Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mazar or Miar? What The Foot(e)!

Where was Lord Caradon in the first week of December 1937? 

Well, as Hugh Foot, he was in Mandatory Palestine, posted in Mandate Palestine between 1929–37 and Transjordan (1939–43).  This Foote was outside of Acre:-

Before dawn one morning last week at Nablus a detachment of native policemen and soldiers, led by British Assistant District Commissioner W. Foote, moved off into the hills of northern Palestine. Their destination was the tiny Arab village of Mazar. With the squad moved armored cars. As they crept up on the village in the grey morning light, two British planes droned overhead. The Arabs scrambled from their houses to find their village surrounded.

Striding forward, Commissioner Foote threatened to wipe out the entire settlement unless the Arab villagers produced and delivered... (*)

Reference to Hugh Foot: A.

And if you think that's strange, read on:

Abu Said Aburish, Grand old man of the TIME Beirut bureau
04 May 2005

Abu Said Aburish became part of the plot, during the Arab Revolt of 1936 against British rule in Palestine, to assassinate District Governor Hugh Foot. The plan was to shoot Foot as he left his residence in the morning. Fortunately for Foot, who later as the British United Nations ambassador Lord Caradon would be the author of the famous UN Resolution 242 of 1967, British military intelligence learned of the conspiracy.

Foot would watch Aburish ride his bicycle around and around the house waiting for his chance to strike. When Aburish was safely at the back of the house, Foot went to his car. Eventually, Aburish gave up. He later referred to himself as "the most inept assassin in history".

Shortly afterwards, he left the underground to become a journalist. He pursued this career until his retirement from Time magazine, where he was the Beirut bureau's grand old man for 37 years, in 1989.

He was born Mohammed Khalil Aburish in Bethany, Palestine, in 1909, the third son of the village chief, Khalil Aburish....In 1934 he married Soraya Shahine. Her father, Dr Musa Shahine, advised Mufti Haj Amin Husseini, leader of the Arab Higher Committee, during a time of increasing tension between native Palestinian Arabs and European Jewish settlers...A favourite of the Mufti's, Abu Said Aburish undertook occasional assignments - like the feeble attempt on Hugh Foot - for the Arab nationalists. He and two friends opened the Orient Taxi Company, the first telephone taxi firm in the Middle East. As a taxi driver, Aburish met many foreign journalists and the Mufti asked him to explain the Palestinian cause to them.

Aburish became a journalist himself, working as an assistant to the legendary O'Dowd Gallagher of the Daily Mail. "O.D.", as he liked to sign his articles, was a tireless campaigner whose signature still hangs on the wall of Fink's Bar in west Jerusalem. Aburish also spent time at Fink's Bar...The Daily Mail sacked him when its editors learned that the reason he had been able to scoop his colleagues over the story of the bombing of the Palestine Post was that he knew about it beforehand.

In Beirut, Aburish fared better than most of the other Palestinian refugees. The New York Times hired him to assist its correspondent there. He moved to Newsweek, when the magazine asked him to open its Beirut bureau. He concluded that one Newsweek staffer was in fact working for the CIA, so he switched to Time magazine.

And then again,

BRITISH forces responded to the presence of terrorists in the Arab village of Miar, north of Haifa, by blowing up house after house in October 1938.

"When the troops left, there was little else remaining of the once-busy village except a pile of mangled masonry," The New York Times reported.

The declassified documents refer to an incident in Jaffa in which a handcuffed prisoner was shot by the British police.

Under Emergency Regulation 19b, the British Mandate government could demolish any house located in a village where terrorists resided, even if that particular house had no direct connection to terrorist activity. Mandate official Hugh Foot later recalled: "When we thought that a village was harboring rebels, we'd go there and mark one of the large houses. Then, if an incident was traced to that village, we'd blow up the house we'd marked."

The High Commissioner for Palestine, Harold MacMichael, defended the practice: "The provision is drastic, but the situation has demanded drastic powers."


with help from ChallahHuAkbar, amanged to retrieve this: the British the aged Sheik Farhan al Sadi.

After this 75-year-old Arab dignitary had been told of the British ultimatum, he crawled out of a wheat bin, gave himself up.

Two days later the Sheik was accused of "possessing arms"—something every Arab sheik possesses—advised that if convicted under Britain's new emergency decree in Palestine the penalty would be Death.

Arraigned before a court martial of three British officers, the Sheik Farhan refused to utter a word to the Court, kept repeating to himself passages from the Koran. His lawyer entered a plea of "not guilty," the court sentenced him to Death, and on the sixth morning after he crawled out of the wheat bin Sheik Farhan al Sadi was hanged by the neck until dead at Acre.

While Arab public opinion was horrified.

British public opinion approved, for several reasons. British authorities in Palestine say that the Sheik Farhan was a leader of terrorist activities against such few Arab bigwigs as are known to be friendly to the British, or at least willing to negotiate. The British say that among the "arms" which Sheik Farhan was found to "possess" was one engraved with the name of a recently-assassinated pro-British Arab leader, Radi Abboushi. Such suspicions and circumstantial evidence might not hang a man in England, but the Near East is the Near East.

On the Sheikh:

Al-Qassam provided a unique model for Palestinians as he declared revolution and was among its first martyrs. Al-Qassam was right when he said before the battle began that he, together with his comrades, would be the spark which would ignite the revolution all over the country. Indeed, his martyrdom was the beginning rather than the end of his movement. It is possible to say that the three martyrs (al-Qassam “the Syrian”, Zibawi “the Palestinian” and Muhammad Hanafi “the Egyptian”) sent a message to the world that the Jihad in Palestine and facing the Zionist project, is an Islamic and Arab issue (besides its universal dimension), which is not confined to Palestinians.

The fifth and last point is that many historians stop at al-Qassam’s martyrdom and do not mention the impact of his organization and the important role it played in the Palestinian Revolt 1936 and even in the war of 1948.

Actually, it was al-Qassam organization “al-Jihadiyyah” which kindled the Revolt in Palestine, after the operation it executed on 15/4/1936 under the command of Farhan al-Sa‘di, al-Qassam’s successor. In addition, it was al-Qassam organization itself which ignited the second phase of this Revolt, on 26/9/1937, when two of its members, Muhammad Abu Ja‘b and Sheikh Mahmud Dirawi, assassinated Louis Andrews—the British governor of the Galilee (North Palestine).


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