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I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Local Armenians and Greeks started a pogrom against Jews...

Source: Professor Stanford J. Shaw, 'The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic,' New York University Press, New York (1991).

Page 203:

"In 1865, immediately after enactment of the new Organic Statute for the Jewish community, and just as Jewish capital from Europe was beginning to have an effect in Istanbul, local Armenians and Greeks started a pogrom against Jews immediately across the sea of Marmara at Haydarpasa, terminus of the Anatolia railroad, with three hundred Jews massacred and many more beaten and raped before the disturbance was stopped after the Sultan sent his personal guard across the bay to protect the Jews [39].

In later years, ritual murder attacks against Jews, carried out mostly by native Greeks, Armenians, and, in Arab provinces, by Maronites and other Arab Christians, often with the assistance of the local European consuls, took place throughout the empire. There were literally thousands of incidents continuously until World War I, in Southeastern Europe as far west and north as Monastir and Kavalla, in Istanbul, at Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, at Salonica, and in all the Arab provinces as far south as Damascus and Beirut and in Egypt at Cairo and Alexandria. These invariably resulted from accusations spread among Ottoman Christians by word of mouth, or published in their newspapers, often by Christian financiers and merchants anxious to get their Jewish competitors out of the way or to divert onto the Jews Muslim anger at reports of Christian massacres of Muslims in Southeastern Europe or Central Asia, resulting in individual and mob attacks on Jews, and the burning of their shops and homes.

Individual experiences were horrible. Jews constantly went in fear of Armenian or Greek attacks in the streets of Ottoman cities. In Egypt and Syria, it was usually the Greeks who led the way, in many cases with the assistance of local Armenians and Syrian Christians, whose Greek, Arabic and French-language newspapers often printed all the rumors they could find regarding Jews, evidently with the desire of instigating violence. The Syrian Arab Christians in particular spread their long-standing anti-Semitic hatreds from Syria to Egypt, where their monopoly of the local press and their espousal of popular causes such as Egyptian nationalism and opposition to the British rule, enabled them to spread their anti-Jewish message among the Muslim masses with little question or opposition."

Page 210:

"...with the Jews extremely grateful for the protection provided by the Ottoman government. The AIU [Alliance Israelite Universelle, Paris] reported in 1893:

'There are but few countries, even among those which are considered the most enlightened and the most civilized, where Jews enjoy a more complete equality than in Turkey. H.M. the Sultan and the government of the Porte display toward Jews a spirit of largest toleration and liberalism. In every respect, Abdul-Hamid proves to be a generous sovereign and a protector of his Israelite subjects... The unflinching attachment of Jews to His Person and to the Empire is the only way in which they can express their gratitude. Thus, the Sultan as well as his officials know that Jews are among the most obedient, faithful and devoted subjects of Turkey.' [49]"

Page 211:

"...Abdul Hamid II admitted large numbers of Jewish refugees from Rumanian persecution [54] and Russian pogroms [55] almost as soon as the latter began on a large scale in 1881, and continued to admit them in large numbers during the remaining years of his reign, showing very clearly that whatever were his reasons for opposing Jewish settlement in Palestine, anti-Semitism as such was not among them."

[39] El Tiempo, 28 April 1926; Galante, Istanbul I,185; Galante, Documents V, 340-41.
[49] BAIU no.18 (1893), pp.38-39.
[54] Fresco (Istanbul) to AIU (Paris), 1 August, 19 August and 30 August 1900 (AIU Archives II-C-8). El Tiempo, 20 May 1900.
[55] AIU Archives I C 7.

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