LONDON (Mar. 9)
A British scholar refuted a frequent Arab claim that Jews were always well treated in Islamic lands. Dr. Tudor Parfitt, a lecturer at London University, stated that, on the contrary, Jews in Moslem countries were forced to wear the yellow Star of David as a badge of shame long before it was introduced in Western Christian countries.
Dr. Parfitt, who spoke yesterday at a day-long symposium at Westminster Abbey organized by the “Rainbow Group.” an interfaith body, traced the growth of the Jewish population in Jerusalem during the 19th century. He said the Ottoman government was unable to exercise its obligations to its subjects in the first half of the century and the term “Yahud”–Arabic for Jew–was the lowest form of abuse and killings of Jew and looting their property were common.
Dr. Parfitt also said that while Jews had lived in Jerusalem almost without interruption for 2000 years, he rejected the view that Israel had an exclusively legitimate right to the city.
Martin Gilbert, a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford and a biographer of Sir Winston Churchill, whose latest volume in the Churchill biography covers the beginning of the Palestine Mandate after World War I when Churchill was Colonial Secretary, quoted papers showing that in August, 1919, Prime Minister Lloyd George personally overturned a Cabinet move to transfer the Mandate to the United States. The 100 participants in the symposium included Jewish and Christian lay and religious leaders.