Hebron Massacre's 90th Anniversary

 
A Jewish mother holds her injured child after the Hebron Massacre of August 23-26, 1929. (Credit: Unknown)

A Jewish mother holds her injured child after the Hebron Massacre of August 23-26, 1929. (Credit: Unknown)

 

Today is the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Hebron Massacre on August 23rd, 1929. The massacre stands as a testimony to this day that violence against the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland needs no pretext of statehood, occupation or apartheid to be realized.

The first known reference to Hebron is in the Torah, in Genesis 23, when Abraham purchased a plot of land there to bury his wife Sarah. Abraham was also buried there by his sons after his death, followed by Issac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah upon their deaths. Hebron eventually became the second-largest and most important city in the Davidic Kingdom after Jerusalem. The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is still a pilgrimage site for the descendants of Issac and Ishmael to this day.

After WWI, the Holy Land changed hands from the defunct Turkish Ottoman Empire to the British Empire. The growing Zionist World Congress inspired hundreds of thousands of Jews from diaspora countries around the world to make aliyah back to their ancestral homeland. Tensions began to rise with Arab residents in British Mandate Palestine, which eventually boiled over into violence in the 1920's. Under the direction of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini (a future ally and co-conspirator with Adolf Hitler), those tensions reached a fever pitch in the summer of 1929.

An unfounded rumor spread in the Arab community, claiming that the Jews were getting ready to seize the Temple Mount. On the evening of August 23rd, a mob of Arab residents gathered outside of a Hebron yeshiva, eventually murdering a young Jewish boy as he walked to school alone. The incident ignited a wildfire of bloodlust across the once-tranquil city. Three days later, 67 Jewish residents lay dead, including women and young children. Many more were injured, and dozens of Jewish homes, synagogues and libraries were looted and ransacked. The death toll would have certainly been higher, except that some Arab families sheltered their Jewish neighbors from other Arabs.

The British authorities eventually evacuated all Jewish residents from Hebron as violence continued to escalate in the 1930's. Jews did not return to to the city until after the Six-Day War in 1967, almost 40 years later. Only several hundred Jews live in Hebron today behind a heavy Israeli military presence.

For more information about the Hebron massacre, including survivor testimonials, follow the links below.

Jewish Virtual Library Article: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-hebron-massacre-of…

Film "Ma Sheraiti B'Hebron" (What I Saw in Hebron): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0206107/

Film "Covenant and Controversy: Part II" produced by FAI Studios discusses the Biblical and prophetic significance of Hebron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04q7kvt41hI

Last Known Survivor Tesimony: https://www.jpost.com/…/90-years-later-last-known-Jewish-su…

Gabriel Caligiuri