JERUSALEM (Jul. 13)
The Jewish Agency for Palestine today denounced as “devoid of moral justification” the British decision, announced in the House of Commons by Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald yesterday, to suspend Jewish immigration to the Holy Land for six months starting October 1. In a formal statement, the Agency warned that the Jewish people would not acquiesce to a policy it regarded as “rule by force.”
The Agency said the British action, assertedly taken as a move to halt extra-quota immigration, penalized the Jewish people as a whole because of refugees who had sought to escape from persecution.
“The statement that the refugees emanate from Poland and Rumania is misleading,” the Agency said. “In fact, it is common knowledge that most of the refugees are from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Danzig. The decision penalizes the Jewish people as a whole because of the refugees who had sought escape from persecution by going to their national home. The penalty amounts to closing their homeland to the Jewish people and the denial of the only salvation to Jews doomed to extermination in the anti-Semitic inferno in Central Europe.
“For three years Palestine was the prey of terrorist bands and the Palestine Government failed to enforce law and order. Now the Mandatory Government, after surrendering to the Arab terror and violating its obligations to the Jewish people, makes a display of firmness by enforcing immigration restrictions.
“The Jewish people regard the policy as devoid of moral justification, based only on force, and will not acquiesce to a rule by force. The natural, historic right to return to the homeland will not be invalidated by a White Paper. It is not the refugees returning home who are violating the law, but those endeavoring to deprive them of their supreme human right — the right to live.”
The Agency’s denunciation of the MacDonald decision had the unanimous support of the Jewish press, which emphasized that most of the extra-quota immigrants were German refugees and pointed out that the Polish and Rumanian Jews were also fleeing from oppression. The Laborite Davar asked how it was possible to distinguish “between one hell and another.”
A military court, meanwhile, opened trial of Bernard Teitler, 28-year-old Hebrew University student from Germany, on a charge of possessing explosives in his room. Teitler testified that he had sublet his room last May, previous to discovery of the explosives.
The trial is being attended by President Judah L. Magnes of the University and Rector Abraham Fraenkel. As a result of Dr. Magnes’ intercession, the authorities permitted Teitler to take his examinations for a master’s degree in physics while awaiting trial in the Jerusalem Central Prison. The examination, given by Prof. Samuel Sambursky, noted mathematician and cosmologist, was highly successful. Teitler was wounded in 1936 while acting as a supernumerary policeman at the Jerusalem suburb of Motza.