2nd Tevet 1947
70 years ago
Today in Jewish History
On this date in 1947, the Muslim Arab Legion surrounded Israel’s Jerusalem isolating 100,000 Jews from the rest of the population.
Indeed, barely three years after Hitler’s Holocaust had succeeded wiping out European Jews; Arab countries seemed to be threatening to wipe out Asian and North African Jews. Although the report was “debated,” in the end there were no decisions.
No need to be surprised, given that the Mufti of Jerusalem met with Adolf Hitler as early as 1941.
“The Mufti sent Hitler 15 drafts of declarations he wanted Germany and Italy to make concerning the Middle East. One called on the two countries to declare the illegality of the Jewish home in Palestine. Furthermore, “they accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, by the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method, that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries.”
In November 1941, the Mufti met with Hitler, who told him the Jews were his foremost enemy. The Nazi dictator rebuffed the Mufti’s requests for a declaration in support of the Arabs, however, telling him the time was not right. The Mufti offered Hitler his “thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches….The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely….the Jews….” Hitler replied:
Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine….Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle….Germany’s objective [is]…solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere….In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. The Mufti thanked Hitler profusely.2
In 1945, Yugoslavia sought to indict the Mufti as a war criminal for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslim volunteers for the SS, who participated in the killing of Jews in Croatia and Hungary. He escaped from French detention in 1946, however, and continued his fight against the Jews from Cairo and later Beirut. He died in 1974.” Courtesy: Jewish Virtual Library
Muslim Arab League countries were contemplating discriminatory laws against their Jewish citizens painfully reminiscent of the Nazi laws.
But, on Jan. 19. 1948, the World Jewish Congress submitted a memorandum on the whole problem to the Economic and Social Council, asking for urgent action during the spring session of the Council.
By March 1948, Jerusalem was under siege and in May, Jordan invaded and occupied east Jerusalem.
The city of Jerusalem for the first time in its history was divided. It drove thousands of Jews into exile.
The Muslim Arabs proceeded to destroy all 58 synagogues in the Jewish Quarter and used Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives to build roads and latrines.
From then on, the Western Wall would be off-limits to Jews (in spite of the cease-fire agreement granting freedom of access to holy places.)
Jews were able to pray once again at the Western Wall when it was restored as a result of Israel’s victory in the 1967 war.
In this brief chapter of Jewish history intertwined with German Nazi and Arab Muslim hate, my readers may find some explanations to what obviously is a perennial anti-semitic conspiracy, harassment and attack on the Jewish nation and our G-D Given country, the Land of Israel.
“No man can stand against you when you know that G-d is on your side.”
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Thank you very much. Team-EB