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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hebron in the 19th Century -- Part IV

In 19th Century Hebron, the Jews were "a persecuted minority," according to John Kelman, who assisted George Adam Smith's geographic survey endeavor in the Land of Israel and Syria. Kelman went on to generalize beyond Hebron:
"In Syria today the lowest and most insulting term of abuse among the fellahin [Arab peasants] is to call each other Jews."[Kelman, pp 97-98; Friedman, p 136]
At that time, it was common to consider the Land of Israel part of Syria [Bilad ash-Sham in Arabic; including the Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria of today].

Getting back to our focus on Hebron, Saul Friedman points out that Arab Muslims there had persecuted the Jews there. Indeed, the Muslim authorities exploited/oppressed the Hebron Jews with the regular taxes imposed on dhimmis [jizya, kharaj], as well as huge debts to the authorities on the account of various exceptional decrees [see Encyc. Judaica "Hebron" & Sefer Hebron]. There were also persecutions in the form of expulsions and acts of anti-Jewish violence based on the blood libel [EJ]. Marian Harland wrote about Hebron:
'Father Abraham' occupies an exalted place among saints revered by the Moslems, and the jealous hatred of the Jews, never absent from the creed and feelings of the worshipper of Mohammed, is at fever-heat in Hebron. Nowhere else in the Holy Land, or out of it, are they regarded with such intolerant suspicion as in the ancient city in which David reigned over Judah seven years and six months [Hebron was David's first capital: II Samuel 5:5]. Hence, the approach of the Israelite to the tomb of the patriarchs is even more abhorrent to 'believers' than that of the 'Christian dog.' [Harland, pp 328-329; Friedman, p 136]

We learn on the grounds of the above accounts that the massacre of the Jews of Hebron in 1929 was not especially due to establishment of the Jewish National Home, the task mandated to Britain by the San Remo Conference in 1920 and the League of Nations in 1922. Many anti-Zionists, both "left" and "right," have made that claim over the years. However, we see that profound hatred and contempt for Jews were prevalent in Hebron long before August 1929. Indeed, Judeophobia goes back to the early days of Islam, according to Arab-Muslim records, the Qur'an, Hadith, etc.

If the European Union, the US State Department, the Ford Foundation, the fake peace group "Peace Now," and Russia get their way, and an Arab state called "palestine" is founded which will rule over Hebron, it is likely that, in the best case, Jews will again be excluded from entering the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. As Saul Friedman put it:
Creation of an independent Palestinian state doubtless would see a reversion to the status quo before the Six Day War --no entry to the Cave of Machpelah and probably no Jewish settlements in the area. [Friedman, p 137]
Creating a Judenrein zone within the Land of Israel [including Hebron] or creating a Judenrein zone throughout all of the Land of Israel seems to be an international desideratum for which an Arab state called "palestine" would be the instrument.

Saul Friedman, Land of Dust (Washington, DC: University Press of America 1982).
Marian Harland, Home of the Bible, A Woman's Vision of the Master's Land (Philadelphia & Chicago: Monarch Book Co., 1895).
John Kelman, The Holy Land (London: Adam & Charles Black 1902).
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Coming: More on Hebron, more peace follies, Carter and his hangers on, Jews in Jerusalem, etc.


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