Ariel Center for
Policy Research



NATIV   ■   Volume Twelve   ■   Number 4&5 (69-70)  ■  September 1999   ■  Ariel Center for Policy Research




Hebron - The Pogrom of 1929 and the Protected Jews Now

Elyakim Ha'etzni

Seventy years ago, on August 24, 1929, the Arabs of Hebron committed a pogrom in the small Jewish community of Hebron, murdering 67 men, women and children.

The trauma of this carnage is still with us.  Two main components of the Jewish society were completely taken by surprise.

The Zionist camp did not envisage a Diaspora-type pogrom in Eretz Israel, and a typical Eastern-Europe style pogrom it was.  This did not fit into the self-image of the "New Jew" the Zionists wanted to create.  To be involved as a warring party in a national struggle was one thing, to be the passive victim of a massacre, was a different thing altogether.

The other segment of our society, the so-called "Old Yishuv", the Jewish community in Eretz Israel which preceded Zionism - some of them anti-Zionists, others merely non-Zionists, were appalled to learn that they, not "the others", had been chosen as targets.  Did not they, who wanted to live as a congregation rather than a sovereign state, do everything to demarcate clearly this distinguishing line?  Did not they even reject offers made by the Zionists to protect their lives?

The brutal attacks mainly on those congregations in Hebron, Jerusalem and Safed the slaughter of Arab-speaking Jews, some of them friends and even business partners of Arabs for hundreds of years, came as a stunning surprise.

Such was the impact, that after the liberation of Hebron by the IDF, almost none of them returned to the town.

It seems that all segments of our society Zionists on one hand and on the other hand ultra-religious proto-Zionists, together with secularist post-Zionist "peaceniks" - did not get the real message of Hebron -1929: For the Arabs all various political, religious, cultural, shadings amongst us have no meaning at all, they know only of Jews.  Very often, these days, young Arab women and men are caught, carrying long, sharp knives.  In their confessions they invariably admit to having set out "to kill Jews".  Not soldiers, settlers, Zionists or "extremist":  Jews.

* * *

A most striking feature was the unbelievable cruelty shown by the attackers, revealing a deep seated hatred, without bounds.  This raises a question, which unfortunately is relevant even to day.  Why?  Why this consuming lust for our blood?

The Hebron pogromists killed Ashkenazim and Sephardim, old-timers and newcomers, religious and secular.  No quarter was given even to those who sought protection with friends and neighbors.

70 years later, a new generation of would be "integrationists in the Orient" has come up among us.  They deride any attempt to learn from the past, as a paranoid "Auschwitz Complex".  Under their watchword "Peace is our Security" they close both eyes to the ever recurring, ever resurgent urge to spill Jewish blood.  Learning the lessons of Kishinev-type pogroms, of Hebron -1929, of the Holocaust, has become old fashioned, bothersome, extremist, "politically incorrect".

Which brings us to the conclusion, that it was a certain Jewish mentality which brought the catastrophe upon the small Hebron community.  This very same mentality now threatens the existence of 5 million Jews in Eretz Israel.  Not all the Arab missiles, bombs and daggers constitute the main danger to our existence, but our suicidal Jewish genetics.  This is the cause of all the destruction that ever befell us.

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