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100 years ago: Rioting in Palestine

28 May 2021

May 27th, 1921.

WE LEARN from a correspondent in Jerusalem that a Commission is already at work sifting the facts of the riots that began at Jaffa on May Day. It is of first importance that the blame should be apportioned justly. The sooner it can be discovered who started the rioting and who is responsible for the inflamed state of feeling which caused a terrible riot to break out, the better, since in the meantime the name of England and of the Arab is being blackened by the publication to the world through Jewish sources that the riot was in fact a “pogrom”, in other words, a deliberate plot laid by the Arabs against an unoffending Jewish population. That in itself were bad enough, if it were not coupled with the suggestion that the “pogrom” had the passive assent of the Government. Our correspondent is convinced that the riot originated in a fight between Jews started in a purely Jewish suburb, when an organized communist group of Jews, who are affiliated to the third Moscow International, tried to break up a Jewish labour meeting. The fight spread to the mixed Moslem-Jewish quarter, the Arabs joined it, horrible things ensued, and the Jews suffered most. It appears that about fifty Jews were killed and about one hundred and forty are in hospital. Among the Arabs, about ten were killed and fifty wounded, though more Arabs were subsequently killed when the crowd came into collision with the military. . .

Our readers will remember accounts of similar riots in Jerusalem a little more than a year ago. At that time a full enquiry was made, but the finding of the Commission has never been published.

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