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ItemID: #38300
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Emergency Decree concerning 1929 Riots in Palestine



(JUDAICA—PALESTINE) CHANCELLOR, Sir John Herbert (High Commissioner for Palestine). Minshar [“Manifesto”—Emergency Decree of the British High Commissioner Concerning the 1929 Riots]. Jerusalem: Press of the Greek Monastery, September 4, 1929. Broadside (measures 17 by 20 inches), printed on recto. Framed. $5500.

Emergency decree in Hebrew issued by the British High Commissioner for Palestine announcing special power to be given to the Courts in conducting trials for those arrested for violent conduct in the 1929 riots in Palestine.

On August 23, 1929, following a ten-month build-up of tension over the disputed rights of Jews to pray at the Western Wall, an Arab mob attempted to attack Jews in Jerusalem. The outbreak of violence spread to other parts of the country and on the following day, Arabs murdered some 70 Jews in Hebron. In the week of bloody violence that ensued, there were attacks in Tel Aviv, Haifa and 18 Jews were killed by an Arab mob in Safed. Before the week had passed, large detachments of British troops were brought in, arresting numerous Jews and Arabs, and finally restoring order to the country. In the disturbances 133 Jews were killed and 339 wounded, mainly in Jerusalem and Hebron; Arab casualties, chiefly from police action, were 116 killed and 232 wounded.

In this Emergency Decree, the British High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir John Herbert Chancellor, announced that special powers were to be given to the Courts in conducting the trials of those arrested, the aim being to ensure a fair trial and to determine whether the attacks were spontaneous or premeditated. He also announced the formation of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to be headed by Sir Walter Shaw to inquire into the immediate causes of the riots. Finally, he concludes, the incidents will not result in a change of British policy with regard to Palestine as laid down in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, namely to favor the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Despite Sir John’s final assurance in this Emergency Decree, the Shaw Commission decided the cause of the riots had been Arab feelings of animosity consequent upon the disappointment in their national aspirations and fear for their future. Thus the Commission proposed restriction of Jewish migration to Palestine and restrictions on the purchase of land by Jews. As a result, in October 1929, the Colonial Secretary Lord Passfield issued a “White Paper” which further whittled down the meaning of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate and foreshadowed fresh restrictions on Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine (Encyclopaedia Judaica). With seal of the British High Commissioner of Palestine. Text in Hebrew.

Fine condition. Scarce.

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