Jerusalem (Jul. 30)
Fear that the new Labor Government in England may withdraw British support from the Pan-Arab League was voiced today in an Arabic broadcast on the Palestine radio. The speaker said that such a move might be made to allay russian suspicions that Britain was trying to establish an anti-Soviet bloc in the Middle East.
On the whole, Arab reaction to the sweeping Labor victory has been a mixture of veiled threats of trouble if a pro-Zionist policy is adopted and a citing of previous actions and statements by Labor leaders which might be construed as favoring the Arabs.
Today’s broadcast, for instance, added that a guarantee of stability in the Mediterranean and the Middle East has been the pillar of the recent British policy in the Middle East, but that the apparent tranquility may disappear if the international balance is disturbed. It then cited statements by Prime Minister Attlee and Arthur Greenwood, Lord Privy Seal in the new government, urging the right of Syria, Iraq and Egypt to independence.
On the other hand, the broadcaster pointed to the “certain solution” of the Palestine problem known to be favored by Greenwood and Hugh Dalton, new president of the Board of Trade, revealed in the recent pro-Zionist Labor Party resolution on Palestine. If the British Government attempted to carry out that policy, he continued, it will undoubtedly clash with the Arab League and expose British interests in the Middle East to a “delicate test.”
ARAB AND JEWISH PRESS DIFFER ON WHAT MAY BE EXPECTED FROM LABOR GOVERNMENT
The Arab newspaper Adiffa today points out that both the report by Sir John Hope Simpson, recommending severe restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine, and the White Paper issued by then Colonial Secretary Lord Passfield, which also urged curbs on Jewish immigration, were issued during the tenure of Labor Governments. The paper says that “Zionism and fulfillment of its aspirations is not a part of the Labor Government’s policy.” Other Arab papers take a similar line.
The Jewish press, however, is looking forward with great expectations to a changed policy here. Hamashkiff, the Revisionist organ, writes today that “we well know that the new government cannot issue a declaration on a Jewish state immediately, but revocation of the White Paper should not be delayed and racial laws, such as the restrictions on land purchases by Jews, which dishonor Britain, should be removed.”
(London listeners to the BBC were surprised today to hear Sir Ronald Storrs, former governor of Jerusalem, deliver an anti-Zionist address, in the first broadcast on the Middle East to be presented by the BBC since the election results became known. Stressing the “very real anxiety concerning Palestine” felt by Arabs from the Atlantic Coast to the Persian Gulf, Storrs said that this anxiety has “not yet” displaced the pro-British sympathies of the Arabs. Referring to the “Stern Gangsters,” he said that “they are no less pernicious than the EAM and the EIAS.”)