Jerusalem (Aug. 28)
Mr. Norman Bentwich, the Attorney-General to the Palestine Government, who has been out of the country for several months on leave of absence, will not return to Palestine to take up his post again, the Hebrew Labour daily “Davar” states, on what it claims is authoritative information.
Mr. Bentwich has from the beginning of civil government in Palestine in 1921 been constantly attacked by the Arabs as part of their campaign against Jewish high officials in Palestine. Since Sir Herbert Samuel’s retirement from the High Commissionership in 1925, he has been the only Jewish high official in Palestine, with the exception of Mr. Hyamson, the head of the Immigration Department, who ranks lower, however, being not in the Executive but in the administrative service.
In November 1929, when the country was still in a state of turmoil after the August outbreak, Mr. Bentwich was shot at and wounded by a young Arab in Government employment. The Shaw Commission was sitting at the time in Jerusalem, and the Chairman, Sir Walter Shaw, protested at one of the sittings against “this horrible, detestable, foolish and wicked crime”, adding that “such crimes cannot benefit the community to which the assailant belongs and can only prejudice their case in the eyes of the entire world”.
The Palestine Arab Executive issued a statement in which it said: Although we have always protested against the activities of Mr. Norman Bentwich as Attorney-General for Palestine, we regret and condemn most severely the attempt which has been made upon his life, because acts of violence are contrary to our tactics and methods.
Mr. Norman Bentwich himself, in a message which he sent from hospital to a Jewish gathering at the Hebrew University, asked that-there should be no protests, complaints or representations to the Government on his account. Nothing serious has happened, he wrote, but if it can be the means of opening the road to peace, it will be for the good. I am sure we shall have to find a way towards peace, and that we can find it. The sooner we give up all recrimination, the sooner the way will be found.
A few weeks ago a report was current that Mr. Norman Bentwich may be appointed to the Weizmann Chair of International Law and Poace at the Hebrew University that has been established by Sir Montague Burton, but no confirmation of the report could be obtained.