May 29, 1936

“Riots in Palestine Inspired by youth fanaticism Fanned by groups telling Arabs that their religion is in danger.

Jerusalem, May 29, The present disturbances in Palestine indicate, first that nothing but force and iron handed methods can put Eastern hotheads in their place, and secondly, that Moslem religious fanaticism is a fire that once kindled is difficult to extinguish. The moslem motto is “ Mohamed’s religion is by the sword.” This originated at a time when rifles did not exist, but today both swords and rifles, with the innovations of burning crops and uprooting trees, and used to defend the religion of Mohammed. Any one acquainted with Moslem Arab mentality is aware that it is no easy take to arouse the Arab to rebellion. But once the Arab’s religious fanaticism is aroused he becomes wild and almost uncontrollable except when faced with strong force at the outset. The least sign of weakness on the part of the authorities encourages him to pursue acts of violence.

Origin of Rebellion

The present trouble in Palestine are the best example of this. Rebellion has been fomenting for the last few years. When Abu Jilda, a notorious Arab brigand, appeared in the mountains of Nablus  and spread terrorism there, even causing bloodshed among other Arabs, he was exalted by the Arab press and public merely because he was an outlaw against the government. Every brigand since then has been praised in the same way when Sheik El Kasssam last year instituted a reign of terror in Jenin, he was called a hero of heroes. When he was apprehended and killed in a clash with the police, his funeral was attended by thousands of Arabs from all parts of the country. He was eulogized and praised for killing Jews and Britons in the name of Islam, and to this day he is a martyr and a hero. When a gang of raiders held up Jews’ cars on the Bablus Tulkarem road last month and killed three Jews, these brigands, despite government warnings, soon became heroes fighting against the infidel government and infidel Jews.

Youth Came to Fore

It was ten that Arab youth came to the fore. They seized the opportunity to spread sensational propaganda and arouse Moslem fanaticism. In all Arab centers, particularly Jaffa, Nabulus and Jerusalem, there are Moselm clubs that are centers of the militia, young men’s organizations with the most patriotic nationalist ideals and hotbeds, of agitation and incitement.

Heavy Loss of Life

During these five weeks the Jews, while suffering a heavy loss of life and property, have continued to remain law-abiding citizens. They have kept consoling themselves with statement by Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the high Commissioner, in which he praised highly their self-restraint in not taliating against the Arabs, and also with repeated statement in the house of Commons by the colonial Secretary that the British Government would not yield to Arab intimidation and would stand by its obligations under the mandate to aid in the development of the Jewish national home.”

Source: May 31st, 1936 New York Times by Joseph M. Levy