Greek Monk's Account of 1834 Arab Uprising and Pogrom - Part Two
The Greek monk NeoPhytos describes their welcome:
The pasha was very tired and thirsty, and asked for some water. A Frank from Jerusalem immediately fetched a little jug of water. He drank and gave it to his miralais [officers]. Then came a native Orthodox [Christian] with a jug of water, of which the Pasha also drank. Crowds of people, Orthodox, Franks [Western/Latin Christians], Armenians and even Jews came out to see the Pasha who was their deliverer and saviour. Not one Moslem, young or old, was visible.
The Pasha then asked the Christians who were present, how they had fared at the hands of the rebels and if they had suffered from them. Wishing him a long life, they explained to him what had happened. . .
[after polite drinking of coffee and eating sherbet, the Pasha] then enquired if we had suffered from the fellaheen, etc. . .
An hour later a herald passed through the streets ordering all the citizens, Moslems, Christians, and Jews to open their shops without fear, and to continue buying and selling as formerly. . .Note that there was a distinct difference in sentiments between the Muslims in the country and the subject peoples and subordinate religious groups, the dhimmis. The non-Muslims saw the Muslim population as a dangerous enemy, whereas they viewed Muhammad Ali --a tyrant, after all-- as their benevolent deliverer and protector, which he was at that time.
In 1840, however, the same Muhammad Ali persecuted Jews in Damascus on the false charge of murdering a Roman Catholic monk. This persecution was at first encouraged by the Damascene Christian and Muslim populations, as well as by the French, British, and Austrian consuls in Damascus at the time. However, the Austrian and British governments eventually took a position effectively in defense of the Jews, and the local Austrian consul --an Italian named Merlato-- actually helped them, whereas the French consul actively took part in the persecution, in the torture of Damascene Jews [four Jews died under torture]. Although the British government under Lord Palmerston also took a stand against the persecution of the Jews, the local British consul apparently continued to side with the persecution and against the Jews, despite his government's position.
The Syrian government today of Bashir Assad actively claims that the Jews of Damascus at that time murdered the monk to use his blood for baking matsoh. Unlike 1840, this position evokes little protest in the West, not even from the so-called "human rights" groups, from peace-mongers, the "Left," etc. Indeed, certain peace-mongers and "Leftists" openly delight in imbibing accusations with similar themes from Arab spokesmen, and in spreading such fanatic lies. Consider the widespread acceptance among the Western press/broadcasting media of the big lie of the "Jenin massacre." In Jenin too, as in Damascus 162 years earlier, there was a search for bodies of those allegedly slain by the Jews which never found any massacred bodies or any credible evidence of a massacre.