NEW YORK (Nov. 26)
Expressing his firm conviction that Jewish opinion in the United States can decisively influence the attitude of the British Government towards Jewish demands for Palestine, David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, today ridiculed the assertion made by the British Colonial Office that establishment of a Jewish Army is impossible because all available military equipment must be sent to Soviet Russia.
“The Jewish Agency has good ground to believe that the formation of a Jewish Army will only lead to an increase in the British military equipment, and did not hesitate to so inform the British Government,” Mr. Ben-Gurion disclosed, addressing a press conference in the offices of the Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs.
Mr. Ben-Gurion who only arrived here from London on Monday revealed the details of his negotiations there with Ivan Maisky, Soviet Ambassador in England, concerning the aid which the Jews of Palestine have decided to give to Soviet Russia.The Yishub, Mr. Ben-Gurion said, is ready to give moral, political, and any other possible assistance to Russia without any specific conditions. All that the Jews of Palestine ask is that the Soviet Government support the Jewish demand for Palestine as a Jewish State at the post-war peace conference. No requests were made by the Zionist leaders with regard to internal Jewish affairs in Soviet Russia, Mr. Ben-Gurion declared.
Speaking of Palestine’s contribution to the British war effort, Ben-Gurion emphasized the important role which Palestine war industries are now playing in aiding the British forces in the Middle East. He spoke of the shortage of Jewish labor in Palestine which has resulted from the growth of war industries there and estimated that approximately 32,000 Jews have entered Palestine during the two years of war. He praised the British military forces in Palestine as being sympathetic to the Jewish demand for an army of their own, but had little praise for the British diplomats, charging them with deliberately obstructing Jewish efforts even when they are valuable for England in the present war.