The 18th of the Hebrew month of Av is the anniversary of the 1929 Arab massacre of 67 Jews in Hebron. While the massacre started in Hebron, rampaging Arabs also murdered Jews in Jerusalem and Tzfat. Over the course of just one week, Arabs killed 130 Jews.
Of the many participants in the massacre, three murderers who “committed particularly brutal murders [of Jews] at Safed and Hebron,” according to the report by the British Government to the League of Nations (Dec. 31, 1930), were singled out by the British authorities and hanged for their actions.
While the massacre took place 65 years before its creation, the Palestinian Authority has adopted the three murderers as Palestinian heroes and role models, and it marks the day of their hanging each year in order to glorify their killings.
This year is no different, and the P.A. has published numerous items in its official press honoring the killers. Referring to them as “fighters” and “martyrs,” the P.A.’s official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on June 18 intertwined the glorification of the murderers with the modern-day P.A. policy prohibiting the sale of land to Jews.
“Yesterday, June 17, was the 92nd anniversary of the execution of the three fighters Muhammad Jamjoum, Fuad Hijazi and Ataa Al-Zir by the British Mandate authorities,” the article said. “The three martyrs wrote a letter the day before the execution which said: ‘We have willingly sacrificed our souls and skulls so they will be foundations for building our nation’s independence and freedom, so that the nation will continue to be united and carrying out jihad in order to remove the enemies from Palestine and so that we will protect its land and not sell even one inch of it to the enemies.’”
The article was accompanied by an image of three cards hanging from nooses with “Muhammad Jamjoum,” “Fuad Hijazi” and “Ataa Al-Zir” written on them. The text on the bottom of the cards reads: “The Martyrs of the Al-Buraq Rebellion [the P.A.’s name for the massacre and accompanying riots] June 17, 1930.”
On June 17, P.A. television marked the hanging of the murderers by running a number of special fillers. One shows an artist creating an image of the killers while part of the song “From Acre Prison,” in which Al-Zir is referred to as “the distinguished person,” is played in the background.
The lyrics read:
Muhammad Jamjoum, Ataa Al-Zir and Fuad Hijazi, the power of ammunition,
Look at the one going first, the distinguished person,
They are executing us on verdicts of the oppressor
The text on the screen states: “The homeland will never forget its revolutionaries.”
On a previous occasion, P.A. TV emphasized the importance of the song glorifying these three murderers, saying that it is a “basic part of our culture” and an expression of the Palestinian “national identity.”
Using the song to glorify the killers, the P.A. presenter added that the chorus expresses pride in the murderers, whom he calls the “noble heroes of Palestine.” The narrator said, “Because songs are a basic part of our culture and they express our national identity … and because these songs are present in our consciousness and still fascinate us with values and meanings. … It’s here: ‘The Tune of the Homeland.’” The lyrics of the song include, “From Acre Prison went forth the funeral of Muhammad Jamjoum and Fuad Hijazi/Take revenge for them, my people.”
The narrator added, “This is the chorus of the pain and suffering from the torture of prison … which expresses the pride of the young ones who presented the most wondrous things in the pages of the [history of the] struggle against the invading occupiers. They are the noble heroes of Palestine—Martyrs Muhammad Jamjoum, Ataa Al-Zir and Fuad Hijazi. … Our poet was witness to the three becoming Martyrs, and his talent provided the poem ‘The Ground Shook Under the Invaders’ Feet.’”
The poem reads:
They were three heroes
Who competed with each other who would die first
Their feet rose above the hangman’s neck
They became an example, O my friend
Throughout the length and width of the land
And from Akko Prison went forth the funeral
The second filler refers to the murderers by declaring, “Glory and eternity to our people’s pure martyrs.”
P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party also celebrated the murderers with a post on the official Facebook page of Fatah’s Commission of Information and Culture: “Ninety-two years since the execution of the heroes of the Al-Buraq Rebellion.” The post includes the lyrics, “Three men who competed over death/And their feet rose above the hangman’s neck.”
The image shows the three murderers. In the upper-left corner is the Fatah logo, which includes a grenade, crossed rifles and a map that presents all of Israel together with P.A.-controlled areas as “Palestine.”
IDF Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch is the director of legal strategies at Palestinian Media Watch.
This article was originally published by Palestinian Media Watch.