Jaffa riots

Jaffa riots

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The Jaffa riots (commonly known as Me'oraot Tarpa) were a series of violent riots in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 on May 1–7, 1921, which began as a fight between two Jewish groups but developed into an attack by Arabs on Jews during which many were killed. The rioting began in Jaffa
Jaffa
Jaffa is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv creating the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical story of the prophet Jonah.-Etymology:...

 and spread to other places.

The events



On the night of 1 May 1921, the Jewish Communist Party (precursor of the Palestine Communist Party
Palestine Communist Party
The Palestine Communist Party was a political party in British Mandate of Palestine formed in 1923 through the merger of the Palestinian Communist Party and the Communist Party of Palestine...

) distributed Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and Yiddish
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

 flier
Flyer (pamphlet)
__notoc__A flyer or flier, also called a circular, handbill or leaflet, is a form of paper advertisement intended for wide distribution and typically posted or distributed in public place....

s calling for the toppling of British rule and the establishing a "Soviet Palestine". The party announced its intention to parade from Jaffa
Jaffa
Jaffa is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv creating the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical story of the prophet Jonah.-Etymology:...

 to neighbouring Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 to commemorate May Day
May Day
May Day on May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures....

. On the morning of the parade, despite a warning to the 60 members present from one of Jaffa's most senior police officers, Toufiq Bey al-Said, who visited the party's headquarters, the march headed from Jaffa to Tel Aviv through the mixed Jewish-Arab border neighbourhood of Manshiyya.

Another large May Day parade had also been organised for Tel Aviv by the rival socialist Ahdut HaAvoda
Ahdut HaAvoda
Ahdut HaAvoda was the name used by a sequence of political parties that existed firstly during Mandate Palestine and later in Israel. Its original version, led by David Ben-Gurion, is one of the main ancestors of the modern-day Israeli Labor Party....

 group, with official authorisation. When the two processions met, a fistfight erupted. Police attempted to disperse the about 50 communist protestors, and Muslims and Christians intervened to help the police against the Jews. A general disturbance quickly ensued and spread to the southern part of town.

Dozens of British, Arab, and Jewish witnesses all reported that Arab men bearing clubs, knives, swords, and some pistols broke into Jewish buildings and murdered their inhabitants, while women followed to loot. They attacked Jewish pedestrians and destroyed Jewish homes and stores. They beat and killed Jews in their homes, including children, and in some cases split open the victims' skulls.

At 1:00 pm, an immigrant hostel
Hostel
Hostels provide budget oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available...

 run by the Zionist Commission
Zionist Commission
The Zionist Commission for Palestine was a group chaired by Chaim Weizmann, president of the British Zionist Federation following British promulgation of the pro-Zionist, Balfour Declaration of 1917. The Commission was formed in March 1918 and went to Palestine to study conditions and make their...

 and home to a hundred people who had arrived in recent weeks and days was attacked by the mob, and though the residents tried to barricade the gate, it was rammed open and Arabs attackers poured in. The stone-throwing was followed by bombs and gunfire, and the Jewish hostel residents hid in various rooms. When the police arrived, it was reported that they weren't shooting to disperse the crowd, but were actually aiming at the building. In the courtyard one immigrant was felled by a policeman's bullet at short-range, and others were stabbed and beaten with sticks. Five women fled a policeman firing his pistol; three escaped. A policeman cornered two women and tried to rape them, but they escaped. A fourteen-year old girl and some men managed to escape the building, but each was in turn chased down and beaten to death with iron rods or wooden boards.

The violence reached as far as Abu Kabir
Abu Kabir
Abu Kabir was a satellite village of Jaffa founded by Egyptians following Ibrahim Pasha's 1832 defeat of Turkish forces in Ottoman era Palestine. After Israel's establishment in 1948, the area became part of Tel Aviv...

. The Jewish Yitzker family owned a dairy farm on the outskirts of the neighborhood, in which they rented out rooms. At the time of the riots, Yosef Haim Brenner
Yosef Haim Brenner
Yosef Haim Brenner was a Russian-born Hebrew-language author, one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew literature.-Biography:Brenner was born to a poor Jewish family in Novi Mlini, Russian Empire...

, one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew literature was living at the site. On May 2, 1921, despite warnings Yitzker and Brenner refused to leave the farm and were murdered, along with Yitzker's teenaged son, his son-in-law and two other renters.

High Commissioner Herbert Samuel
Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel
Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB OM GBE PC was a British politician and diplomat.-Early years:...

 declared a state of emergency
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

, imposed press censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

, and called for reinforcements from Egypt. General Allenby
Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby
Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB, GCMG, GCVO was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during the First World War, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.Allenby, nicknamed...

 sent two destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s to Jaffa and one to Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

. Samuel met with and tried to calm Arab representatives. Musa Kazim al-Husseini
Musa al-Husayni
Musa Kazim al-Husayni was nominated to several senior posts in the Ottoman administration. He belongs to the prominent al-Husayni family of northeastern Jerusalem...

, who had been dismissed as Jerusalem's mayor on account of his involvement in the previous year's Nebi Musa riots
1920 Palestine riots
The 1920 Palestine riots, or Nabi Musa riots, took place in British Mandate of Palestine April 4–7, 1920 in and around the Old City of Jerusalem....

, demanded a suspension of Jewish immigration
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

. Samuel assented, and two or three small boats holding 300 Jews were refused permission to land, and were forced to return to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

. At the same time, al-Husseini's nephew, Haj Amin al-Husseini
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot...

, was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.-Ottoman era:...

, a decision that later faced much criticism.

Fighting went on for several days and spread to nearby Rehovot
Rehovot
Rehovot is a city in the Center District of Israel, about south of Tel Aviv. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 112,700. Rehovot's official website estimates the population at 114,000.Rehovot was built on the site of Doron,...

, Kfar Sava, Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva known as Em HaMoshavot , is a city in the Center District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv.According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009, the city's population stood at 209,600. The population density is approximately...

, and Hadera
Hadera
Hadera is a city located in the Haifa District of Israel approximately from the major cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa. The city is located along of the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain...

. British aircraft dropped bombs "to protect Jewish settlements from Arab raiders."

Immediate aftermath


The riot resulted in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs. 146 Jews and 73 Arabs were wounded. Most Arab casualties resulted from clashes with British forces attempting to restore order. Thousands of Jewish residents of Jaffa fled for Tel Aviv and were temporarily housed in tent camps on the beach. Tel Aviv, which had been previously lobbying for independent status, became a separate city due in part to the riots. However Tel Aviv was still dependent on Jaffa, which supplied it with food, services, and was the place of employment for most residents of the new city.

The victims were buried at the Trumpeldor cemetery
Trumpeldor cemetery
Trumpeldor cemetery , often referred to as the "Old Cemetery," is a historic cemetery on Trumpeldor Street in Tel Aviv, Israel. The cemetery covers 10.6 acres, and contains approximately 5,000 graves.-History:...

, established in Jaffa in 1902. The newspaper HaTzfira reported that meetings across the country had been postponed, all parties and celebration had been canceled and schools closed for four days. The newspapers on May 3 appeared with black borders.

The newspaper Kuntress, whose author and co-editor Yosef Haim Brenner
Yosef Haim Brenner
Yosef Haim Brenner was a Russian-born Hebrew-language author, one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew literature.-Biography:Brenner was born to a poor Jewish family in Novi Mlini, Russian Empire...

 was one of the victims of the riots, published an article entitled Entrenchment. The article expressed the view that the Jews' outstretched hand had been spurned but that they would only redouble their efforts to survive as a self-reliant community.

Some villages whose residents had participated in the violence were fined and a few rioters were brought to trial. When three Jews, including a policeman, were convicted of participating in the murder of Arabs, international outcry ensued. Although the Supreme Court ultimately acquitted them on grounds of self-defence, the incident served to continue the crisis of confidence between the Jewish community and the British administration. Three Arab men were tried for the murder of Brenner, but were acquitted due to reasonable doubt. Toufiq Bey al-Said, who resigned from the Jaffa police, was shot in the street; his assassin was dispatched by veterans of Hashomer
Hashomer
Hashomer was a Jewish defense organization in Palestine founded out of Bar-Giora in April 1909. It ceased to operate after the founding of the Haganah in 1920. The purpose of Hashomer was to provide guard services for Jewish settlements in the Yishuv, freeing Jewish communities from dependence...

 in retribution for Brenner's murder, though another Jewish man was wrongly accused and acquitted.

The Arab leaders submitted a petition to the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 in which they expressed their demands for independence and democracy, noting that the Arab community contained sufficient educated and talented members to establish a stable representative democracy.

Investigative Commission


High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel
Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel
Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB OM GBE PC was a British politician and diplomat.-Early years:...

 established an investigative commission headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Palestine, Sir Thomas Haycraft (see Haycraft Commission of Inquiry
Haycraft Commission of Inquiry
The Haycraft Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate the Jaffa riots of 1921, but its remit was widened and its report entitled "Palestine: Disturbances in May 1921"...

). Its report confirmed the participation of Arab policemen in the riots and found the actions taken by the authorities adequate. The report angered both Jews and Arabs: it placed the blame on the Arabs, but said that, "Zionists were not doing enough to mitigate the Arabs' apprehensions." The report concluded that, "the fundamental cause of the violence and the subsequent acts of violence was a feeling among the Arabs of discontent with, and hostility to, the Jews, due to political and economic causes, and connected with Jewish immigration." .

Highlights from the report include:
"The racial strife was begun by the Arabs, and rapidly developed into a conflict of great violence between Arabs and Jews, in which the Arab majority, who were generally the aggressors, inflicted most of the casualties."

"A large part of the Moslem and Christian communities condoned it [the riots], although they did not encourage violence. While certain of the educated Arabs appear to have incited the mob, the notables on both sides, whatever their feelings may have been, aided the authorities to allay the trouble."

"The [Arab] police were, with few exceptions, half-trained and inefficient, in many cases indifferent, and in some cases leaders or participators in violence."

"The raids on five Jewish agricultural colonies arose from the excitement produced in the minds of the Arabs by reports of Arabs being killed by Jews in Jaffa. In two cases unfounded stories of provocation were believed and acted upon without any effort being made to verify them."


That motif would be repeated in the 1929 Hebron massacre
1929 Hebron massacre
The Hebron massacre refers to the killing of sixty-seven Jews on 23 and 24 August 1929 in Hebron, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine, by Arabs incited to violence by rumors that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem and seizing control of Muslim holy places...

:
"In these raids there were few Jewish and many Arab casualties, chiefly on account of the intervention of the military."

Consequences


In a speech in June 1921, Samuel stressing Britain's commitment to the second part of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, declared that Jewish immigration would be allowed only to the extent that it did not burden the economy. In line with this interpretation, Jewish immigration was suspended. Those who heard the speech had the impression that he was trying to appease the Arabs at the Jews' expense, and some Jewish leaders boycotted him for a time.

Britain's policy regarding its League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 Mandate to Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 changed to "fixing by the numbers and interests of the present population" the future Jewish immigration. Thus a popular contemporary criticism was that Samuel had revised the Balfour Declaration and Mandate from establishing the Jewish National Home into creating an Arab National Home.

New bloody riots broke out in Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem on November 2, 1921, when five Jewish residents and three of their Arab attackers were killed, which led to calls for the resignation of the city's commissioner, Sir Ronald Storrs.

See also


  • Zionism
    Zionism
    Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

  • Anti-Zionism
    Anti-Zionism
    Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

  • Arab nationalism
    Arab nationalism
    Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

  • Palestinian nationalism
    Palestinian nationalism
    Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

  • Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
    Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
    Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot...

  • 1920 Palestine riots
    1920 Palestine riots
    The 1920 Palestine riots, or Nabi Musa riots, took place in British Mandate of Palestine April 4–7, 1920 in and around the Old City of Jerusalem....