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Memorial Meetings for Palestine Victims Planned in Jerusalem, but Cancelled to Avoid New Disturbance

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Two memorial meetings planned to be held in Jerusalem on Sunday, the Shloshim (the thirtieth day after the massacres) were cancelled by the Jerusalem Rabbinate. One meeting was scheduled to commemorate the Ashkenazic victims of the outbreak. It was to have taken place in the synagogue of the Jerusalem quarter, Mear Shearim, with Chief Rabbi A. J. Kook, Rabbis Tokachinsky and Charlap as the speakers. The other meeting was to commemorate the Sephardic victims at which Rabbi Jacob Mayer, Sephardic Chief Rabbi, would have been the principal speaker.

It is understood that the Zionist Executive was not consulted either with regard to the arrangements or cancellations of the meetings.

The memorial meetings were cancelled because the rabbis were anxious to avoid giving the Arabs a pretext for new disturbances. The Shloshim was commemorated in special editions of the “Ha’Aretz” and the “Doar Ha’yom,” Hebrew dailies. The “Ha’Aretz’ published obituaries of the Makleff family of Motza, Dr. Yisraely of Beer Tuvia, Moses Harrari of Tel Aviv, Benjamin Goldberg of Tel Aviv, Ephraim Chisdick of Hulda, Sergeant Nurk of Jerusalem, Edward Thomas Best, Britisher killed in defending Givat Shaul. A page was devoted to the martyrs of Hebron.

Menasche Many, one of the survivors of Hebron, writing in the “Ha’ Aretz” declared: “Wounded, aching, hungry and thirsty, we left Hebron thirty days ago. But we shall return. We shall not abandon the tombs of our ancestors to unclean hand nor leave the graves of our martyrs desolate. We shall return to you. Oh, Hebron, not with the sword and dagger, but by virtue of eternal truth, courage and strength to rebuild your ruins. We shall erect a monument on which will be inscribed the names of the sixty-four martyrs. We shall show that the supposed day of doom marked the beginning of a new Hebron. We shall clear away the vestige of ruin and destruction, erect a house of prayer in the place desecrated and from the cupola of the synagogue shall greet peacefully the muezzin calling the faithful Moslems to prayer from the monaret towering over the tombs of our patriarchs.”

The “Doar Ha’yom,” appearing after ten days suspension, devotes an editorial to the Shloshim. “It is the thirtieth day since the outbreak of the great misfortune that visited our country, the thirtieth day of the loss of our heroes and martyrs, defending dangerous posts who paid with their lives in saving us and the Zionist enterprise from annihilation.”

Referring to the silent, secret burials of the Jerusalem victims, the “Doar Ha’yom writes: “We did not tender them the last honors, we did not follow the coffins which were carried in the dead of night under rifle fire and the shouts of the attackers. We buried the majority of them secretly. Our duty towards these victims, towards our country, calls on us not to forget for a single moment the pure blood which has been shed on the soil of our fatherland while the danger is still hovering over us, but to watch open eyed what is happening and do everything in our power to ratify our title to defend our country, to ensure security here, in order to prevent recurrence of the disaster and defeat the hopes of our powerful enemies still conspiring to swallow up Zion.”

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