Sunday, June 03, 2012

"And The Band Played On..."

On April 2, 1920, the Yorkshire Regiment Band played for the Nebi Mussa procession in Jerusalem.  Here they are:

On Sunday, April 4, the first day of Chol Hamoed Pesach (the seder was Friday night, the 2nd) the Arabs rioted, encouraged by certain British officials and military officers:

In Jerusalem, Waters-Taylor and Col. Ronald Storrs, one of the original members of the Cairo school and now Governor of the city, established and maintained regular contact with the handful of militant Sherifians, notably Haj Amin el Husseini, the young brother of the Mufti of Jerusalem, and Aref el Aref. In early 1920, Waters-Taylor suggested to his and Storrs’ Arab contacts the desirability of organizing "anti-Jewish riots to impress
on the Administration the unpopularity of the Zionist policy." A detailed critical report of all these activities was submitted to General Allenby by the political officer of the Palestine administration, Col. Richard Meinertzhagen. Allenby told him he would take no action.  The spring of 1920 was chosen for action. In March, the coup was carried out in Damascus and Faisal was installed as king. In order to achieve a sizable riot in Palestine, the country (in the words of the subsequent military Court of Enquiry) was "infested with Sherifian officers," who carried on a lurid agitation against the Jews...

...On the Wednesday before Easter, Col. Waters-Taylor had a meeting in Jerusalem with Haj Amin el Husseini and told him "that he had a great opportunity at Easter to show the world that the Arabs of Palestine would not tolerate Jewish domination in Palestine; that Zionism was unpopular not only with the Palestine Administration but in Whitehall; and if disturbances of sufficient violence occurred in Jerusalem at Easter, both General Bols
and General Allenby would advocate the abandonment of the Jewish Home."  That year, Easter coincided with the Moslem festival of Nebi Musa. Its celebration included a procession starting in Jerusalem, where the crowd was addressed by the Sherifians and told to fall on the Jews "in the name of King Faisal." For doubters, there was an even more convincing argument: A’dowlah ma’ana – the government is with us.  This was a demonstrable fact; all but a remnant of the Jewish regiments that had helped liberate Palestine had been disbanded over the preceding months; the few remaining soldiers were confined to camp at Sarafand. On the day of the outbreak, all British troops and Jewish police had been removed from the Old City; only Arab policemen were left.

The Europeans today still seem to be "playing on".

For more info on Shmuel Katz, click over to here.


The mob in the Old City, armed with clubs and knives, first looted shops...

That was from Battleground (here, p. 37-38) by Shmuel Katz.

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