75 Years Ago: Huge Terror Attack in Jerusalem Kills 50
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by Elder of Ziyon
Today’s news has uncomfortable echoes in the events of 75 years ago.
On February 22, 1948, three trucks filled with explosives were exploded by Arabs in British Army uniforms on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. More than 50 people were killed, including several children.
The “Army of the Holy War” led by Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni took responsibility for the attack several days later. Al-Husayni was a relative of the Nazi-allied Mufti of Jerusalem. His group was essentially the Hamas of its day. Two British Army deserters also participated in the attack.
While the Mufti of Jerusalem denied any responsibility, and his Arab Higher Committee distanced itself from it, saying that the attack was “depravity unfit for the Arab spirit,” those British soldiers said that they had been promised a huge reward from the Mufti for their part of the plot. The story is that when they went to claim that reward, the Mufti laughed at them. As with recent murderous terror attacks, Jewish leaders called for restraint, but sadly many did not listen. The Irgun and Lehi groups, blaming the attack on the British, attacked and killed a number of British soldiers in revenge, while Arab snipers killed several Jews.
The real difference between then and now, of course, is that now the Jews can defend themselves. Then, the British were still responsible for security, and they didn’t hold on to their end of the bargain. Even though they knew that their own vehicles had been stolen days before this attack, they didn’t inform the Jewish guards in Jerusalem, who let the bomb-laden British trucks into the heart of the city assuming they were safe. (One heroic guard challenged the “British soldiers” and was immediately murdered by them.) As we try to break the cycle of the past, it is equally important to remember the history.
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