London (Jun. 21)
Jewish groups and sections of the British press joined today in warning that continued terrorism in Palestine will endanger Jewish efforts to build a national home there. At the same time, influential newspapers expressed regret that the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem had found sanctuary in Egypt.
The Anglo-Jewish Association issued an official statement expressing concern regarding the violence in Palestine, which, it said, was condemned by all Jews interested in the future of a Jewish national homeland. “Recalling the long tradition of British sympathy to victims of oppression, the Association is confident that his Majesty’s Government will not be deflected by these events from a policy of according to the survivors of Nazi persecution the measure of justice unanimously recommended by the Anglo-American inquiry committee,” the statement added.
The Times, in a leading article, says the sudden recrudescence of Jewish terrorism in Palestine coincides by the irony of fate with the reappearance of “the one enemy of the Jews who will derive most advantage from the atmosphere of tension it threatens to engender.” Declaring that the whole record of the Mufti shows him to believe in violence as the best method of vindicating Arab claims, the Times says that at a time when Britain is endeavoring to bring Jews and Arabs in Palestine and outside to a better understanding, the appearance of the Mufti is an unmixed misfortune.
The Manchester Guardian says that when Premier Attles makes his promised statement in the House of Commons on the Mufti “he must leave the world in no doubt what is the British Government’s opinion on this rascally conspirator.” It adds: “Obviously we should ask the King of Egypt to hand him over to us. It would be strange if our lawyers, so skilled in the framing of indictments at Nuremberg, could not find words to cover this fomenter of rebellion and open adherent of Hitler. Or is there one law for Germans and another for Arabs?”
The Conservative Daily Telegraph, however, writes that there is no ground for requesting the Mufti’s extradition from Egypt unless a charge can be formulated against him. “In law if he was allowed to live undisturbed in France he could do so equally in Egypt.” Agreeing that the Mufti’s presence in Egypt cannot fail to increase the already acute trouble in Palestine, the Telegraph writes: “If he had not meant mischief he would not have come and there is not the slightest doubt that his object is to influence the Arab League towards the resort to that violence of which he was so prominent a practitioner before his flight.”
Michael Foot, Labor M.P., writing in the Daily Herald, organ of the Labor Party, says that the only hope for securing peace in Palestine is an early, emphatic declaration of policy. “Time is short, action must come soon if we are not to be divided from our hope of a Palestine solution by a river of British and Jewish blood,” he warns.