zaterdag 12 mei 2012

Dagboek 1948: een staat wordt geboren 12 mei 1948

Arabieren in Haifa verlaten gedwongen hun huizen bij de haven
Dominee Hugh Jones heeft tijdens de onafhankelijkheidsoorlog van 1948 een dagboek bijgehouden. Jones was dominee in Jeruzalem en gestationeerd in de Christuskerk in de Oude Stad.

Israned zal het dagboek van Hugh Jones volgen van 12 mei tot en met 16 juli 1948. Tevens zal IsraNed, voorzover aanwezig, een foto plaatsen van die dag in de geschiedenis. De foto links is dus genomen op 12 mei 1948. Het dagboek van Hugh Jones geeft een inzicht van het dagelijks leven in oorlogstijd tijdens de geboorte van de Staat Israël.

De dominee begint zijn dagboek met algemene beschouwing waar de kerk staat en wat er reeds gebeurde voordat de Staat Israël werd uitgeroepen. Het wordt de lezer duidelijk dat de spanning reeds te snijden was in de dagen voor 15 mei 1948. Iedereen wist dat de Britten zouden vertrekken en alle partijen namen reeds een voorzetje tot de oorlog die ontegenzeggelijk zou volgen. 

Before giving a day-to-day account of our experiences in Christ Church after the end of the Mandate, the following general observations will be helpful as a background.

Christ Church Compound, in which stands the Church, Hostel, Parsonage, School Hall and classrooms, adjoins the Citadel which, together with the Jaffa Gate, forms a fortress at the southwest corner of the City wall and commands one of the two road entrances into the Old City. A short distance outside the Jaffa Gate lies the Jewish quarter of Montefiore, from which several attacks were launched on the Jaffa Gate and the Citadel in an attempt to break through to relieve the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, which lies immediately behind Christ Church. This meant that in the Compound we were situated between two fires and a number of shells, mortars, grenades burst on the premises, both from the direction of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and from the Montefiore Quarter from where mortars and shells aimed at the Citadel sometimes overshot their mark and fell in the Compound.

The Armenian Quarter, which stretches from Christ Church to the Zion Gate, forms the other wedge between the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and the City wall which runs roughly in a southeasterly direction from the Jaffa Gate to the Zion Gate. The Armenian Patriarch collected all his flock living in the Quarter and brought them inside the Convent walls, where 3,000-4,000 Armenians were collected together, many of them living in tents erected in the grounds.

With the occupation of Katamon, an Arab residential area on the outskirts of Jerusalem by the Jews over the weekend of April 30th and May 2nd, a number of Arab refugees came to seek shelter in Christ Church inside the Old City walls. These, together with some Arab Christians from Talbia and other parts of Jerusalem, brought the total number of people in the Compound to nearly 50, several Moslem families being accommodated in the classroom block at one end of the Compound and in the Kindergarten across the Lane. Occupants of the Hostel and Parsonage and one classroom adjoining the school hall included six members of C.M.J. staff, a Christ Church school teacher and her old parents, a former Christ Church teacher and her husband (a Czech refugee), two Hebrew Christian members of Christ Church (mother and daughter), four Arab Christian members of Christ Church and two children and eight members of the Arab Anglican Church, including four members of their Church Council, making a total of 31 persons including four servants.

MAY 12th Went to the King David hotel which houses the offices of the
Secretariat and left letters with a Government official who was leaving by
plane for England the next day.