Later, Finn reported how he intervened in yet another incident roused up by fanatical pilgrims around that time. This happened when a Jew, newly arrived from Europe, had not yet had time to learn the rules and did not know that laying foot in a certain part of the Old City was tantamount to a death sentence.
Without warning, he was attacked and almost killed by a crowd of fanatical Christian pilgrims after he crossed the far side of the open square in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This site was strictly out of bounds to Jews although not, of course, to Moslems. Having no consul of his own, the Jew appealed for justice to the British Consulate.
“I appealed to the Pasha,” Finn writes. “The Greek ecclesiastics pleaded before him that the passage was not a public thoroughfare but part of the Sanctuary of Christianity, and only used for transit on sufferance. They even dared to send me word that they were in possession of an ancient Firman which fixed the Deyeh, or blood-fine, to be paid by them if, in beating a Jew in that vicinity for trespass, they happened to kill him, at the sum of ten paras, about one halfpenny English.”
After an inquiry was sent to Constantinople to ascertain whether this claim was true, word came back that no such document existed.
“Thus that mischievous untruth was silenced,” Finn concluded. “But the incident shows the disposition of the high convent authorities towards the Jews. It may be that they themselves believed there was such a Firman: if so, what degree of pity of liberality could one expect from the multitude of brutal pilgrims? The Pasha said that he knew of no such Firman as that referred to, but that Greeks, Latins and Armenians, all believed that a Jew might be killed with impunity under such circumstances.”