PALESTINE: Three- Way Compromise

In Jerusalem, holy city of Jew, Moslem and Christian, every political skirmish leaves a wide-open wound. A talent for healing is a prime requisite for the job of the British High Commissioner.

Back in August 1943, Jerusalem's Arab mayor, Mustapha Bey Khalidi, died in office. Jewish Councillor Daniel Auster automatically became acting mayor, pending a permanent appointment. Jews, constituting two-thirds of the city's population and taxpayers, demanded that Auster be confirmed. Arabs demanded that another Arab succeed the late lamented mayor.

For 19 uneasy months the High Commissioner pondered the possibilities. Last week Lord Gort came up with a three-way compromise: he...

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