LONDON (Aug. 7)
The British press today greets the announcement by Sir James Grigg, Secretary for War, of the formation of a Palestine regiment of Jewish and Arab battalions, as a wise decision which is a compromise between the Zionist demand for a separate Jewish fighting force and the British Government’s refusal to establish any separate Jewish unit larger than a company.
The Daily Telegraph, one of the leading London dailies, carries an editorial stating: “It is a wise decision to form a Palestine regiment representing the population of the country as a whole – both Jews and Arabs – and not merely one section of it. It is surprising that so obviously useful a step has been delayed until the end of the third year of the war.” Recalling the alleged apathy of the Malayan population before the fall of Singapore, the Telegraph writes: “There is no apathy in Palestine.” It states further that service side by side will reconcile the Jews and Arabs.
The Manchester Guardian, influential liberal organ, stresses that of all the countries of the Middle East “there is only one population which is heart and soul against Hitler – and that is the Jews of Palestine. Yet we steadily refused to make the most of the military help which this people desired to give us or to allow it to do all it could for its own defense. The Government is indeed improving.” The Guardian introduces the question of what distinguishing signs or emblems the Jewish battalions will be allowed to wear. It also urges extension of the Jewish home guard in Palestine.
The Yorkshire Post expresses the hope that “Jews everywhere will loyally accept the Government’s decision even though it does not grant their full demands.”