Palestine Hebrew Press in Lively Comment on Situation in Palestine

A bill of indictment against H. C. Luke, Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government and Acting High Commissioner of Palestine when the Arab massacres against the Jews broke out, was drawn by Isaac Ben Zwi, writing in the “Davar,” Tel Aviv Hebrew labor daily. The writer declares that when Luke was interviewed on the 22nd of August, one day before the riots began, he assured the Jewish representative that there was no cause for fear, the government having taken adequate measures for protection. He ignored the request that crowds outside of Jerusalem be prevented from entering the city on Friday, August 23rd, ostensibly for prayers. The request that they at least be disarmed of their knives and swords, obviously unnecessary for worship, met with a similar refusal.

The British police were expressly forbidden to fire, he charges, during the first twenty-four hours of rioting in Jerusalem when seven Jews were killed, ten wounded, and two suburban farms ransacked and burned. This, Ben Zwi declares, was a direct encouragement to the rioters. The whole country follows with accusations the disarmament of the Jewish special constables and the refusal of the services of five hundred Jewish auxiliaries including fifty former British soldiers enrolled, with the concurrence of the police, by the writer and Chaim Solomon, who visited all quarters of Jerusalem during Friday, often under fire.

Writing in the “Davar,” Rubashov, in an article entitled “Our Real Answer,” declares, these days must remain forever in our own and in our neighbors’ memory. Undreamt of Jewish bravery and heroism were displayed even in unexpected quarters. The whole country was a Tel Hai, and all youth, Trumpeldors, brothers. “An arrow was aimed not only at ourselves but at the whole Diaspora, whose response to the destruction must be the manifestation of constructive strength. The events which have transpired are a test of strength for the Jewish Agency. Jewish youth, labor and the masses. The fallen hundred must call forth an alia of thousands. Every burned threshing floor must be redeemed ten fold. There must be an immediate renewal of colonization efforts.”

Zaakay, another writer, declares that the plight of the refugees from Hebron, Safed and other abandoned settlements, is appalling. The relief is the government’s charge. It cannot escape the responsibility, he states.

The “Ha’Aretz” notes with alarm the appointment of Arab police officers as examining magistrates. The paper charges there is danger of the inquiry degenerating into a terrible farce. It vehemently protests against the imprisonment of the Jewish self-defense as criminals.

Satisfaction with the statement issued by the Colonial office is expressed editorially by the “Doar Hay’om.” The paper, however, notes the second proclamation of High Commissioner Chancellor as a setback against the first. Referring to the crimes committed by both Jews and Arabs, the paper writes: “If self-defense is a crime, the whole Yishub is on trial. You would have imprisoned Chijik had he survived.”

Ben Horin, another writer, believes there is danger that the Inquiry Commission’s conclusions will be vitiated through the preparation of the ground by officials involved in the events who are as yet unsuspended.

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