JERUSALEM (Feb. 28)
Tension heightened by continued outbreaks of violence gripped Palestine today as the authorities acted to restore calm shattered by the British plan to set up an Arab-controlled state and Jewish indignation at the proposal threatened to crystallize in the form of a nation-wide general protest strike. Threats of a general strike were voiced at an emergency rally called by the Jewish National Council, in which the representatives of all political parties and institutions participated.
Violence was marked by the slaying of a Jewish woman and her son in an Arab raid on the village of Gibton, near Rehoboth. A terrorist band broke into a home on the outskirts of the village, shot to death Mrs. Mina Dominitz, 54, and cut the throat of her son Emanuel, 8. Another son, Haim, 10, was stabbed. The head of the family, Dominick, is ill in the Hadassah Hospital at Tel Aviv.
Continuing arrests of Jews in the wake of yesterday’s outbreaks, the authorities seized two members of the Histadruth, Palestine Jewish labor federation, and five more Zionist Revisionists. One of the Histadruth men was Joseph Krasner, secretary of the federation’s transport department.
The military authorities also invoked curfew and threatened more drastic action, including closing of the Tel Aviv port, to restore order. Twenty-four-hour curfew was imposed upon the Jewish section of the Old City following discovery of an enormous infernal machine, set to explode at 6:45 o’clock this morning, on the roof of a shop.
The angry, fighting mood of the Palestine Jewish community and its leaders was demonstrated at today’s rally, held at the headquarters of the Palestine Foundation Fund, Participants in the meeting agreed that the speakers, including Dr. Abram Katznelson and Eliahu Berligne, both of the Jewish National Council, voiced the feeling of the entire Jewish populace that a general strike should be the first step in forcing Britain to abandon its plan to scrap the League of Nations Mandate in favor of an independent state in which the Jews would be crystallized as a minority.
Mr. Berligne, charging that Great Britain was “selling out” Jewish aspirations, declared that despair was not necessary and asserted that the Jews “have the strength to oppose.” Dr. Katznelson assailed the London conferences as “from beginning to end a farce staged for the purposes of treachery.” Declaring the Jewish National Home was this time the victim of the British “peace at any price” policy, he warned that Palestine Jewry not would not assist the Government but would “gather all its force in opposition — and the Yishub has plenty of force.” “It is possible,” he added, “to rob us of our homeland, but not the homeland of us.”
An Arab strike was called in Haifa in protest against yesterday’s bombings in which 24 Arabs were killed. The strike was partially effective in shops, factories and transportation. British troops discovered a rebel cache containing 29 hand grenades, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, 233 sticks of melanite and a dentistry outfit in the village of Sanur, Samuria.
Following yesterday’s outbreaks, the military authorities summoned Jewish leaders in Tel Aviv and Arab and Jewish leaders in Haifa to conferences at which they warned of drastic measures in the event the violence recurred.
In Tel Aviv, Brig. Gen. Harry D. Wetherall, commander of the Southern District, was understood to have warned Mayor Israel Rokach that he would close the Tel Aviv port and adopt the same attitude toward the Jews as hitherto applied toward the Arabs. When Mayor Rokach contended that Arab demonstrations of joy had been provocative, the commander promised that further demonstrations of the kind would not be permitted. Mayor Rokach then issued an appeal to the public for maintenance of “havlagah,” (self-restraint).
At Haifa, Brig.-Gen. Montgomery, commander of the Northern District, warned Jewish and Arab leaders that the British army, adopting ruthless methods if necessary, would carry out the Government’s policy impartially. He ordered demonstrations of joy to be confined indoors.
An executive session of the Histadruth was understood last night to have decided to dispatch letters to labor parties in England, France, the United States and other countries charging that the British proposals for an independent Palestine Government meant “enslavement” of the Jews.