Monday, February 29, 2016

Answering Zionists: the mini-FAQ #2: 1929 Palestine riots and the Hebron Massacre

Trying to decide who was Abel and who was Cain in the story of Zionists and Muslim Palestinians may be impossible, but in doing a little googling about the Hebron Massacre, I found something I hadn't known: it was sparked by the news of Jews murdering Arabs in Jerusalem in retaliation for the murder of a Jew. The facts as I have found them so far: On August 17, Avrahim Mizrachi, was killed. On the morning of the 23rd, several Arabs were killed. When news of that spread, violence erupted throughout Palestine, ending, as it had begun, with almost equal numbers of people killed on each side, 133 Jews and 116 Muslims. There were saints and sinners on both sides: both had people who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children; both had people who protected people on the other side.

From A History of Violence – By Arie Dubnov - The Marginalia Review of Books:
If Israel/Palestine is to be compared to a powder keg, Jerusalem/al-Quds, no doubt, is its igniting fuse. There are times, though, when the calendar itself is as combustible as the holy geography, as during the deadly weekend of August 16-17, 1929, which [began] a two-week long bloodbath. First frictions were felt on Thursday, Tisha B’Av, the Jewish fast commemorating the destruction of the Temple, as a procession from the Revisionist-Zionist Betar Youth movement, calling to redeem the Western Wall, walked through the narrow streets of the Old City. Heat and tension continued rising the following day, Friday the 16th, which was also Prophet Mohammad’s birthday. Some Muslims, who were celebrating the occasion on al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) in front of al-Aqsa Mosque, staged their own demonstration. Descending to the Wall, they burned Jewish holy books. The following day, news about the blasphemous act sparked clashes between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem’s Bukharan neighborhood, outside the Old City. One Jew, Avraham Mizrachi, was killed. A number of Arab homes were torched by Jews. Within a week violence spilled over. The lynching of Arabs and Jews along the margins of the Old City on the following Friday was followed by attacks on Jewish neighborhoods in the main mixed cities — Haifa, Jaffa, Safed — as well as on other Jewish villages and settlements across the country. The Arab Executive Committee reported that a body of a Muslim woman, ‘Aisha al-‘Atari, was found near the Jewish neighborhood of Me’ah She’arim in Jerusalem with two large stones lying on her crushed skull. With the tense atmosphere, rumors that the Jews were planning to demolish al-Aqsa in order to build their Temple in its place began to spread across the country. On Saturday, August 24, the Makleff family was brutally murdered in Motza by Arab villagers from nearby Qalunya. At the very same time a massacre of the Jews in Hebron took place: sixty-seven defenseless, mostly non-Zionist orthodox Jews affiliated with the local Lubavitcher Yeshiva, were killed, many in a grisly manner. Many others survived, sheltered in the homes of twenty-eight Arab families. The next day, Shiekh ‘Abd al-Ghani ‘Awn, the imam of the Abu Kabir neighborhood mosque, next to Tel Aviv, was slaughtered together with his family by a group of Jews led by Simha Hinkis, a Jewish policeman. Numerous acts of savagery continued until the end of the month. When quiet was restored in September, the body count was 133 Jews and 116 Arabs killed, and almost twice as many injured on both sides.
1929 Palestine riots - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The next Friday, 23 August, thousands of Arab villagers streamed into Jerusalem from the surrounding countryside to pray on the Temple Mount, many armed with sticks and knives. Harry Luke requested reinforcements from Amman. Towards 09:30 Jewish storekeepers began closing shop and at 11:00, 20–30 gunshots were heard on the Temple Mount, apparently to work up the crowd. Luke telephoned the Mufti to come and calm a mob that had gathered under his window near the Damascus Gate, but the commissioner's impression was that the religious leader's presence was having the opposite effect. By midday friction had spread to the Jewish neighborhood of Mea She'arim where two or three Arabs were killed. The American consulate documented the event in detail, reported that the killings had taken place between 12:00 and 12:30.[36] The Shaw report described the excited Arab crowds and that it was clear beyond all doubt that at 12:50 large sections of these crowds were bent on mischief if not on murder. At 13:15, the Arabs began a massacre of the Jews.[33][37]Reacting to rumors that two Arabs had been murdered by Jews, Arabs started an attack on Jews in Jerusalem's Old City. The violence quickly spread to other parts of Palestine. British authorities had fewer than 100 soldiers, six armoured cars, and five or six aircraft in country;Palestine Police had 1,500 men, but the majority were Arab, with a small number of Jews and 175 British officers. While awaiting reinforcements, many untrained administration officials were required to attach themselves to the police, though the Jews among them were sent back to their offices. Several English theology students visiting from the University of Oxford were deputized.[15] While a number of Jews were being killed at the Jaffa Gate, British policemen did not open fire. They reasoned that if they had shot into the Arab crowd, the mob would have turned their anger on the police.[15]
1929 Hebron massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
In mid-August 1929, hundreds of Jewish nationalists marched to the Western Wall in Jerusalem shouting slogans such as The Wall is Ours and raising the Jewish national flag.[19] Rumours spread that Jewish youths had also attacked Arabs and had cursed Muhammad.[25][26]Following an inflammatory sermon the next day, hundreds of Muslims converged on the Western Wall, burning prayer books and injuring the beadle. The rioting soon spread to the Jewish commercial area of town[27][28] and the next day, August 17, a young Jew was stabbed to death.[29] The authorities failed to quell the violence. On Friday, August 23, inflamed by rumors that Jews were planning to attack al-Aqsa Mosque, Arabs started to attack Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. The first murders of the day took place when two or three Arabs passing by the Jewish Quarter of Mea Shearim were assassinated.[30] Rumours that Jews had massacred Arabs in Jerusalem arrived in Hebron by that evening.[17] Hillel Cohen frames his recent narrative of the incident in terms of the murder of the Jaffa Awan family by a Jewish police constable called Simcha Hinkis.[16]
Simha Hinkis (biographical details):
Simha Hinkis (1907-1988), born in Ukraine ... immigrated to Palestine in 1925 ... In 1927, he joined the police and served as traffic policeman at Abu Kebir. In the unrest of 1929, he and his friends killed at least five people (three men and two women) and injured two children when a Jewish mob broke into a house between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. He was arrested, tried, found guilty of the premeditated murder of an Arab family, the Awan family in Jaffa. On 5 February 1930, he was sentenced to death by hanging. He thus became the first Jew sentenced to death under the British mandate. However, is sentence was commuted to 15 years in prison and he was released in 1935.