Jewish National Council Votes Non-cooperation with Government Until Leaders Released
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Jewish National Council Votes Non-cooperation with Government Until Leaders Released

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The Jewish National Council of Palestine voted today to “accept Britain’s declaration of war,” and to proclaim complete non-cooperation with the Palestine Government until its leaders are released from jail and a halt is called to mass arrests and raids.

Goldie Meirson, American-born labor leader, addressing a special session of the Council this afternoon, advocated such action, charging that the British and Palestine Governments are using Nazi methods of senseless demolition of homes and offices and widespread looting. She called on the Jews of the United States and Britain not to let the Yishuv down, “for you will fall when the Yishuv falls.”

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who came to Jerusalem to attend the meeting, was confined to his hotel by illness. He sent a message asking the Jews of Palestine to remain calm and maintain their courage and refrain from deciding on a course of action or any decisive steps until the arrival here of the American members of the Jewish Agency.


Isaac Ben Zvi, president of the Council, who presided, reported that Rabbi Jacob Fishman, acting chairman of the Agency’s executive, who had been detained in Latrun prison since Saturday was growing rapidly weaker as a result of a hunger strike which is now in its third day and was transferred to Hadassah hospital today.

He reported that when Mrs. Weizmann visited Fishman last night, the face of the 71-year-old Mizrachi leader still bore the marks of the blow inflicted by a British officer when he protested against being forced to ride in a car on the Sabbath. His hands are also swollen from the beating he received, Mrs. Weizmann reported.

The condition of the other Agency leaders held at Latrun, such as Moshe Shertok, David Remez and Isaac Gruenbaum, was reported to be good, although it is understood that they clashed with guards today when they refused to be fingerprinted.

Heavily armed troops and two Bren gun carriers patrolled in front of the entrance of the building in which the meeting was held, but there were no incidents.

The Jewish Agency headquarters were still occupied today, although correspondents were allowed to enter. According to a senior British police officer the search of the building will continue for another two days. He alleged that sufficient evidence had already been found to justify the raid on the building and the arrests of the Agency leaders.

Additional details concerning the discussions between Dr. Weizmann and High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham on Saturday were obtained today from a reliable source. Cunningham is said to have suggested that in addition to Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv, Dr. Weizmann name Dr. Werner Senator, who recently resigned from the Agency, to the executive.


When Weizmann replied that such suggestions, coupled with the government’s repressive action, could only lead to more bloodshed, the High Commissioner replied that the Government was determined to suppress “Jewish terror” at any cost, even if it meant bombing Jewish cities, settlements and villages.

The colony of Yagour, near Haifa, where some arms were reported to have been found yesterday, was still under siege today, and military officials have informed the settlement’s leaders that they plan to remain for several more days to continue their searches. Troops are uprooting trees, sloughing up fields and ransacking houses in their hunt for weapons. Several buildings were literally torn apart by explosives.

As a result of destruction of its water lines by the troops, the colony was without water until late today when settlers from nearby Kvutzat Nesher were allowed to bring in water and some food. The only persons remaining in the colony are children under ten and their nurses. All others were taken to detention camps.

Late yesterday 11 men received bayonet wounds when troops invaded the village of Cesaria and arrested all male residents. Several women suffered scalp wounds when they were grabbed by the hair to prevent them from interfering with the troops.

At Afikin, near Tiberias, several settlers were also hurt, while Geva and Ein Harod reported 40 injured. Several other colonies are still surrounded or occupied, but no information has been received from them because troops cut telephone lines.

Jewish quarters today termed “ridiculous” the government communiques which are attempting to minimize the scope of the operations by troops and police, declaring that as of this evening about 3,000 persons had been arrested.

The Haganah radio, “Voice of Israel,” which last night urged all Jews to stand by for orders, today said: “We will fight the British Nazis.” The “Voice of Israel,” is succeeding in getting through only intermittently because of almost constant jamming by the government.

The Irgun radio today appealed to the Haganah for joint operations. “Britain has compelled us to unite,” the announcer said. “She is making no distinction between the soldiers of the Haganah and the soldiers of the Irgun.”

The broadcast suggested the establishment of an underground Jewish government and parliament, with its own underground army. “In the great days ahead, the Yishuv must live up to its historic mission and be ready for the outbreak of the great rebellion,” it concluded.

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