On this, the ninth day of Ab, Jews are observing the Fast of Tisha B’Ab, in commemoration of the destruction of the First and Second Temples. Israel’s glorious past as a nation, in its own land, is recalled, and Jeremiah’s stirring Lamentations are chanted.
The enemies of Israel succeeded in humbling and defeating the Jewish people, in burning down their Temples, and driving them into exile, chiefly because of the internal dissension within Israel. But Israel’s spirit and its devotion to the immortal ideals that have justified its existence throughout the ages and that have enabled it to cope with all the unspeakable sufferings, still live on.
Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, is being rebuilt by Jewish pioneers and idealists.
The position of Israel among the nations â€” in the United State, in England, in France, in Soviet Russian, in Czechoslovakiaâ€”is a position of equals who are contributing their share to the upbuilding of the lands in which they live, fulfilling their obligations and enjoying their rights as citizens of those countries. In Poland, too, they have now been restored to an equal political status, though their economic plight there is still tragic.
The storm center of Jewish rightlessness and humiliation is now in Nazi Germany. Though they are the worst sufferers, they are not alone in their martyrdom. The Hitler government has imposed a reign of bloody terror upon all right-thinking and peace-loving people, and has, for a time, eliminated Germany from the family of civilized nations.
The anniversary of the destruction of the Temples serves to remind us that internal strife and dissension, which caused our tragedies in the past, must now be avoided, in Palestine as well as in other lands wherever Jews live. The only danger of Jewish un## is to the anti-Semitic International.
Abraham Stavsky has been acquitted by the Court of Appeals. It is a real triumph of justice. A close study of the preliminary examination and the testimony presented at the trial could not fail to convince any impartial observer that the original verdict in the Arlosoroff case, condemning Stavsky to death was more than amazing.
After Stavsky had been sentenced, I wrote:
“It is difficult to believe that the Court of Justice in Palestine would lend itself to political pressure or influence. But unfortunately the course of the investigation and the trial has been marked by most puzzling incidents that have created doubt and suspicion.
“The shocking verdict has been appealed. A new trial is almost certain to result in the acquittal of Stavsky. The vast majority of the Jews of Palestine are convinced of his innocence.”
Writing of the Arlosoroff trial on April 26, I said in part as follows:
“Whether the accused Revisionists are guilty of the dastardly crime or not, there is no doubt that the leaders of the Revisionist organization have had no hand in it, and could not have sanctioned it. Among these leaders are men who have devoted themselves as sincerely and unselfishly in behalf of the restoration and rehabilitation of Eretz Israel as any other of the outstanding Zionist leaders. They differ in their ideology regarding the restoration of Palestine, but terrorism cannot be part of any Jewish program in Palestine or elsewhere. Terrorism is the one thing that would defeat Jewish aspirations in Palestine.”
I also pointed out months ago that judging from the course of the trial, the case against Stavsky and Rosenblatt would collapse even as did the case against Achimeier.
The Jewish Daily Bulletin has published prompt and comprehensive reports of the progress of the trial. There were some interested people who criticized the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in connection with the reports of the Arlosoroff trial, alleging that the accounts of the proceedings were colored in favor of the accused. A study of the stenographic report of the testimony, which has reached us, convinces us that the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondents in Palestine have done a splendid and honest journalistic job in reporting the progress of the trial faithfully, without tinging it by any political partisanship.
The acquittal of Stavsky by the Court of Appeals on the ground that the evidence against him has not been substantiated, is a vindication of the group of Zionists who had been accused of having participated in political assassination, in terrorism sanctioned by the Revisionists for their own political purposes.
The majority of the Jewish people in Palestine and elsewhere are rejoicing at the outcome of this trial, because they were convinced of the innocence of the accused all along.
The Arlosoroff murder remains an enigma. It is to be hoped that the real murderers will eventually be found and punished.