THE WAY TO THE SPRING: The Roots of Conflict

The town of Hebron used to have a small Jewish community. In 1929, Ehrenreich writes, “nearly 10 percent of Hebron’s” Jewish community was slaughtered.

Before then, “Jews and Arabs lived in relative harmony throughout Ottoman-era Palestine. Overall, Jew enjoyed greater security and freedom in the Muslim Levant than they did among Christians elsewhere, particularly in Eastern Europe, but also in the West. In his official report to the British Parliament on the 1929 ‘disturbances,’ Sir Walter Shaw acknowledged that ‘there had been no records of attacks of Jews by Arabs’ in the previous eight decades and representatives of all parties had concurred that before the (First World) War the Jews and Arabs lived side by side if not in amity, at least with tolerance. The aggravating factor, Shaw was forced to admit, was the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which promised British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, such that ‘the Arabs have come to see in the Jewish immigrant not only a menace to their livelihood but a possible overlord of the future.” (pp. 192 – 193)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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