Jerusalem (Jun. 16)
The Revisionist daily “Haam”, which was started recently when the “Doar Hayom” reverted from its Revisionist editorship to that of its founder, Mr. Ben Avi, has been closed down until further notice, by an order of the High Commissioner, for publishing a poem attacking the verdict handed down by the International Wailing Wall Commission. The poem, which is described as of a nature considered to “endanger the public peace”, was published in the “Haam” on the 11th. inst, and was signed by Eldad. It is a bitter Jeremiad, descriptive of the conditions in Palestine, with the refrain “the Mandatory stands aside and looks on”, and laments the loss of Jewish rights at the Wailing Wall and denounces Arab incitement.
Judge Bernard A. Rosenblatt, of New York, who was American member on the Economic and Finance Committee of the Zionist World Organisation and President of Palestine Securities, and who is now in Haifa, has raised the question of the recently enacted Eviction of Tenants Ordinance with the Government of the U.S.A. on the ground of its unconstitutionality. He submits that the Ordinance may be made to act retrospectively and be, accordingly, bad. The submission is also made that the law is in violation of treaty obligations between Great Britain and the United States.
A copy of the letter has been submitted by Judge Rosenblatt, it is understood, to the High Commission, Sir John Chancellor.
Judge Rosenblatt calls attention to the recent enactment of the Palestine Government on the date of May 29th., 1931, which seems to him to be in clear violation not only of common Anglo-Saxon traditions of legal justice, but also of the terms of the Treaty entered into between Great Britain and the United States, dated December 3rd., 1925, with respect to Palestine. He asks that his communication be sent to the State Department as the first step in an action which he hopes to be permitted to support, by a full legal memorandum, elucidating the contention there set forth.
A Government, the Judge argues, that has been waiting for over ten years to enact into law the results of a land survey, suddenly rushes through a Bill of the date of May 29th., without the usual thirty days allowed for debate and discussion, and being unhampered by the delays of a Parliament or a Congress; provides that this law take effect at once, even in the absence of the High Commissioner who was due to arrive in three days! What is this terrible emergency that could not brook a few days’ delay or a public discussion, he asks.
One will find, he says, that in the “Protection of Cultivators Ordinance”, dated May 29th., Article two is significant, which perhaps gives the clue to the whole case, with the words: “No Court or Judge shall make an order for the eviction of a person”, etc. There is an important lawsuit now pending in the Haifa District, affecting the lands of the Haifa Bay Company, with which he (Judge Rosenblatt) is familiar, because he was partly instrumental in inducing American capital to invest in such lands. Among other things the case involves a construction of “grazing rights”, in which, if the attempt is made to apply this ordinance, it will amount to nothing less than the application of retroactive legislation, so abhorrent not only to American principles of constitutional Government, but also to Anglo-Saxon traditions of legal justice. But the matter is even more serious. Assuming the Haifa Bay Company should be successful in the present lawsuit (Judge Rosenblatt is careful not to make any comment on a case sub judice), this ordinance, if applied, will result, to a great extent, in upsetting verdict, by denying the remedy, and opening up a new lawsuit, in which the Haifa Bay Company will be strangled by this eleventh hour effort to change the law.
The Judge points out that he is not interested solely in the effect of such a law upon a single lawsuit, which is merely an illustration of its application. The whole law is an attempt to crystallise the development of Palestine by one sharp coup, in clear violation of Article 6 and Article 11 of the quoted part of the Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, dated December 3rd., 1925, in which the latter has assumed the obligation to intensify agriculture in Palestine and encourage “close settlement upon land”.
This Treaty between American and Great Britain, containing as it does the preamble setting forth the terms upon which Great Britain assumed the Mandate over Palestine, may be viewed as the Constitution of Palestine, he claims, and any law in violation there of may be declared null and void, by the provision contained therein for the interpretation of disputes by a Higher Court. Under normal circumstances, the Judge writes, he would have presented the matter to the High Commissioner, but as we have suddenly been presented with a fait accompli, without or