Sunday, August 30, 2015

Arab incitement against Jews, 1920 (updated)

Arab incitement against Jews, 1920 (updated)

"Israels' History - A Picture a Day" is a great new website that uses old photos, many from the huge Library of Congress collection, to show a visual record of Israel's history.

Today's entry shows photographs of Arab demonstrations a few weeks before the 1920 Nebi Musa riots, and some of British soldiers belatedly trying to control them.

Tom Segev describes the riots this way:

In the early morning hours of Sunday, April 20, 1920, Khalil al-Sakakini walked over to Jerusalem's municipal building, outside the Old City's Jaffa Gate. It was his custom to do this each year, to watch the Nebi Musa procession. Passover, the Greek Orthodox Easter, and the traditional Muslim procession to a shrine associated with Moses—or Nebi Musa to Arabs—all happened to fall that year during the same week of the "cruelest month." The outbreak of violence that marred the celebrations, driven by the mixture of "memory and desire" evoked by T. S. Eliot, was in essence the opening shot in the war over the land of Israel.,

"The Nebi Musa festival in Jerusalem is political, not religious," Sakakini wrote. Al this time of year, Christians from all the countries of the world would flock to Jerusalem, he explained, and so Muslims had to mass in Jerusalem as well. to prevent the Christians from overwhelming the city. They come from all over the country as well as from neighboring countries, tribe after tribe, caravan after caravan, with their flags and weapons, as if they were going to war, Sakakini wrote. The Turkish authorities used to position a cannon next to the Lion's Gate in the Old City and escort the procession with large contingents of soldiers and police. The religious aspect of the holiday was designed only to draw the masses, otherwise they would not come. Food was handed out for the same reason, he wrote.

When he arrived at the city square, sixty or seventy thousand people had already congregated there. Some were from Hebron and some from Nablus. They carried banners and waved flags. The VIPs stood on the balcony of Jerusalem's Arab Club, but not all of them were able to deliver their speeches because of the commotion and noise. One man angrily tore up the text of his speech. 

The time was now about 10:30. In the Old City, Arab toughs had been brawling in the streets for more than an hour. Gangs surged through the walkways of the Jewish Quarter, attacking whomever they passed; one small boy was injured on the head. They broke into Jewish stores and looted. The Jews hid.

Meanwhile, the speeches from the balcony of the Arab Club continued. Someone waved a picture of Faisal, who had just crowned himself king of Greater Syria. The crowd shouted "Independence! Independence!" and the speakers condemned Zionism, one was a young boy of thirteen. The mayor, Musa Kazim al-Husseini, spoke from the balcony of the municipal building; Ater al-Aref, the editor of the newspaper Suriya al-Janubia ("Southern Syria"), delivered his speech on horseback. The crowd roared, "Palestine is our land, the Jews are our dogs!" In Arabic, that rhymes. 

No one knew what exactly set off the riots. In testimony given to a British court of inquiry, people said that a Jew had pushed an Arab carrying a flag, or that he'd spat on the flag, or that he'd tried to grab it. In another version, the violence began when an Arab pointed at a Jew who was passing by and said, "Here's a Zionist, son of a dog." Many testified that Arabs had attacked an elderly Jewish man at the entrance to the Amdursky Hotel, beating him on the head with sticks. The man had collapsed, his head covered with bloodSomeone had tried to rescue him but was stabbed. People said they had heard gunfire. The furor almost turned into madness," Sakakini wrote. Everyone was shouting,"The religion of Mohammed was founded by the sword," and waving sticks and daggers. Sakakini managed to get out of the crowd unhurt. "I went to he municipal garden, my soul disgusted and depressed by the madness of mankind," he wrote.

A short time later, the Arabs - emboldened at the weak British response to the riot and angry at the beginnings of an organized Jewish force being organized to defend Jews - stepped up their threats against the Jews, threatening a massacre:

More on the fake holiday of Nebi Musa.

much more recent example of the same chant used in 1920.

UPDATEMy Right Word adds a whole bunch of interesting historical information, including the seeds of this incitement in 1919.

New York Times Wrong on Israel’s Origin and “Right of Return”

Did fighting lead to Israel’s creation? And do Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948, and their descendants, have a legal or moral right to return to former homes in Israel? One might think so from the New York Times’ March 26th article on the subject, “For Many Palestinians, ‘Return’ Is Not a Goal,” by reporter Hassan Fattah.
Fattah, for example, in relating the views of Nimr Abu Ghneim, a Palestinian in Jordan, writes:
... there can be no peace with Israel until he and 700,000 other Palestinians are permitted back to the homes they left in the 1948 fighting that led to Israel’s creation.
The “1948 fighting that led to Israel’s creation”? Perhaps Timesreporters and editors have forgotten that Israel was created by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which also called for the creation of a Palestinian state. When, at the end of the Palestine Mandate, Israel declared its independence, five Arab armies along with Palestinian militias went to war against the new state. It might be a good idea for Times editors to review articles in their own paper from those days, for example the one at left about the day the Arabs started the war.
The overriding aim of the Arabs was to destroy the Jewish state, not to create a Palestinian state. They failed, but in the course of their bitter and costly war they managed to kill 6000 Israelis, fully one percent of the country’s population. To put this in perspective, for the United States today that would be around 3 million people killed. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the war that they and the Arabs had started, with some of the refugees leaving at the command of Arab leaders who ordered them to get out of the way so the Jews could be killed. (It is fashionable these days to claim this is a myth, but as admitted even by revisionist historian Benny Morris, it is no myth.)
Had the Palestinians and the Arabs not attacked Israel there would not be a single Palestinian refugee, and there would be a Palestinian state about to celebrate its 59th year of independence alongside Israel.
But in recounting the Arab view the Times ignores all this, and repeats with a straight face demands Israel accept that its creation caused the refugee problem:
Now the discussion is centering on how to define the right of return in a new way. Some have come to see the issue as two separate demands: the acceptance, by Israel, that its creation caused the displacement and plight of the Palestinians; and the ability to move back to the lands they or their families left.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The displacement of the Palestinians, and the killing of 6000 Israelis, were both the result of an Arab war of aggression.
And what of the “right of return” and U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, which the Timescharacterizes in the following words:
Resolution 194 says, “Refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date,” and calls for them to be compensated if they choose not to return.
Is this an accurate description of Resolution 194? Hardly. The central provision of the resolution called for the creation of a Conciliation Commission and:
... establishment of contact between the parties themselves and the Commission at the earliest possible date ... to seek agreement by negotiations [and thereby reach] a final settlement of all questions between them. (paragraphs 4 and 5)
That commission was duly formed and met in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Arabs refused even to meet with the Israelis, much less to negotiate peace, a stance that was maintained through many years and multiple costly wars. The only clause of Resolution 194 the Arab side ever acknowledged was paragraph 11, which suggested (it could not “require,” since it was a General Assembly rather than a Security Council resolution) that:
refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date ... [R]epatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees and payment of compensation [should be facilitated]. (emphasis added)
Even if this were a Security Council resolution, because it only recommends that refugees be permitted to return, it can hardly be characterized as creating a “right.” Moreover, the requirement that returnees first accept living “at peace with their neighbors” meant that Palestinian returnees would have to accept Israel's right to exist, something that very few of them, even today, seem truly willing to do. Further, it did not even hint at any return rights for descendants of refugees.
All the Arab states voted against Resolution 194, precisely because it did not establish a “right of return,” and because it implicitly recognized Israel. It is disingenuous, at best, for those same Arab states (and Palestinian representatives) to see today in Resolution 194 the right of return they formerly claimed did not exist.
Additionally, even if Resolution 194 had been legally binding in 1948, it would have lost any such weight under the fundamental legal principle of estoppel. Under this quite reasonable precept, a party who materially violates a contract or agreement is barred from asking other parties to live up to their obligations under the same contract. The Arab side, having rejected and violated Resolution 194 from the day of its inception, cannot now come to Israel and say “Implement Paragraph 11.”
These facts, which the Times ignored in its article and which it and other media generally ignore, are not just of historical interest – they are absolutely crucial to peace. Because if the Arabs continue to convince themselves, and teach their children, that Israel caused the refugee problem, that the Palestinians and the Arabs are blameless victims, and that UN Resolutions establish a “right of return” which Israel has somehow been allowed to flout, their sense of injustice and righteous anger will never allow them to make the difficult concessions that are crucial for a real, lasting peace.
Only when the Palestinians and the Arab world realize and accept their own culpability, their own substantial share of the blame for what has happened, will peace be possible. Those, like the Times, who assist the Palestinians to avoid that day of reckoning succeed only in nurturing grievance and conflict.

JIMENA Country by Country

The Jewish people have been present in Algeria since the destruction of the First Temple nearly 2,600 years ago. The first major transition in the Algerian Jewish population resulted from Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in 1492. This made for a considerable increase in the Jewish population in Algeria. Jews thrived as merchants and formed communities in port towns like Oran and Algiers. They were mostly able to conserve their Ladino language and flourished financially throughout the Ottoman period.
In 1830 the French attacked Algeria and began colonizing the region, eventually reconstructing the Ottoman Empire and putting an end to the mistreatment of Jews. By 1841 Algeria Jewish courts were abolished and French Jews were appointed as chief Rabbis and told to teach obedience to French laws and loyalty to France. Under pressure from the French Jewish community, in 1870 the French government granted Algerian Jews citizenship under the décrets Crémieux of 1870. Algerian Jews began to learn the French language, customs, and culture, primarily by enrolling in the French school system.
Prior to WWII in the late 1930’s, there were roughly 120,000 Jews living in Algeria. Provoked by events occurring in Nazi Germany, a group of Algerian Muslims rioted in 1934, killing 25 Jews and injuring many more. As a colony of France, the Jews of Algeria were subjected to the same Anti-Semitic Vichy policies as French Jews. During WWII, the French Vichy government cancelled the citizenship of Algerian Jews, forbade them from working in numerous professions, and confiscated Jewish property.
In 1962 when Algeria gained independence, the government only granted citizenship to residents whose father or paternal grandfather were Muslims. Additionally, Algeria’s Supreme Court Justice announced that Jews were not protected under the law. Like other Jews from Arab countries, Algerian Jews no longer felt safe and protected in their country, nearly 140,000 Algerian Jews immigrated to France, while smaller numbers fled to Israel, and to North and South America.
Between 1948 and present times, roughly 26,000 Algerian Jews immigrated to Israel. Although substantially diminished in size, the Jews in Algeria were again threatened in 1994 when the terrorist Armed Islamic Group stated its objective to eliminate the Jewish community from Algeria altogether. Even though no attacks were reported, the announcement caused many Jews to leave, abandoning the only remaining synagogue in the country. Today no Jews remain living in Algeria.

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