Ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by Arabs

Zoe Lawlor (Letters, October 22) laments the lack of “context” in media coverage of the wave of stabbings and shootings of Israeli Jews by Palestinian Arab assailants.
Ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by Arabs

Here is some context. In 1920, Arabs in Jerusalem were incited to violence by stories, circulated on the orders of the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, that the Jews were about to attack and destroy the Al Aqsa mosque.

The rumours were the same as those of recent months this year, and had just as little foundation in fact. But Jews praying at the Western Wall were attacked with knives and axes; five were killed and 216 injured.

Nine years later, similar rumours triggered a massacre of the age-old Jewish community in Hebron in which 69 of its members were killed; a further 64 Jews were killed elsewhere in British Mandate Palestine. These events occurred when there was no State of Israel and no “occupation”. If there was “ethnic cleansing” it was perpetrated by Arabs upon Jews.

When Arabs got their chance in the 1949-67 period, they expelled all Jews from Jerusalem’s Old City, demolished all their synagogues and desecrated the Mount of Olives cemetery.

Access of Jews to their holy places was totally denied; that of Christians was restricted. Only since the holy sites came under Israeli control in 1967 has full access been available to worshippers of the three religions. Clearly, the real source of the current violence is, as before, Arab unwillingness to live in peace alongside Jews.

Dermot Meleady,


Co. Wicklow

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