JERUSALEM (Apr. 2)
A battle between police and Jewish terrorists in Haifa and many raids and arrests here, in Tel Aviv and other places marked the first week-end following the suspension of Jewish immigration into Palestine under the terms of the White Paper.
The Haifa battle, in which two policemen were wounded, one fatally, occurred when police raided a house in which they had been informed a wounded man was hiding. When they broke in they found four men, one of whom was wounded. The latter threw a small grenade at the police officers, and he and his accomplices escaped in the subsequent confusion. He was arrested later when he sought treatment for his wounds at the Hadassah Hospital.
The police found a duplicating outfit, some arms and ammunition and twelve military uniforms in the raided house. The dead policeman is Itzhak Polany, 39, a Polish-born Jew who joined the police force in 1987. The other officer wounded was a British inspector named Cole. He is reported recovering. Early today the Stern Gang distributed leaflets in Tel Aviv setting forth a nine-point program for which, it said, it is fighting.
JEWISH LEADERS ASK LIFTING OF CURFEW; RESENT COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT
Resenting the fact that collective responsibility has been imposed upon all the Jews in Palestine for the criminal acts of a small group of desperadoes, Jewish leaders today asked that the curfew be lifted. They reiterated their argument that the twelve-hour curfew which starts at 6 p.m. is affecting Jewish trade end industry and is causing tremendous economic dislocation. The collective punishment is considered especially unfair in view of the fact that the Government is well aware that
At a meeting of leaders of central Jewish bodies, including the rabbinate, it was decided to do everything possible to combat the small terrorist groups. Religious sanctions against terrorists were among the measures adopted. The meeting also authorized the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council to take further moral sanctions against the terrorist groups in order to deprive them of any possible assistance from individual members of the community.
How much further Jewish leaders can go in assisting the authorities to check terroristic activities is a question still to be solved. Are they supposed to organize vigilante bands operating outside the law to fight crime? This seems to be the only possible step beyond moral sanctions. But there is little doubt that the first effect of vigilante action would be to widen the present terrorist activity into civil war between Jews. In addition, the Palestine Government, which does not admit any breakdown in law enforcement, would react most vigorously if the Jewish Agency, or any other body, tried to take the law into their own hands.
(It was unofficially reported in Washington last night that President Roosevelt has cabled Emir Abdullah of Transjordan assuring him that no action will be taken on the Palestine questions prior to consultations with both Arabs and Jews. The Roosevelt message was sent in reply to a recent cable from Emir Abdullah in connection with the Palestine resolution in Congress.)
BEN-GURION CONDEMNS TERROR, BUT SCORES POLICE INACTIVITY
David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency, addressing a mass-meeting in Tel Aviv, one of several held throughout the country today to discuss the rescue of European Jews, condemned the recent outbreaks of terror, but expressed wonderment at the fact that the police have not “searched more earnestly” for the terrorists. He added, “maybe the Administration wants to show that the entire Yishuv is guilty?” Ben-Gurion stated that the Jews are fighting against the White Paper policy – which he described as “the fruit of the opportunism of present British policy”-but “are not at war with British policemen or clerks.”
Urging Palestine Jews to remain calm, he asserted that terror only bolsters the proponents of the White Paper policy. He expressed confidence that after the war, the democratic world will not be oblivious to the plight of the Jews. The Agency chairman also urged that the Jews of Europe not only be supplied with bread, or means of escape, but also with arms to defend themselves.