Pierre van Paassen
Sociology professor H.David Kirk and his wife Beverly Tansey have been working on a biography of Canadian journalist and staunch friend of the Jewish people in their darkest days, Pierre van Paassen, and have drawn attention to his account of the 1929 pogrom against the Jews of Hebron. Van Paassen was in Palestine at the time and provides a graphic account in his book Days of Our Years, from which the following comes. Kirk observes that Van Paasen shows that the Mufti of Jerusalem was behind the riots and slaughter and accuses the British administration of aiding and abetting the Mufti.
As the accompanying article by Moshe Shamir on Hebron today points out, nothing has changed on the Arab side in the subsequent nearly seventy years. Here is Israeli citizen and Arab "moderate" adviser to Arafat Dr. Ahmed Tibi quoted in the liberal Ha'aretz on November 5, 1996: "There is no place for mutual existence of peace with the settlers, especially with those in Hebron, and anyone saying otherwise is lying." And it looks as if appallingly little has changed on the Jewish side, as a Jewish government prepares to abandon the renewed Jewish community of Hebron, paving the way for the residents to become victims of Arab mobs once again. Note how the pattern of lying about Jewish desecration of Arab holy places to incite the mob continues to the present, with Arafat recently using the opening of the Hasmonean tunnel to incite the Arab "street" with lies that it passed under the Al Aqsa mosque.
Here is what happened in 1929, as described by van Paassen.
Falsified photographs showing the Omar mosque of Jerusalem in ruins, with an inscription that the edifice had been bombed by the Zionists, were handed out to the Arabs of Hebron as they were leaving their place of worship on Friday evening, August the twenty-third. A Jew passing by on his way to the synagogue was stabbed to death. When he heard of the murder, Rabbi Slonim, a man born and bred in the city and a friend of the Arab notables, notified the British police commander that the Arabs seemed to be strangely excited. He was told to mind his own business. An hour later the synagogue was attacked by a mob, and the Jews at prayer were slaughtered. On the Saturday morning following, the Yeshiva...was put to the sack, and the students were slain. A delegation of Jewish citizens thereupon set out to visit the police station, but was met by the lynchers. The Jews returned and took refuge in the house of Rabbi Slonim where they remained until evening, when the mob appeared before the door. Unable to batter it down, the Arabs climbed up the trees at the rear of the house and, dropping onto the balcony, entered through the
Moshe ShamirThis article is adapted from the Hebrew in Nativ of September 1996. While it has become clear since this was written that the Netanyahu government does not intend to take its stand at the Hebron landmine -- thus failing its first major test -- Shamir's arguments loses none of their validity.
The first true test of the Netanyahu government is in Hebron. It serves as a kind of historical marker, 67 years after the murder of the Jews of Hebron in August 1929.
On the Arab side there is no change whatsoever after all these years. The Arabs have one single target in Hebron as they do in the entire country -- total uprooting of any Jewish existence. Has there been a change on the Jewish side? Are the Jews again fleeing or do they intend to maintain their hold on the city of the Patriarchs?
The Rabin-Peres government was prepared to turn over Hebron to Arab rule. For Rabin and Peres, the Jewish presence was simply an obstacle not requiring
The first true test of the Netanyahu government is in Hebron.
discussion for it might disappear by itself (perhaps with a little external help). For it is the nature of the Oslo agreements that a retreat gives birth to another retreat. A narrow crack in Israeli defenses leads to a wide breach. The most striking example is demonstrated before our eyes, as the Palestinian "Autonomy" expands from day to day, becoming a government, a state with an army and borders, with its capital in "El Kuds" (Jerusalem).
None of this enhances Israeli security or leads to peace and the previous government, if it did not know this from the start, learned it during the years of the Oslo-PLO terror. It didn't disturb the Labor leaders because they had achieved their main target. Israel was launched on the path of total retreat, up to and including liquidation of the achievements of the Six Day War in the Golan, Judea and Samaria, and Gaza. In their zeal in brewing the Oslo agreements, this reckless weakminded band, which appointed itself the savior of Israel, left a series of landmines, each of which can cause an explosion of the entire process.
What are these landmines? One type consists of demands by Arafat that only a straightforward treasonous government of Israel could accept. The other type is any issue on which Israel's refusal to capitulate promptly causes renewal of aggression and terror. At that point, either the Israeli position blows up into smithereens
November 1996 - 3 - Outpost