Jerusalem (Jan. 24)
Indignation underlies the comment of the entire Hebrew press with regard to the acquittal of the twelve Arabs charged with the murder of five members of the Macleff family at Motz, a suburb of Jerusalem, on August 24.
The “Ha’Aretz” says: “We do not cast any doubt on the British judges. We bow our heads to their conscience, but the verdict completes the chain of events showing that no one in Palestine considers himself obliged to say who is answerable. If, God forbid, a British family had been wiped out, would the Palestine government have publicly admitted its complete lack of ability to prevent the wholesale slaughter and punish the murderers? The acquittal seals the appalling tragedy. Hereafter those who pass abandoned Motza will not overlook the destruction of this small house, which will be a monument to and evidence of the wonderful administrative capacity of the British Mandatory administration in 1929 and 1930, and of the truth and justice prevailing in the Holy Land.”
“The cries that the freed Arabs raised of ‘long live the Palestine government,’ and ‘the government is with us,’ have been heard in Palestine for ten years,” says the “Doar Hayom.” “We are not interested in how the judges found the evidence insufficient, but other prisoners do not replace the discharged men. If the government does not imprison Arab murderers, the police should be placed in the dock for criminally neglecting their duty in allowing scores of murderers and robbers at large.”
The “Davar” remarks that “if these twelve men are truly innocent, let them return to their homes and families, but the Palestine government must answer who spilled the innocent blood of a peaceful Jewish family in Motza. It would have been tragic if one innocent man was sentenced to death, but someone did destroy the family. Who are they; where are they?”