P. 123

The hunger strikers in Jerusalem convened on Sunday to decide how to proceed. They unanimously decided that the strike would continue until official approval would be received from the British Government for the Aliya of the immigrants in La Spezia. Afterwards, they greeted the Chief Sephardi Rabbi, the Rishon LeZion Rabbi Ben-Zion Hai Uziel. He spoke with them at the end of the medical examination they underwent and encouraged them. The question how they must act on the following night, the Seder Night, arose in the conversation. The rabbi expressed his opinion, which was also shared by his counterpart the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog, that the Seder Night supersedes a strike, which can be resumed after the end of the holiday. The hunger strikers said they would review his proposal.
And in the meantime, delegations from every corner of the Land of Israel arrived individually or in groups to the National Institutions Building in Jerusalem, with a single request: To meet the hunger strikers, shake their hands and strengthen then. Due to the pressure, only some delegations were allowed to enter the building, and the great square at its front was regularly filled during those days with many hundreds of youths and adults who sang national and Aliya songs and at times danced the hora.
Special treatment was granted to Hanna Rovina, the "First Lady of Hebrew Theatre", and she was invited to speak with the hunger strikers. She dedicated more of her time to a conversation with the three hunger striking women: Golda Meyerson, Elisheva Vurman-Sanfer and Yehudit Simhonit.
The "HaBoker" Newspaper described the parade of delegations, reported on some of them and summarized: "countless delegations are coming up to Jerusalem."
At the time, nearly a year after the end of the war, there were still thousands of Jews from the Land of Israel who served in the British Army. Among the many telegrams that were delivered to the hunger strikers in Jerusalem was also the telegram of the Land of Israel soldiers who served in Egypt:
The Jewish solders here received the news from Jerusalem with great excitement. We are proud of the stance taken by the Yishuv and its leaders, send you blessings of encouragement and strength, and stand ready for any call, until victory.
On that day, April 14, the 13 hunger strikers were joined by two others, and the list was finally closed. These were Yisrael Gurfinkel, of the leaders of Mapai and a Member of the Tel Aviv City Council (the father of the poet Haim Gouri), and Dr. Yitzhak Verfel-Rafael, one of the young members of the Hapoel HaMizrachi Party and later a minister in the Government of Israel.
Sunday evening, the Jewish National Council published an announcement: "The status of all the hunger strikers is good, although some of them are weak. Some of the fasters, primarily the female fasters, received bouquets of flowers from individuals and entities, along with blessings of encouragement. They thank all their well-wishers."

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