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    • Raanan
    • 27.05.05 | 20:17 (IDT)

    Commission of Enquiry A commission of enquiry lead by Sir Walter Shaw took public evidence for several weeks. The main conclusions of the Commission were as follows. [Material not in brackets is verbatim.] * The outbreak in Jerusalem on the 23rd of August was from the beginning an attack by Arabs on Jews for which no excuse in the form of earlier murders by Jews has been established. * The outbreak was not premeditated. * [The disturbances] took the form, in the most part, of a vicious attack by Arabs on Jews accompanied by wanton destruction of Jewish property. A general massacre of the Jewish community at Hebron was narrowly averted. In a few instances, Jews attacked Arabs and destroyed Arab property. These attacks, though inexcusable, were in most cases in retaliation for wrongs already committed by Arabs in the neighbourhood in which the Jewish attacks occurred. * [In his activities connected to the dispute over the Holy Places] the Mufti was influenced by the twofold desire to annoy the Jews and to mobilize Moslem opinion on the issue of the Wailing Wall. He had no intention of utilizing this religious campaign as the means of inciting to disorder. [Indirectly, though, due to his part in the] events which lead to the outbreak, the Mufti, like many others who directly or indirectly played upon public feeling in Palestine, must accept a share in the responsibility... * ...in the matter of innovations of practice [at the Wailing Wall] little blame can be attached to the Mufti in which some Jewish religious authorities also would not have to share. ...no connection has been established between the Mufti and the work of those who either are known or are thought to have engaged in agitation or incitement. ... After the disturbances had broken out the Mufti co-operated with the Government in their efforts both to restore peace and to prevent the extension of disorder. * [No blame can be properly attached to the British government for failing to provide armed reinforcements, withholding of fire, and similar charges.] * The fundamental cause ... is the Arab feeling of animosity and hostility towards the Jews consequent upon the disappointment of their political and national aspirations and fear for their economic future. ... The feeling as it exists today is based on the twofold fear of the Arabs that by Jewish immigration and land purchases they may be deprived of their livelihood and in time pass under the political domination of the Jews. * In our opinion the immediate causes of the outbreak were:- :# The long series of incidents connected with the Wailing Wall... These must be regarded as a whole, but the incident among them which in our view contributed most to the outbreak was the Jewish demonstration at the Wailing Wall on the 15th of August. ... # Excited and intemperate articles which appeared in some Arabic papers, in one Hebrew daily paper and in a Jewish weekly paper... # Propaganda among the less-educated Arab people of a character calculated to incite them. # The enlargement of the Jewish Agency. # The inadequacy of the military forces and of the reliable police available. # The belief...that the decisions of the Palestine Government could be influenced by political considerations. The Commission recommended that the Government reconsider its policies as to Jewish immigration and land sales to Jews. This lead directly to the Hope Simpson Royal Commission in 1930.

    from the article: Think before you sing `Hatikva'
    First published 00:00 27.05.05 | Last updated 00:00 27.05.05
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