WASHINGTON (May. 14)
Unless Britain’s traditional policies in Palestine are abandoned and the Jews are adequately armed there is a possibility of events of the gravest character in the Holy Land that will shock the world, United States Government leaders were told today by Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Emanuel Neuman, representing the Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs.
Outlining Palestine’s critical position and the danger that the country may be overrun, the Zionist leaders urged that immediate steps be taken to arm the Jewish population. It was said four Jewish divisions could be formed on the basis of available manpower.
Palestine Jewish leaders, it was said, have informed the British authorities that they will be responsible in history if the population is left defenseless and have pressed minimum demands which include (1) abandonment of “parity” between Arab and Jewish enlistments in field regiments and (2) full utilization for defense of local facilities for production of war materials.
The Zionist leaders revealed to Washington officials the contents of confidential information from Palestine which stressed the possibility that with the Iraq Government in the arms of the Nazis, Syria reportedly opened by the French and Turkey wavering, the road of the Germans to Palestine and through Palestine to Suez might be thrown wide open.
Intrigues of the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem have had repercussions in Palestine, although outwardly everything remains calm, it was stated. It is the hope of the Axis to cause a general Arab uprising in the Holy Land. Palestine leaders regard the events in Iraq as marking the complete bankruptcy of the British policy of appeasing the Arabs, it was said.
It was pointed out that the British, in deference to public opinion in America and other democratic nations, had made some concessions towards allowing Jews to participate more actively in Palestine’s defense, but the steps were being taken slowly and reluctantly and were inadequate. Under present policy one Arab must be placed in uniform for every Jew. The British have been careful to infiltrate Jewish recruits into existing battalions so that in no unit would there be a Jewish majority.