JERUSALEM (Sep. 11)
A movement got under way today for an international protest against the Italian air raid on Tel Aviv, open city of 180,000 population, in which 112 persons were killed and 124 wounded.
Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv cabled to President Roosevelt a message appealing to the American people for intervention, while the Jerusalem Jewish Community cabled to Dr. Stephen S. Wise in New York, president of the American Jewish Congress, urging that a protest to diplomatic representatives of foreign powers be initiated.
Rokach’s message to Washington said: “As the mayor of an open town which does not serve any military objective, I appeal to the conscience of the freedom-loving American nation to protest the cruel raid by Italy and Germany in which more than a hundred innocent citizens, including children, women and aged, were killed and 124 were wounded. This raid shows again the inhuman cruelty of the enemy, slaughtering pacific citizens of a peaceful city.”
The mayor also appealed to residents of Tel Aviv, largest city in Palestine, to maintain calm.
The message to Dr. Wise, sent after an urgently-called meeting of the Jerusalem Jewish Community, said: “The Jewish community of the holiest city asks a protest to the diplomatic representatives of foreign powers and asks the press to protest against Italy’s breaking of international laws.”
Among the identified dead was an American citizen, Theodore Pehr, 41 years old, a journalist and resident of Palestine since 1935. His closest relative is Mrs. Bella Tenenbaum, 154 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pathetic scenes occurred in Tel Aviv as the funerals of the victims were held. The military commander and air commodore for the Southern District attended the services, as did the Arab mayor of Jaffa. Mayor Rokach received messages of sympathy from Arab leaders all over Palestine.