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British Troops Set to Crush White Paper Disorders; Jews Called to Fast, Pray

May 17, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The authorities today intensified preparations to fore stall possible disturbances tomorrow following issuance of the British White Paper proclaiming intention of setting up an independent Palestine state in which the Jews will be fixed as a one-third minority. At the same time, a day of fast, special prayers and blowing of the shofar was proclaimed for Thursday by Chief Rabbis Isaac Herzog and Jacob Meir.

The military commander of the Northern District this morning summoned Jewish and Arab leaders at Safed and, in separate sessions, warned that groups of more than ten were forbidden in the streets. he cautioned that troops would suppress demonstrations, adding everyone was free to mourn or to celebrate privately at home.

When similar warning was given to the local council of Hedera, President Butkovsky retorted: “How can you demand lawfulness to the Jews when the British Government itself breaks the law.”

Last night the Jewish National Council, with the participation of Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv, the Histadruth, the Farmers Association, the Revisionists and the Agudath Israel, conferred on the line of action to be pursued with regard to the White Paper After the conference, President Isaac Ben Zvi expressed the hope that united action would be taken.

The Government Advisory Council, meanwhile, was pressing High Commissioner Sir Harold A. MacMichael to broadcast an appeal to the populace for calm, but he was understood to maintain that the White Paper would speak for itself.

The blue-white Zionist emblem flew briefly this morning over Government offices in Tel Aviv. Unidentified persons, believed actuated by a desire to protest the new British policy, shortly after midnight placed the single-starred banner where the Union Jack customarily flies.

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