San Francisco (May. 16)
President Truman should immediately issue a directive to American military authorities in Germany directing them to prepare plans for the transfer of 100,000 displaced Jews from Germany, Austria and Italy to Palestine, Bartley Crum, a member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, said last night, addressing a meeting here under the auspices of the Associated Jewish Organizations.
Although the committee’s recommendations did not call for establishment of a Jewish state, they make possible the ultimate establishment of “a democratic common-wealth, the majority of which are Jews,” Crum said. He appealed to American Jews not to press for a Jewish commonwealth now, but to unite in demanding the immediate transfer of the 100,000 Jews.
“I urge you to unite to make that the present consideration,” he continued, “I urge you not to pass resolutions now for the immediate creation of a commonwealth in Palestine. Such a commonwealth now would mean an Arab state, because today there are 1,200,000 Palestinian Arabs as against 600,000 Palestinian Jews. Leave the political structure for some time in the future. Not that I wish to interfere either with your programs or with your political views, but the immediate admission of the one hundred thousand to Palestine may be lost altogether–the repeal of the White Paper of 1939 may be further delayed–if the issue is confused now by agitating and campaigning for what is impossible today.”
BRITISH MILITARY SAID ARAB THREATS OF SOVIET AID WERE BLUFF
Discussing recent Arab threats to appeal to the Soviet Union for aid, Crum said: “I say without any hesitation that it is a colossal bluff designed to intimidate a timid British Foreign Office. That it is a bluff was testified to us in camera by the commanding general of the British general staff in the Middle East and by the commanding general in Palestine.
“No single Arab country or possible combination of Arab countries could effectively fight the forces which the Jews of Palestine alone can raise, arm, and put into the field. The Jews of Palestine have had twenty years to raise a secret army of some sixty thousand men. These are well trained. At least forty thousand of them have, in addition to their ground training, served in the armed forces of his Britannic Majesty. They know how to use weapons, having been trained by the British when Rommel was knocking at the gates of Cairo.
“In fact, we were told by the commanding general of the British forces in Palestine that if every British soldier were withdrawn tomorrow, the Haganah or secret army of Palestine Jewry would take over all of Palestine and hold it against the entire Arab world–without the slightest difficulty,” Crum added. “In addition, there are over 100,000 British troops in Palestine, veterans of the war against Hitler, and more troops are coming every day from Egypt. There will be no bloodshed in Palestine. There will be no violence in Palestine unless the great powers concerned will it thus.”
Crum reiterated that the committee had considered and rejected the condition that the Haganah surrender its arms in return for the immigration of 100,000 Jews from Europe. “What our committee decided,” he said, “was not to deprive the Haganah of its arms, but to remove the cause for bearing arms.” He stressed that “we know from the testimony of the Palestine police and military authorities themselves that to invite the Jews of Palestine to lay down their arms at this time would be quite literally to ask for a recurrence of Arab terroristic acts which the whole world witnessed from 1929 to 1938.”
The San Francisco attorney said that both the Jewish Agency and the Palestine Government had assured the committee that 100,000 Jews could be absorbed in Palestine without too much difficulty. In this connection he praised the achievements of the Jews in reviving the land and stressed that the committee’s recommendation for development of the Jordan Valley Authority was practical.
Crum expressed surprise and dismay that among the Jewish DP’s in Europe, who desperately need a place to settle, he found reluctance to emigrate to the United States, if that were possible, because of what they have heard of the prevalence of anti-Semitism in this country. He urged repudiation of “those native fascists and rabble-rousers who are trying to build themselves to power and influence by fomenting prejudice against the Jews in America.”