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Israeli State Council Holds Emergency Meeting; Discusses Crisis in Cabinet

June 25, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Acting on the request of several members of the Israeli Cabinet and of mayors of Israeli municipalities, Premier David Ben Gurion today called an emergency session of the 37-member Provisional State Council to discuss the situation which has arisen in connection with the unsuccessful Irgun attempt to land arms and ammunition from the ship Vladimir Jabotinsky in defiance of the truce.

The chief feature of the session was a lengthy report by Ben Gurion in which he reviewed the events of the last three days which led to the secession of the Irgun from the Israeli Army and to the arrest of more than 60 prominent Irgun members. (No details of Ben Gurion’s report had been received by the time the Bulletin went to press.

A demand that all arrested Irgunists be immediately released and that an inquiry commission be formed to Investigate the circumstances which led to the split between the Irgun and the Israeli Government was voiced at the Council by Rabbi Meir Berlin, leader of the World Mizrachi Organization, Announcing officially that the two Mizrachi Cabinet members, Rabbi Judah L. Fishman and Moshe Shapiro, resigned from the Government, Rabbi Berlin charged Ben Gurion with being directly responsible for the clash with the Irgun.

Deputy Defense Minister I. Hagalili reported that the government had hoped that the Irgunists would disperse after being warned that the landing of arms would violate the U.N. truce and would, therefore, not be tolerated by the Israeli authorities. “Unfortunately, this hope did not materialize, so that the army had to act with arms, “he said. He assailed the Irgan, declaring that its troops took an oath of allegiance to the Israeli army and now its battalions had mutinied.


Meanwhile, it was decided today to summon the Zionist Actions Committee– the supreme Zionist body between suasions of the World Zionist Congress — to meet here beginning July 6, for the purpose of deciding basic issues in the relationship between the Israeli Government and the Zionist movement outside of Israel.

The government today declined to comment on the arrest of Peter H. Bergson, head of the American, Hebrew Committee of National Liberation, and Monroe Vein, American captain of the Irgun gunrunner. Fein, a 25-year-old Chicago Jew, was an officer in the U.S. Navy during the last war and commanded LST’s in the Marianas, Marshals and Okinawa invasions.

(U.N. Palestine mediator Count Folks Bernadette today cancelled his trip to Tel Aviv to investigate the clash between Haganah and Irgun forces on the Tel Aviv waterfront.)

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