Former Jordanian Health Minister Dr. Zaid Hamzeh said in an October 9, 2019 interview on A One TV (Jordan) that nations oftentimes only progress after having suffered for centuries and that future Arab generations must suffer before progressing. In addition, he said that he had supported Adolf Hitler during World War II like other Arabs, and recalled that in fourth grade his school had participated in demonstrations and chanted "Long live Abu Ali," which he said had been a reference to Hitler. Dr. Hamzeh said that the Arabs supported Hitler because he hated the Jews, although he added the Arabs have a general tendency to admire dictators.
Following are excerpts:
Interviewer: "After all those years, did you expect to see what has happened in recent years? Did you expect in the 40s, 50s, and 60s that we would reach where we are at?"
Zaid Hamzeh: "With all modesty, I would have to say 'yes'. It's no prophecy... It was based on political and historical analysis.
"Other nations have progressed after having suffered for centuries."
Interviewer: "Centuries? So we should leave it to our children, and our children's children? We want to resolve the problem now."
Zaid Hamzeh: "They must suffer. Of course. They must suffer like other nations that have gone through wars and lost... We are sad about the martyrs and victims we lose, but other nations have paid the price for their progress in millions of people. Millions! Most recently, in the first and second World Wars..."
Interviewer: "Yes, yes. It is said that in WWII, Russia alone lost 20 million people."
Zaid Hamzeh: "Right."
Interviewer: "It was the Soviet Union at the time. Do you remember WWII?"
Zaid Hamzeh: "Of course."
Interviewer: "Did you support Hitler, like all the Arabs?"
Zaid Hamzeh: "Yes. The first demonstration I participated in... They took us out of fourth grade. I was exactly nine years old. I asked: 'What's the demonstration for?' [The slogan was:] 'Down with X, but long live Abu Ali!' Abu Ali was a reference to Hitler, but we didn't know that. They didn't tell us. We took to the streets to support him when the Rashid Ali Al-Gailani revolution broke out in Iraq. We supported the revolution, and, of course, [we supported] Hitler, because he hated the Jews, and we have been mad at the Jews ever since those days."
Interviewer: "Was that really the reason, or was it because we Arabs, by nature – and I don't have time to give a historical review... We love dictators."
Zaid Hamzeh: "No."
Zaid Hamzeh: "Nobody loves dictators, except for people who have been led astray, and I don't want to use..."
Interviewer: "We love people who kill and slaughter. We consider this to be a sign of manliness."
Zaid Hamzeh: "Unfortunately, many people do, but we shouldn't generalize."
Interviewer: "Right, not everybody..."
Zaid Hamzeh: "But with regard to dictators, you are right. We laud the dictator and wish he would come back. We want him to come riding in on a white horse and to liberate the land, while the people here are in a slumber or watching from the sideline."