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Jewish Settlers of Migdal and Neighboring Bedouin Tribe Sign Perpetual Treaty of Peace

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While the diplomats at Geneva were bickering and arguing about the best and most effective means of securing the peace of the world, the Jewish colonists of Migdal and the bedouins of the neighboring Arbelhip tribe gave Geneva an object lesson in peace by signing their own “Locarno” treaty pledging themselves to perpetual peace and friendship. And the pledge grew out of a practical necessity and not theoretical discussion.

Last Thursday a bedouin of the Arbelhip tribe was found shot dead in the banana grove belonging to the Migdal colonists. Knowing the excitable nature of the bedouins the Jewish colonists quickly began negotiations, with the assistance of the Rosh Pinah settler, to prevent a blood feud and a vendetta. The pourparlers were successful and the Migdal colonists undertook to pay the relatives of the dead bedouin $625.

The agreement was consummated at a neutral place just north of Migdal with quaintly picturesque ceremonies with the Tiberias district officer, colonists from the lower Galilee, sheiks of the Arbelhip and other tribes present. The elders of the tribe and the leaders of the Migdal colony delivered speeches of welcome and the latter embraced the relatives of the dead man.

A tribal rod was then held between the colonists and the tribesmen and a silk handkerchief placed over the rod. The Jews tied two knots and the bedouins three knots in the handkerchief. Then speaking together they said “by this we declare that peace shall reign between us from now until eternity”. The sum of $250 was then paid over to the bedouins, the balance to be paid within two months. To complete the symbolical rites a sheep was slaughtered, rice was cooked and all parties to the peace treaty sat around and partook of the feast.

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