Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:
Three young Jews in Palestine, Stavsky, Rosenblatt and Ahimeir, imprisoned since last summer, are charged by the criminal police with the murder of Dr. Arlosoroff. The proceedings are taking place under circumstances which, under normal conditions, would long have resulted in the withdrawal of the charge. Such a charge, accusing Jews of having murdered a respected Jewish patriot, is practically unprecedented in history; yet certain methods characterizing the police investigation in this case may result in an irreparable tragedy,–the condemnation of innocent people–unless the energetic legal defense enjoyed by the accused up to now be ensured to continue regularly to the end.
To leave without defense the accused–in whose innocence so many Jews are, by now, firmly convinced,–would be incompatible with our Jewish conscience. Jewry as a whole, without distinction of party, should with all its forces contribute to elucidate completely the Arlosoroff murder case. And this is possible only if the defense is energetically continued; more still–if detecting investigations are undertaken and actively pursued.
But the organization of the defense, despite the selfless devotion of all the defending counsel, demands considerable expense, the opposite side, absolutely bent on obtaining an adverse verdict, being highly and efficiently organized.
A serious complication, moreover, has recently arisen. To the numerous data which seem to speak strongly in favor of the accused, has now been added the evidence of a young Arab held in custody under the charge of having murdered another Arab. This witness has disclosed the name of the person who, he alleges, had in his presence, (possibly with his participation) committed the murder of Arlosoroff; but the criminal police authorities retaliate with countenancing a version according to which Stavsky and Rosenblatt have “bought” that Arab’s confession–despite all the obvious improbability of such a hypothesis. This new fact threatens to prolong the proceedings. The friends of the accused who, until now, have covered the expenses necessitated by the organization of the defense, can no longer provide for the purpose. According to an approximate estimate, the amount necessary to ensure the regular function of the defence is about pound1,500 ($7,500).
One of the signatories of the present appeal stands completely outside of any partisan discussions which take place in Zionist circles; he is not even a member of the Zionist Organization. It is certain that hundreds of thousands of Jews,–be they members of any political party or not–will realize the importance of suitably organizing the truth in this terrible case. The very thought that three young lives, when at any rate there are strong presumptions in favor of their innocence, could be exposed to supreme peril, for the only reason that the charges of the opposite side might not meet with an energetic and rightful repartee of a duly organized defense,–should fill every Jew with horror.
We appeal to all those to whom the honor of the Jewish people, and the right of any person accused to be properly defended, is equally sacred. We ask them to contribute, everyone according to his means, towards securing the necessary sum, and we firmly hope that our appeal will not remain unanswered.
Contributions should be sent to the address of Monsieur Henri Sliosberg, 16, rue Jules Claretie (Paris 16celcius).
The list of contributions with the names of the donors (except for those who would prefer to remain anonymous) will be sent to all the newspapers and reviews which will publish the present appeal with the request to insert it.
Should the trial be concluded before the funds collected would be entirely utilized, the remaining amount will be put at the disposal of the League of Nations High Commissioner for German refugees.