A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
Following the Hebron massacre and other riots across the country in 1929, the British set up a commission of inquiry at which the Grand Mufti blamed the violence on a broken pledge the British supposedly made in 1915 to grant the Arabs full independence in Palestine.
Part of the evidence of this pledge was a 1918 letter by Lord Balfour (yes, that Lord Balfour)!
This is all reported in a New York Times report from December 4th, 1929. Note also the following:
- The mention of Moroccan Moslems living in the vicinity of the Wailing Wall. So much for being indigenous!
- The Muslims wanted to deny the Jews any rights to the Wailing Wall, including the right to pray (in contrast, the Jews never sought to deny the Muslims their rights to places they considered holy)
- Despite this, the Mufti admitted the existence of the Jewish temple at the Temple Mount!
- The Mufti’s threats of violence if the Muslims did not get their way
- The Mufti bringing the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion as “evidence”
Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a NY Times subscription. But I have provided screenshots below. As usual, click on the screenshots to enlarge.
Incidentally, a July 16th NY Times report the next year indicated that the so-called 1915 pledge and Balfour letter of 1918 were not referring to Palestine.