Moslem Merchants Reject Jews’ Proposal for Commercial Peace

Declaring they are not free agents, the Moslem merchants’ conference convened by Mr. Keith-Roach, Deputy District Governor, declined to sign the proclamation to which the Jewish merchants had agreed, calling upon everybody in Jerusalem to trade freely with one another.

“We are only individuals and it is impossible for us to depart from the national path. Otherwise we would be traitors,” the Moslems are reported to have declared in refusing to break up the anti-Jewish boycott.

Mayor Nashishibi, managers of the principal banks, the chairman of the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce and the Jewish and Christian vice-mayors of Jerusalem participated in the conference, all of them strongly deprecating the ruinous boycott agitation. It is understood that the bankers intend to bring pressure to bear against the Moslems, curtailing their credit if the boycott is not relaxed.

Thirty-three Jewish merchants of the Old City applied to the Zionist Executive for assistance in breaking up the Arab boycott, declaring that veiled Moslem women and children were pulling the customers away from their shops. “We beg you to immediately intervene with the government. Otherwise it will be impossible for us to continue in the Old City. We will be obliged to leave it the same as others, thus gratifying the wishes of our Arab competitors,” the merchants declared in the appeal.

There was considerable excitement in the Old City yesterday afternoon when a Christian customer entered a Jewish glassware shop. A number of Moslems collected immediately, closing down their own shops, to drive off the would-be customer of the Jewish merchant.

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