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The 1929 Arab Terror Attack: When Hebron Became Occupied Territory by Sammy Benoit

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Hebron was the first piece of land ever purchased by a Jew in  Israel. Approximately 38 centuries ago, the patriarch Abraham purchased  a cave in Hebron to bury his beloved wife Sarah. Jews have owned land  in Hebron from then until the early part of the 20th century.

On Friday, August 23, 1929, that changed. Things began to stir as the Jewish community was preparing for the Sabbath:


At about half past two on Friday we saw a young Arab  arrive by motorcycle from Jerusalem. He alarmed the Arab inhabitants of  Hebron, saying that the blood of thousands of Moslems in Jerusalem was  being shed like water. He called to the Arabs to avenge this blood. The  unrest among the Arabs of Hebron was very strong, particularly after  the motor cars began to arrive from Jerusalem with news of disturbances.

Similar charges are used by the Palestinians today to incite  violence against Israel. Both the first and second intifada began with  false charges of Israeli actions against Muslims and their holy places  in Jerusalem.


Rabbi Ya’acov Slonim, head of the Sephardic (Jews from  the Middle East and Iberian Peninsula) Jewish community, and Rabbi  Frank, head of the Ashkenazic (Jews from Eastern Europe) community,  turned to the Arab governor of Hebron, Abdullah Kardos. The governor  calmed us and said: “There is no fear of anything happening. The  British Government knows what it has to do. In the place where two  soldiers are needed, it sends six.” And he added: “I tell you in  confidence that they have many soldiers in the streets, in civilian  clothes; these soldiers circulate among the crowds, and in the hour of  need they will fulfill their duty.”



If that sounds familiar, it should. Just like today, when the world  community promises to use their influence or might to prevent Arab  terrorism, the promises of protection in August 1929 were not backed up  with action:


That night, Rabbi Ya’acov Slonim’s son invited any  fearful Jews to stay in his house. The rabbi was highly regarded in the  community and besides, he had a gun. Many Jews took him up on this  offer, and many Jews were eventually murdered there.


On Saturday morning, before the slaughter began, the rabbis again  appealed to the governor for help. Again they received the same  astounding assurances. Bewildered, they turned to Mr. Cafferata, the  British officer in charge of the police. From him, too, they received  assurances of safety.


As early as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, Arab crowds  began to gather. They came in mobs, armed with clubs, knives, and axes.  The Arab women and children threw stones, the men ransacked Jewish  houses and destroyed Jewish property. With only that single police  officer in Hebron (Mr. Cafferata), the Arabs entered Jewish courtyards  with no opposition.


Rabbi Slonim, who had tried to shelter much of the Jewish population  in his own home, was 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 to turn over any of the students and was killed on the spot,  along with his wife and young child. In the end, 12 Sephardi Jews and  55 Ashkenazi Jews were murdered.



“On hearing screams in a room I went up a sort of tunnel  passage and saw an Arab in the act of cutting off a child’s head with a  sword. He had already hit him and was having another cut, but on seeing  me he tried to aim the stroke at me, but missed; he was practically on  the muzzle of my rifle. I shot him low in the groin. Behind him was a  Jewish woman smothered in blood with a man I recognized as a police  constable named Issa Sherif from Jaffa in mufti. He was standing over  the woman with a dagger in his hand. He saw me and bolted into a room  close by and tried to shut me out-shouting in Arabic, ‘Your Honor, I am  a policeman.’ I got into the room and shot him (Bernard Wasserstein, The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929).”


“Now let me tell you about the massacre. Right after eight o’clock  in the morning we heard screams. Arabs had begun breaking into Jewish  homes. The screams pierced the heart of the heavens. We didn’t know  what to do. Our house had two floors. We were downstairs and a doctor  lived on the second floor. We figured that we would be safe in the  doctor’s apartment, but how could we get up there? The stairs were on  the outside of the building, but it wasn’t safe to go out. So we  chopped through the ceiling and that way we climbed up to the doctor’s  house. Well, after being there only a little while, we realized that we  were still in danger because by that time the Arabs had almost reached  our house. They were going from door to door, slaughtering everyone who  was inside. The screams and the moans were terrible. People were crying  Help! Help! But what could we do? There were thirty-three of us. Soon,  soon, all of us would be lost (Letter of a Survivor).”



When the terrorist massacre finally ended, the surviving Jews  resettled in Jerusalem. Some Jewish families tried to move back to  their homes in Hebron, but were removed by the British authorities in  1936 at the start of the Arab revolt. In 1948, the War of Independence  granted Israel statehood, but Jews were cut off from Hebron, as the  city was captured by King Abdullah’s Arab Legion and ultimately annexed  to Jordan.

When Jews finally gained control of the city in 1967, a small number  of massacre survivors again tried to reclaim their old houses. Then  defense minister Moshe Dayan supposedly told the survivors that if they  returned, they would be arrested, and that they should be patient while  the government worked out a solution to get their houses back. Dayan  never got around to it — guess he was too busy giving away Jewish rights to the Temple Mount.

The Memorial of the Jews of Hebron, as submitted to the high commissioner of Palestine, closes with these tragic words:


In the name of sixty-five slaughtered, fifty-eight  wounded, and many orphans and widows; in the name of the remnants of  the plundered and tortured we accuse:


1. The [British Mandatory] Government, which did not fulfill its  duty and provide protection for its peaceful and defenseless charges.


2. The Governor, Abdullah Kardos, and the Commander, Cafferata, who  deprived us of the means of appealing for help and defense, betrayed us  with empty promises and gave the murderers and robbers their  opportunity.


3.   The police, which did not fulfill its duty, and behaved with contemptible baseness.


4. The emissaries of the Mufti and the Moslem Council, in particular  the Sheikh Talib Narka and his colleagues, those mentioned above, as  well as those who have not been mentioned, who proclaimed the massacre  and permitted murder and rape.


5. Also the inhabitants of Hebron (with the exception of some  families) who did not rise up to help their brothers and neighbors in  accordance with the commandments of the Koran …

Some 80 years later, that memorial still rings true. Arab terrorists  are still using false charges as an excuse to attack innocent Jews in  Israel — now they receive help from the mass media and organizations such as Human Rights Watch. UNIFIL, which was appointed by the UN to protect Israel’s northern border, does nothing to prevent a missile buildup by terrorists, and there are no moderate Muslims standing up to their terrorist brothers.

Eighty years after the Hebron Massacre, the world community still  does not stand up to Arab terror and still does not care about the  blood of one more Jew.

In 1929, the Jews of Hebron learned that they cannot rely on anyone  else for protection. The terrorist attacks of that summer led to the  strengthening of Jewish armed forces, such as the Haganah, to protect  the Jews in the Holy Land.

Some 80 years later the government of Israel must remember that  lesson. The leadership of her allies change — some will be willing to  help Israel, some will abandon her.

In the end, there is no country other than Israel which will protect Israel.

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It has been brought to our attention that Margaret is being portrayed as a psychic on $1.99 sites. These sites are doing so without Margaret's permission. Margaret has not claimed she is a psychic. - MW