Stern GangClick here to view the original article.

By MORLEY CASSIDY North American Newspaper Alliance

TEL AVIV, June 10 (By Wireless)-Announcement by the underground Stern Group-“The Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”-that it does not regard itself bound to respect the Palestine truce has been received with dread by most responsible Jews here. They point out that if the Stern Group defies the United Nations’ cease-fire order it may be rendered completely ineffective.

However, this possibility doesn’t worry a Stern Group spokesman with whom I had an exclusive interview. When I suggested that the Arab states would certainly seize on actively by his organization as breaking the Jewish agreement, he asked coldly-

“What have the Arab states to do with Palestine?

“We are fighting,” he said, “for the liberation of all Palestine-Palestine Arabs as well as Jews-from foreign domination.

“We have pledged support to the government of Israel,” he continued, “But the government of Israel is no more responsible for our activities outside the boundaries of Israel than for the acts of individual Jews in America.”

I asked him how he squared the Stern Group’s pledged support of the Israel government with his declaration that the group wouldn’t be bound by a cease-fire order “anywhere, any time.”

His face relaxed into a faint smile.

“The boundaries of the state of Israel,” he said “have never been exactly determined.”

The interview reflected sharply the secrecy still cloaking the Stern Group, which still is fighting its own underground war for what it regards as the only “true” solution of Palestine’s problems.

It is fighting a war in which it chooses its own tactics, weapons and roads, asking no advice of Jews within the government of Israel or in the United States.

I had requested an interview a week ago through contacts here, and after several days a very pretty young lady called on me and said she understood that I was interested in learning about “our movement,” which was never once mentioned by name.

This morning she came, with a driver, and took me to an apartment in an upper-class building. There I was greeted pleasantly but without introductions, which are unthinkable in the under ground-by a stocky, square faced man in brown trousers, blue work shirt open at the throat, and a face which at a guess one might say was Slavic.

With him was an intense young man to interpret.

There was nothing in the appearance of the spokesman to suggest that he was a leading figure in a group that has coolly acknowledged that it “executed” Lord Moyne and many other political enemies and has made studies of the techniques of bombing and assassination.

He smiled only once-when I asked him about reports that his movement was financed by Russia. This he declared was utterly without foundation, although it was quite true, he said, that the Stern Group long ago decided that Russia was its natural ally as it hopes America will be, also.

An intensely earnest man, he anxiously tried to correct what he termed a false picture created by stories of his organization’s activities.

“True, we’ve been responsible for many bombings and many killings-of enemies, of course,” he said. “Many of the stories about us are true, but they’re all wrong in the way they’ve been presented.”

The true aims of the fighters for freedom of Israel, he said, are very simple, based on three main objectives-

First, complete freedom for all of Palestine (by which he explained that he meant to include that part of Palestine now ruled by King Abdullah and known as Trans-Jordan).

Second, complete freedom for all the peoples of Middle Eastern countries.

Third, creation through these free peoples of a great neutral bloc in the Middle East, free of domination by foreign imperialism-by which he made plain that he referred chiefly to British imperialism and imperialism of “certain elements” in the United States.

He was vehement in denouncing the partition scheme that creates a split in the Jewish-Arab economy.

“One of the first principles of our movement,” he said, “is that the Arabs and Jews must be unified territorially, not on a racial basis. We must liquidate the split in economy between the two and assure complete national rights for Arabs as well as Jews.”

Granting national rights to the Arabs would, he declared, include voting.

“Our program is not intended for the present,” he said. “It is intended for the day when full liberation is realized on both sides of the Jordan. Then Jews in masses-millious of them-will stream in, and the question of an Arab majority will no longer exist.”

Americans who want to see peace in Palestine, he declared repeatedly, should hearken to the policies of Henry Wallace. Told that even many Jews in Palestine are charging that his group has been supported in the last year by Russian contributions and in this time has changed its policies to support the Soviets, he laughed and denied vigorously that the policy was ever changed.

“Our funds,” he said, “come from two sources-contributions and confiscations.”

The last sizable “confiscation,” he said, was the seizure of nearly $1,000,000 from Barclay’s Bank here in what ordinary people called a robbery.

Foreign policies that waver

Win us hardly any favor.