That night I had a long talk with my brother. There was no doubt whatever in his mind that I should try to leave the country, while I, on the contrary, could not bear to think of deserting my people at the crisis of their fortunes. It was a beautiful night, such a night, I think, as only Palestine can show, a white, serene, moon-bathed night. The roar of the Mediterranean came out of the stillness as if to remind us that help and salvation could come only from the sea, the sea upon which scores of the warships of the Allies were sailing back and forth. We had argued into the small hours before I yielded to his persuasion.
[ILLUSTRATION: THE BAZAAR OF JAFFA ON A MARKET DAY]
A RASH ADVENTURE
It was all very well to decide to leave the country; to get safely away was a different matter. There were two ways out. One of these—the land route by Constantinople—could not be considered. The other way was to board one of the American cruisers which, by order of Ambassador Morgenthau, were empowered to assist citizens of neutral countries to leave the Ottoman Empire. These cruisers had already done wonderful rescue work for the Russian Jews in Palestine, who, when war was declared, were to have been sent to the Mesopotamian town of Urfa—there to suffer massacre and outrage like the Armenians. This was prevented by Mr. Morgenthau’s strenuous representations, with the result that these Russian Jews were gathered together as in a great drag-net and herded to Jaffa, amidst suffering unspeakable. There they were met by the American cruisers which were to transport them to Egypt. Up to the very moment when they set foot on the friendly warships they were robbed and horribly abused by the Jaffa boatmen. The eternal curse of the Wandering Jew! Driven from Russia, they come to seek shelter in Turkey; Turkey then casts them from her under pretext that they are loyal to Russia. Truly, the Jew lifts his eyes to the mountains, asking the ancient and still unanswered question, “Whence shall come my help?”
The Turkish Government later repented of its leniency in allowing these Russian Jews to escape, and gave orders that only neutrals should leave the country—and then only under certain conditions. I was not a neutral; my first papers of American citizenship were valueless to further my escape. I had heard, however, that the United States cruiser Tennessee was to call at Jaffa, and I determined to get aboard her by hook or by crook. One evening, as soon as darkness had fallen, I bade a sorrowful farewell to my people, and set off for Jaffa, traveling only by night and taking out-of-the-way paths to avoid the pickets, for now that the locust campaign was over, my boyouroulton was useless. At dawn, two days later, I slipped into Jaffa by way of the sand-dunes and went to the house of a friend whom I could trust to help me in every possible way, and