Tel Aviv, Palestine (Dec. 11)
Eighteen Jewish residents of this city, arrested as a result of disorders here Saturday when a crowd led by members of the Brith Trumpeldor, militant youth group, attacked the Revisionist, right-wing Zionist faction, demonstrated against the government’s Jewish immigration policy, will go on trial tomorrow in Jaffa. Chief Magistrate Ralph B. Bodilly will preside at the hearings.
The disorders resulting when the crowd refused to heed police demands to disperse continued to form the chief topic of conversation in this all-Jewish city today and resulted in heated disputes between the Zionist factions.
The affair was the principal topic discussed at the meeting of the municipality last night which turned into a heated debate on the responsibility for the disorders.
Mayor M. Dizengoff condemned the demonstrators in strong terms for not maintaining order. He was equally bitter in his condemnation of the measures employed by the government to round up tourists who had overstayed their leave in the country, terming the use of child informers by the government “disgraceful.”
The brown-shirted Trumpedorites came in for a scathing attack from Rosa Cohen, a Zionist laborite, who had to be called to order by the mayor who presided at the meeting. The right-wing Revisionists and the laborites engaged in heated exchanges of invectives, the former accusing the latter of trying to place blame for the demonstration upon them.
Laborite speakers assailed the city administration for stating that the identity of the demonstrators was unknown. They insisted that these be named to remove the stigma of disorderly conduct from the remaining members of the community.
An appeal for an end to party strife was made by David Pinkas, representative of the Mizrachi, orthodox Zionist group, who deplored the desecration of the Sabbath by the demonstrators.
After a heated commentary on police tactics, a majority of the meeting adopted a resolution expressing sympathy with the police and deprecating the violence that occurred.
Among those arrested were four Yemenite Jews, one member of the Brith Trumpeldor and four members of the mob that joined the protest march. One of those arrested, a reporter for the Tel Aviv Hebrew daily, Haaretz, was later released. His arrest was attributed to a mistake.
The Jewish policemen who were injured in the fighting that resulted when the police attempted to break up the march were Inspector Goffer, Corporal Wortman, and Constables Lutker, Grieber and Sharmeister. Sergeant Marshall of the British police and Constables Axel, File and Taylor, were also injured. Inspector Goffer was taken to a hospital with head and abdominal injuries. Three civilians were also taken to hospitals with injuries received in the riot and four others treated for minor injuries.
The meeting of protest under Revisionist auspices that led to the riot, began peacefully enough, with an audience of a few hundred listeners.
The meeting held in the morning discussed many problems before taking up the question of a protest against British immigration policies. At 11 o’clock, a group of Brith Trumpeldorites left the meeting carrying the Blue and White Zionist flag and a number of placards with inscriptions reading: “Down with the Tourist Hunters” and “Give Us Uncontrolled Immigration”. When they refused to disperse at the command of the British police, a constable snatched the flag. He was attacked by the marchers, was kicked and trampled.
A running fight between the police and the marchers who had been joined by many in the street, took place. Heavy police reinforcements were hurriedly summoned from Jaffa. They charged the mob with truncheons. But the infuriated crowd threw stones and bricks at the police and from balconies lining the street, poured water on the heads of the police officers.
The police charged the mob time and again, but, outnumbered, were finally forced to retire to the side streets.
Fighting between the police and the rioters continued for three hours until the arrival of the military in armored cars. One driver of an armored car was beaten by the crowd and forced to escape from a shower of stones. The mob was only dispersed when police and soldiers armed with rifles were drawn up in two ranks across the street and the mob warned that they would be fired on unless they went home.