27 October 2001 – At a meeting of the War Cabinet, three weeks into the United States and UK bombing of Afghanistan, Tony Blair emphasized that their was a misunderstanding about Ramadan and “it was important not to let the sense build that there would be an automatic pause for Ramadan,” but rather that “we should see Ramadan and winter as opportunities.”(1)  This was despite the obvious fact that such bombing had no UN mandate and the dire situation within Afghanistan, emphasised earlier on 8 October by Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, who pointed out in Cabinet that five million Afghans were already short of food and in danger of starvation.(2)


27 October 1933 – A large crowd of Arab protesters assembled in Jaffa’s central square to protest against the British policy on immigration and the handing over of Palestinian land to Jewish ownership. The British High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, had warned Arab nationalist leaders that political demonstrations would not be tolerated. The authorities had then ordered extra police reinforcements into the city including a detachment of the Transjordan Frontier Patrol police as well as soldiers from the Royal Ulster Rifles equipped with armoured cars and machine guns.(3)

The Daily Herald reported that it

“was an ominous sign when all the Arab shops in the city remained unopened this morning.  There were however no disorders until after midday prayer in the grand mosque.”

After that the British daily claimed that “the worshipers in the Grand Mosque were joined by thousands of Arabs in the streets and a determined attempt was made to form a procession and march through the streets,” adding that “the police made repeated baton charges but so serious did the situation become that they eventually opened fire. Many of the demonstrators fell.

“The police,” it reported, “soon had the situation in hand, though not till the main square was strewn with the bodies of dead and wounded.”(4) Twenty demonstrators had been killed and about one hundred injured.

The Dundee Courier described a similar story, recounting how “after midday large crowds flocked from the mosques determined to hold the forbidden procession at all costs” and reported how they had “endeavoured to force their way through the police cordon,” adding that “after making several baton charges, the police were compelled to fire.”(5)

Among the seriously wounded was Musa Kazim Husseini, a leading Palestinian nationalist and former Mayor of Jerusalem, who died eleven years later in 1934, never having recovered from the injury he suffered at the demonstration. (6)



  1. Alastair Campbell and Bill Hagerty (2013), “The Alastair Campbell Diaries: Volume 4 The Burden of Power Countdown to Iraq,” Arrow Books, London, p70.
  2. Ibid p43-44.
  3. “Eleven Killed in Jaffa Riots,” The Western Morning News and Daily Gazette, 28 October 1933, p7.
  4. “21 Reported Dead in Jaffa,” The Daily Herald, 28 October 1933, p11
  5. “21 Dead in Jaffa Riot,”The Dundee Courier and Advertiser, 28 October 1933 p 5.
  6. Brief biography of Musa Kazim Husseini available at https://www.paljourneys.org/en/timeline/overallchronology?biographies[]=9749&nid=9749

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