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Account of Rabbi and eminent Jewish scholar Baruk Kaplan present at the Yeshiva during the 1929

Hebron massacre. Rabbi Kaplan eventually became the principal of Beis Yaakov, one of the finest
Jewish girl's religious schools in New York and is regarded within the Jewish community as an
academic authority beyond reproach or accusations of misrepresentation. The following is a translation
of his recorded interview made in Yiddish in 1980.

"I would like to describe the error that is spread in Jewish communities. A horrible error that accuses
the Arabs in Hebron of being killers who attacked the Jews simply because the Arabs were bad
people. In order to correct the record this error must be corrected. The Arabs were very friendly
people and the Jews in Hebron lived very well with them and had very friendly relations with them. To
take just one example I used to have the habit of walking a mile or two out of town all by myself to visit
a tree which is believed to be the tree where our patriarch Abraham met the three angels as described
in Genesis. I especially enjoyed visiting the tree in the summer time. Along the way I would talk to the
Arabs using mostly my hands because I spoke no Arabic. Interestingly enough no one in the yeshiva
every told me it was dangerous to go by myself among the Arabs. We just lived with them and got
along very fine.

I have also seen a letter by the Grand Rabbi of the Ghera Hasidim at that time Rabbi Abram Martray
elder who has memory of Poland regarding his trip to the Holy Land during the days when people
were talking about emigrating to Palestine. He wanted to find out what kind of people the Palestinians
were in order to be able to advise people whether to move there or not. He wrote in his letter that the
Arabs were a very fine and friendly people. Therefore it is necessary to set the record straight about the
accusation that the Palestinians were terrible people who liked attacking Jews. This was never the
situation at all. Todays wicked Zionists are just like their predecessors who are responsible for causing
terrible suffering in Palestine with their wars against the Arabs. May G-d have mercy.

At the time in 1929 the Zionists had a slogan arguing that the western wall was a Jewish national
symbol. Of course the Arabs disagreed with this idea considering that they had enjoyed control over
the location for over one thousand one hundred years. However the Zionist mobs were yelling 'the wall
is ours'. It's hard to understand why they felt that way considering to have no connection to the Jewish
holy places whatsoever. An argument erupted in the Jewish newspapers about establishing a
permanent prayer area for Jews at the wall.

This provoked the Arabs and the Rabbi of Jerusalem at the time Chaim Josef Sonderfeld begged
them to stop and be appreciative to the Arabs for allowing Jews to pray at the wall for so many
centuries undisturbed however the Zionists wanted a permanent set up under their control. This began
the conflict at the time between the Zionists and the Arabs.

After we were studying at the yeshiva in Hebron and saw a bunch of boys in short pants carrying
weapons on bicycles and motorcycles running around the streets of Hebron. We were very worried
about this. What were they up to? In brief our Rabbi the supervisor of our religious academy Moshe
Hetreps called them for a meeting but they refused. He was forced to go over to them and ask them
what they were up to. He accused them of wanting to provoke the Arabs. They responded that they
were coming to protect us. We cried out woe are us, G-d have mercy. They didnt want to leave town
until it was too late. These arrogant cowards only ran away when the local Arab leaders called for a
mass meeting of the people from the surrounding Arab villages but it was too late. The Arabs got
organised and the Mufti called upon his people to be ready Friday night when the yeshiva would be
attending prayers.

At this point the Yeshiva was alone against the Zionists but the Arabs didnt know to distinguish
between us and the Zionists. Sadly they attacked and killed some of our people including the great
scholar Joshua Rosenhaus. The next morning we heard the excitement in town and even worse we
heard the crying and shouting. I and a friend lived in an apartment that was a part of a three storey
building leased by a Jew from an Arab. We could hear all the noise from our apartment on the third
floor. We were terrified to let the Arabs in because we knew how angry they had become but a while
later things calmed down. In total some sixty five people were killed.

On the other side of town however the Jews were spared. Why am I telling you about this story? Its
because I want to expose how the wicked Zionists both today and in those days were the cause of our
suffering. They cooperated with the Nazis, Our religion teaches us that a person who causes someone
to sin is worse than the sinner who kills.

A state (of affairs) that killed the Judaism of the Yemenite and Moroccan Jews of many other Sephardic
Jews. This is the work of these thugs and gangsters. Everyone must know that the anger of the Arabs
against us is only caused by the Zionists. The Arabs were a friendly people to us and I am a witness to
it. We lived very well with them in Hebron and I will attest to this as well. It is the accursed Zionists who
caused them to hate us. The Zionists dared to use their power to expel the Arabs and even today in the
Lebanon they kill and butcher Arabs. They wipe out whole villages with their aeroplanes, Everyone
should know who the murderers are. The Zionists are the biggest murderers in the world who refuse to
let the Jews live in peace either spiritually or physically."

According to a compilation by Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Lehi was responsible for 42 assassinations, more
than twice as many as the Irgun and Haganah combined during the same period. Of those Lehi
assassinations that Ben-Yehuda classified as political, more than half the victims were Jews. [40] N. Ben-
Yehuda, Political Assassinations by Jews (State University of New York, 1993), p. 397

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