the Second World War, omitting to mention that he was left with no other choice after London had ordered to have him assassinated. A hunted man, the mufti wandered from Lebanon, to Iraq and to Italy before accepting to settle down in Germany.