web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Columns »

Terrorism Without “Occupation”: Some Lessons From The Early Arab Pogroms

The Bash-Israel media and the Arab terrorist amen chorus have been repeating for so many years that Palestinian terrorism and barbarism are caused by Israeli “occupation” that few are still capable of examining that “theory” critically.
 
The simple fact is that Palestinian terrorism and atrocities against Jews began not only long before Israel “occupied” the West Bank and Gaza, but long before Israel was created. Examining those early waves of violence can shed enormous light on the Middle East conflict even today and help us understand its true nature.

There were waves of attacks against Jews in Palestine throughout the 1920′s – the Jewish population of Hebron was destroyed by Arab terrorists in 1929. Palestine at the time was part of the British Mandate. While a few hundred thousand Arabs lived in there in the 1930′s, it had never been an Arab Palestinian state, and in fact had not been under any form of Arab rule since the Dark Ages.

The worst anti-Jewish atrocities in Palestine were part of a wave of Arab pogroms lasting from 1936 to 1939 and dubbed the “Arab Revolt” by apologists for the terrorism. They were designed to stop immigration to the Land of Israel by Jewish refugees trying to flee a Europe that was coming under the growing shadow of Hitler. During the “Revolt,” between 415 and 463 Jews (depending on the source) were murdered by the Arab pogromists.

The pogroms were aimed at Jewish civilians and sometimes at British colonial forces. They escalated in September 1937, after the British Royal “Peel Commission” made its recommendations. That commission called for a tiny Jewish mini-state and a large Arab state, both to be carved out of Western Palestine. It also called for severe restrictions on further immigration to Palestine of Jewish refugees from Europe. But because it did not rule out Jewish sovereignty and Jewish immigration altogether, which were the minimal demands of the terrorists, the pogrom leaders ordered escalated violence.

At the time, Palestinian Arabs were led by an “Arab High Command” headed by the infamous Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini. The mufti served as chief clergyman in Jerusalem with British approval, even though he had fought against the British in World War I.

Al-Husseini later went on to become Hitler’s ally and point man, assisting Hitler in recruiting Muslims for the German side in World War II.

On May 10, 1941 the mufti broadcast a fatwa (religious ruling) calling for a holy war against the British. It claimed the British had profaned the Al-Aksa mosque and were out to destroy Islam (an allegation reinvented against Israel by more recent Palestinian leaders). In 1943 the mufti was sent to Yugoslavia, where he organized the 13th Waffen SS division, which not only was responsible for the murder of about 90 percent of Bosnia’s Jews but also destroyed numerous Serbian churches and villages. In his memoirs, the mufti thanked Eichmann and praised him as “gallant and noble.”

Throughout this period the Jews did not “occupy” anything except their own personal property, exercising no sovereignty at all in the Land of Israel. The campaigns of Palestinian terrorism had nothing to do with occupation, because there was no Jewish occupation.

Apologists for the terrorists, like Hebrew University’s pro-Palestinian professor and propagandist Baruch Kimmerling, argue that the violence proves that a “Palestinian nationalism” was emerging in the late 1930′s. In fact, the term “Palestinian” referred at the time to Jews, not Arabs. Palestinian Arab leaders did not begin to demand the right to “self-determination” and statehood until after 1967. When the West Bank and Gaza were occupied by Egypt and Jordan, the Palestinian leadership had no complaints about any “alien occupation” and expressed no desire for self-determination.

Were there no voices of moderation and tolerance among Palestinian Arabs at the time? As a matter of fact, there were. And the story of what became of one of them can help us understand the entire Middle East conflict.

On May 4, a fascinating story related to that era was published for the first time by the dovish Israeli journalist (and filmmaker) Yehuda Litani in Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s leading daily. Litani is well known for

films sympathetic to the mundane problems of Palestinian Arabs.

Back when the mufti was beating the war drums and organizing mass murders of Jews, it seems that an article was published by a young Palestinian Arab intellectual, Araf al-Asli, age 27, denouncing the mufti, the pogroms, and the violence.

The article appeared in both Hebrew and Arabic leaflets. Titled “The History of the Jews and the Arabs,” its theme was that Jews and Arabs had cooperated in the past, especially during the era of cultural flowering in Muslim Spain. That cooperation had helped make Spain the most advanced civilization of its age, surpassing the rest of Europe in science, literature, and architecture. Indeed, Muslim Spain was the most tolerant regime in all of medieval Europe.

Al-Asli went on to denounce Arab leaders trying to organize violent assaults against Jews and trying to recruit support among Palestinian Arabs for the untrustworthy dictators of the Arab states. He called for cooperation and solidarity with the Jews. He warned the Arabs that if they chose the path of armed conflict with the Jews, rejecting the outstretched hand of the Zionists, the Arabs would lose.

In the midst of the anti-Jewish pogroms, al-Asli was proposing an immediate ceasefire, followed by an alliance with the Zionists that would produce prosperity for Jews and Arabs.

Soon after publication of the essay, terrorists commanded by the mufti kidnapped the dissident, interrogated him, and eventually walled him up inside a cave on Mount Scopus. Meanwhile, al-Asli’s father, a civil servant in Jordan, managed to persuade the mufti to let his son out of the cave. Afraid of antagonizing the Jordanian regime, the mufti allowed the battered son out, but banished him to Lebanon. There al-Asli found work waiting tables and teaching Hebrew to students at the American University of Beirut.

The story was buried for many years until relatives of al-Asli told it to Litani and he published it. The incident shows clearly why so few voices of moderation have ever been heard among the Palestinian Arabs.

The mufti died in 1974, but the al-Husseini family has continued to play a central role in Palestinian terrorism and extremism.

For those who think Middle East terrorism is attributable to Jews “mistreating” and “occupying” Palestinians, nothing can better remove the blinders than studying the 1936-39 period in Palestine.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at Steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Terrorism Without “Occupation”: Some Lessons From The Early Arab Pogroms

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A house sustained a direct hit Thursday, August 21, 2014 in a shelling barrage from Gaza. Miraculously, no one was home.
1 Israeli Wounded in Eshkol Rocket Barrage
Latest Indepth Stories
ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

Sgt. Sean Carmeli, ZT"L

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

(Reposted with permission from author’s website) Moderate truth-teller Daniel Pipes (Dream) has further moderated his stance on Islam by actually entertaining the idea of “Moderate Islamism”, with Andrew C. McCarthy- whom I’ve debated about this- giving it some credence. We’ve gone from Naming the Enemy -Nazism, Communism- to Renaming the Enemy – “Islamic Totalitarianism”, “Radical Islam”, “Islamism”, […]

Maimonides: “Your 1 mitzva may tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world and creation”

Jerusalem has been aware of the importance of China to its growth and security.

In other words, how by any rational playbook can one even begin to explain anti-Semitism?

Israel has nine Iron Domes, but you Mr. Hannity are the tenth.

Entire movements within “orthodoxy” propagate a Judaism of outlandish folklore and Jewish mysticism

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

More Articles from Steven Plaut
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

One grey night it happened, Bibi caved no more
& Poof that Foggy Bottomer, he vanished from our sight

Ehud Olmert
Feb. 27, 2014

It’s six K, five K, four K, Graft !
(Daylight come and da jail’s his new home)

In 2012, an initiative was begun in the Knesset led by David Rotem (from the Yisrael Beitenu party), to cut the stipends and pensions paid to convicted murderers and terrorists by 50 percent.

When the Temple was in existence, Jews were religiously obligated to eat roast meat at least once a year.

I have frequently drawn up lists of what I love most about Israel, and Arik Einstein has ranked high.

In the past, the law school prohibited the singing of Hatikvah.

American non-Orthodox Jews are intermarrying their way into post-Jewish oblivion, and they’re doing so as a direct result of having emptied their version of Judaism of all meaning.

The Taliban is all too willing to obliterate anything attesting to ancient Jewish life and culture.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/terrorism-without-occupation-some-lessons-from-the-early-arab-pogroms-3/2006/05/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: