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Formation of Jewish Army Would Hurt Allied Cause, Major Eliot Asserts

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Major George Fielding Eliot, military expert of the New York Herald Tribune whose articles are syndicated throughout the country, today expressed strong opposition to the formation of a Jewish Army in Palestine.

Writing in the Herald-Tribune, Major Eliot asserted that it would be difficult to find instructors for the training of Jewish officers for a separate Jewish Army “at time when it is difficult enough to find adequate instructions for the officers-training programs of the British and American armies,” Stating that a Jewish Army could not possibly be prepared for the field in less than a year to eighteen months, Major Eliot writes that “it is, therefore, beside the point to urge that the formation of such a force could have any immediate effect on the fortunes of war in the Middle East.”

Pointing to the lack of shipping facilities, he says that “it would be an advantage gratuitously offered to the enemy” if a single ton were diverted “for the purpose of building up an army which could not possibly take the field for a year, and probably not for a much longer period.” He refers to the fact that a Palestine regiment with Jewish and Arab battalions has been formed, and concludes; “It is the considered judgment of this writer that any attempt to form and equip a Jewish army in Palestine at this stage of the war would be a detriment rather than an aid to the cause which the proponents of this idea are seeking to serve.”

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