In 1936 the Arabs launched a pogrom and the city’s Jews fled, not returning until the liberation in 1948. Over the last few years the city’s Arab population has been expanding into former Jewish neighborhoods and there have been a number of incidents since a group of young Jews moved in near the Hesder Yeshiva.
On our tour, a city employee told us that the forty artistic signs placed above Jewish landmarks in the Old City were torn down by the “Muslim Movement of the North.” They were replaced with verses from the Koran. The Koranic verses are undisturbed. The impression we got from our guide was, “What can you do, at least they are not rioting.”
The latest battle for the city is being fought on another front. I had occasion to look at a number of buildings in the formerly solid Jewish neighborhoods. They fled Arab mobs in the old country and are doing the same in their “new country.” It was eerie to see many apartments with mezuzas torn off the doorposts and pictures of Mecca in its place. This is the latest battle for Akko. No storming of the walls or cannon fire. It is in the real estate offices where the silent victory or defeat is determined. Agents told me that Jews sell to anyone in their desire to flee the “changing neighborhood.” Arabs never sell to Jews.
Paul Newman where are you!