Knesset Voices Sorrow over Mistaken Execution of Haganah Leader As Traitor

Arrangements were completed today for a military funeral with full honors in Jerusalem for Meyer Tobiansky, who was tried by a Haganah court on June 30, 1948, on charges of treasonably giving information to the enemy and was convicted and shot on the same day. A review of the case established that the Haganah leader was entirely innocent and the execution a tragic mistake.

Speaker of the Knesset Joseph Sprinzak today voiced the Israeli parliament’s sorrow over the execution of Tobiansky.

The review was ordered by Premier David Ben Gurion — who is also Defense Minister–on the application of Tobiansky’s widow. The Judge Advocate General sifted the evidence and reexamined the trial records establishing Tobiansky’s innocence.

In an effort to rectify this miscarriage of justice so far as the survivors are concerned, the chief of the general staff of the Israeli Army, with the approval of Mr. Ben Gurion, will confer posthumously on Tobiansky the rank of captain. Tobiansky’s body will be moved to the military cemetery with full honors. The state will arrange suitable compensation for the widow and son. The funeral procession in Jerusalem will pass the school where the 13-year-old son of Tobiansky is a student.

Tobiansky was formerly an officer of Haganah, with which he served for 22 years, and was a major in the British Army in World War II. He worked as an engineer with the Jerusalem Electric Company and was charged with furnishing to the British management of the company a list of power users. The assumption was that the Arab enemy pinpointed industrial and military establishments for shelling, through this means. The accused man did not deny giving the list to the British who were maintaining contact with the Arabs. Those responsible for the unjust verdict against Tobiansky are now to be put on trial, Mr. Ben Gurion revealed.

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