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British Zionists Urge Govt. to Assist Palestine Jews in Obtaining Arms

February 2, 1948
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The British Government was today urged to give the Jewish Agency the facilities for the purchase and transportation of arms to the Jewish community of Palestine in a resolution adopted at a three-day annual conference of the Zionist Federation of Britain and Ireland. The resolution, which pointed out that such action would be consistent with Britain’s membership in the United Nations, also endorsed Moshe Shertok’s demand for an international police force to enforce partition in Palestine.

The 900 delegates who attended the parley also called on their government to make it clear to the Arab states with which it has treaties of alliance that the formation of Arab guerrilla bands in their territory would not be tolerated because their presence violated the U.N. Charter. The conference also expressed regret that relations between the Jewish and British people had deteriorated within the past few years.

Last night, Dr. Chaim Weizaann, veteran Zionist leader, urged the delegates to seek closer rapprochement with the British and to attempt to obtain more aid from them in the building of the new state. “We must achieve once again that cooperation between Great Britain and ourselves without which a great deal of our work in Palestine, particularly in the early days, could never have been done done,” Dr. Weizmann declared.

A sharp attack on Great Britain’s policy with regard to Palestine was made by Professor Selig Brodetsky, member of the Jewish Agency executive, in an address to the convention. Declaring that the Jewish people are determined to establish a secure Jewish state at all costs, Prof. Brodetsky singled out Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin for chief responsibility for the British stand, which, he said, means that the Jews of Palestine are being frustrated in their attempt to defend themselves while Arab arms and volunteers are pouring in freely from neighboring states.

“This is intervention–whatever interpretation may be placed on it” by the government, Prof. Brodetsky stressed. “If Great Britain, in its treaty negotiations with the Arab states, failed to raise the question of their encouraging lawlessness in Palestine,” he asserted,” Britain becomes an accessory after the fact. This is a violation of the whole principle of United Nations responsibility.” The Zionist leader said ha would like Great Britain to take the view that the U.N. decision on Palestine is an act binding on all peace-loving nations.

Berl Locker, another member of the Agency executive, derided a statement by British chief delegate to the U.N. Sir Alexander Cadogan that Britain had tried to open a port in the Jewish section of Palestine but had failed. He called Cadogan’s statement “casuistry at its worst.” He warned that no force in the world would be allowed to destroy the Jewish state before it is created because the Jews of Palestine “will fight to the very last.”

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