JERUSALEM (Sep. 24)
More than 4,000 Palestinian Jews and approximately 1,000 Arabs are serving with various units of the British forces, it was disclosed today. The British authorities are recruiting separate Arab and Jewish infantry units.
The Asefath Hanivcharim (Jewish National Assembly), holding its eighth extraordinary session, appealed to Palestine Jews to enlist and resolved to do its utmost to care for families of volunteers. Simultaneously, a non-sectarian committee representing the principal towns was formed to aid in maintenance of volunteers’ families.
The Arab press, supporting the recruiting drive, reported that more than 100 Arabs had already enlisted in the new infantry units.
At the Asefath Hanivcharim session, Isaac Ben-Zvi, chairman of the Jewish National Council (Vaad Leumi), eulogized Palestine’s war victims, including the Jews and Arabs killed in the Italian air raids on Haifa and Tel Aviv. He appealed to the World Zionist Organization not to diminish its support and to maintain Palestine’s Jewry’s normal activities. Ben-Zvi announced that elections for a new Asefath Hanivcharim would be held in the next four months.
Pinchas Rutenberg, recently-resigned president of the Vaad Leumi, had wired to the meeting opposing the holding of elections. The “victory” of any party will not solve our difficulties, he said, and no “majority” can arrange Palestine Jewry’s life. He urged the selection of a Vaad Leumi executive committee on the basis of personal qualifications rather than party representation.
The meeting was to approve a budget for Jewish security, health, educational and social service activities.