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Sternist Spokesman Vows Fight on Partition in Dramatic Interview in New York


The “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel,” more (##)larly known as the Stern Group, are opposed to the partition of Palestine and (##) vigorously fight any such decision even if approved by the U.N. the alleged (##)uty commander of the Sternists, who gave his name only as “Mr. Hillel,” told a (##)ss conference here today.

In a mass interview, which had all the trappings of a spy melodrama, the sternist spokesman said that “we fight for Jewish independence in Western and Eastern Palestine, Transjordan included.” He added that “there can be no true independence if (##)tish military bases are in or around the country. Britain aims at harnessing Jews manpower and resources for war on behalf of British imperial interests,” he (##)ged.

The more than a dozen reporters who attended the conference were summoned by (##)egram to the apartment in Essex House of Rabbi Baruch Korff, co-chairman of the (##)itical Action Committee for Palestine. When all the newspapermen had assembled (##) were led to a two-room suite on the twentieth floor of the nearby Hotel St. (##)itz. While the reporters sat in one room, asking questions, Mr. Hillel, who could (##) be seen, sat in the other room and called his replies through the open door. At the time did he make an appearance. He was introduced by Rabbi Korff, who emphasized (##) he was acting in a personal capacity, and not as chairman of the Political Action committee.

Rabbi Korff and an unidentified “security officer” stationed themselves at (##) threshold between the two rooms and transmitted the questions. Rabbi Korff said (##) procedure was dictated by security reasons “since there are many British spies (##) this country.” Mr. Hillel, who speaks English fluently, but with a decided for(##) accent, refused to disclose his identity, admitting only that he was a British project and in British Government employ. Rabbi Korff said that the British had (##)ced a price on his head.

He said that he had come to the United States to create here a Committee of (##)ends of the Stern Group and to raise a fund of $10,000,000 before Jan. 1948. This (##)ey would not be used for military operations, but only to help wounded Sternists, (##)ir families, and for similar purposes, he declared.

Mr. Hillel also told questioners that there was no war between the Haganah (##) the Stern Group and expressed the belief that the Haganah was coming out against the Palestine underground only in order to spare the Jewish Agency from British repri(##) He minimized the resulting tension and denied that the Haganah was cooperating (##)th the British.

He dissociated himself and his group from the Hebrew Committee of Liberation, (##) claring that they also differed from this group in “ideology.” On the other hand, (##) admitted that the Stern Group cooperated with the Irgun Zvai Leumi in their operations in Palestine.