JERUSALEM (Jun. 21)
With an Axis army reported only about seven miles from the Egyptian frontier, the population of Palestine today geared itself for an all-out defense against a possible Nazi drive through the Middle East. The Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Jewish National Council, broadcasting today, called upon the Yishuv for a “total” recruiting effort and for material means to meet the “enemy at the gates.”
All able-bodied men and women between the ages of seventeen and forty-five were urged to join some branch of the national services. As outlined in the broadcast, the available manpower in the country will be distributed on the following basis:
Childless and unmarried men between the ages of 20 and 31 to join the British armed forces. Youths of 17 and over to go into the fields for work and training. Those aged 18 to be used for auxiliary police and also for agricultural work. Men between the ages of 36 and 45 and those from 20 to 31, who do not fall into the categories expected to enlist, will be utilized for the auxiliary police, farming and the Home Guard. Women aged from 17 to 19 will be assigned to agricultural work and training. Those between 20 and 45 will go into the women’s auxiliaries, home defense or agriculture. Mothers of small children are exempted from this call.
At the same time, the appeal of the Agency and the Council proclaimed a drive for the recruiting fund to purchase soldiers’ comforts, for assistance to the families of soldiers and of auxiliary policemen, for aid to discharged and invalided soldiers, to meet special security requirements and to finance internal organization and recruitment. Many of the Yishuv’s institutions, the Zionist parties and the Histadruth have already pledged their cooperation in this drive.
It was also learned here today that Palestine Jewish volunteers with the Royal Air Force, who heretofore have been restricted to ground work, will now be assigned to actual combat duty. A number of them are expected to reach England soon to receive specialized training.