JERUSALEM (Aug. 21)
The Palestine Government was today bluntly blamed for the “anarchy and lawlessness” obtaining in the Holy Land in an embittered open letter by 75-year-old Mayor Meier Dizengoff of the all-Jewish city of Tel Aviv.
Mayor Dizengoff declared the Government, by its conduct since the disturbances, had “demoralized the country, caused anarchy and lawlessness and has destroyed every authority of law, of administration, of civil and public life.”
The aged Mayor charged the Government had handed over its harbor at Jaffa to the dock workers who blocked it even to steamers of foreign governments.
Government railways, he said, became a “bastion for terrorists to set fire to Jewish fields and bomb peaceful towns.”
Continuing his indictment of the Government, Mayor Dizengoff declared the emergency regulations it had issued were not enforced, collective fines had been rescinded because forces within officialdom were submerging the central policy.
As a result, he said, the country was not led by the High Commissioner but by the Arab Supreme Committee, by youngsters, and a mob of brigands who had established a “state of lawlessness and of judgelessness.”
The Mayor then enumerated the many atrocities that have been perpetrated since the beginning of the disorders which since April 19 have taken an officially estimated toll of 232 lives, seventy-three of them Jewish.
“The whole country has become a Sodom and Gomorrah,” he said. “You have converted the entire country into an inferno. None knows how we stand in this life which has become a hell.”
Continuing scathingly, Mayor Dizengoff asked:
“Why are you ashamed to stop immigration if the Government powers are so weak that they are unable to make leaders, developed by the Government, comply with law and order, unable to protect the lives and property of Jews entering the country on Britain’s invitation and promises?
“You had better admit frankly,” he said, “that your promises and obligations are worthless. You had better surrender to the will of the Arab Supreme Committee and stop immigration.”
The Mayor went on to accuse the Government of solemnly pledging adherences to its promises “while virtually turning over to the criminal mob the blood of trusting Jews.”
He assailed the handing over of the Mandatory’s obligations to officials who oppose the idea for which it was established, labeling these officials as “competent only to handle natives.”
Denouncing as cowardly the expected stoppage of immigration under “the camouflage of the Royal Commission,” the Mayor emphasizes the letter is his own “private plea” which he, by reason of his long services to Palestine, should be entitled to make, particularly since every Government and municipal official is permitted to criticize official policy.
Concluding, he declared:
“You had better stop immigration and post notices on the gates of Palestine: ‘Abandon hope, thou Jew wishing to build a national home in Palestine for your people. Do not enter the country. Disaster is facing you.”