Menu JTA Search

Palestine Jews Hold Protest Strike Against Killing of Three “exodus” Immigrants

Jews throughout Palestine today halted work and (##)osed their shops in a general strike protesting the killing of three persons aboard (##) blockade runner “Exodus 1947″ Friday. The strike, from 4 to 7 p.m., took place amid (##)nores that the 4,500 visaless Jews, who were deported yesterday aboard three British (##)sels, were being sent back to their port of embarkation in France, and against a (##)kdrop of bomb, mortar and gunfire attacks in a number of widely scattered areas of (##) country.

From Famagusta, Cyprus, where the immigrants should have arrived early today (##)e reports that the authorities were unable to account for the fact that the de(##)tation ferries had not yet docked. The rumors were given added impetus by a (##)tement of a government spokesman who refused to answer directly whether the Jews (##)e being transported to Cyprus or France. He declared that the “whole question is (##)e for the London Government: the decision on their destination is not in the Palestine Government’s hands and we can say nothing until London informs us.”

Friday, when the transshipment of the Exodus’ passengers began in Haifa, observers here pointed out that 15,000 to 16,000 DP’s were already interned on the (##)land and that the addition of another 4,500 would bring the total to over 20,000, (##)dle the facilities of the camps were built for a maximum of 10,000 persons.

STRIKES IN TEL AVIV, HAIFA AND JERUSALEM PASS QUIETLY

The call for the general strike was rigidly adhered to in every city, town and settlement in the country. In Tel Aviv Mayor Israel Rokach, Chief Rabbi I.J. Unter{SPAN}(##){/SPAN}nn and Berl Locker, member of the Jewish Agency, addressed some 20,000 Jews who attended a monster mass meeting. While banners reading “Piratical actions will not {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}lt Jewish immigration” flew overhead, the speakers called on the extremists to {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ase their killings of “innocent Englishmen” and to avert civil war in the Jewish community. In both Jerusalem and Haifa, where Goldie Meirson addressed the rally, {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}e strikes passed quietly.

The three men killed during the British boarding operation were buried in (##)ifa today. They were William Bernstein, an American Jew from San Francisco who (##)rved as first mate of the Exodus; Mordechai Bunstein, 23, a former inmate of a DP (##)mp in Germany; and Hirsh Yacubovitch, 15, from Poland. The last two victims died board the blockade runner during the battle, while Bernstein died later in a Haifa hospital of wounds received in the engagement.

Meanwhile, the condition of five of the 27 wounded passengers and crewmen hospitalized after the attack remains critical. The five are: William Millman, 24, crew(##)n from Chelsea, Massachusetts, who suffered a bullet wound in the Jaw; Moses Engel(##)n, 20, abdominal wounds; Ernst Weiss, 24, severe burns; Arien Birnbaum, 24, abdominal wound; and Nathan Berkovitch, 71.

Last night the Jewish Agency issued a statement expressing the “shock and re(##)lsion of the Jewish people” at the attack on the Exodus and “its cargo of human (##)sery.” It termed the ramming of the vessel “a needless and wanton act fraught with (##)ve peril for the 4,500 refugees most of whom were women and children.”

NEXT STORY