Thursday, November 17, 2016

  • Thursday, November 17, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
A pro-Arab commenter recommended that people read the British Palin Commission of Inquiry report that examined the anti-Jewish rioting in Jerusalem from April 4-7, 1920 known as the Nebi Musa riots.

Wikipedia summarizes the riots:

By 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, 4 April 1920, 60,000–70,000 Arabs had congregated in the city square for the Nebi Musa festival, and groups had been attacking Jews in the Old City's alleys for over an hour. Inflammatory anti-Zionist rhetoric was delivered by Amin al-Husayni from the balcony of the Arab Club. Another inciter was Musa al-Husayni, his uncle, the mayor, who spoke from the municipal building's balcony.
The editor of the newspaper Suriya al-Janubia (Southern Syria), Aref al-Aref, another Arab Club member, delivered his speech on horseback at the Jaffa Gate.[13] The nature of his speech is disputed. According to Benny Morris, he said "If we don't use force against the Zionists and against the Jews, we will never be rid of them",[9] while Bernard Wasserstein wrote "he seems to have co-operated with the police, and there is no evidence that he actively instigated violence".[13] In fact, Wasserstein adds, "Zionist intelligence reports of this period are unanimous in stressing that he spoke repeatedly against violence".[13]
The crowd reportedly shouted "Independence! Independence!" and "Palestine is our land, the Jews are our dogs!"[1] Arab police joined in applause, and violence started.[14] The local Arab population ransacked the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. The Torath Chaim Yeshiva was raided, and Torah scrolls were torn and thrown on the floor, and the building then set alight.[1] During the next three hours, 160 Jews were injured.[14]
Khalil al-Sakakini witnessed the eruption of violence in the Old City:
"[A] riot broke out, the people began to run about and stones were thrown at the Jews. The shops were closed and there were screams. … I saw a Zionist soldier covered in dust and blood. … Afterwards, I saw one Hebronite approach a Jewish shoeshine boy, who hid behind a sack in one of the wall's comers next to Jaffa Gate, and take his box and beat him over the head. He screamed and began to run, his head bleeding and the Hebronite left him and returned to the procession. … The riot reached its zenith. All shouted, "Muhammad's religion was born with the sword". … I immediately walked to the municipal garden. … my soul is nauseated and depressed by the madness of humankind."[15]
The army imposed night curfew on Sunday night and arrested several dozen rioters, but on Monday morning they were allowed to attend morning prayers and were then released. Arabs continued to attack Jews and break into their homes, especially in Arab-majority mixed buildings.[1]
On Monday, as disturbances grew worse, the Old City was sealed off by the army and no one was allowed to exit the area. Martial law was declared, but looting, burglary, rape, and murder continued. Several homes were set on fire, and tombstones were shattered. British soldiers found that the majority of illicit weapons were concealed on the bodies of Arab women.[1] On Monday evening, the soldiers were evacuated from the Old City, a step described in the Palin Report as "an error of judgment". Even with martial law, it took the British authorities another 4 days to restore order.
The Old City's Jewish community had no training or weapons, and Jabotinsky's men had found themselves outside the walled Old City, and shut out by British soldiers.[1] Two volunteers were able to enter the Jewish Quarter disguised as medical personnel to organize self-defense – using rocks and boiling water.[1]
The Palin report mentions very little of this. While is admits that Jews were the primary victims of days of murder, looting and rape, the bulk of the report describes Arab frustration over Zionism and blames Zionists for being too political, provoking the Arabs to act. Every time the word "provocative" is used in the report, it refers to Jews - doing little more than saying things..

Here is a salient section that shows how the British viewed Zionist political (and, at that time, very limited paramilitary) activity:
Towards the Administration they [some Zionists] adopted the attitude of "We want the Jewish State and we won't wait", and they did not hesitate to avail themselves of every means open to them in this country and abroad to force; the hand of an Administration bound to respect the "Status Quo" and to commit it, and thereby future Administrations, to a policy not contemplated in the Balfour Declaration.. It is not to be wondered at that the Arab population complained of bias on the part of the Administration in favour of the Jews. They see the Administration  repeatedly overruled by the Zionist Commission; they see the Zionist Commission intermeddling in every department of Government, in Justice, Public Health, Legislation, Public Works, and forcing the Administration as in the case of the Wilhelma Concession to interfere in their favour, in a purely business transaction. They see Jews excluded from the operations of the Public Custodian with regard to enemy property: they have seen the introduction of the Hebrew language on an equality with Arabic and English: they have seen considerable immigration not effectively controlled: they see Zionist stamps on letters and Zionist young men drilling publicly in the open spaces of the town. Finally they have seen them proceeding to the election of a Constituent Assembly. What more natural than that they should fail to realise the immense difficulties the Administration was and is labouring under and come to the conclusion that the openly published demands of the Jews were to be granted and the guarantees in the Declaration were to become but a dead letter?

30. Another indiscretion of the Jews, moreover, had succeeded in adding fuel of the most combustible kind to the growing fire. Christians and Moslems alike have the deepest concern for the Holy Places of Jerusalem. Rightly or wrongly they suspect the intentions of the Jews with regard to these, the Roman Catholics more particularly with regard to the Christian Holy Places and the Moslems with regard to the Haram el Sherif, which they can never forget is the site of the Jewish Temple. Now previous to the war, the Jews had already entered into negotiations to secure a piece of land for a Jewish meeting place close to the Wailing Wall, the land in question being a Waqf of the Moroccans. [p35] The scheme was taken up again in 1918, but opposition had then been raised and the scheme had to be dropped.

The Wailing Wall is in reality the Western Wall of the Haram, the bottom courses consisting of huge blocks certainly dating from the time of the Jewish Temple, though whether Herod's or Solomon's is not clear. This wall the Jews claim as their possession, but it is almost certain that they have no claim in law, the wall together with the rest of the Haram being the property of the Sultan of Turkey in his sovereign capacity. Recently the question has arisen in a more acute form through the attempts of the Moslems to repair certain of the upper courses of the wall. The correspondence which has ensued between the Jews and the Administration with reference to this subject throws considerable light on the extent of Jewish claims in this direction. The Rabbi Kook in his letter of 30th May declares that the Temple area and the whole of the Mount are "bound in the end to revert to us" and asks the Government to entrust the Wailing Wall "to the care and control of the Representatives of Jewry: and any reparations that shall be required we shall carry out ourselves." The Zionist Commission in their letter to Colonel Storrs of May 16th 1920 declare the act of repairing the wall by the Moslems a 'Sacrilege', and the Council of Rabbis writing to Colonel Storrs on June 2nd 1920 say "The Holy Wall, the Wailing Wall is the property of Israel as far as the heavens and no other person or persons is allowed to touch it. .... At the same time we beg to declare our right to recognise the sacredness of the whole Moriah and Temple area; we are sure that the day will [p36] come and God will deliver his people; and our Holy Temple will be rebuilt in its glory as in the days of old ......." Such language may doubtless be considered as nothing but the pious expression of millenial hopes by deeply religious men. The Moslems, however, will be inclined to look to the practical activities of the Zionist Commission and to suspect that the less spiritually minded among them may be tempted to hasten the fulfilment of prophesy. In view of the sanctity of the Haram in the eyes of all Moslems, such a suspicion is enough to fire not only the Moslems of Palestine; but the whole of Islam.
 ...33. We have then arrived at a condition of affairs where the native population, disappointed of their hopes, panic-stricken as to their future, exasperated beyond endurance by the aggressive attitude of the Zionists, and despairing of redress at the hands of an Administration which seems to them powerless before the Zionist organisation, lies a ready prey for any form of agitation hostile to the British Government and the Jews. 
This section is preceded by a French expression that summarizes the entire report in two lines:

Cet animal est très méchant
Si on l'attaque il se défend.

This animal is very nasty
If attacked it defends itself.

This is a slight misquote from a French burlesque song of the 1860s. It means that one cannot fault an animal for its actions; when provoked it naturally lashes out in self-defense.

The Jews are the provokers. The Arabs are the innocent animals. And if any Jews get killed and raped and stabbed, well, it is their own fault for provoking the animals with speeches, working with the British and creating their own institutions.

See, for example, this section where Arab threats to the lives of Jews are discounted:
 There is certainly evidence that an indefinite presentiment existed among the people that an attack might be made on the Jews at some time during that festival. Threats were uttered and warnings given to individual Jews both in Jerusalem and in the country. It is necessary to observe here, however, that it is not an uncommon occurrence for the Moslem population in the East, when relations are strained, to indulge in vague menaces of this character and the approaching gathering of Moslems in Jerusalem would naturally suggest itself as a suitable occasion for their execution. 

While Arab justifications for terror are fully aired out and treated sympathetically, Zionism is described (quite falsely) as being a form of Bolshevism.

Jewish accusations are mentioned only briefly and treated contemptuously:

35. Having examined in considerable detail the case made by the Arab population against the Government and the various causes which may have been said to have given rise to the intense feeling which culminated in the outbreak on Easter Day, it is now necessary to pass shortly in review the case against the Administration as presented by the Zionists. This case was presented and pressed with a degree of bitterness by the Zionists remarkable even after making due allowance for the injury und alarm their compatriots had suffered in the riots. They persist in describing the events of these days as a "pogrom", a word which clearly imputes connivance to the Administration: Dr. de Sola Pool gave as his definition of the word that it meant "an attack on the Jews of the city carried out by the lower lawless elements who were given free play by the non-interference of the police and those charged with the keeping of order. Not necessarily with the connivance of the Government, but almost invariably of the lower police officials."
The Zionists also allege that the Administration and its officials have been steadily biassed against the Zionists and [p41] disloyal to the policy laid down in the Balfour Declaration: that by the exhibition of this bias they encouraged the Arabs to think that a massacre of the Jews would be pleasing to the Administration: that they failed to make adequate preparations to meet a premeditated attack in spite of repeated warnings, and that by their coquetting with the Sherifians and the Emir Feisal, they precipitated the catastrophe. The question of the behaviour of the police and the question of premeditation and want of preparation may best be left for consideration when we come to discuss the actual occurrences of Easter week. The questions to be examined here are how far the allegations of bias and encouragement of the Arabs can be said to be justified.
After discounting the testimony of  a British officer that supported the Jewish claims, ("Colonel Meinertzhagen arrived with a definite anti-Arab bias and a prejudice in favour of Zionism") the Commission summed up its response to these charges this way:

A much juster view of the situation can be obtained by the examination of the evidence of Lieut. Colonel Bentwich, Senior Judicial Officer of the Administration. Lieut. Colonel Bentwich is an English Jew and an ardent and convinced Zionist, and he impressed the Court as being a most fair minded and reliable witness. This is what he says "I don't think there has been a general bias. There have been one or two cases of officers in the Administration who had - Colonel Gabriel had, and one or two others were anti-Jewish. These officers have been dealt with. I think the Jews are a little out to seek offence. They are too sensitive and ready to take offence and there is action and re-action accordingly. The Jews regarded the declaration of 1917 as something which was to be fulfilled immediately and have been worried and disappointed by the delay. I think also there has been too much ostentation and demonstration irritating to the populace." This evidence deserves the profoundest consideration for it really sums up the whole matter.
Indeed it does. It shows that British attitudes towards the Arabs gives them as much agency in their actions as animals have, while Jews are expected to forego any activity that might "provoke" the animals to defend themselves.

This is racism, and it continues to the present day. One only needs to glance at the news to see that the attitude of Arabs as animals, not responsible for their actions, and Jews as adults who must not do anything to provoke the animals, is embedded in our culture. The entire reason the US gives to not move its embassy to Jerusalem is based on the concern that the Arab "animals" will start to kill people because of this "provocation." Consistently, Jews in Israel are implored to not act as sovereigns in their own land but as slaves to the animals whose attacks are terrible but understandable - because one cannot expect animals to behave any better.

The Palin report, certainly without meaning to, makes this racist attitude against Arabs explicit.

And its tacit acceptance of Arab violence with its recommendations against Zionist Jews led to more and more similar reports when there were major attacks on succeeding years - 1921, 1929, 1936 - all of which shifted responsibility for Arab terror on their Jewish victims.

The only way to bring real peace is to start treating Arabs as human beings who are responsible for their own actions, and to stop justifying constant threats and acts of terror as "natural." It is this Western racism that encourages terror.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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