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Transcriptions, 1947 December




Former Leaders of Arab Revolts Present in City

Damascus, Syria, Dec. 1. — (AP) — Arab mobs roamed the streets Damascus today for a second day of demonstrations against partition ing of Palestine. The presence of two formel leaders of Arab revolts in the Holy Land caused speculation that preparations were under way for imminent action against the Jews.

The rioting, which paralyzed all business in the Syrian capital, was a continuation of the Sunday demonstrations, in which four persons were killed and nine wounded during an attack upon the Soviet Cultural Centre and Communist Party headquarters.

The mob also hurled stones at the American Legation, set fire to three automobiles in front of the building, and tore down an American flag. Police and fire brigades dispersed the group. Windows were smashed and shutters, electric lights and typewriters damaged.

Only one Moslem guard and two gardeners were on the premises.

(An Associated Press dispatch which said Sunday that the Legation building was set afire was apparently erroneous.

(The State Department in Wash ington said the American Legation at Damascus had instructed all Americans to stay in their quarters to avoid the Syrian mobs. The department said 2,000 persons were in the mob which burned the cars and tore down the flag.)

The Gazette (Montreal),

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Resistance To Partition Pledged; Frenzied Rioting Tears Palestine

Jehad Declared As Climax To Day of Riots, Arson and Attacks Causing Several Jews To Die General Strike Is Started. Hebrew Unit Asks U. S. Backing.

(Picture on Page 2)

Jerusalem, Dec. 2 (U.P.). — Moslem religious leaders pro claimed a holy war against Jews today as frenzied Arab Jewish rioting throughout Palestine killed five Jews and one Arab.

The call for the religious war came from the Alzahar council of Ulemas in Cairo. The Ulemas, or elderly religious scholars, have no official connection with any government, but any Moslem who disobeys the order is judged a sinner.

The council, infuriated by the United Nations vote to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, proclaimed officially that, the Council of Ulemas calls on all Moslems throughout the world for a jehad (Holy War).

The, call climaxed a day of arson, mobbings, knifings, shootings and demonstrations throughout the Middle East.

Palestine Arabs, beginning a three-day general strike, burned Jewish property and mobbed Jews in Jerusalem. Some Jews struck back in Jerusalem.

Washington, Dec. 2 (INS)-The Hebrew Committee of National Liberation appealed to the United States today to provide arms for the defense of Palestine, as the top Arab spokesman in Washington asserted that war in the Holy Lands is inevitable.

Jerusalem. Dec. 2 (AP) — A test of blood and fire began today for the Palestine partition plan when thous ands of angry Arabs swept through Jerusalem, wrecking, burning and looting Jewish buildings.

Jews counterattacked in bloody fighting.

Rioting broke out at other points in the Holy Land, and the casualty toll in midafternoon by unofficial count reached four Jews dead, twenty-nine Jews wounded and nine Arabs injured.

Mobs put the torch to fifty build ings in Jerusalem, both Jewish and Arab. Jewish sources estimated the property damage at more than $1,000,000.

General Strike Begins.

Many of Jerusalem's buildings still were burning this afternoon when police and troops restored a semblance of order. The Arabs began their attacks at dawn, with the opening of a three-day Arab strike called by the Arab Higher Executive to protest the United Nations partition decision. Jews in trucks and afoot counterattacked swiftly.

Firing broke out at two places tonight on the border of all-Arab Jaffa and all-Jewish Tel Aviv.

The supreme commander of Hagana, the Jewish underground defense militia, charged that large numbers of Arabs in the Negeb Desert area have been ordered to attack settlements there. His communique, issued at Tel Avid head quarters of Hagana, said the militia had taken necessary defense measures.

A pall of smoke over Jerusalem dimmed a bright sun. Hagana fire fighting brigades, armed with clubs and buckets, deployed about all Jewish residential sections. Many young girls were among them. The Jewish forces appeared well disciplined.

Six Jews were arrested in the wreckage of St. Julian's Way after a chase across housetops. Police said the six, who carried revolvers and grenades, were sniping at Arabs. They were identified as members of a ten-man commission sent to assess damage to Jewish shops.

As darkness approached, sullen mobs faced each other on Princess Mary's Way which was strewn with splintered glass and rubble. The Arabs were armed with knives, stones and staves, with which they had swooped out of the old wall city in their dawn attack. Police feared the fury of the attacks would mount rather than abate.

Police Impose Curfew.

With most of a three-day protest strike left to go, police imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on Arab quarters of Jerusalem, including most of the old walled city, it was announced officially. Armored cars and Bren gun carriers were called into play by British authorities to disperse the rioters. The British were assisted by thousands of khaki-clad young Jews — apparently members of Hagana, self-styled Jewish defense army — who assembled in midtown Zion Square. Jewish volunteers — distinguished by blue arm bands — directed traffic around congested areas,

Police estimated that as many as 5,000 Arabs had stormed out of the old city of Jerusalem and headed for the Jewish quarter.

A road block manned by tommy gunners turned the howling mob back on midtown Princess Mary's Way, but the rioters swept into St. Julian's Way, one hundred yards from the King David Hotel and started smashing windows and overturning automobiles.

At least six shops were set afire and two automobiles belonging to Jewish merchants were burned.

Police armored cars edged into the mob, firing Bren guns, and fire patrols began fighting the raging fires.

Americans Denounced,

One group of Arabs, crying out filthy Americans, hurled stones at the automobile in which this correspondent was riding, but failed to connect with their target.

Gunfire broke out near the United States Consulate in Mamillah Road.

Two jews were dragged from one shop from which three shots apparently had been fired into the mob, A police armored car penetrated into the crowd and rescued the men, along with two other Jews, but not before they had been badly beaten. The shop was wrecked.

At least ten other Jews were rescued from the rioters by police during the melee in St. Julian's Way, which is lined with many fashionable Jewish stores.

Two Jews were reported wounded in a mob attack on a Jewish truck near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem. A Hagana patrol broke up another attack on a Jewish bus, captured the Arab attackers and turned them over to police.

Jerusalem Hospital reported that among the casualties of the morning's rioting was Asher Lazar, thirty eight-year-old correspondent for the Tel Aviv Hebrew newspaper Haaretz. He was said to have been stoned and badly beaten.

Disturbances were reported simultaneously in other parts of Palestine. The stoning of Jewish buses continued in Tel Aviv, and a bombing occurred in a suburb of that all Jewish city — without casualties.

The Times Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

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Syria Approves Fund To Free Palestine

Damascus, Syria, Dec. 2 (AP) — The Chamber of Deputies authorized the Government today to pay a first installment of 2,600,000 Syrian pounds ($920,000) into an Arab League fund for the liberation of Palestine, which the United Nations voted last week to partition.

A measure for compulsory military service was referred to the National Defense Committee for a vote next Thursday.

A complete strike, called in protest against the partition of Palestine, gripped Damascus after a day in which 25,000 persons gathered at the great Omayyad Mosque for a meeting called by the new Palestine Liberation Committee.

Mob In Action

At Aleppo, a mob broke into the Jewish quarter, attacked Jewish cafeterias, clubs and shops and burned goods presumed to be of Zionist origin. (Arabs have invoked a boycott against Jewish goods.)

The Chamber of Deputies con sidered the Palestine question for nine hours during the night. Among the 41 speakers was the Jewish deputy, Dr. Wahid Mizrahi, American University graduate, who condemned Zionism in the name of all Syrian Jews. He declared Syrian Jews had lived peacefully for centuries on an equal footing with Syrian Mohammedans and Christians and that Syrian Jews would be in the first line of the liberators of Palestine from criminal Zionist hands. He called the partition decision a danger to the Arab world.

A Government communiqué warned Arabs against violence against foreign legations and missions.

The Evening Sun (Baltimore),

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Red Intervention In Palestine Is Feared In D.C.

Washington, Dec. 2 (AP) — American military observers pointed to day to the danger that a holy war in Palestine may bring Red Army units into the country, ostensibly to protect the new Jewish state against the Arabs.

The move would put Russian troops on the Mediterranean, within flying minutes of the Suez Canal, and within easy striking distance of American oil concessions in Saudi Arabia.

The possibility that Russia will offer to intervene is being freely discussed in Washington today.

A highly placed officer, who could not be quoted, said: It can be expected within 90 days, if real fighting breaks out in Palestine. It will be very embarrassing for both the British and ourselves.

No U.N. Military Force

There is no joint United Nations military force yet organized to maintain order anywhere in the world.

Britain has announced her inten tion to withdraw her army, esti mated now at 80,000 men, from Palestine before next August. The actual removal of British units probably will begin before that time, so that it can be completed by the announced date.

France maintains a sizable force. including some regiments of the Foreign Legion, in North Africa, but they are needed for the protection of Algeria and Tunisia. Fighting in Palestine might set the whole Middle East [a]flame.

Jews Far Outnumbered

The United States has no troops in the area.

Some hope is being expressed here that the Jews will be strong enough to protect themselves. The little state numbers slightly more than 1,000,000 in population. It is surrounded by more than 30,000,000 Arabs.

However, none of the Arab nations has a trained army, equipped with modern weapons. The nearest approach to it is the British-trained Arab Legion, in Trans-Jordania, a state no larger than the new Jewish state.

Numerically inferior, the Jews, however, can put into the field at least one regular army unit, and thousands of tough, experienced guerrilla fighters.

Brigade Well Trained

They have the Jewish Brigade, trained and equipped by Britain, which fought with recognized success in the last stages of the Italian campaign.

Their irregulars, the majority of whom served in other European armies before the last war, have been the spearhead in the under ground operations of the past two years.

But American observers believe that even a large-scale guerrilla struggle between Arabs and Jews would bring, from Moscow, the offer to station Russian troops in Palestine.

They might come in on a temporary basis, experts said, and then you'd never get them out.

The Evening Sun (Baltimore),

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Demonstrators Stop Baghdad Traffic

Baghdad, Dec. 2 (AP) — Traffic in the main streets of Baghdad was brought to a standstill today and business was virtually paralyzed as Iraq demonstrators continued for the second day to display their opposition to the impending partition of Palestine.

Demonstrators waved banners bearing slogans derogatory to the United Nations and the member countries which voted in favor of the partition plan.

The Baghdad police force was noticeably reinforced and heavy guards were stationed around all foreign legations.

Similar demonstrations were reported in other cities in Iraq.

The Evening Sun (Baltimore),

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Palestine Mandate Terminates in May With British Troops Out October 1st; Toll in Jew-Arab Riots Put at 30 to 35

[Picture of destroyed shops in the background, with people picking through things strewn across the street in the foreground.]

FIRST PICTURE OF RIOTERS: Here is the first picture of actual rioters and looters at work in the streets of the Holy City, Jerusalem, in the out burst of rioting and bloodshed which followed the United Nations' decision to partition Palestine.

Arabs and Jews alike participated, and this looting of Jewish shops is typical of those enacted throughout the length and breadth of the Middle East. Even the very young participated, as evidenced by the youth in the foreground.

The Gazette (Montreal),

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Opposition to Partition Spreads From Egypt to Iraq in Middle East

By The Associated Press

Jews and Arabs clashed in a bloody machine-gun battle between Tel Aviv and Jaffa in the Holy Land Wednesday as Arab demon strations against the United Nations' decision to partition Palestine ex tended across a wide sector of the Middle East from Egypt to Iraq.

Unofficial estimates of the num ber killed in two days of fighting in the Holy Land ranged from 30 to 35. An Associated Press estimate put the death toll at 16 Jews and 14 Arabs, but some Hebrew papers said 15 Arabs were killed by Jewish security forces in three separate attacks today, raising the total to about 35.

The fighting, which centred on the narrow line dividing Jewish Tel Aviv from Arab Jaffa, simmered down late in the day, but only after British troops threw a ring of steel around the trouble area and enforced a round-the clock curfew. Throughout the day machine-gun fire and the explosion of grenades were heard.

Jerusalem — where Arabs on Tuesday invaded the Jewish quarter to kill, burn and pillage — was relatively quiet. However, several fires were still smouldering.

In Haifa a Jewish-owned lumber yard was destroyed by fire and a Jewish underground organization said its fighters broke up a band of Arabs who presumably started the blaze.

In London, Colonial Secretary Creech Jones, told the House of Commons that Britain is strengthening her forces to keep order in Palestine. He did not specify the nature of the reinforcements.

Aside from Palestine, the biggest demonstrations against partition centred in Egypt. Student demonstrators, protesting both partition and continued presence of British troops in the Suez Canal zone, engaged in an orgy of window smashing in which British, American, Greek and other foreign establishments were damaged.

In All Saints Anglican Cathedral, a few windows were broken. Egyptian police, wielding clubs, dispersed a large crowd which had assembled before Abdine Palace in the Egyptian capital.

Abdel Rahman Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, told a crowd in front of league headquarters in Cairo that weapons are being prepared in many places for the demonstrators and that they would soon be train ed for fighting.

In Baghdad, on the second day of demonstrations, waves of marchers — many led by women — visited the Council of Ministers, Parliament and the Royal Palace. Some carried banners which said: Jihad (holy war) for Palestine.

Martial law was declared at Aden, British colony on the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula, after one person, was killed and 20 injured in clashes between Jews and Arabs.

In Beyrout, the Lebanese education ministry ordered all schools closed until Friday to avoid further incidents after crowds of students had attacked a French school and damaged windows.

The Gazette (Montreal),

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British Contain Major Threats, Occupying Area Between Foes


Enraged Arabs Stone and Fire on Taxis and Buses on Highways Outside Cities

Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Dec. 5. — (Friday) — (AP) — An unconfirmed report was current here early today that the British Minister at Aden, British protectorate at the southern end of the Red Sea, has been killed in an Arab uprising there.

The report circulated as 19 transport planes left here at midnight for Aden with 300 men of the Norfolk Regiment.

The troops were reported to have been dispatched to quell violent demonstrations protesting the United Nations deciison to partition Palestine.

The troops arrived at Khartoum earlier in the night from Palestine.

The 1947 Statesman's Year Book lists Sir Reginald Champion. appointed in December, 1944, Governor of Aden, which is important as a coaling station on the route between Britain and India, Australia and the Far East.

(By The Canadian Press.)

A possibility that Arab countries will send troops to invade Palestine to fight the United Nations partition of the Holy Land was hinted today as Arab leaders lent their support to overt recruiting campaigns throughout the Middle East.

The enlistment program was reported in full swing in many Middle Eastern States Thursday night as Arab rioting against Jews and nationals of other countries which favored partition reached heights of violence.

The secretary-general of the Arab League, Abdel Rahman Azzam Pasha, begged Egyptian youths in Cairo Thursday to enlist as soldiers to fight partition, and the principal tribes of Syria offered the services of their menfolk. Whole villages in Hauran, the mountain area forming Syria's border with Palestine, were reported enlisting for an invasion.

In Palestine, British forces separated Arabs and Jewish groups to prevent new outbreaks of rioting and arson after enraged Arabs attacked a British kindergarten institute in Baghdad, Iraq, and demonstrated elsewhere in the Middle East.

While British troops and police contained major threats in the Holy Land, the Arabs carried their war against the partition of Palestine to the highways.

Scores of Wounded

Scores of Jews and Arabs were wounded in attacks on taxis and bus convoys. The Associated Press compilation of deaths in Palestine during the three days of disorders mounted to 20 Jews and 15 Arabs. Hundreds of others were injured. Hebrew newspapers estimated damage in Jerusalem alone at $4,000,000.

Sniping continued in the bloody border area between Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa, earlier the scene of an armed battle. In theArab town of Ramle on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, crowds of Arabs attacked two British bus convoys with stones, sticks and guns. Escorts of Hagana, the self styled Jewish defence army, used guns and grenades against the Arabs. Unofficial reports said at least four Arabs and three Jews were wounded.

In the Baghdad demonstration, 20 boys were bruised by stones and doors were smashed. Enraged youths, protesting the United Nations General Assembly decision to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, also attacked the United States Information Service office. They smashed smashed furniture, burned books and threw radio sets out of the window. No one was injured.

An official Iraq communication issued later said all demonstrations must cease.

The Egyptian Government banned further demonstrations after police and frontier guards charged a mob of 15,000 in a Cairo street battle, which Egyptians said had resulted in the death of three students. Police officials said they knew nothing of any fatalities.

The Gazette (Montreal),

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Views on Palestine Plan

Two Conflicting Forecasts of Trouble Ahead in Carrying Out Partition of Palestine — Main Threat Is from Arabs — Bloodshed Within Jewish Groups? — Chance for Reds?

(By Stewart Alsop in New York Herald Tribune)

The dramatic decision in the United Nations to partition Pales tine into Jewish and Arab states was a beginning and not an end. No man can pretend to see in detail where that beginning may lead.

What follows is an attempt to summarize the conflicting forecasts of the general shape of Palestine's future by two observers thoroughly qualified to speak. The fire fore cast is that of a Zionist, a native of Palestine, and one of the most brilliant of the leaders of the Jew ish Agency, which will form the heart of the new Jewish govern ment. The second is that of an ex pert on the middle east, no Zionist, who has devoted much of his life to a study of the strange complex pattern of middle eastern politics.

* * *

Both are agreed on at least one point-before there is peace in the Hol Land, there will be more bloodshed. The Zionist agrees that there may even be bloodshed within the Jewish community itself. since he does not entirely rule out the possibility of a violent bid for power by the right wing terrorist groups. Yet he believes that the Jewish Agencys military arm, the Haganah. can easily deal with any such at tempt. And he is confident that by the time the Jewish state is due to come into official existence, the Jewish government will already be a going concern, probably under the leadership of the wise and aging Chaim Weizmann.

The real threat to that govern ment's continued existence will come, of course, from the large Arab minority within the Jewish state. from the new Arab state which the United Nations has brought into existence, and from the surrounding Arab nations. The Zionist leader believes that King Abdulla of Trans-Jordan will almost certainly gain control of the Arab fragment of Palestine. He reports that the British and American governments, and the Jewish Agency as well, have quietly let Abdulla know that his ambitions to add the Arab area to his own somewhat sleazy kingdom will not be viewed with disfavor. Under any circumstances, there is little to stand in Abdulla's way. since he has the only really effective armed force in the middle east, in the army trained by the fabulous British soldier of fortune, Glubb Pasha.

* * *

Because of these ambitions, Abdulla has been notably less fanatical about partition than the leaders of other Arab states. Yet even with Abdulla in control of Arab Palestine. there will be no real peace. This is underlined by the fact that Abdullah's chief henchman in Arab Palestine, Toukan, the mayor of the large Arab town of Nablus, has already declared a jihad, or holy war, against the Jews. Yet the Zionist leader is confident that there will be no massive, organized assault on the new Jewish state. Arab action will, rather, be confined to bloody sporadic raids on Jewish settlements, which the Zionist lead er expects to start almost immediately.

He is confident that the Haganah can deal with these attacks. The Hagannah is now being expanded and reorganized to form a really effective striking force. If the worst comes to the worst, the Zionist believes that a spectacular counter-move by the Hagannah, for which tentative plans are even now being laid, will silence the Arabs. When Arab attacks against the Jews started last summer the Haganah immediately put to death 11 Arabs, including the ringleaders of the disorders, and the attacks ceased immediately. Some such determined countermove on a far larger scale, the Zionist leader believes, will have the same result. Then the Jews will be able to turn to the task of peaceably building their new nation.

That is a Zionist forecast of whatlies ahead for the new state.

* * *

The non-Zionist middle eastern expert considers this forecast vastly optimistic. He agrees that an organized Arab military assault on the Jewish state is unlikely. But he believes that the ferocious resentment against partition in the whole Arab world is vastly under estimated in the United States. He is certain that the United Nations Palestine commission will be confronted with growing chaos from the day of its arrival. Sooner or later the commission will be forced to report back to the security coun cil that the situation is wholly out of hand, and that the partition of Palestine can only be imposed by armed force. And what, he asks, happens then?

He is convinced, like most observers of events in the middle east, that the Soviet Union is determined eventually to control this rich stra tegic area. He believes that the chaos which lies ahead will present the Soviet Union with its greatest opportnunity to fish in the troubled middle eastern waters. Already there have been reports that the Soviets have been playing both ends against the middle, supplying the Arabs with arms, and infiltrating agents into Jewish Palestine from Rumania. If troops are to go to Palestine, Soviet troops will go, too. And there is very little doubt that the Soviet contingent would consist of a very special type of soldier. It was for such reasons that one group in the state department has fought the United Nations settlement.

Only time will tell which of these projects of the future of tragic Palestine is the more accurate. One thing is certain — there is more trouble ahead. The only question is, how much trouble, and for how long?

The Owen Sound Daily Sun,

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Although a letter to the editor, this clipping sheds light on normative views in the Commonwealth about the British troops.

Do Well to Stay Out of This Quarrel

A number of young British ex-service men, in sympathy with the Arabs over the United Nations decision to partition Palestine, have offered to serve in Arab forces. None have been accepted.

The Arabs have shown more good sense in rejecting the services of these men than the men themselves showed in offering their services.

It is understandable, of course, that there may be many members of the British Army who, recalling the fact that a number of their comrades have perished at the hands of Jewish terrorists, would, welcome the chance to seek revenge.

This desire, however, should be strictly suppressed.

Even if this were merely a quarrel be tween the Jews and the Arabs, those not directly involved would do well to steer clear. If some Britons should volunteer to serve with Arab forces, others are certain to be sympathetic to the Jews. Should they be come active in the struggle, we should have Britons fighting Britons.

There is, of course, an even more compelling reason why no Briton should join either side. The United Nations has announced its decision. Britain is a member of the United Nations. As such, she is duty-bound to support this decision. Any British citizen who joins forces seeking by force of arms to op pose this decision will be, in fact, fighting against his own country.

The Owen Sound Daily Sun,


The Gazette (Montreal),

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