Jerusalem (Jul. 31)
The customary notice prohibiting assembling in the streets and the carrying of arms and weapons was posted today by the government in connection with Tish B’Ab, the Fast Day when the Jews make their annual pilgrimage to the Wailing Wall, the remnant of the Temple, to recite the Lamentations of Jeremiah over the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Tish B’Ab starts Saturday at sundown.
In order to avoid the possibility of any clash with the Arabs, it is understood that the Jewish National Council has requested the Jewish youth organization and other Jewish groups to dispense with their usual custom of walking around the city’s wall. No interference is expected with the ordinary procession to the Wailing Wall.
PRECAUTIONS BY GOVERNMENT
While no announcement has been made of any extraordinary measures to be taken by the government in connection with Tish B’Ab, it is expected that in view of what happened on Tish B’Ab last year when the riots began, full precautions will be taken to make a repetition of last year’s events impossible.
The excitement of Palestine Jewry over the Moslem building operations at the Wailing Wall last July and August led to many protests on the part of Jewish leaders against the Moslems violating the status quo. As a sign of the deep concern over the Wailing Wall situation the Zionist Congress at Zurich interrupted its sessions last August to appoint a special delegation to make representations to the British government.
In view of the sharp controversy over the Wailing Wall strong detachments of British police stood guard at the Wall when the Jews gathered there last year for Tish B’Ab. On Tish B’Ab 2,000 Jewish youths from all parts of the country marched to the Wall carrying Zionist flags and took an oath “to sacrifice all for the Wailing Wall.”
JEWS ATTACKED AFTER TISH B’AB
The day after Tish B’Ab an armed mob of Arabs attacked Jewish worshippers in the Wailing Wall area, injuring two. Prayer books were torn and religious objects destroyed. This onslaught was followed by new attacks in which a number of Jews were injured and one, Abraham Mizrachi, was stabbed, later dying of his injuries. It was during the funeral procession of young Mizrachi that the August disturbances began and spread through the country culminating in the murder of over a hundred Jews and the injury of many hundreds more.
Summarizing the developments in Palestine since last Tish B’Ab, the Arab newspaper, “Falastin,” attempts to show that last year’s “revolt” was due to Jewish enthusiasm over the Zionist Congress at Zurich and the later meeting in the same city where the enlarged Jewish Agency for Palestine was consummated. The “Falastin” points out that the riots, which resulted in the killing and wounding of hundreds of Jews and Arabs led to inquiries into the Balfour Declaration which “the Jews interpret as giving them a Jewish state.”