196. Israel supporter distorts the facts

In replying to Victor Lama’s Community View (Dec. 1), Richard Rosen criticizes Lama for accusing the media of anti-Palestinian bias and suppressing facts (Dec. 15). Dr. Rosen is guilty of the very thing of which he accuses Mr. Lama. Selectively quoting O’Brien’s The Siege, Rosen claims that Arabs killed 133 Jews and wounded 339. What Rosen “suppresses” is O’Brien’s further statement (page 186) that in the reinforced police repression 110 Arabs were killed and 232 wounded. Worse still, Rosen fails to put the incident in context since it was “suppressed” in the pro-Israeli O’Brien’s 798-page book.

In September 1928, the Jews broke the status quo at the Wailing Wall by introducing a screen to divide the men from the women. Once the police removed it, things started to get out of hand due to an alliance of politics and religion on both sides. On August 15, 1929, Jabotinsky’s followers held a provocative demonstration at the Wailing Wall and raised the Zionist flag. Postcards showing the Haram al-Sharif surmounted by the Star of David were circulated. The Muslims interpreted this as an attempt by the Zionists to assert their claim on the Haram. Fighting broke out on August 23 and spread to provincial towns like Hebron.

In an investigative report by the Shaw Commission the causes of the outbreak were clearly stated: the political and economic threat of the constant Jewish immigration and land purchases, which would deprive the Arabs of Palestine of their livelihood and put them under the dominion of the Jews.

December 21, 2000