Hope despite the crisis is the marked characteristic of present day Jewish life in Palestine, according to M. A. Zeldin, director of the New York City United Palestine Appeal, who just returned from Palestine.
“When one travels through Europe and visits Palestine afterwards, he sees that almost the whole of Europe is living on its past. One can hardly see, in the big cities, any new constructions outside of hotels. You do not feel any striving for the future. When you enter Palestine, you feel that although the real development began only about seven or eight years ago, the country is growing from hour to hour. New buildings are springing up everywhere and in spite of the hardships that many of the Jews living in the cities and towns are enduring, they are full of hope for the future and everybody is striving to have something of his own in the country,” Mr. Zeldin stated.
“There is really a heavy crisis now in some of the cities, especially in Tel-Aviv. This is mainly due to the fact that the Polish Jews that immigrated into Palestine within the last two years invested all they brought with them in buildings, and were left penniless. Their funds which were left in Poland, with the hope of bringing them into Palestine later in order to establish some industry, have lost value on account of the drop of the Polish Zloty. Many of the well-to-do Jews of Poland who prepared themselves to migrate into Palestine, lost all they possessed and were not able to fulfill their wish. Therefore, the present immigration into Palestine consists mainly of Chalutzim, workingmen ready for any sacrifice, but without anything of their own. The Zionist Organization has a serious problem to solve as to how to decrease the number of unemployed,” he said.
“The old colonies are much more prosperous this year than ever on account of the fine development of the crop in the vineyards and orchards. The ‘kvutzoth’ and ‘moshovim’ are also in a better position now than they were before. But here, too, if the Keren Hayesod would have more money, it would enable the Zionist Organization to settle many on land which the National Fund has in its possession and is not being developed as yet.
“There is some dissatisfaction in Jewish circles in Palestine concerning the Government’s policy, but on the whole, they do not pay very much attention to the political situation. Every Jew in Palestine feels that nothing can stop them from their work and the only thing that bothers them is the financial and economic means which must be provided to secure the settlements that are established and, what is more important, to create new settlements and to increase the Jewish immigration into Palestine,” Mr. Zeldin declared.