LONDON (Oct. 10)
Zionist forces the world over mobilized today to protect the Jewish homeland from Czechoslovakia’s fate, under the impression that while the British Government has not yet made its decision on future Palestine policy the Governments present tendency, in the face of Arab, German and Italian demands, favors drastic revisions of policy which would sacrifice Jewish interests.
The general conviction, not only in Zionist but in political circles, is that although the Mandatory Power has not yet decided on its future policy, the partition plan is dead and likewise hopes for the establishment of a Jewish State in a part of Palestine. There is a strong belief here that the Government will not make up its mind pending receipt of the Palestine Partition Commission’s report, which, however, is not considered as likely to be decisive.
It is believed that the Government statement of policy will not be published until some time after publication of the Woodhead commission’s report, which is expected later this month. Zionist circles consequently feel that they have about three weeks to act to save Palestine.
British Zionists, endeavoring to counteract Arab and foreign influences on the Government, are planning a “Palestine Week” commencing Oct. 23 during which Jewish views will be placed before the public and the Government. Presiding at a London meeting on Oct. 25, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, is expected to redefine the Zionist stand and emphasize the agency’s refusal to negotiate on the basis of a solution which would fix the Jews as a permanent minority and stop Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Meanwhile, the extraordinary military measures announced yesterday — the dispatching of four infantry battalions and other armed forces — are taken to indicate that the Government is making a final determined effort to pacify Palestine before the new declaration. The noted military expert, Major-General Temperley, stresses the gravity of the task, asserting: “It looks as if Britain will be compelled to reconquer it (Palestine) methodically from end to end as a military operation.”
The discussions of Sir Harold MacMichael, Palestine High Commissioner, at the Colonial Office are still continuing. They are reported to cover two points — future policy and measures to restore security. It is believed Sir Harold will return to Palestine with additional powers for him and for Major-General Robert H. Haining, General Officer in Command of British forces in Palestine, to suppress the Arab revolt.
BRITAIN RUSHES TROOPS TO PALESTINE
Four battalions of British infantry, an artillery battery and a number of armored cars with ancillary troops will be rushed to Palestine within the next two or three weeks, the Colonial Office announced yesterday. The reinforcements will bring the strength of British forces in strife-torn Palestine to 17 infantry battalions, in addition to artillery, armored car and royal air force units, the greatest military concentration in the holy Land since the World War.
The decision to send more troops, the Colonial Office declared, was taken as a result of the discussions on the question of Palestine security over the weekend, in which Sir Harold Alfred MacMichael participated. The announcement added that “considerable further recruitment of ex-service men for the British section of the Palestine police is proceeding.”
The political correspondent of the Evening News asserted that the British Government may drop the partition plan in favor of some other scheme, adding that the findings of the Partition Commission would not be unanimous.
Whatever plan is adopted, the Daily Telegraph declared editorially, should be decided upon quickly because prolonged uncertainty itself is one of the most potent factors making for disturbance. “Once the decision is taken and the Government has proclaimed their firm determination to enforce it irrevocably, it is likely to be more readily accepted,” the paper said.
Reflecting the growing uneasiness in political circles in England regarding the deterioration of the Palestine situation, the telegraph severely criticized the British administration for learning nothing from the earlier Arab revolt in 1936. The result is, the editorial said, that British prestige is rapidly sinking to a very low ebb. It asserted that there was little doubt the flames were fanned by outside agencies who rejoiced to see England involved in trouble.