London (Oct. 23)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
For the first time since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, London Jews assembled at a mass meeting voiced sharp criticism of the Government of Palestine.
Two thousand persons attended a mass meeting held Monday night at Kingsway Hall to protest against the attitude of the Palestine government in the present dispute between the Moslems and the Jews of Palestine concerning the Western Wall. Dr. M. D. Eder, former member of the Zionist Executive in London, who presided, drew the attention of the audience to the “grave and serious nature” of the action to be taken.
The resolution adopted unanimansly deplored “the failure of the administration of Palestine to realize the gravity of the consequences of this insult to the House of Israel.” and demanded that “in accordance with the traditional British respect for religious conviction, steps be taken to safeguard the traditional right of the Jewish people to its holiest site.” The resolution further expressed the demand that the officials of the Palestine administration “show the same scrupulous regard for the sentiments of the Jewish people in dealing with the worship in holy places” as is their policy in regard to other faiths.
Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire and Dr. Selig Brodetsky, member of the Zionist Executive, addressed the meeting. Dr. Brodetsky related that the British government had given its promise to maintain the status quo at the Wailing Wall.
Dr. Hertz pointed to the fact that three centuries before Mohammedanism came into existence, the custom among the Jews to repair to the Wall for prayer and lamentation was already practiced. This is attested by the fathers of the Christian church in their writings and by the early Christian pilgrims to Palestine. “The outrage committed at the Wailing Wall diminishes the moral prestige of Great Britain and is a serious setback to civilization and humanity,” the Chief Rabbi exclaimed.