Blasphemy Trial Begins in Jerusalem Against Doar Ha-yom, Hebrew Daily Paper

Trial against the editor and publishers of the Jerusalem Hebrew Daily paper, “Doar Ha’yom”, accused of blasphemy against Catholicism commenced today behind closed doors. Two judges are presiding at the trial, one an Englishman, the other an Arab.

Application was made some time ago by the Latin Patriarch of Palestine, Mngr. Barlassina, and by the Palestine Arab Executive for a summons to proceed against the “Doar Ha’yom”, on a charge of blasphemy, but permission was then refused. The “Doar Ha’yom”, immediately its attention was drawn to the fact that the article was viewed with indignation by the Christian inhabitants of Palestine, published a statement regretting the use of the expression complained of and declaring that it had no intention of hurting the feelings of Christians. The statement was considered by the Government to be satisfactory, and it was intimated that there could therefore be no prosecution against the “Doar Ha’yom”. Cardinal Barlassina has published a letter in the Catholic Press throughout the world calling upon Catholics everywhere to protest against the “Doar Ha’yom” and asking for prayers and ceremonies in all the churches “to wipe out the infamous insult which has been offered to the Christian Savior”.

Mngr. Barlassina declares that he has received letters of protest against the “Doar Ha’yom” from Catholic Societies in all parts of the world. The Syrian Catholic Society has sent a protest to General Weygand, the French High Commissioner of Syria.

Dr. Weizmann, when he was in Palestine in October, took occasion to refer to this matter. He made it clear that the offending paragraph was viewed with unqualified disapproval by all right-minded Jews, who have nothing but condemnation for a statement which even when made by way of jest, was calculated to wound Christian susceptibilities. It was, in fact, merely the indiscretion of an irresponsible journalist whose lapse was regretted by Palestine Jewry. Dr. Weizmann went on to say that, reprehensible as was the publication of such a paragraph, it was at the same time impossible to pass over without protest the conduct of those who were endeavoring to magnify the jest of an irresponsible journalist into a deliberate affront by the Jews to their Christian fellow-citizens.

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