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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rich history of synagogue desecration by Arabs

This week's gleeful destruction of Gaza synagogues by Palestinians is a continuation of a long tradition of synagogue destruction, and attempted destructions, throughout time. Just in the decades of the 30s and 40s shows a large number of outrages committed by Arabs towards Jewish places of worship, both in Palestine and in surrounding Arab nations.

The justifications given by Arabs and their apologists are strikingly familiar.

In 1936, Tiberias' Jews were under siege from their Arab neighbors, and their shuls were targets as well: (All articles from the Palestine Post):


The situation did not improve, and things got violent again in 1939:



In case you may be wondering whether this was not a deliberate act, the British House of Commons were alarmed enough to address this issue the week after. It is very clear that these are terror attacks against Jews.

But the problem was hardly localized in Tiberias. Here is an account of a synagogue bombing in Jerusalem in 1938.




In Haifa, another synagogue was destroyed, in the wake of Jewish flight from Arab terrorism earlier in 1938:
















This was not a localized problem in Palestine. Cairo Jews were victims of two attempted synagogue bombings in 1939, a few days after the Tiberias incidents:


And these were immediately followed by two bombs in Beirut:


World War II brought an apparent respite from synagogue attacks by Arabs - they seem to have left that job up to the Nazis for the war years. But the Arabs learned a lot from the Nazis, as their attacks against Jews intensified and mimicked the Nazi destruction during the Holocaust. This remarkable article shows the details of anti-Jewish riots in Cairo in 1945, including the joy throughout the Arab world at the killing and destruction and the bizarre justification by the Muslim terrorists who were behind it (click for larger image):


As the UN Partition plan was getting approved, the Arab hate for all things Jewish intensified. In Syria, an Arab mob destroyed a celebrated ancient synagogue, along with a priceless manuscript of the Hebrew Bible that scholars have used as a standard reference text.

Not only Aleppo but also synagogues and Jewish communities in Kuwait, Derna and Aden were attacked:


During the 1948 war, the famous Hurva synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem was destroyed in a very public and symbolic manner by the Jordanians.


But that was only the first - in the end, all vestiges of Jewish life in Jerusalem were utterly obliterated by the bloodthirsty and hateful Arab terrorists.


Finally, after the war ended, the Arab hatred of everything remotely connected to Judaism did not end. Back in Damascus, a synagogue bombing killed 11 Jews. The Syrian government appeared to be displeased at this massacre - not so much because of the dead Jews or destroyed synagogue, but because it could have affected the truce talks between Israel and her neighbors.

Then as now, morality never seems to enter the picture when Arabs speak out against terror.