The Ad Kan organization on Sunday sent a letter to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri requesting the immediate removal of a monument in Acre, glorifying three pogromists who murdered Jews in the 1929 massacre in Hebron. Ad Kan warned the minister that such a memorial encourages Arab youths to follow in the path of the murderers.
The existence of the monument was exposed by journalist Yishai Friedman, who reported last June in Makor Rishon that the Balad party, member of the Joint Arab list, posted on its official Facebook page praises to three leaders of the massacre of the Jews of Hebron and Tsfat in 1929, on the 90th anniversary of their execution by the British (בל”ד מצדיעה למחוללי טבח תרפ”ט). They are described by Balad politicians as “martyrs of the al-Burak revolution” – the Arab nationalist name for the 1929 riots.
In total, 67 Jews were killed on August 24, 1929 in Hebron. 59 Jews died during the rioting and 8 more later succumbed to their wounds. They included a dozen women and three children under the age of five. Twenty-four of the victims were students from the Hebron yeshiva, seven of whom were American or Canadian. 58 are believed to have been injured, including many women and children.
פעילים פוליטיים חלקם מזוהים עם חד”ש הקימו אנדרטה לזכרם בבית הקברות המוסלמי בעכו, שם נקברו. ה-3 השתתפו בלינצ’ים ופוגרומים. עטא א-זיר מחברון נשא גרזן והוביל חבורה שפרצה לבית הרב קסטל שם נרצח. אח”כ רצח את תלמיד הישיבה אברהם שפירא ודקר בגבו את אליהו קפילוטו שנהרג כעבור שנה מפצעיו>> pic.twitter.com/S21HfTHRIE
— ישי פרידמן (@IshayFridman) June 19, 2020
Friedman reported that following the 1929 massacres, the British government sought to execute 27 Arabs who took part in the riots and murders of more than a hundred Jews in Hebron and the rest of the country. In the end, the British High Commissioner decided to commute the sentences of 24 Arabs to life in prison, and hang three who committed the most heinous crimes: Muhammad Jamjum, Fuad Hajazi and ‘Atta a-Zir.
Hadash, the mostly Arab Communist party, also endorsed over the years the commemoration of the three hanged pogromists, because, as former Hadash MK Issam Makhoul explained to Friedman: “I look at the events of 1929, first and foremost, as part of the Palestinian struggle against British imperialism. The reason for the uprising was, among other things, the expropriation of peasant families by selling land from feudal lords to the Zionist movement.”
“I don’t go into the particular discussion of who did what, I look at the historical process,” Makhoul said.
The Ad Kan letter to Minister Deri argued that the erection of the monument was done in violation of the law. The “Prohibition of erecting memorials to perpetrators of terrorist acts” law states that “a memorial shall not be erected in memory of the perpetrator of an act of terrorism,” and “a monument whose erection is an offense .. will be removed.” Likewise, “anyone publishing praise, support or encouragement for an act of terrorism … whereby real possibility exists that it would lead to committing an act of terrorism” shall be sentenced to five years in prison.
“Undoubtedly, the establishment of a memorial to murderous terrorists and turning it into a site for pilgrimage is prohibited by law, and, beyond the grave moral failure of glorifying the murderers of Jews in such a manner, could very likely lead to ‘copycats’ who would embrace the legacy of the despicable murderers and become determined to do as much as they can to join the ‘heroic martyrs,'” Ad Kan wrote Deri,
“We expect that the monument to the heinous murderers will soon be removed by the Interior Ministry, and perhaps prevent the next instigated murder,” the group wrote.
As of Sunday, some two weeks after sending the letter and filing the complaint, the monument still stands, according to Ad Kan. The Acre Police Department reported that “the case was transferred to the national headquarters for guidance.”