1929 Arab Riots


In 1929, Arab riots broke out in towns throughout Palestine. In Hebron, where Jews had lived in peace, uninterupted for thousands of years, 66 Jewish men, women, and children were massacred.

The economic crisis of 1926-28 raised hopes among antagonists that the Jewish State might fail. At the sixteenth Zionist Congress, which met in Zurich from July 29 to August 10, 1929, the establishment of the Jewish Agency was announced. The Agency, which included non-philanthropists from the United States, was considered to be a major source of invigoration for the Yishuv. This event coincided with the rise of power of Mufti Amin el-Hussein. Hussein decided to raise religious incitement against the Jews by spreading the rumor that the Jews were going to seize the temple mount in Jerusalem. After prayer services on Friday, August 23, violence erupted in Jerusalem, as Arabs indiscriminately attacked Jews throughout Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Jewish defenders repelled the Arab attacks. The violence spread throughout Palestine In Hebron, where Jews had lived in peace, uninterrupted for thousands of years, 66 Jewish men, women , and children, were massacred. In most places Jewish defenders managed to hold off the numerically superior Arab attackers. Altogether, 133 Jews were killed and 400 injured in this wave of sudden violence. In the aftermath, the British appointed a commission to look into the causes of the riots. This commission, while blaming the Arabs for actually starting the riots, concluded that the underlying causes of the violence had been Zionist settlements and land purchases. The report's conclusions were hotly disputed, but ultimately the British took actions that limited somewhat Jewish land purchases in Palestine.