Britain, Agency Map Plans for New Jewish Legion to Defend Palestine

The British Government is negotiating with the Jewish Agency for Palestine for creation of a new Jewish Legion, particularly to defend Palestine in the event of war, it was learned here today. Palestinian Jewish youths would play the leading role in such a force, but Jewish youths from other lands might also be considered.

The discussions were started by the British Government, which offered certain concessions, including immediate release of all interned Jewish illegal immigrants in Palestine. It was for these discussions that Moshe Shertok, head of the Jewish Agency’s political department, flew to London after conclusion of the Zionist Congress in Geneva instead of returning to Palestine.

More than 22,000 Jews in Palestine already have authorization to carry arms. Creation of a Jewish Legion under the sponsorship of the Jewish Agency would release British troops for service on other fronts.

(More than 10,000 Jews, recruited from Palestine, United States, Canada and Europe, served in the Palestine Jewish Legion during the World War as a part of Marshal Allenby’s forces in the Near East. Some of the legionnaires were decorated for valor. The Jewish battalions garrisoned Palestine until 1920.)

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