Monday, January 10, 2011
Never-Ending War On The Jews - Pt.1/4
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
PEACE FOR US MEANS THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL. WE ARE PREPARING FOR AN ALL-OUT WAR, A WAR WHICH WILL LAST FOR GENERATIONS.
"God has gathered the Zionists together from the corners of the world so that the Arabs can kill them all at one stroke."
- Ibrahim Tawhi, Fedayeen official - Al-Ahram, September 8, 1956
Arab violence against Jews has a long history. This survey of terrorist organizations and their attacks against Israelis should not be taken as exhaustive, but it will serve to give the reader a general idea of what took place, and still goes on. These pages are a work in progress, to be updated as new information and photos are found.
Egged-Israeli Bus Driver
The roots of Arab terrorism against the Jews dates back to the Ottoman Empire. From 1870 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914 — every Jewish town, neighborhood, moshava (village), farm, moshav and kvutza (cooperative and collective settlements, respectively), had to protect itself against local individual Arab thieves organized gangs. The Jewish community of Palestine was under the thumb of a few wealthy effendi (landlord) families, most prominently the Husseinis and the Nashashibis. Criminals were employed to attack Jews who threatened rent prices by the fact that they lived outside Jerusalem's city walls.
Syrian-born Sheikh Izz Ad-Din El-Kassam, after whom the "military wing" of HAMAS is named, created the first terrorist network in the British Mandate of Palestine. The network, called the Black Hand, was responsible for the deaths of at least 10 Jews. After the Black Hand killed a Jewish police officer, El-Kassam was hunted down and killed by British police.
Black Hand, which specialized in terror against random Jewish farmers and, for that matter, random Arab Christians in Mandate Palestine In 1916, as part of the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement, Britain and France agreed that all of eastern Upper Galilee was to come under French rule. The four Jewish settlements of Metullah, Hamrah, Tel Chai, and Kfar Giladi were situated in this area. Muslims, who desired an independent Arab Greater Syria, were no pleased with this development.
After World War I, Emir Feisal I (the leader of the Arab movement) agreed to the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine by signing the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement at Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Palestinian Arab leaders, among them the Jerusalem Mayor Musa Khazim al-Husseini, rejected the agreement - relations between Arabs and Jews took a turn for the worse. Groups loyal to Feisal in Syria, who was sympathetic to the British, attacked After the war the Muslim Arabs began attacks both on the Christian villages of southern Lebanon and on the isolated Jewish settlements of Upper Galilee:
Tel Chai - March, 1920
Tel Chai (Hebrew: Hill of Life”), now a national memorial, was one of the first Jewish settlements in northern Palestine, it was intermittently inhabited from 1905, and permanently settled in 1918.
Tel Chai and adjacent Kfar Giladi were determined to defend themselves. Tel Chai was reinforced from Jerusalem by members of Ha-Shomer, the Jewish workers' protective organization, under the command of Joseph Trumpledor, Zionist pioneer and former hero of the tsarist army. On March 1, 1920, the settlement was attacked by a large band of Arabs; six of the defenders, including Trumpeldor, were killed.
The Jerusalem Pogrom - April, 1920
During the festival of Nebi Musa (Prophet Moses), Muslims march from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho to where they believe Moses is buried. In the years predating 1920, these processions were marked by intimidation of Christian communities on their way. The Arab attacks of March 1920 in Galilee (Tel Chai, etc.) and the activities of Black Hand caused deep concerns among Zionist leaders, who made numerous requests to the Mandate administration to address the Yishuv's security. Their fears were ruled out by the Chief Administrative Officer General Louis Bols, Governor Ronald Storrs and General Edmund Allenby, particularly at their meeting with the president of the World Zionist Organization Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who warned them: "pogrom is in the air." Storrs issued a warning to Arab leaders, but his forces included only 188 policemen, among them but 8 officers. The Ottoman Turks had usually deployed thousands of soldiers to keep order in narrow streets of Jerusalem during Nebi Musa procession.
April 4-7 in the Old City
During a procession on April 4, inflammatory anti-Semitic rhetoric led to rioting in Jerusalem. The main instigator was Haj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem. Another was the editor of the newspaper Suriya al-Janubia (Southern Syria) Aref al-Aref, who delivered his speech on horseback. For four days, an Arab mob ransacked the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, beating anyone they could find and looting shops and homes. The disturbances grew worse and the Old City was sealed off by the army. Jews who sought to flee were not allowed to leave. Martial law was declared, but looting, burglary, rape and murder continued. Several homes were set on fire. Eventually, British soldiers evacuated the Old City.
Then as now, blame the victim
5 Jews died and 216 were injured (18 critically). A committee of inquiry placed responsibility for the riots on the Jews, for provoking the Arabs. The court blamed "Bolshevism," claiming that it "flowed in Zionism's inner heart."
The official inquiry that followed found that the British military administration was rife with anti-Semitism and that the measures taken to maintain order were inadequate, but no one was charged for failing in his duties.
One of the most important results of the riot was that Jewish immigration to Palestine was halted, a major demand of the Palestinian Arab community. Quick to learn a lesson, the Arabs often resorted to deadly anti-Jewish violence in order to influence British policies towards the Jews.
In May 1921 an outbreak of violence in Jaffa was followed by large scale attacks on Rehovot, Petah Tikva, and other places. 47 Jews were killed and 140 wounded. The riots were a matter of some concern to the British mandatory administration. The High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuels, himself Jewish, ordered a temporary halt to Jewish immigration and entered into negotiations with the Arab Executive Committee. The outcome of these negotiations was the White Paper issued by Churchill on June 1922.
Another round begins – 1928
From 1922 through 1928 the relationship between Jews and Arabs in Palestine was relatively peaceful. However, in late 1928 a new phase of violence began with minor disputes between Jews and Arabs about the right of Jews to pray at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem. These arguments led to an outbreak of Arab violence in August 1929 when Haj Amin al-Husseini whipped up Arab hatred by accusing the Jews of endangering mosques and other sites holy to Islam. Observers heard Husseini issue the call: Itbaq al-Yahud (Slaughter the Jews!)
On August 22, 1929 the leaders of the Yishuv (Jewish community) met with the British Deputy High Commissioner to alert him of their fears of major Arab rioting. The British assured them that the government was in control of the situation. The following day riots erupted throughout the Mandate, lasting for seven days.
The Hebron Massacre
On Friday, August 23, Arab mobs attacked Jews in Jerusalem, Motza, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, and elsewhere. The Old City of Jerusalem was hit particularly hard. By the next day, the Haganah (Jewish defense organization) was able to mount a defense and further attacks in Jerusalem were repulsed. But, the violence in Jerusalem generated rumors throughout the country, many carrying fabricated accounts of Jewish attempts to defile Muslim holy places, all to inflame Arab residents. Villages were plundered and destroyed by Arab mobs. Attacks in Tel Aviv and Haifa were thwarted by Jewish defenders.
Jerusalem Arabs came to Hebron with false reports of Jews murdering Arabs during the rioting there, even saying thousands of Arabs had been killed. Despite the fact that Jews and Arabs in Hebron had been on good terms, a mass of frenzied Arab rioters formed and proceeded to the Hebron Yeshiva where a student was murdered.
A few Arabs did try to help the Jews. Nineteen Arab families saved dozens, maybe even hundreds of Jews. Abu Id Zaitoun and his family protected some Jews with their swords, hid them in a cellar, and found a policeman to escort them safely to the police station at Beit Romano.
On Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, the killing continued. Arabs began to gather en masse. They came in mobs, surrounding homes where Jews sought refuge, armed with clubs, knives and axes. They broke in and murdered 67 Jews in a bloody rampage. Many Jewish corpses were mutilated. Arab women and children threw stones, the men ransacked Jewish houses and destroyed Jewish property.
The police station was a refuge for the Jews that day, and throughout the troubles. As Orthodox Jews finished their morning prayers, they heard angry voices outside the building. Thousands of Arabs descended from Har Hebron, shouting "Kill the Jews!" in Arabic. They even tried to break down the doors of the station. Each night, as the riots continued, ten men were allowed to leave to attend a funeral in Hebron’s ancient Jewish cemetery for the murdered Jews of the day.
During the Hebron riots British did nothing to stop the violence. With only a single police officer in Hebron, the Arabs entered Jewish courtyards with no opposition. 18 Jews were also killed in Safed. The tally, including Jews killed in other areas, was 133 dead, with more than 300 wounded.
The dead Jews included Eliezer Dan Slonim, a man highly esteemed by the Arabs. He was the director of the local English-Palestine bank whose clients were Arabs, and was the sole Jewish member of the Hebron Municipal Council. He had many friends among the Arab elders, who had promised to protect him. Twenty-two people died in Slonim's house that day including his wife and two young children. Early on, Rabbi Slonim had been approached by the rioters and offered a deal. If all the Ashkenazi yeshiva students were given over to the Arabs, the rioters would spare the lives of the Sephardi community. Rabbi Slonim refused and was killed on the spot.
When the massacre finally ended, the surviving Jews were exiled from their home city, for the crime of being a victim of the Arab riot, and resettled in Jerusalem. Some Jewish families tried to move back to Hebron, but were removed by the British authorities. Hebron's ancient Jewish quarter was empty and destroyed. For the next 39 years no Jew lived in Hebron, not until after the Six Day War.
Arab Riot in 1933
The Arab Revolt – 1936
By 1936, with the growing power of Haj Amin al Husseini, and general Arab frustration at the continuation of European rule, increasing numbers of Palestinian Arabs became radicalized. In April 1936 six prominent Arab leaders overcame their rivalries and joined forces to protest against the Zionist presence. The Arab High Command, as the group was known, was led by the Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini, and represented Arab interests in Palestine until 1948.
Jewish refugees camp In Rishon Le'Zion 1936
A refugee camp for Jews fleeing Arab violence, near Rishon Le-Zion 1936 An attack on a Jewish bus led to a series of incidents, including rioting in Jaffa, that escalated into a major Arab rebellion. An Arab Higher Committee (AHC), a loose coalition of recently formed Arab political parties, was created. It declared a national strike in support of three basic demands: cessation of Jewish immigration, an end to all further land sales to the Jews, and the establishment of an Arab national government.
The Arab High Command began their protest by calling for a general strike of Arab workers and a boycott of Jewish products. The strike quickly led to a campaign of terror against Jewish people and lands. Seventeen Jews were killed the first day, with little action by the British to stop the rioters. Sparked by the Mufti's agitators, armed bands of Arab terrorists attacked Jewish villages and vehicles, as well as British Army and police forces. By August 1936, responding more to attacks on British assets than to the Jewish losses, the British began a military crack-down on the Arab terrorists.
The Arab strike ended in October 1936 and a temporary peace between Arabs and Jews prevailed for almost a year. Then, in September 1937, following the July report by the Peel Commission, the violent tactics resumed. Armed Arab terrorism, under the direction of the Higher Committee, was used to attack the Jews and to suppress Arab opponents. This campaign of violence continued through 1938 and then tapered off, ending in early 1939. The toll was terrible: Eighty Jews were murdered by terrorist acts during the labor strike, and a total of 415 Jewish deaths were recorded during the whole 1936-1939 Arab Revolt period.
In January 1947 a Haganah platoon of 35 soldiers sent to help repulse an attack at Gush Etzion with medical supplies and ammunition was slaughtered by hundreds of Arab militants. Their stripped, mutilated bodies were found the next day by a British patrol. The day after the UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947, violence against Jewish civilians began to escalate. The Arabs declared a protest strike and instigated riots that claimed the lives of many Jews, Arabs and British soldiers. These were not military operations, but terrorism against civilian targets intended to achieve political aims for the Arabs who would not accept any partition plan.
The UN Partition Vote
One day after the UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947, violence against Jewish civilians began to escalate. The Arabs declared a protest strike and instigated riots that claimed the lives of many Jews, Arabs and British soldiers. These were not military operations, but terrorism against civilians intended to achieve political aims for the Arabs who would not accept any partition plan.
February 1st, 1948 saw the bombing (photo at bottom) of the Palestine Post (now Jerusalem Post) which killed six people and injured dozens. Then on February 22nd, three booby-trapped trucks positioned in Ben-Yehuda Street exploded, destroying four large buildings, killing 50 and injuring more than 100. On March 11, a car bomb exploded in the courtyard of the Jewish Agency building, killing 12 people, injuring 44, and causing extensive damage.
Arab acts of hostility prior to statehood reached their peak in March. Arabs controlled all the inter-urban routes. The road to Jerusalem was blocked, settlements in the Galilee and the Negev were also cut off and convoys were attacked daily. In the four months after the UN resolution, some 850 Jews were killed throughout the country, most of them in Jerusalem or on the road to the city.
Jerusalem Post Bomb - February 1st 1948
On April 13, 1948, Arabs set mines in the road in the Sheik Jarrah area to block a convoy of 10 vehicles - trucks, buses and ambulances - carrying supplies, nurses, doctors, scientists, and patients to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus (photo at left). In the attack, 78 were killed and their bodies mutilated. Dozens are wounded. British soldiers delayed intervention in the attack for 6 hours while the killing continued. The hospital was cut off from Israel until it was relieved during the Six Day War.
Hadassa Hospital Bus Massacre
A Burned bus in Tel Aviv 1948
The War of Independence
The greatest Arab atrocity of the war occurred on May 13, 1948, at the Etzion Bloc settlements. Dozens of surrendering defenders, including some twenty women, were killed at Kfar Etzion just north of Hebron,. The Etzion Bloc had seen a previous massacre in January 1947 when a Haganah platoon of 35 soldiers sent to help them with medical supplies and ammunition was slaughtered by hundreds of Arab militants. Their stripped, mutilated bodies were found the next day by a British patrol.
Ben-Yehuda St. Jerusalem 1948
The final battle for Gush Etzion took place between May 12-14, 1948. Massive, heavily armed enemy forces overran the Jewish positions. A handful of exhausted defenders, equipped only with light arms and very little ammunition could not withstand the attacking forces. On Thursday, May 13th, Kfar Etzion fell, its defenders killed, most of them slaughtered by Arab rioters after the collapse of the defense. Gush Etzion was destroyed in the aftermath - everything of value was removed, then the buildings were reduced to rubble. Hundreds of thousands of trees in the orchards - individually planted by the Jewish farmers - were uprooted.
Jewish Refugees Camp - Tel Aviv 1948
Never Ending War on The Jews - Part 2
Never Ending War on The Jews - Part 3
Never Ending War on The Jews - Part 4