Several Jews Arrested in Palestine Protest Demonstrations; General Strike Passes Quietly
Menu JTA Search

Several Jews Arrested in Palestine Protest Demonstrations; General Strike Passes Quietly

Download PDF for this date

Several Jews were arrested today during mass-meetings held throughout Palestine to protest Britain’s closing the doors of the country to Jewish immigration, as tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets.

Early reports from Tel Aviv, Haifa and other places indicated that the fivehour general strike proclaimed by the Jews was carried out without any disturbances. British armored cars patrolled all Jewish-populated cities, and the protest meetings were held under close surveillance by British police units.

Several thousand Jews crowded a theatre in Jerusalem to hear Chief Rabbi Herzog appeal to the British Government, in behalf of the Palestine Rabbinate, to open the doors of Palestine “for the survivors of the Nazi inferno.” Bernard Joseph, acting head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, addressing the same gathering, warned that Jewish immigrants will enter Palestine by all means at their power if Britain does not abolish the White Paper.

Traffic was partly disrupted throughout the country as a result of the strike, and Jewish stores and offices were closed everywhere. The resolutions adopted at the various meetings emphasized that the Jews in Palestine will not stand by and allow the country to be closed to the surviving Jews of Europe.


The Arab people were assured of friendship by Jewish spokesmen who addressed the mass-meetings. Chief Rabbi Herzeg said that they would have “faithful friends and brothers within a Jewish Commonwealth.” He emphasized that “all the talk of Jewish aggressive intentions towards their Arab neighbors are a myth fostered by troublenakers.” At the same time, he called for calm and unity among the Jews in Palestine.

“Well nigh over 300 years ago,” said the petition from the Rabbinate read by Rabbi Herzog, “Cromwell and the British Parliament were moved by Menasse Ben Israel to open the doors of England to the Jews on the plea that their readmission was necessary as a preparatory stage for the ultimate restoration of Israel in its fatherland.

“Today,” it continued, “we voice the petition of the broken and down trodden Jewish nation to the great British nation to open the gates of the Holy Land for the survivors of the Nazi inferno and to save the ancient race which has given faith and hope to the civilized world and which is itself now in the uttermost depths of despair. The words of the famous Scottish bard, ‘Birds have their nests, foxes their caves, Israel has but a grave,’ have been tragically fulfilled during the past two years of extermination of a third of the Jewish people with cruelty too horrifying for the human mind to contemplate.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund