13 AUGUST 1948, Page 15

SIR,—Your correspondent, "Middle East Observer," highlights one of the most

unfair aspects of the Palestine problem—the driving away of Arabs from their own land. A friend of mine, recently returned from this area, confirms everything that your correspondent writes. He points out . that the Jewish Agency has steadfastly refused to allow any Arab to work on Jewish land, thus depriving the refugees of any chance to earn a living. One thing that impressed my friend very forcibly was the utter ruthlessness displayed by the Israeli authorities towards the Arab minorities. One Jewish Agency spokesman just tapped his revolver when my acquaintance asked him how the Israeli State would deal with any Arab pockets of population should the Zionists obtain the upper hand in the dispute. Asked if he did not consider the massacre of Arab women and children at Deir Yassin a shameful episode, this spokesman only laughed and said that such things were the price that the Arabs must pay for obstructing the new Zion in the "fulfilment of its ordained destiny."

That fear of massacre is very prevalent amidst the Arab villagers, my friend tells me, can be seen from the way in which they run in terror from any strange party approaching their villages. In company with several other Britons, my informant drove up to a village and the result was a frantic flight of all the inhabitants. When finally reassured, they explained that they had mistaken the party for a Zionist raiding party. A village only a few miles away, they said, had lately been burned to the ground with loss of many lives. Although it is hard to form a clear picture of the position in Palestine from the conflicting newspaper reports appearing in the world's Press, one cannot help noticing how almost every person who has had the opportunity of visiting the Middle East and of judging first-hand for himself seems to support the Arab case.—