Friday, April 04, 2014

Jews fair game for murder since 1920

 As the Palestinian-Israel peace talks stand on the verge of collapse, Jerusalem Post columnist Sarah Honig muses that nothing much has changed since the 1920 Nebi-Musa riots in Jerusalem. Then indigenous non-Zionist dhimmis were deemed fair game for murder simply because they were not entitled to the right to self-defence. Britain, as the colonial power, connived with the rioters.

Those deadly landmark rampages were kick started on April 4, 1920, exploiting Muslim celebrations to rally thousands of raiders at Nebi Musa in the Judean Desert. Serially inflamed by Husseini’s vitriolic harangues, they poured into Jerusalem, descended upon the Old City’s Jewish Quarter and began butchering, raping, pillaging and burning – all in the name of their God.

The premeditated atrocity lasted four days. Even passing reflections on its overlooked anniversary (it’s so uncool to recall crimes against Jews), can contribute considerably to our present-day perspectives.

This unprovoked killing-spree was launched before any of the excuses for Arab bloodlust – now so conveniently and commonly cited – had existed. There was no Jewish state to fulminate against and no Israeli occupation with which to justify any outrage against Jews in the Jewish homeland.

There was no hint of what the Palestinians market so effectively as their nakba – catastrophe. There wasn’t a single Arab refugee. There was no war, no displacement, no reason to rage.

Jewish victims of the 1920 Nebi Musa Massacre- Jerusalem’s ancient community was deemed fair game

Jewish victims of the 1920 Nebi Musa Massacre- Jerusalem’s ancient community was deemed fair game

The 1920 victims were largely members of the old-time, traditional, pre-Zionist Jewish community that had long before then constituted Jerusalem’s outright majority. Yet this ancient community was deemed fair game. The subtext was that Jews have no rights – not even indigenous non-Zionists.

Considering  their penchant for distorting history, Israel’s detractors are doubtless tempted to describe 1920’s predators as oppressed Palestinian peasants protesting against usurper Jews. It must, therefore, be a whopping downer to discover that none of this homicidal fury was unleashed on behalf of Palestine. The Arabs loathed the very name introduced to this country by its new British overlords.
Ironically, it was the Jews who became known throughout the first half of the 20th century as Palestinians and it was the Arabs who scornfully rejected the moniker.

The executioners who swooped down on Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter championed the cause of Greater Syria. On March 7, 1920 Britain crowned Feisal, a Hashemite princeling from today’s Saudi Arabia, as king in Damascus. By July that year the French would chuck him out. In response, London earmarked its latest invention, Iraq, for Feisal’s next monarchy. So much for the fictitious nature of Arab nationalities.

Feisal, incidentally, conferred with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, on January 1919 and they produced the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement for Arab-Jewish Cooperation. Thereupon Faisal issued the following statement, which appears quite fantastic in view of all that ensued:
“We Arabs… look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement… We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home… I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilized peoples of the world.”

Nothing even minimally approaching such recognition can be expected nowadays of Abbas, who preposterously claims no less than 9000 years of “Palestinian” Arab history in this land and who denies any Jewish connection to it whatsoever.

But truth be told, Faisal failed miserably to enlist support for his pro-Jewish inclinations. Syria’s loyal enthusiasts right here were busy murdering Jews during Feisal’s brief reign as their king. They yearned to be ruled by Damascus – as Syrians, not Palestinians. It would serve to note that Husseini’s co-instigator of the Nebi Musa bloodbath was Aref Aref, significantly editor of the “Southern Syria” newspaper.

Most instructive in regard to Israel’s current international standing is the reaction in 1920 of the international community’s representative – Britain, claimant to the mandate to rule this land. How did it respond to the Jerusalem pogrom?

Not unsurprisingly, as if by a magic wave of the mufti’s wand, His Majesty’s military units actually exited Jerusalem during the onslaught. Top officers, like Allenby’s chief of staff, Col. Bertie Walters-Taylor trained and abetted the assailants. Inspired by him, British and Arab policemen even joined the rioters.

No wonder the mob howled deliriously: “A-Dawla ma’ana” – the government is with us. They knew whereof they screamed and their assessment of the government’s bias was spot on.

How little things have changed. The entire watching world still seethes with bias against this land’s Jews.

Read article in full 

The Arab pogrom that started it all, by Michael Freund


Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

it should be added that the British authorities in the country arrested Zev Jabotinsky, himself a British officer in the Jewish Legion, who had tried to organize a self-defense force against the coming pogrom. Jabo served a year or two in jail until released, while Amin el-Husseini was allowed to go into hiding in Transjordan, also under British rule. Husseini the instigator and Jabo the would-be defender were then pardoned and Husseini was appointed mufti of Jerusalem by the British, overruling a nominating panel of Muslim clerics.
The British colonel's name is spelled Waters-Taylor not as given. Another British Colonel, Richard Meinertzhagen, reported that Waters-Taylor had encouraged Husseini to stir up a pogrom.

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts:

1) I am not saying this in jest. We need a "Nebi-Musa Remembered" movement and even a "Safed Remembered" movement, harkening back to the 1830s attack on Jews by Druze bandits that led to a mass exodus because the Jews could expect no protection from the authorities.

2) just an historic footnote, I believe it was Feisal who maintained as his personal body guards, Yemenite Jews who practiced an very old martial art form, which was a tradition that followed to succeeding generations of "Jordanian kings".

bataween said...

That is very interesting about King Faisal's Jewish bodyguards. Are you sure it wasn't King Abdullah of Jordan? I found a 1922 photo at the right you see King Abdulla Ibn Hussein of Transjordan sits under the watchful eyes of his Jewish bodyguards, Habani Yemenite brothers Sayeed, Salaah, and Saadia Sofer. They are claimed to be uncles of today's Abir Aluf, Grandmaster Yehoshua Sofer. Abir is supposed to be an age-old martial art going back to King David. There is some confusion about Yehoshua Sofer, who claims to be of Yemenite ancestry but also claims to be a Breslover Hasid from the Ukraine. This guy has an opinion:

Anonymous said...

Bataween - you are correc. Iwas confusing the two.

amie said...

Regarding Husseini, I heard Douglas Murray talk on Thursday, and he made a point that Husseini returned after the war despite the defeat of Hitler, to acclaim and being lauded a hero. I recall your disagreement with Gilbert Achar's slant in the BBC radio history a few years back, where Achar said that Husseini never had much support after the war and was quietly sidelined as an embarrassment by the Arabs of Palestine. Do you have a link to that discussion/post you did at the time?

bataween said...

Hi Amie,
I think this is the discussion you had in mind:

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Amie. after WW2 Husseini was kept by the French under protected residence outside Paris. About May-June 1946 he was allowed [falsely reported as escaping] to leave France for the Middle East on an American plane. He was acclaimed as a great Arab leader in Egypt and elsewhere, resuming leadership of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine. It was only after the Arab defeat that he lost his luster and popularity.
See inter alia Majid Khadduri, Independent Iraq, 2nd edition.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Anon, there was a Druze attack on Jews in Safed in subsequent to a revolt by Muslims in the country against Mehmet Ali of Egypt who had conquered Israel and Syria-Lebanon away from the Ottoman empire to which he still swore loyalty. But this pogrom or raid did not lead to the Jewish exodus from Safed.
That was accomplished by the earthquake of 1838.