New York Post


Sportsmanship Lacking, Too

The British Wind Up in Palestine by Helping
Goliath Against the Defender, David


On the 17th of this month the United Press received and made public a cable from its correspondent in Amman, Trans-Jordan, which reported his interview with King Abdullah. The King said that his Arab Legion would be used to fight the Palestinian Jews. He said that he would quickly throw his Legion into the fighting and added that “in the future there will be real battles.”

“Abdullah’s British-trained British-officered, British-equipped. Arab Legion of about 20,000 men is the most powerful striking force in the Arab world,” noted the correspondent.

Three days later, on the 20th of this month, the United Press correspondent in Jerusalem cabled from there: “Large Arab Legion units—with armored cars equipped with 2-inch guns—entered the huge British Alamein camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem today, reportedly replacing British troops.” Only a few minutes after the British troops had left the camp, the Arab Legion, led by British officers, entered Jerusalem from Trans-Jordan. “The Alamein camp,” continues the cable, “is the largest in the Jerusalem area. It is reported to have immense stores of arms and ammunition, said to have been left intact for the Arab Legion.”

Then came confused reports that the British would let the Arab Legion return to Trans-Jordan before May 15, the day the mandate ends; and other reports that on that day, May l5th, the British officers would leave the Legion stationed in Palestine. The impression is left that the British are preparing another breach of faith.

The outrageous act of bringing the Arab Legion of Abdullah into Jerusalem “for policing duties” a few days after Abdullah had declared that his Legion would fight the Jews in Palestine is probably unequaled in the annals of hypocrisy. Not only did the British fail to prevent the arrival of Arab bands from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, although at the same time preventing Jewish immigrants, languishing in Cyprus behind barbed wire, from coming to Palestine; not only did they arm these bands by sending weapons to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq; but now the British themselves bring the Arab Legion from Trans-Jordan into Palestine and give them the military supplies of the mandatory power, and do this immediately after Abdullah has declared that his Legion will fight the Jews in Palestine.

* * *

It the British Government does not immediately order the removal of the Legion of Abdullah back to Trans-Jordan, then it crowns beautifully its history of governing Palestine, and the trust to create there a Jewish National Home. Then they prove themselves not builders, but deliberate wreckers.

The fact that the United Nations Commission has been denied admission to Palestine until May 1, when everything will already be in chaos, when the British will have finished burning their archives, and when it will be impossible for any commission to take up the threads of administration in Jerusalem or in any other area, speaks for itself.

This most recent act of the British Government demonstrates not only that their politics are unfair, but that they do not know what fair play is nor what sportsmanship is. In Palestine there are twice as many Arabs as Jews (so the British say). Since the Arabs refused to submit to the judgment of the United Nations and preferred to act by force, and the United Nations was slow to implement their decision, then let the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine decide between themselves by resorting to arms.

* * *

The Jews have been denied arms by the United States embargo and the British control of import; the Arabs have been supplied weapons by the British via the neighboring Arab states. Arabs from the surrounding countries have been allowed to enter Palestine, though it is possible to keep them out. (During the disturbances of 1936-38, when Gen. Wauchope was High Commissioner in Palestine, an electrically charged fence was erected on the Palestine-Syria border, and no Arab bands could come in.) But Jews are barred. Now that seven Arab countries have united their forces to fight the Jews in Palestine, the British bring the Arab Legion into Jerusalem. Is this sportsmanship?

This Legion is equipped with American money—from the taxes you pay—since the British Treasury draws steadily from the American Treasury.

The British are wagering on Goliath, the giant who failed them in World War II. Today the shield of David is fastened over Haifa, the city of the harbor and the pipeline terminal. The British are foolish at this late hour to bet on Goliath, rather than on David, who keeps faith to those who are faithful to him.