Last evening some refuse was found in one of the Mosques of Aden. Rumours were immediately spread that the Jews had defiled the Mosque by throwing refuse there and a mob soon rushed down on the Jewish quarter shouting “blood-drinkers”.
All Jews who were not able to find shelter immediately were attacked and wounded and looting broke out in the entire quarter. After some time the police arrived and put down the riot.
In certain places, however, behind the backs of the police Moslems continued bombarding Jewish houses with stones and other missiles.
By midnight, however, quiet was restored and the Jews turned to celebrate Lag Ba’Omer.
On Tuesday rioting continued all through the day. Women and children shrieked and the police were called out and drove off the rioters. Other Jewish streets, however, were left at the mercy of the mob.
The Menahem family, the recognised leaders of the Jewish community of Aden, realising that the Moslem police were utterly unreliable, tried to communicate with the Chief Commissioner of the Aden settlement to urge him to send British soldiers to put down the riots. This was unsuccessful, however.
When night came the rioters returned, well organised, and prepared for a general attack upon the Jewish district.
Luckily, most of the Jewish houses in Aden are built like fortresses and are almost impregnable, and only this prevented a general massacre of Jews.
For many hours the rioting went on. The shouts of the mob could be heard for miles around. A continuous bombardment of Jewish houses with stones went on and for two or three hours, at the height of the attack, not a single policeman appeared on the scene. Finally, when the mob had already shouted itself hoarse, the police arrived and dispersed the crowds.
Wednesday morning a new rush was made to the ghetto Windows were smashed, goods were looted, Jews who were out in the streets were knocked down and injured, and this went on for about three hours without the police making any appearance. Frantic appeals were made by telephone to the Chief Commissioner who kept on giving assurances that everything would be done to keep order.
The Commissioner then visited the Menahem family and said that the authorities would keep things quiet if the Jews would undertake not to appear outside their houses after 6 o’clock in the evening.
The streets were littered with the possessions of Jews, with sacred scrolls and books tern out of the synagogues. Finally armoured cars appeared in the streets and calm was restored.
The situation is now calm, although there is much anxiety still in the Jewish quarter. The Jewish shops in the bazaar are closed. No Jew dare appear in the street after dark. The Government is attempting to minimise the importance of the whole affair and to hush it up as far as possible.
Owing to the nature of the Jewish dwellings, not many casualties have occurred, and the loss of property is believed to be not in excess of 40,000 rupees, which for the poor Jewish Community of Aden is, however, a very large sum.
There is bitter resentment, particularly over the desecration of one of the synagogues which the mob broke into, demolishing everything in sight. An attempt was made to break open the Ark of the Law, which was heavily barred. Only the arrival of the police saved the sacred scrolls from being defiled.
About 90 of the rioters have been deported into the interior of Arabia, because they are not residents of Aden. There is little hope among the Jewish population, however, that the real leaders and instigators of the riots will be punished.