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Friday, March 15, 2013

65th anniversary of the Hadassah convoy massacre

Today, the 4th day of the Jewish month of Nissan, marks the 65th yahrtzeit (anniversary of date of death) of the 78 medical personnel and their guards who were massacred on their way to Hadassah Hospital in Mount Scopus (Hat Tip: Gary P).
The massacre, by Arab Palestinians, of some 80 passengers and defenders in the Hadassah convoy to Hadassah hospital on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, on April 13, 1948. The victims were mostly doctors, nurses and other staff. The massacre had been planned long in advance, but was "spun" as a reprisal for the raid on on Deir Yassin by the Irgun and LEHI. The British authorities deliberately refrained from stopping the massacre, and British soldiers collaborated in it. Unlike the Deir Yassin raid, this massacre was planned in advance, a deliberate crime against medical personnel and civilians.
Historian Dr. Alex Grobman provides some background (Hat Tip: Gates of Vienna).
Once the partition of Palestine was approved by the United Nations on November 29, 1947, the violence against the Jews intensified. The equivalent of a Red Cross medical convoy comprised of non-combatants including doctors, nurses and university faculty and students was ambushed by Arabs in the Sheikh Jarrah section of Jerusalem. Although The British High Commissioner and the British Secretary of State personally gave their assurances that these convoys would be protected by British troops and police, seventy-eight Jews were murdered.
The attack, which lasted seven hours, began at 9:30 a.m. and took place less than 600 feet from the British military post. The British watched from the sidelines. Jewish appeals for help were ignored until mid-afternoon.  But by then the Jews had either been burned alive in buses or shot. There were 28 survivors, only eight had no injuries.
Among the dead were the founders of the new faculty of medicine, a physicist, a philologist, a cancer researcher, the head of the university’s department of psychology, and an authority on Jewish law. A doctor who waited four years to marry the nurse he loved was killed when he went to say good bye to his patients before leaving on his honeymoon.
One victim, a doctor, treated the Arab peasants in the village of Isawiye on Mount Scopus two weeks prior to the attack. Yet Arabs claimed that the ambush was a heroic act, and the British had no business intervening even at the last-minute: They did not want a single Jewish passenger to remain alive.
Thousands of furious Jews attended the funeral and lined the streets of the procession.  British indifference was responsible for this loss of life. The British Army dismissed the ambush as retaliation for an Irgun attack on the Arab village of Deir Yassin. Official Arab response was that they had heard that Jewish gangs were assembled near Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University.  R.M.Graves, the British appointed Chairman of the Jerusalem Municipal Commission, said “…the Arabs do not realize that the killing of doctors, nurses and university teachers was a dastardly outrage.”
Read the whole thing.

Seven hours watching from 600 feet away and they did nothing. The UN has nothing on the Brits.

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