435 Jews Were Saved By 19 Arab Families: The Other Side Of The 1929 Hebron Massacre

A date very prevalent in the modern history of the Holy Land or at that time the British Mandate of Palestine is August 24, 1929.  A tragic date when 67 Jews were killed in the sectarian violence that gripped the city of Hebron.  Rumors were flying that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem, and seizing control of the Muslim holy places there.  Nineteen local Arabs families hid 435 Jews in their homes at great risk.  The survivors were later evacuated by the British Authorities.  Many returned in 1931, but the riot led to the development and reorganization of the Haganah or Jewish paramilitary organization.  The aftermath of the riots was that 3 Arabs were hung, the city of Hebron had to pay 14,000 pound sterling in damages, and 200,000 pound sterling to each Jew who lost family members because of the massacre.  In 1931, Ahmad Rashid al-Hirbawi, President of the Hebron Chamber of Commerce, favored the Jews returning, and 160 did.  The last Jewish family left Hebron in 1947, when the United Nations' General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state.  Hebron was in the Arab sector, which later came under Jordanian rule.  In 1967, Israeli armed forces took possession of Hebron, and built a settlement right next to it called Kiryat Arba or "Town of the Four."  It has a population of 7,300.  Descendants are divided, some say they want it to be where Arabs and Jews can live together peacefully.  Other want to support the Jewish community at Kiryat Arba.  I have been involved in a campaign to have a memorial placed in Hebron to commemorate the 19 Arab families, who took great risk to save the 435 Jews.  It is a project still left outstanding.  But I do not give up hope.  For I worked with Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  Our project was to research and track down Jews who were rescued and hidden by Arabs in North Africa, when the area was under control of the Vichy French.  The Vichy French were notorious collaborators of the Nazis, after France surrendered in World War II, and were lead by the French war hero, Marshall Philippe Petain.  The Vichy French ferociously tracked down Jews in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.  Many of them fled there after France surrendered.  The Arab families were tracked down and documented, and we were able to go to Yad Vashem, to include in the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles, cities names such as Casablanca, Rabat, Oran, Algiers, and Tunis, to those of European cities such as Riga, Vilnuis, Lvov, Minsk, and Odessa as cities where Righteous Gentiles risked their lives to save Jews.  Good things can be learned from history.  Now it is applying it to the present.

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Dear Tim, this is really great content. It deserves to be widely shared.

I´ve published in a newly born wiki that we are building for PIPLL - Palestine Israel Peace Lobby Latin America.

Please keep me posted:

Feel free to circulate this anyway you wish.

I always like they way you write things "67 Jews were killed in the sectarian violence" - what you mean to say that a massacre occurred by arabs who slaughtered 67 innocent people and raped women, from little babies to old women with brutal mutilations. The fact that there was some families that saved Jews as nice if the rest of the city was not terrorizing them. As for " The last Jewish family left Hebron in 1947, when the United Nations' General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state." - are you saying they decided that they should go or once again forced out... by the way teh result of the Jordanian occupation of the city was  synagogues, yeshivas, even the ancient cemetery—were desecrated and virtually obliterated.....


When British authorities held trials and convictions after the massacre, it included 17 Arabs and 2 Jews.  They were originally sentenced to death by hanging, but had their sentences commuted to long-term imprisonment instead.  If these 2 Jews were convicted, then it had to be over some type of crime they committed.  So that would deem itself as sectarian violence.  When the Jordanians took control over the city, Jews were not permitted to live in the city, despite the Armistice Agreement.  They razed the Jewish Quarter, desecrated the Jewish cemetery, and destroyed the Avraham Avinu Synagogue.  But they left the Tomb of the Patriarchs alone, because Isaac and Jacob are prophets within Islam, and Abraham was the first believer in One God.  Which is the reason why Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are known as the Three Abrahamic Faiths.  Jordanian actions over Hebron, obviously did keep Israel and Jordan from establishing diplomatic relations in 1994, or Israeli companies operating within Jordan, which employ 1,200 Jordanians.  Reconciliation and forgiveness is the name of the game here, for past actions such as the 1929 Hebron Massacre, and the Jordanian control of Hebron from 1947 to 1967.  If we cannot have reconciliation and forgiveness, then there will never be peace.  We ask for reconciliation and forgiveness on Yom Kippur.  The Muslims ask for it when they perform Hajj to Mecca, then go the Plains of Arafat, to cast stones at the pillars.  Christians recognize it by believing that Jesus Christ died for their sins.  Let us all be human, and try to achieve it, for we will be written in the Book of Life if we do.

Some Jews tried to return in 1936 but were in fact prohibited by the British. The Jordan Legion operated in Hevron between 1936 and 1947. A FEW Arab families sheltered some Jews , but they were never in danger of their lives as a result.

The Jewish religion believes in "an eye for an eye" and they do not believe that an earthly entity can wash away their sins as I believe. The Muslims do not have that precept but rather believe that enemies must be slaughtered and the perpetrator ,if killed, will get 72 virgins in heaven and in life will be feted as a hero in the service of Allah.

Jews ask for forgiveness for THEIR OWN sins. Your comparisons are simply outlandish and silly.

My personal view is that I will not forgive nor forget.

The Jews were forbidden by the British because of the 1936 to 1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine.  In 1939, that is when Great Britain issued the White Paper over the British Mandate of Palestine.  To try to limit Jewish immigration into Palestine, which was being feed by upheaval in Europe.  The Jordan Legion from 1936 to 1947 reported to the British HIgh Command.  Records from Hebron in 1929, showed that Arabs were in danger for sheltering Jewish families, just like French women in Nazi-occupied France were in danger, when it was discovered that they had German lovers.  "An Eye For An Eye" is interpreted by Halachic Law, as anyone who is a victim of a crime gets financial compensation.  Which the survivors did when they were each was awarded 200,000 pound sterling.  It is not interpreted as I literally put your eye out.  One thing that is asked for on Yom Kippur is forgiveness for "bein adam lechavero" or in Hebrew "against other human beings."  So it is calling for forgiveness from God and other human beings. The Muslims have a similar concept for "ghufran," which just means "forgiveness."  In the Qu'ran it states about your fellow human beings "It is better to forgive another, than attack another.  And when angered they forgive."  Qu'ran 42 Sura 37.  If you internalize it, then it gets silly.  We do not want to forget.  I will never forget the Holocaust or Shoah, but I do not take it to a point that I would never speak to a German or never go to Germany.  For we had someone banned from this website, who was just like that.

Very interesting paraphrasing of Wikipedia. Why dis you not tell us why the 2 Jews were arrested and under what circumstances?

I do not have precise information on what either Arabs and Jews were arrested for.  But it seems not to be under the same circumstances the Communists were arrested for in Germany in 1933, and 5,000 died while under police custody.

Quite a generalization between the British and the Nazis. Are you saying that the British were not capable of atrocities or that the Germans had it in for the Communists only. Your logic just defies a viable explanation.

Just for your edification ,the Jews were arrested for killing Arabs (not in Hevron) who tried to loot and massacre them in their homes. But you are very quick to gather anti Jewish and anti Israeli facts, aren't you.

That Germany throw in is really a GEM.

There is nothing anti-Jewish about what I state.  I just will not go in and say Jews are the most prosecuted people on the face of the planet.  People on this website got mad at me for stating that the Armenian Genocide was a verbatim to the Holocaust.  They said to me "How dare you say that, we are a nation, and they are not."  Well, Armenia were completely taken over by the Ottoman Turks in 1400 C.E., long after 70 C.E.  During its colonial era, Great Britain did a great deal of human rights abuse, but does that automatically include 2 Jews in Hebron in 1929?  The purge of the Communists in Germany began right at 1933, when the Nuremberg Laws were first instituted.  But the Nuremberg Laws against the Jews were enacted from 1933 to 1939.  Being an extremist does make automatically make you a Jewish hero.  Neither does you self-hate for being an Arab.

When writing this discussion up, the intention was dealing with the age old subject that every Gentile wants to kill a Jew.  When the idea was first developed about Yad Vahem in 1942  -- after the British Secret Service deciphered German military messages about the Eintatzgruppen (Mobile Killing Squads) performing mass shootings of Jewish civilians after Operation Barbarossa in the Soviet Union --  it wanted to show, that was not the case.  So it came up with the Avenue of the Righteous Gentile, to show those Christians in war-torn Europe, who went out of their way to save Jews.  The concept is not just isolated there, but also goes out to the Middle East, with Arab Muslims.  First in 1929, then during World War II.  But I discovered that some people really want to hang on to that notion that Gentiles really want to kill Jews, especially Arab Muslims.  When they argue over and over again, but just look at Hamas Doctrine.  But the challenge is to get Hamas to abandon its doctrine.  Just like Jordan establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, despite the Jordanian destruction of the Jewish Quarter of Hebron after 1947.  But if we hold on to the notion that only a good Arab, is a dead Arab, then we too are holding on to the notion that every Gentile wants to kill a Jew.  I do not think that every Jew in the United States thinks that, since 55% are married to non-Jews.  But its like what Anne Frank wrote in her diary "I really believe people are basically good."  So do we not all follow that example "I really believe people are basically good."  Not just Jews, but all of us.

Really. Did I say that every Gentile wants to kill a Jew. Please point me to that.

The Kuran in fact has two options and that is to make the infidel a dhimmi or be killed. Kill the Jew has been a favourite of a number of clerics and the mobs in Arab countries and even by the Israeli Arabs themselves.

I just hate it when you start throwing red herrings all over the place to obfuscate what is really being said.

People are basically good except when the mob mentality takes over. Anne Frank was sheltered by a righteous gentile but betrayed by some of these good people she talked about.

Israel need to be extremely vary of these good and peaceful Arabs lest they be butchered as was forecast in 19+47, 1967 and 1973. Read the speeches and the terrorism that followed.



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