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July 08, 2012

The NYT and Hebron History Fit to Print

Elhanan Zelig Roch lost a hand in the 1929 Hebron massacre, in which Arabs killed 67 Jews

Less than two weeks after The New York Times' highly selective history of the West Bank village of Battir (Beitar), the "Paper of Record" brings us a selective history of the city of Hebron. Jody Rudoren's July 6 article about a Hebron area meeting of Jewish and Muslim spiritual and community leaders, along with rightest European Parliament members, recounts:

Hebron, home to about 150,000 Palestinians and 900 Jews, has been practically the opposite of peaceful since Israel began occupying the West Bank in 1967. Its Cave of the Patriarchs was the site of a massacre in 1994 when Baruch Goldstein, a doctor from the large neighboring settlement of Kiryat Arba, killed 29 Muslims praying at the mosque. It was the only city excluded from the Oslo accords, and it was the subject of its own pact in 1997 separating the two communities and restricting their movements. Clashes continue, sometimes daily.

Of course, Hebron's bloody history began long before "Israel began occupying the West Bank in 1967." Before the 1994 Hebron massacre of 29 Muslim residents, at the hands of Baruch Goldstein, there was the 1929 Hebron massacre of 67 Jewish residents, at the hands of their rampaging Arab neighbors. The survivors fled for Jerusalem, and the holy city of Hebron was emptied of Jews for the first time in centuries.

But, like with the recent Battir story, The New York Times ignored the Jewish history of the contested site, choosing to supply readers only the Palestinian history.

Posted by TS at July 8, 2012 07:10 AM


HERE'S what I wrote to Jodi:

Hi Jodi,

It's time for you to pick up some books (or at least do a Google search) to read the actual history of Hebron BEFORE 1967. It was once home to thousands of native Jews. Ever hear of the 1929 Hebron massacre? Read about it, show the world that you aren't an ignorant one-sided reporter who bases her articles on selectively editing out pertinent history. Why do YOU & the NYT ignore this catalyst of Arab pogroms against the native Jewish people from Israel?

The critics were right last year when they stated you would not be an honest reporter regarding facts about Israel.

I doubt she will have the courage to address this in a professional manner

Posted by: C at July 8, 2012 03:53 PM

The NYT os a great newspaper except when it deals with Israel. Its reporter and editorial staff consistently leave our any facts that show israel in a favorable light. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 12, 2012 12:18 PM

We need to correct something that is very important: the surviving Jews did not "flee" to Jerusalem. The British, who did nothing to stop the pogrom, forced the Jews to leave because they could not guarantee their (the Jews) safety.

One of the worst documented incidents during the pogrom was when the British police chief told a rabbi's wife that there was no danger, insulted her and told her to go home.

Another unforgiveable aspect of the pogrom is that the British tried to cover it up, denying anything had happened.

Also, just for the history, under Muslim rule no Jews or Christians were allowed above the 7th step outside the entrance to the Herodian Building atop the tomb. Violators were beaten the first time, and then risked execution if they attempted to visit the actual burial areas a second time.

Posted by: Nate Salant at July 12, 2012 03:36 PM

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