JERUSALEM (May. 17)
Palestine Jewry today declared unremitting war against the new British policy for the Holy Land and immediately implemented the declaration by mobilizing all able-bodied Jews for nationwide semi-military demonstrations tomorrow.
At the same time there were strong indications that the Arab leadership, in the person of the outlawed Arab High Committee, would present an equally determined negative to the proposed British solution to the prolonged Arab-Jewish conflict. Informed sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the committee, meeting tonight in the Lebanon exile of the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, would categorically reject the British policy.
The Jewish declaration of war was contained in a manifesto issued by the Jewish National Council, which is to be read at meetings throughout Palestine tomorrow. It reads as follows: “Against the British Government decree making the Yishub (Palestine Jewry) a permanent minority of one-third and the Jewish National Home a ghetto in an Arab Palestine, the entire Yishub declares war; against the treacherous policy and against a regime based on that policy, the Yishub declares war. This is not a day of mourning but of unification, of strength and demonstration of the will to fight. We stand as one man for the future of our homeland. This is not a one-day fight but a permanent struggle demanding heavy sacrifices.”
Proclamations of a similar character, but stressing the religious aspects of the new policy’s effects, were issued by the Mizrachi, religious non-Zionist body, and the Agudath Israel, religious non-Zionist organization. Meanwhile, answering the Jewish mobilization call, all organizations conscripted their able-bodied members to participate in tomorrow’s semi-military demonstrations to be held in conjunction with a one-day general strike. Organizations represented include the famous Jewish Legionnaires who helped Allenby conquer Palestine in the World War, the Maccabi sports clubs and Tel Aviv’s new Civil Guard.
Jewish policemen and supernumeraries, armed only with batons, have been assigned to guard the demonstrations. British police, heavily armed, will stand by inconspicuously. Jewish employes in Government offices and the essential public services will not participate in the general strike, during which every Jewish factory, office and school will be closed from dawn to midnight tomorrow.
Tension, which has been mounting rapidly since it became clear that the Government would go through with its intention of announcing the new policy, became acute when the official broadcast of the Government’s statement was mysteriously cut off the air. It was assumed that sabotage had been responsible.