Today is the 75th anniversary of the Hebron riots, described as “a two-week orgy of pogroms [that] took place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Safed, Hebron and a number of smaller locales in British-ruled Palestine, at the end of which 83 Jews had been killed and hundreds wounded.” The Forward describes how the attacks were not spontaneous and how the British did little or nothing to help. Most of the victims came from well established religious communities that had been living in the region for hundreds of years, whereas the newer settlements, populated by Zionists were protected by pre-existing defense forces, and suffered relatively low casualties.
What is also interesting is how the Jewish communists back in the US actually marched in solidarity with the arabs who they claimed were provoked by the presence of the Jews. I thought of this as I passed the weekly friday vigil in front of the local Israeli consulate organized by the local chapter of women in black. Across the street from them was a group of pro-Israel folks, flags aflutter, who counter protest there every friday as well.
The Hebron Riots were a definitive part of Israeli history, the lessons of which reverberate to this very day. The exact nature of these lessons however, are not quite as clear. Some people seem to have learnt them, others… not so much. Whatever. Shabat Shalom y’all.