Friday, August 28, 2009

Remembering the 1929 Hebron Massacre

This past week marked the 80th anniversary of the 1929 massacre of 67 Jews--men, women and children--by Palestinian Arabs in the town of Hebron. When the three days of murder, mutilation, torture, rape and pillaging ended, the British evacuated some 700 survivors, thereby ending the existence of the most ancient Jewish community in Palestine. Jews had lived in Hebron for 3000 years, and the community that Arabs attacked in 1929 had continuously resided peacefully in Hebron since the end of the 15th century C.E. The attack was incited by incited by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who claimed that Jews were endangering Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (This exact tactic was successfully repeated in September 2000 by the Grand Mufti's nephew and "spiritual" heir, Yassir Arafat, may his name be erased, to launch the Second Intifada, thereby diverting attention from Arafat's refusal to make peace with Israel at Camp David.) No Jew was able to live in Hebron from 1929 until 1967, when Israel conquered Hebron during the Six-Day War. Shortly thereafter, Jewish pioneers--the people the world roundly condemns as "settlers"--moved back to Hebron. Wellesley History Professor Jerold S. Auerbach tells the story in today's Wall Street Jhournal. At a time when Israel is regularly accused of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, even by a former President of the United States, it is useful to remember who are the real perpetrators of ethnic cleansing in the Holy Land.


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