London (Aug. 21)
The British press devotes much attention to the Jerusalem situation and the Arab assaults on Jews in connection with the Wailing Wall controversy. Notes of criticism of the British administration of Palestine are not missing in the editorial comments.
The “Evening Standard,” in its Tuesday afternoon edition says editorially that apart from the question of Zionist policy, the Wailing Wall is the Holy Place of the Jews, where they have worshipped since time immemorial.
“The trouble is that all the ground surrounding the Wall is occupied by Mohammedans. Nevertheless, under the Turkish rule, the Jews were unmolested. It should not be impossible for the British administration to secure a similar freedom of worship.”
The “Daily Telegraph,” in its Wednesday morning edition, devotes a full column editorial to a discussion of the Wailing Wall position. The newspaper criticizes the Palestine government for “following up a mistaken concession to the Jews, namely permission to demonstrate on Tisha B’Ab, with an equally mistaken concession to the Arabs.”
“A few more such examples of weakness, and the fires of religious hatred will be lighted, which will be difficult to extinguish,” the paper says, expressing its hope that action will be taken to avert the danger and to reestablish the old Jewish-Arab friendship. “The Jews have enjoyed the right of worship at the Wall for thousands of years. It is the only Holy Place left to them. There were never troubles under the Turks and it is therefore regrettable that trouble should arise under British authority, especially when that authority is a trustee under international mandate to make a national home for the Jews in Palestine.”
The New York “Evening Post,” in an editorial in its Tuesday afternoon edition, deals with the Wailing Wall controversy in the following paragraphs:
“In their administration of Palestine
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the British are continually faced with the necessity of reconciling the conflicting interests of Jews and Arabs. Ownership and control of the Wailing Wall, now bitterly disputed between the followers of the two religions, constitute one of the most tragic of their problems.
“On the outskirts of the city stands this famous wall, hard against a mosque, where for centuries Jews of all the world have come to lament the glories that once were theirs and to worship upon the site of Solomon’s temple. The Wailing Wall is named literally. The lamentations of the orthodox-Jews whose gaberdines and long curls recall the ghettoes of another age-rise up daily beneath the shadow of the mosque. Nothing in Jerusalem is more sacred to them than this shrine, ‘saturated with the blood and tears of hundreds of thousands of the children of Israel,’ which the Arabs will not now let them have in peace.
“England has a difficult course in administering a city which three religions call holy. Moslems, Jews and Christians have equal claims upon the Government for respect of their religious traditions. ‘Are we not even to be allowed to mourn?’ is the tragic lament of those Jews who cannot escape from the past.”