The fighting that began between Jews and Arabs at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall (TIME, Aug. 26) spread last week throughout Palestine, then inflamed fierce tribesmen of the Moslem countries which face the Holy Land (see map).
Sacked and burned by fleet-riding Arabs was the ancient town of Safed, for centuries a seat of mystical Jewish learning. The Moslem version of the affray could not be learned, but Jews told of fleeing headlong through the streets, dodging into houses, making what resistance they could while the Arabs battered down doors, put bullets indiscriminately among the Jews and ended by igniting the town. As at Hebron, where eight U. S. Rabbinical students were killed (TIME, Sept. 2), reports from Safed stressed such accusations as "pillage," "butchery," "rape." Most of the Jews involved were again claimed to have had "no weapons except their household furniture." The Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum plant at Safed was reported burnt out, gutted. Despatches estimated Jewish dead at 22, mentioned no Moslem casualties.
Sporadic clashes continuing at Haifa, Hebron and in Jerusalem itself, rolled up an estimated total of 196 dead for all Palestine. A known total of 305 wounded lay in hospitals. Speeding from England in a battleship the British High Commissioner to Palestine, handsome, brusque Sir John Chancellor, landed at Haifa, hurried to Jerusalem and sought to calm the general alarm by announcing that His Majesty's Government were rushing more troops by sea from Malta and by land from Egypt, would soon control the situation.
Before the week was out 5,000 British troops commanded by Brigadier General William George Shedden Dobbie were in Palestine, mightfully striving to restore order and protect not only the large cities but such strategic towns as El Abadiyeh and Jur-el-Mujami (see map), twin sites of the chief generating stations of the Palestine Power Trust, founded and managed by famed, dynamic Zionist Pincus Rutenberg (TIME, Mar. 4). Neither bristling, florid, militant General Dobbie nor the cold, curt High Commissioner made the smallest vestige of an answer to the week's most vital question: Why were not adequate British forces rushed to Palestine three weeks ago when the Wailing Wall riots unmistakably threatened the nationwide Jew-Arab clashes which inevitably followed?
Tycoons Rush Help. Moslems outnumber Jews 13 to 1. That is, there are more than 209 million Mohammedans on earth and slightly less than 16 million Children of Israel. In Palestine there are 591,000 Moslems and only 150,000 Jews, of whom some 2,000 are from the U. S. Last week Jews all over the world rallied to aid their outnumbered brethren in the Holy Land.