Jerusalem (Feb. 4)
After fifteen months in Palestine, Israel Yaroshevsky, 36 years of age, has been ordered to be deported to Poland, and to pay fine of Â£20 for having remained illegally in the country. Yaroshevsky’s story has been taken up by the newspapers and given considerable prominence, apparently with the idea of directing attention to certain unreasonable features in the Palestine Immigration Law and the hardships inflicted by immigration officers insisting on the letter of the law.
Yaroshevsky arrived in Palestine in October, 1929, on a tourist visa, accompanying his parents who were joining another son, an owner of property, including an orange grove, in Magdiel. Six weeks after his arrival, Yaroshevaky was offered by the village council of Ain Hai a concession for a general store for a period of two years. The tourist, who had by that time decided to remain permanently, accepted the offer and invested some Â£500 in the business, at the same time applying for permission to change his status from that of tourist to immigrant. Attached to his application was the agreement with the village council, which in due course was investigated by an Immigration Officer, who took from Yaroshevsky the Â£1 per capita tax which all immigrants must pay and from which tourists are exempt.
Yaroshevsky had reason to believe that by this act the Government, at least preliminarily, had agreed to his remaining in the country. To his astonishment, he was informed three months later that his application had been rejected. He then turned to the Zionist authorities for intervention, furnished a balance sheet and other documents, and confident that there had been some official slip. he continued to carry on his business.
In May was notified that permission to remain had been refused, and that he must leave the country not later than June 9th. Yaroshevsky thereupon appealed to the highest tribunal, to the High Commissioner himself. He was again asked to furnish proof that he was in possession of capital, which he did, showing his deposit at a bank amounting to Â£400. He then received a communication ordering him to show that he had property of Â£1,000 in cash. This he could not do, and he was subsequently arrested, tried, fined, and ordered to be deported.
Yaroshevsky has incidentally received letters from Poland from which it is learned that the British Immigration Officer in Warsaw has reproached the Palestine Office of the Zionist Organisation for applying for a tourist visa for a man “whose intention to remain in Palestine was clear from the beginning”.
There are scores of Jewish tourists whose subsequent application to be allowed to remain as settlers and be recognised as immigrants though they came as tourists, has been approved – in fact in the lean months of immigration, this type of traveller makes a very substantial percentage of the Jewish immigration into Palestine. It is possible that the Director of Immigration may have picked on Yaroshevsky in order to make an example of him with a view to frightening off other prospective immigrants coming into the country in a similar way. The Yishub is very much concerned, however, at the state of affairs revealed by the Yaroshevsky case.