Jerusalem (Nov. 28)
It is now possible to discern both in the British and the Jewish behavior a distinct pattern since the statement Nov. 23 by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin on Palestine in the House of Commons.
In less than two weeks, 14 Jews have been killed by the British, including two woman and a boy under 16, while nearly 100 people have been shot, including an eight-year-old. All this violent suppression has been accompanied by the classic excuse that shots from the crowds provoked a reply. Yet despite the reputation for deadly and acorate assaults built up by the “terrorists,” not a single British soldier or policeman has been seriously hurt in the clashes with the public.
On the other hand, the Jewish activities indicate a plan of attacks upon specific targets where minimal forces can be engaged as, for example, in the selection of such meaningful targets as the government offices at Tel Aviv–in protest against the Bevin pronouncement–and the attacks on the coastal stations this week in retaliation for the capture of a schooner carrying immigrants without entry permits.
Aside from such sharply limited attacks, which are definitely to be classified as carried out by resistance forces organized in quasi-military cadres, the Jewish answer to the British is obviously taking the form of passive mass resistance. The Tel Aviv demonstrators last week did not reply as an organized mass to the attacks by British troops, while the tactics of passive resistance were most obviously demonstrated by the events yesterday which were exactly paralleled in two separate areas.
In both cases, thousands of Jews with no arms and with nothing in their hands, attempted to stream into the collective farms which had been surrounded by troops, simply to demonstrate their solidarity. Although the British communique today declares that a horseman led the colonists toward Givat Chayim and that other Jews opened fire from the flanks of the soldiers, there is not a single instance of a casualty among the troops as evidence of any firing.
300 JEWISH SOLDIERS REPORTED SEPARATED FROM BRITISH DIVISION SENT TO PALESTINE
Witnessing events at Givat Haim where British troops fired at Jews, and witnessing also the picking off by rifle fire in the Tel Aviv streets of people who could have been dispersed by the simplest means–such as the use of streams of water–convinced this correspondent that the armed forces here, while they are acting with the almost restraint, are nevertheless firing unnecessarily. Perhaps these troops were “over-trained” in the expectancy of a general armed uprising.
The report is current here that 300 Jewish soldiers of the Sixth Airborne Division were separated from that detachment before the outfit entered Palestine. The main body of troops are also said to have been politically briefed along lines that the Jews, having now been given a homeland, want to establish a state by force. It is noteworthy that violent antagonism toward the Jews has been expressed by nearly all the soldiers with whom this correspondent has talked.