London (Dec. 30)
The Palestine Government is on the threshold of “grave and far-reaching decisions” concerning its future relations wiht the Jewish Agency, as a result of the terrorist activities in Palestine, it was reported here today from Jerusalem by Reuters.
Consultations are believed to be in progress between High Commissioner Sir Allan Cunningham and the British Cabinet, the British news agency said, adding that “the outcome of these consultations is anxiously awaited in Jerusalem.”
The Reuter report emphasizes that from the statement issued on Friday, after David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Shertok conferred with the High Commissioner, it “became clear that the Zionists, while condemning the acts of terrorism, categorically refused to collaborate with the police as on previous occasions.”
“This refusal,” the correspondent says, “marks the extent to which relations between the Jews and the British authorities in Palestine have deteriorated during the past six months. Further, observation in Palestine shows that what is going on is mainly a British-Jewish conflict rather than an Arab-Jewish one needing impartial arbitration.”
POLICE HAD ADVANCE WARMING ON LAST WEEK’S TERRORIST ACTIVITIES
Eastimating that the membership of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group the two extremist groups who are suspected of carrying out the sabotage in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa – does not exceed 2,500, and declaring that they have no mass-following among the Jewish population, the Reuter report states:
“The extreme difficulty of tracking down the perpetrators of last Thursday’s attacks and the failure to prevent them – though it was understood that the police chiefs had some advance warning – has apparently brought the authorities to the conclusion that the terrorists had, at any rate, the passive support of the Jewish population.”
The British correspondent emphazies that many persons consider the situation “too tricky” for solution by police methods alone. “The situation,” he predicts, “will increase in gravity unless the politics behind the problem are taken into account by the authorities, which, at present they seem disinclined to do.
“The objective behind the activities of the Irgun Zvai Leumi is not simply destruction of police stations, but is indirectly political,” he continues. “This terrorist organization is numerically small. The other Jewish armed organization, the Haganah, now virtually embraces in one form or another every male Jew in Palestine between the ages of 15 and 50 and also includes a very large number of women. The objective of the terrorists is to poison the relations between the British and the official Jewish Agency to such an extent that the entire Jewish population in Palestine with its armed defense organization clashes with the British authorities.
“The crucial point in future British policy, and also in future steps taken by Jewish representatives, is whether it will help or hinder this objective of the terrorists. Time is short and what may prove the last opportunity for an imaginative policy in Palestine may pass even before the Anglo-American commission reports,” the Reuter correspondent concludes.