Jerusalem (Jan. 2)
(By Our Jerusalem Correspondent, S. Schwartz)
A new list of the higher officials of the Palestine Government was issued here. The junior officials number several thousand, but these are of little consequence. It is the senior officials who are of importance to the country, the officials who are at the head of the Government and its various departments, who fashion the policy of Palestine, make laws and issue regulations.
According to the published lists of officials, there are 43 Jews among the total of 396 senior officials in the Palestine Government. In addition to these 396 there are 25 Moslem officials belonging to the Supreme Moslem Council. Of these 426 high officials in whose hands lies the administration of the Jewish National Home, the Jews therefore, constitute about 10 per cent.
Let us see how the Jewish officials are divided among the various Governmental Departments. There are departments in which there are no Jews. The Palestine army has 16 high officials, none of whom are Jews. These army officials are under the direct command of the High Commissioner and receive their salary from the Palestine Government. There are 27 Jews in the army, but they are privates. There are no Jews in the Department of the Country Courts, the Courts which have to deal with all cases which arise in connection with the purchase and sale of land, etc.
There are a number of Jews in the departments of Police, of Posts and Telegraphs, Railways, the Sanitary and Medical Department, and the Education Department. In each of these departments there are one or two Jews among the senior officials.
Of the “Administrative Officers”, who are the assistants of the Governors of the cities and towns, there are six Jews of the total of 48 senior officials. Of the 42 Judges in Palestine, seven are Jews. There are no Jews among the Justices of the Peace in Galilee, which includes Haifa, Tiberias and Safed. The Jewish population is compelled to go before Arab judges and to provide their own interpreters.
The high officials are sub-divided according to grades:–Grades I. II. III. IV, and V. The Grade I officials include one Jew, Norman Bentwich, the Attorney-General of Palestine. In Grade II, there are no Jewish officials. There are some Jews in Grade III, and the majority of the Jewish officials are in Grades IV and V. It is not merely a question of prestige; it is a question of a larger salary and of greater influence. Five years ago in 1921, there were in the Palestine Government 360 senior officials, including 50 Jews, or 14 percent of Jews as against 10 percent today.