JERUSALEM (Jan. 17)
Extensive efforts on the part of members of the Arab Executive to make today a day of emphatic protest against Jewish immigration into Palestine failed to attract any considerable number of Arabs and the sparsely-attended demonstrations passed off quietly. No police action was required throughout the day to maintain order, the cold weather which settled over Palestine’s hills yesterday having chilled the enthusiasm of the demonstrators.
Less than a thousand Arabs heeded the call of the Arab Executive to demonstrate today in Jerusalem and Jaffa. A few hundred were all that came out in Haifa, Nablus, Acre and Tulkarem.
The complete failure of the demonstrations which had been intended as an expression of the resentment of the Arab population was admitted even in high Arab circles. The sentiment of the general population was expressed in an incident that occurred at Acre where the local Mufti, addressing a small crowd, found himself heckled by a member of his audience.
INTERRUPTED BY SHOUTS
The Mufti, declaring that the coming of the Jews to Palestine was a danger to the Arab people in Palestine, surprisedly found himself interrupted by shouts of “Lies! Lies!”
“Only the poor people suffer the results of all this agitation while the leaders get off free”, a member of the crowd shouted. He urged the villagers to disregard the leadership, calling on them to demonstrate.
During the argument that followed his dramatic interruption of the orator, it was discovered that the heckler had only recently been freed from prison for participation in the 1929 Arab disturbances in which scores of Jewish settlers lost their lives.
The demonstrations took place today after a lengthy conference last night bteween the Arab leaders as to whether or not to defer the procession until Friday because of the inclement weather. The demonstrators assembled early this morning while the pre-war Turkish cannon boomed out, heralding the end of the Ramadhan; Arabs with their necks muffied against the cold proceeded quietly through the slippery streets of the Old City in Jerusalem, past the Citadel to the Zion Gate, where a lengthy protest against the immigration and land policies of the Mandatory Power was read. After the usual fulminations aaginst the Jews and the government, the demonstrators dispersed quietly.
Last-minute precautions by the police included the preventive detention of more than forty suspected Communists yesterday. In Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa all Arab market services are proceeding normally.
In Jaffa, the Arab demonstrators congregated at the Mosque and peacefully marched to Ajami Square, where the usual protests were read. Most of the Arabs then left for bome, but few motored out to the Moslem Cemetery where the Arabs killed in the demonstration of October 27, are buried. The Arab procession was unaccompanied by police, and was of the most peaceful nature.