Jerusalem Jewish Council says Jews will not Pay Taxes Unless Money will be Used For Jewish Projects
Jerusalem, (JTA). — The Jewish community council here declared this week that Jews would not pay taxes to the municipal government until they were satisfied that the money would be used for Jewish projects while Daniel Auster, former Jewish mayor of the city, said that the Jews would take care of their section of separate municipal councils were formed and each body was permitted to spend its funds on improvements for its own people.…
That was shortly before Israeli independence, but tax resistance in British-occupied Palestine went on for decades before then. Here’s an example from the Montreal Gazette:
Jews in Palestine Decree Tax Strike
Decision Is Taken in Protest Against New U.K. White Paper
By Joseph M. Levy.
(Wireless to The New York TImes and The Gazette.)
Jerusalem, .— Lieut. Gen. Robert H. Haining, commander of the British forces in Palestine, invited the heads of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the National Council of Palestine Jewry and the Jewish Communal Council to his headquarters here this morning and warned them that he intended to enforce order and would make no exceptions. General Haining added that, while he appreciated the three years of restraint on the part of Jews, he would suppress violence unflinchingly.
The first move in the Jewish non-co-operation movement against the Government in protest at the new British policy was a decision of the Landlords Association, composed of rural and urban property owners, to refuse to pay taxes, beginning , until the White Paper had been repealed.
Despite all stringent measures taken to prevent illegal immigration into Palestine, 300 Jews succeded in landing clandestinely near Ashkalon, Southern Palestine, but were apprehended by British troops and taken to Tel Aviv for detention.
In contrast with ’s turbulence in this Holy City, there was quiet , although considerable tension still exists. As a result of the violence , when a mob of Jews attempted to raid the district commissioner’s office, smashed windows of an English shop and a German restaurant and engaged in fighting in which a British constable was killed and more than 100 Jews were wounded, the military took far greater precautions to prevent further bloodshed.
All Government offices were heavily guarded, various parts of the city were barricaded, and soldiers manned machine guns for action. Only incident was when several Jewish youths penetrated a branch post office in the Jewish quarter of Mahne Yehuda here and broke window panes and furniture.
Three British police sergeants and two constables, who annoyed the Tel Aviv public, it is charged, by wearing helmets marked with swastikas and by shouting “Heil Hitler,” were relieved of duty today pending disciplinary proceedings.
The “White Paper” policy, which, among other things, prevented Jewish evacuation into Palestine during the Holocaust, was not repealed until Israel won its independence in .
Tax resistance was practiced both by Jews and by others in Palestine against the British occupation. In at least one case, in , there was a sympathy tax strike in England itself:
In , Josiah Wedgewood counseled Jews to maintain a civil disobedience campaign in order to win Palestine: “Jews must find it respectable to go to prison; men and women must be prepared to die; to refuse to pay the property tax, see their goods sold; to occupy land and resist eviction…”
In the all-Jewish coastal city of Tel Aviv a high Jewish source who declined to be quoted by name said meetings were called throughout Palestine Sunday to consider a “passive resistance movement” similar to those undertaken by nationalists in India.
A decision would be taken “as to the best method by which Palestine’s Jewish community can demonstrate to the British they will have to arrest tens of thousands of us if the government thinks we are accepting quietly everything it wants to put on us,” he said.
Passive resistance would include nonpayment of taxes, a strike by Jews in government service and “in all ways complete non-cooperation with the British,” this source said.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Palestine Tax Office Bombed
Building Leveled By Terrific Blast
Jerusalem, — (AP) — The Palestine Income Tax Building was leveled this afternoon by a terrific explosion from a bomb-laden cart which Palestine police said was placed by Jews.
One person, a Jewish constable, was killed. Five persons — a British Army captain and lance corporal, a British police sergeant and an Arab policeman — were injured. Windows were shattered within a radius of three blocks.
All employes had been evacuated from the building following a telephone warning 10 minutes before the blast.
Police said three Jews, one dressed as an Arab, pushed a bomb-laden, Arab-type delivery cart into the building and fled, after clubbing a Jewish policeman and snatching a rifle from an Arab guard.
Police tried to drag the cart from the building, but the rope parted. They said they then detonated the bomb with rifle fire, but “miscalculated the charge.”
Only the best and brightest in the Palestine police force, I see. Another tax office was bombed in Mount Carmel in .
Tel Aviv police reported… that a young Jew and Jewish girl claiming to represent the Stern Gang, a small Jewish underground unit, had delivered an ultimatum personally to 18 Jewish officials of the Palestine Income Tax Department to resign within 96 hours or face drastic consequences. Special guards were assigned immediately to the 18 officials.
The attempt to bring about the large-scale resignations was viewed by authorities as another step in the Stern Gang’s announced policy of sponsoring non-payment of taxes by Palestine’s Jews.
Another report on the same incident clarifies that the two Jews, “described as Yemenites, visited the homes of the tax officials Thursday night to deliver the warnings.”
Jews Ask Boycott Against British
Underground Group Protests Refugee Order
Jerusalem, — (AP) — Irgun Zvai Leumi, militant Jewish underground group, exhorted Jews throughout the world today to “hit Britain economically without mercy” in protest against the trans-shipment of 4,400 Jewish refugees to Germany.
In a broadcast denouncing British treatment of the refugees, who were intercepted in mid-July while trying to enter Palestine illegally aboard the Exodus of , a former Chesapeake Bay steamer, Irgun declared:
“You can stop the cruel British machine forever. Do not pay your tax money, do not obey their orders. Do not obey their laws. Boycott, boycott, boycott until the end.
“Jews of the whole world can bring great harm to our enemy. Britain is in economic trouble. They can be hit economically without mercy.”
The Irgun broadcaster also urged Jews to ignore appeals for a hunger strike today to protest treatment accorded the refugees.
“This is no time for fasting,” the broadcast said. “It is now time for war.”