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The Southern Jewish weekly. [volume] (Jacksonville, Fla.) 1939-1992, September 20, 1940, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn78000090/1940-09-20/ed-1/seq-2/

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Page Two
The Tel Aviv Air Raid
By ROMAN SL^BODIN
It hardly seems Recessary to underline the outrageous
facts of the wanton Fascist bombing of Tel Aviv, which took
a toll of 104 killed and 126 wounded in a district of flimsy
wooden shacks inhabited by the poorest of the Jewish poor
in Palestine.
The Italian announcement af
terward that the raid was directed
against the port of Jaffa was pure
idiocy, for if Mussolini’s airmen
were aiming at that target, then
the announcement is tantamount
to saying that they are even worse
marksmen than they have been
previously reported to be.
They did not have the excuse
that their aim was spoiled by de
fending planes and anti-aircraft
guns. The dispatches make no
mention whatever of any defense.
On the contrary, Mayor Rokach’s
cable to President Roosevelt re
ferred to Tel Aviv as an open
town.
This raises the question of the
British side of the raid, and there
is something more than strange
about it. The first flare of indigna
tion naturally turns against Italy,
but on reflection one wonders
what is going on in the British de
fense of Palestine.
Almost two years ago a British
military Air Raid Precautions ex
pert, after a survey of Palestine,
warned publicly that Tel Aviv
might be a target for Italian
bombers, not because of military
importance, of which it has none,
but for terrorization. The reply of
the Palestine Government to the
expert’s warnings about danger
to civilians in Tel Aviv, Haifa and
elsewhere, and the need for a Gov
ernment program of protection for
the populace, was given by one of
the highest civilian officials, Ed
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t PHONE 5-1227
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ward Keith-Roach, District Com
missioner of Jerusalem. He said:
“God helps those who help them
selves.”
No anti-aircraft guns were in
stalled in Tel Aviv, and apparent
ly there are still none there.
Stranger still, there is no word of
a single British plan opposing the
raiders, although a major military
airfield is within a few minutes’
flight.
One wonders what the British
people and the world at large
would say if the Nazis winging
over London encountered no bal
loon barrage, no anti-aircraft fire,
no defending fighter planes.
....And there is something more.
The raid took place on September
9. It was reported in a British
military communique in Cairo on
the 19th, and the whole world
knew about it from the British and
Italian wireless that day. But mes
sages from newspaper correspon
dents in Palestine itself were held
up by the censor there, and were
not released until September 11.
If you were the chief of censor
ship in a country at war and the
enemy carried out a wanton at
tack on your unarmed civilian pop
ulation, killing and wounding hun
dreds of a community which you
knew had friends and relatives all
over the world and notably in the
United States, whose friendship
your country was frantically woo
ing, how would you handle the
news of the raid? Would you not
regard it as an occasion when
; newspaper correspondents should
:be allowed to report freely and
' quickly on the destruction and
carnage, to rally the natural in
dignation of humanity on behalf
of your cause? Can you imagine
how quickly the British Govern
ment would throw out of office a
censor in England who delayed
for one unnecesary minute press
messages to America reporting the
slaughter of civilians in London
by Nazi bombs?
But this was Palestine. The cen
sor held up those dispatches with
their harrowing stories for hours
and days, until they were so old,
and so many new events had
crowded after the Tel Aviv raid,
that no newspapers would print
them.
One hears a good deal these
days about the internal menace to
democracy in its fight against fas
cism, of men in seats of power
who are not really believers in de
mocracy, not true defenders of
human rights. The Palestine Gov
ernment would be one likely place
to look for such men. The same
thing may be said to some degree
of colonial officialdom in other
territories of the British Empire,
but in the Holy Land it is particu
larly noticeable.
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SERVICE STATION
Telephones 2-1161 2-1162
3601 St. Johns Ave.
HARDAGE &
WILLIAMS
FUNERAL DIRECTORS
517 Park St. Phone 7-8615
THE SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY
"*'TOE BETTER WAY '
One of the senior officials of
the Palestine administration, who
has a direct responsibility and a j
large measure of control in the i
censorship, is a graduate of a Ger
man university who has many ties
and friendships in Germany. He
visited the Reich shortly before
the war, and on his return to Je
rusalem he remarked to me in an
unguarded moment:
“Os course the Nazis’ treatment
of the Jews is brutal and barbaric,
but after all they are right in some
of the things they say about
them.”
For a man charged with duties
of major importance in adminis
tering the country of the Jewish
homeland, this was bad enough in
peacetime; In war, it becomes a
positive menace.
Common knowledge in Palestine
is the attitude of the highest rank
ing official who told a Jewish
business man: “I don’t like to en
courage Jewish business because
that encourages Jewish labor, and
I don’t like to encourage Jewish
labor because that encourages
Jewish immigration, and I don’t
like to encourage Jewish immigra
tion because I don’t like Jews.”
That man, and others of his
stripe, still hold their posts in war
beleaguered Palestine. Their view- ■
point, at best, can hardly be con
sistent with readiness to struggle
to the death against Nazism; at
worst, it might produce actual
treachery. The handling of the
Palestinian censorship in the war
has unquestionably been such that
a good case could be made for the
thesis that it is helping the ene
my and not Britain. The same
thing can be said of the protec
tion of civilians against air raids,
particularly in view of the fact
that experience has shown that
reassuring arrangements to pre
vent panic are as essential an ele
ment of defense as guns and
planes.
The Churchill Government ap
parently has been making a real
effort to ferret out elements that
may undermine the united deter
mination of Britons to defend
their freedom and democracy. It
might not be a bad idea for them
to take a good, sharp look into
Palestine.
Herman
Jackson
DRY CLEANERS
1891 San Marco Blvd.
French Cleaners Furriers
Cold Storage
Phone 5-3353
FOR DELIVERY SERVICE
THE HILL
It was no accident that a tight
little group of men who were
among those protesting vigorous
ly against the conscription bill on
the Capitol steps—to be dispersed
by police—later held a meeting in
Franklin Park, and denounced the
Jews. They were Bundists down
from New York, instructed to aid
the “peace” groups.
Nothing much was said about
it during the debates on conscrip
tion, but a great deal of the mail
asking for swift passage of the
draft act came from young men
within the draft and voting
age, and from Congressional
“home districts.” The mail seek
ing to delay conscription mostly
originated in pressure groups.
For An Expert Job
Call . . .
S.C. REDDiCK
Electrical Contractor
1432 lonia St. Ph.s-1856
i
FRANK
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BUILDER
825 W. FORSYTH
PHONE 5-6109
ECONOMY
Dry Cleaners
and Shoe Repairers
LAUNDRY
Ph. 5-6882 1962 San Marco
“Quality that equals the best,
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Delicious hot and
cold Menus
2011 Pearl St. Phone 5-68*i
Miller Electric Co.
Exclusive Dealers for
Lightolier and Chase
Fixtures
556 Riverside Ave.
Phone 7-2104
Merck Drug Co.
223-25 Main at Monroe
Phone 5-3217 Open All Nlte
C. S. DUBS
Watchmaker and Jeweler
WE REPAIR JEWELRY
OF ANY KIND
734 W. Adams St. Ph. 5-6786
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BE SAFE! ORDER NOW!
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2425 SILVER STREET
PHONE 5-1894
Charlie Adams
Would simply love to dis
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Phone 5-7491 Barnett Bldg.
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1302 West Adams Street
PHONE 5-0725

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