The pangs of conscience felt among certain elements of the Arab population at Hebron for the anti-Jewish massacre on Saturday, August 24, has found expression in a legend which is spreading among the local Arab population, reports the correspondent of the “Palestine Bulletin,” only English daily newspaper in Palestine.
“Why have ye slaughtered my children, ye sons of Ishmael? Why dishonored your father’s name?” This and similar cries are said to have been heard by Arabs on many nights, emanating from the Cave of the Machpellah, the tomb near Hebron where the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried, according to the Biblical narrative.
The Machpellah, sacred to Jews and to Moslems, is now the site of a mosque. Local Arabs relate that since the massacre, the wrath of the patriarch, Abraham, has been aroused. At first, there is a low moaning coming from the tomb of Abraham, followed by wails, then words uttered indistinctly, growing clearer as the night draws on. Women are said to hear a woman’s voice cry: “Why did ye shed innocent blood? Why did ye not have pity? Why have ye slaughtered my children?”
The Arabs of Hebron are greatly disturbed by these voices and the legend is spreading rapidly among the population. The Arabs are considering ways of appeasing the spirit of the patriarchs.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.