Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Haganah Chief in Italy Says “illegal” Immigration Will Continue

December 23, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

“Illegal” immigration to Palestine is continuing from all major points of embarkation in Europe despite the United Nations’ decision to partition the mandate between the Arabs and Jews, and it will continue until such time as limited legal immigration is under way.

This correspondent witnessed within the past two weeks the clandestine embarkatian of 800 Jewish refugees who left Italy for Palestine because they “couldn’t wait? longer and are facing another winter in intolerable camps in Germany and Austria.”

According to the chief of the Haganah pipeline in Italy, leaders of the Zionist movement would like to stop this clandestine flow and await the making of legal arrangements for immigration to the new Jewish state in Palestine. “But the pressure of the refugees upon us is so enormous that we cannot stop, even if we would like to,” the Haganah representative said.

“There are today thousands of Jews who have already left their camps and are on their way through the pipeline, and now have no place to go,” he added. “There are at last 14,000 more in Rumania alone, and thousands more elsewhere in Europe who do not know how long it will be before the doors of Palestine are open to them legally, and they cannot be persuaded to remain here any longer. “Whether we like it or not, ” he continued, “we must keep illegal immigration going until legal immigration can begin.”

According to the Haganah leader here, the British intelligence services are continuing to make evey effort to block the clandestine sailings from Italian ports, although Britain has now undertaken to relinquish the Palestine mandate by May 15. There are more spies and secret agents hampering us today in Italy than there ever were,” the Haganah leader said to me. “Instead of fading out of Palestine gracefully, England is choosing to die like a hated tyrant whose subjects long impatiently for his death.”

Recommended from JTA