Jerusalem (Jul. 18)
Under no circumstances does the Palestine nation, meaning the Arabs, recognize the Palestine Mandate nor does it bind itself to any law derived therefrom nor does it recognize the Jewish National Home. This statement was made by Ahmed Zaki Pasha, prominent Moslem dignitary and scholar from Egypt, in beginning the summing up of the Arab case before the Wailing Wall Commission yesterday afternoon.
Prior to his address he read a statement in Arabic in which he welcomed the commissioners in the name of the Almighty and said that lovers of justice hoped that the verdict would be impartial and would bring peace and amity to the city whose name is peace. Claiming to speak on behalf of 400,000,000 Moslems he said that they were all determined to defend their established rights and holy shrines.
Saying that he had discussed the matter with his colleagues, Zaki Pasha then submitted a series of reservations in which he stated that the Arabs can not recognize the Mandate or the Jewish National Home. He said that his defence will not change any of the rights which the Arabs possess because they are exclusively entitled to decide their own destiny. Any dispute regarding the ownership of the places of worship must be submitted to a competent authority, he declared.
ELIASH IN MOVING PLEA
A moving plea to the Moslems to maintain a humanitarian view of the Jewish position with regard to the Wailing Wall and a passionate extolling of religious tolerance were made by Dr. Mordecai Eliash, chief Jewish counsel, in his closing address at the morning session of the hearings of the Wailing Wall Commission.
Pointing out that the Jews have not introduced politics into the question of the Wailing Wall and saying that they are frank and want the commissioners to feel their frankness, Dr. Eliash declared that “the Wall is the eternal sign of the Jews’ own preservation and a promise for the future. Wherein is there any irreverence in this attitude? What grievance can the Arabs juxtapose? What can the Moslems lose?”
Dr. Eliash vigorously stated that if fear motivated the Arab opposition to Jewish rights at the Wall “this ghost has now been laid. The sanctity of the Wall prevents our claiming ownership. We believe with the Moslems that things vested in Allah are too sacred for ownership.”
ATTACKS BUILDING OPERATIONS
Strikingly, if indirectly, he attacked the Moslem building operations in the vicinity of the Wall. “It is only right”, he said, “that we claim that the Wall be inviolable and unchangeable”. Refuting the latest attempt of the Moslems to make it appear that the Jewish prayers at the Wall are sinful in Moslem eyes, he said “I warn and beg the other side not to play with religious bigotry. If the Palestine Moslems spread through Transjordania and other Arab countries statements that the Jews contemplate building a synagogue at El Burak when the Jews merely stand at some distance from El Burak for their devotions, they are using a most dangerous weapon.
“If the other side wants to foster hate I know they can. That is why I say it shouldn’t be done”, he said, looking directly at Auni Abdul Bey, Arab counsel. Dr. Eliash concluded with an appeal to the Commission to consider the widening of the approaches to the Mosque area and also the pavement in front of the Wall for the sake of sanitation, comfort, and for bringing about a solution to satisfy the 400,000,000 Moslems “with whom you have been threatened” and also the Jews.