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of 1929, which saw a total of 139
            Jews killed across the country, half
            of them in Hebron, which was the
            oldest Jewish community in the
            world.  Eye-witness Rivka Burg said,
            “All the leaders of the community
            – my father, the Ashkenazi rabbi,
            and the Sephardi rabbi and my
            brother all went to the Governor
            to ask for protection.”*  The
            protection was refused.  The British   British troops in Hebron following the massacre in 1929
                                                    © Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem
            response was to expel the entire
            Jewish community from Hebron.
            The most severe sentence any      Britain’s policy of appeasing Arab
            of the perpetrators received was   demands led to further violence,    “After the period of
            18 months in prison.  The British   and culminated in the White Paper   five years no further
            refused to protect Jewish civilians   of May 1939.  By this time the Jews   immigration will be
            in other massacres too, one of the   in parts of Europe were in the grip
            most notable was the Hadassah     of Nazi persecution, and many        permitted unless the Arabs
            Hospital Convoy massacre in April   wanted to escape to their ancestral   of Palestine are prepared
            1948, in which 78 people died.    home.  The White Paper severely      to acquiesce in it.  Now
                                              restricted Jewish immigration,       there is the breach; there is
            The specific purpose of the       without which a viable Jewish state   the violation of the pledge;
            Mandate for Palestine was to create   could not be formed.  Moreover, the   there is the abandonment
            “such political, administrative   1939 White Paper called for the
            and economic conditions as        Jewish population of Palestine not   of the Balfour Declaration;
            will secure the establishment     to exceed one-third of the total.  The   there is the end of the
            of the Jewish national home […]   Permanent Mandates Commission        vision, of the hope, of the
            and the development of self-      of the League of Nations stated that   dream.”
            governing institutions” (Article 2)   Britain was violating the legal terms
            – i.e. a Jewish State.  To this end,   of the Mandate.  In a fierce debate
            Britain was explicitly directed to   in the House of Commons, Winston
            “facilitate Jewish immigration” and   Churchill, who would become Prime   The 1939 White Paper effectively
            “encourage […] close settlement   Minister a year later, said of the   trapped the Jewish people in
            by Jews” (Article 6).  However,   White Paper:                      Nazi-occupied Europe, and many

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