Jerusalem (Dec. 9)
The Palestine Government has started a rigorous investigation to track down the persons responsible for the circulation of the inflammatory illustrated leaflets which have been distributed to the delegates at the Moslem Conference now meeting here, alleging that the British authorities are drilling and arming the Jews; with regard to which the Jewish Agency Executive has made urgent representations to the Government, pointing out the danger of such accusations to the Jews of Palestine and also to the Jews living in other Moslem countries.
The authorities of the Moslem Conference deny any knowledge of the circulars.
It has been discovered that although brought into Palestine from Cairo, the circulars were printed in Haifa, and then sent to Egypt, so that they should appear to emanate from outside the country. Copies have also been received here by post, one Arab lawyer named Faiz Haddad, receiving a dozen copies in one envelope.
The same allegation spread in connection with the “sealed armouries” campaign created a dangerous situation in Palestine in August, and the Government was compelled to take drastic measures to prevent attacks being made on the Jewish population. An Arab Conference was held in Nablus which adopted a resolution calling the attention of the “whole Moslem world, including the Moslem kings and princes, to the damage which the Palestine Government has done by arming the Jews”. Armed cars and lorries carrying machine-guns had to be sent to Nablus to keep order during the Conference, and a few days later the military were compelled to fire on the mob, and Police Superintendent Kyles was seriously injured by stones thrown by the Arab demonstrators.
Questions were asked in Parliament about the situation, and the “Manchester Guardian” complained in an editorial that “the Government has not been able to dispel unrest and dangerous agitation in Palestine. The subject matter of the present agitation, it said, is the Government’s decision to issue “sealed armouries” to outlying Jewish colonies which the more disreputable Arab leaders are twisting into a charge of arming the Jews against the Arabs. Actually, of course, it pointed out, it is nothing of the kind, but merely a substitute for the police protection, which, unfortunately, is not alone sufficient to protect the lives of Jewish citizens.
I have no reason to apprehend, Sir Robert Hamilton said in the House of Commons this week, that attempts will be made at the Congress to stir up religious feelings against Jews or Christians, and I am assured that the Mufti realises his responsibilities.