Text size

After 75 years, the city of Be'er Sheva has finally solved the riddle of who murdered Chaim Arlosoroff: A street sign in his honor declares that he was "murdered by Arabs."

Arlosoroff, who headed the Jewish Agency's political department, was murdered in 1933 while he and his wife, Sima, were strolling along the beach in Tel Aviv. According to Sima's subsequent testimony, they had been followed by two men, one of whom shot her husband.

The chief suspects at the time were two members of the Revisionist movement, Avraham Stavsky and Zvi Rosenblatt. The Revisionists were the chief rivals of Arlosoroff's Mapai movement. However, the two were released a few months later due to a lack of evidence, and the murder remains unsolved to this day.

Be'er Sheva's solution to the riddle outraged two Arab lawyers from the city, Mahmood Alsheikh and Yosif Abukwider, who asked the city's comptroller to order the sign removed. They also demanded that the municipality publicly apologize.

"Employees of the Be'er Sheva municipality have suddenly become investigative historians, and even judges: They've convicted the Arabs of murder," said Alsheikh. "This hurts our feelings and causes irreversible damage - especially because this is a mixed city that constitutes a model of coexistence."

The city responded that the sign was a mistake and would be removed.

Related article:

  • The Makings of History / Whodunit