JERUSALEM (Jun. 18)
Arab terrorists early today set fire to the famous ancient Ortorah Yeshiva at Tiberias and wrecked the nearby sacred sepulchre of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, revered miracle worker of the second century. The Torahs were rescued from the flames but a collection of priceless, unique holy books sought by leading libraries throughout the world was destroyed.
A survey of the damage this morning revealed also that the ancient Ashkenazic Synagogue attacked to the Yeshiva was completely destroyed in the fire, while the Sephardic Synagogue was partly gutted. the blaze was finally extinguished by policemen and Jewish supernumeraries. A Government communique failed to mention Arabs, blaming “unknown incendiaries” for the outrage. No janitors had been kept at the Yeshiva or tomb because of the danger of Arab terrorists.
Arab terrorists also raided and put to the torch the farmstead of Samuel Broza, founder of the Motza settlement near Jerusalem and a pioneer of Jewish cultivation in the Judaean hills. The wine press and the cowshed were destroyed.
Hugh Bingham, an Englishman who was wounded February 3, died here today. A group of Britons in plain clothes were accused of attacking and beating Elias Gilady, 36, a Jewish colonist, in the center of Jerusalem last night. Gilady, a leading member of the Ramat Rachel colony on the outskirts of Jerusalem, had been seriously wounded in an Arab ambush last year. Elias Mezuman, a Jewish blacksmith in Tiberias, was arrested following a police raid on his smithy, it was officially announced.
The anniversary of the execution of Shlomo Ben Josef, Revisionist youth who died on the gallows last June after conviction by a military court of firing upon an Arab bus, was observed throughout Palestine today by Revisionists, Meetings in all parts of the Holy Land were marked by three-minute silences.
Meanwhile, Major General Robert Haining, General Officer Commanding British forces in Palestine, confirmed the life sentence imposed by a military court last Monday on Rachel Habshush, 17-year-old Jewess, for trying to plant a time-bomb in front of the Central Prison here.
Confidence that the “imperative unification” of Palestine Jewry will soon be realized was voiced today by Pinchas Ruttenberg, head of the Palestine Electric Corporation, as he laid the cornerstone of a new Haifa Byside quarter for his employes to be known as Kiriat Hashoal. Warning against inter-party feuds, Mr. Ruttenberg declared that the race war forced upon the Jews had left no room for class conflict. He said his efforts to eliminate interparty conflicts had thus far failed.
The world center of the Mizrachi Organization, religious Zionists, issued a statement calling for implementation of the program for full non-cooperation with the Palestine Government in the fight against the White Paper, even in spheres not directly related to the terms of the document. The statement criticized activities thus far directed against the new Palestine policy as ineffective and indecisive. It urges creation of an emergency committee including representatives of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council and coopting of outstanding persons including representatives of national and religious Jewry.