London (Sep. 27)
The Palestine situation, following the recent disorders, continues to be the subject of comment in the British press.
That Palestine is poised on top of a volcano, and that bayonets and nothing but bayonets will maintain the British Mandate and the Balfour declaration since the Jews and the Moslems will never agree as they neither trust nor like each other, writes the Jerusalem correspondent of the London “Daily Mail, is the considered opinion of one intimately associated with the Palestine government for many years.
The Arabs have always protested against the Balfour declaration but had no great objection to Jews making their home in Palestine which is different from a Jewish National Home, the correspondent writes. Continuing he says, the Wailing Wall, an artificial center around which religious antagonism and fanatical belief gain new fury is an excuse rather than the cause of the trouble. The dominant thought in the minds of the Arabs is that the Jews want to drive them out of the country which they have called their own for many hundreds of years.
That a state of considerable tension exists the correspondent further writes, can be gauged from the fact that the Jews have abandoned their ancient, cherished ritual of “Shloshim,” memorial services 30 days after death, fearing lest it be the signal for further trouble.
The authorities recognize that a most difficult time still faces them. It is believed that the meeting of the Commission of Inquiry will arouse both the Jews and the Arabs, while the approach of Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur may renew the flame of the smouldering fire.
It is only now becoming known how narrowly the country escaped rapine and wholesale massacre. Prominent and responsible officials told him, the correspondent declares, that they knew for months that under the outward, seeming calm, racial and religious feelings were in ferment, but did not think them so near the top.
It is now revealed that a massacre in Haifa was avoided by luck. An air force officer, patrolling the area, saw the Arabs advancing upon a Jewish colony outside the town. At the same moment he saw a troop train steaming from Haifa. He dropped a message on the detraining troops who rushed to the village, approaching when the Arabs were 400 yards away.