Jerusalem (Dec. 12)
A quarrel between the Arab, Jewish and Government counsel over the report of the temporary Zionist Executive to London about the massacres at Hebron, created excitement at today’s session of the Inquiry Commission hearing. The Arab counsel Silley, during his cross-examination of Sigfried Hoofien, the second Jewish witness, started the dispute when he read the Zionist Executive’s cable of August 28 to London, reporting that Hebron Arabs had separated the Jewish children for the Arab children to attack and the Jewish adults for the Arab adults to attack, and that people had had noses, fingers and breasts cut off.
Hoofien declared that he had no part in the sending of the message, of which he had disapproved, but he believed that Braude and Horowitz, the other members of the temporary Zionist Executive, had sufficient proof from the Hadassah officials to warrant their statements. Silley charged that “statements of circumstantial tales were broadcast all over the world and they embittered the Arabs and made the Jewish national home more uncomfortable for the Jews and making its creation more difficult, if not impossible. Your colleagues sent off statements, not knowing whether they were true or false.”
While the main object of the Jewish national home was not comfort, said Hoofien, “this cable had not been broadcast, but was a simple report to London sent as the duty of the Executive after getting the Hadassah reports.” Commissioner Shaw asked Hoofien, “You are not yet satisfied at the untruthfulness of the mutilation reports?” Hoofien said that he was not.
In his re-examination, Sir Boyd Merriman, counsel for the Jews, said, “Let me read another statement describing the events,” and he read High Commissioner Chancellor’s statement of “unspeakable savagery in the riots” and asked, “is there any vast difference between this statement and the telegram?” A marked effect was created when Merriman slammed five photographs of the Hebron atrocities before the Commission members, who could hardly bear to look at them. As a sort of apology for his gruesome evidence, Merriman declared, “we had not wanted to inquire further into the Hebron murders, but if our opponents use our avoidance of this horrible subject to suggest bad faith against the Zionist Executive, then it is my duty to examine the entire question.”
Chairman Shaw remarked that he though the Government’s inquiry had settled the question of the Hebron mutilations and declared himself surprised to hear a member of the Zionist Executive still asserting his belief in them.
Merriman answered this by saying “we had not accepted the mutilations report but had merely let it go unchallenged.” Government counsel Preedy broke in to point out that Horowitz in a cable on September 4 had discredited the government health department’s report and termed this “a serious matter.” Resenting his intervention Merriman said “I can’t see why he intervened since this (Horowitz’s cable) did not refer to an official government inquiry, which was not held until weeks later, but only to the statement of Assistant Police Superintendent Caffereta of Hebron that there had been no mutilations.”
With counsel for all three sides arguing the matter of the mutilations as (Continued on Page 6)
During his examination by Silley, Hoofien asserted that all of the Arabs, except perhaps the Bedouins had benefitted from the Jewish settlement. The only Arab discontent, he claimed, was due to the Arab landlords who had previously benefitted from the low wages paid to the Arab population but because of the Jewish population coming in the Arab standard of living had gone up.
To Chairman Shaw’s remark that this is the first time he had heard such a complaint Hoofien replied “this is exactly the sort of complaint that would not be brought before the Commission.” Following up this point Commissioner Hopkins inquired whether the Jews employing Arabs pay them lower wages than Jewish workers. Hoofien admitted that that was true but that the pay of the Arab workers was nevertheless rising as a result of the agitation of the Jewish workers. Nevertheless, said Hoofien, the Jewish employers pay the Arabs more that the Arab employers had paid them before.
Hoofien declared that although he was not a Revisionist he was a friend of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the Revisionist leader. A question by Preedy regarding the Tish B’Av procession when Saunders called Hoofien from his hotel where he was lunching was interrupted by Merriman who pointed out that Hoofien doesn’t eat lunch on Tish B’Av, since it is a fast day. The questioning of Hoofien about the demonstration brought out no new points. He denied knowledge of 10,000 at the meeting but he remarked that the meeting hall has a capacity of less than 3,000.
Silley pointed out to Hoofien that Auni and Musa Kasim Pasha had been a delegation to ask Acting High Commissioner Luke to disarm the Jews and that this delegation had been described in the Zionist Executive’s cable as a “band of murderers and traitors.” Hoofien only withdrew “murderers” and stuck to the sense of the cable.
Questioned concerning economic matters Hoofien asserted that the country was capable of absorbing 20,000 Jews annually which would be the saturation point but he denied that the Arabs were being pushed off the land as there had been no increase in emigration.
MUSIC DEPARTMENT STARTED AT HEBREW UNIVERSITY, PROF. DAVID SCHOR, HEAD
The music department of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem inaugurated its courses last week, according to an announcement made by the American Advisory Committee of the University yesterday. Besides illustrated lectures on music, the University proposes to record Hebrew and Oriental music through phonographs and other registration instruments. Native folk songs as well as the various dialects of the Jews who have come from all parts of the world to Palestine will be recorded under the auspices of the music department of the University.
Professor David Schor, who for years has occupied one of the most prominent positions in the musical life of Russia, will be in charge of the music department. Supplementing the work in Jerusalem, Professor Schor and his associates will give lectures and concerts in Tel Aviv, Haifa and in various villages in Palestine. Choral societies will be established throughout the country, in addition to the choral group which Professor Schor is organizing among the students at the University.
Ossip Grabrilowitsch, conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, who visited Palestine last spring and assisted in the establishment of the music department at the University, in a statement in New York yesterday was lavish in his praise of the music department at the University and of the musical activities of Palestine in general. “Several excellent musicians are already living in Palestine,” said Mr. Gabrilowitsch, “and are doing fine work in promoting an understanding and appreciation of music among all classes in the cosmopolitan population. What is needed most at present is the establishment of symphony orchestras, either in Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv, and undoubtedly this development is imminent. Assuming that the cultural life of Palestine will not be disturbed in the future by any more outbreaks, it is safe to predict that the musical development of the country will be fruitful and far-reaching.”