London (Sep. 4)
Despite the extraordinarily severe economic crisis by which the Jews in all countries have been affected, the Jewish Agency considers it to be its duty in this time of distress to address the following earnest message on the situation in Palestine to the Jewish public, confident that it will receive a sympathetic response, says an appeal issued here to-day by the Excutive of the Jewish Agency, over the signatures of Mr. Nahum Sokolov, President of the Jewish Agency, Mr. d’Avigdor Goldsmid, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Council, and Dr. Arlosoroff, Dr. Berkson, Dr. Brodetsky, ex-Deputy Farbstein, Dr. M. B. Hexter, Dr. Bernhard Kahn, Mr. Berl Locker, Mr. Emanuel Neumann, and Mr. Werner Senator, the members of the Jewish Agency Executive. (Mr. Harry Viteles, who, it was stated in a recent J.T.A. message from Jerusalem, has been unable to accept his election as a member of the Executive, is not included).
The positions in Eretz Israel that we have built up with such difficulty, the appeal goes on, have lately become exposed to serious danger in consequence of the failure of our normal financial receipts, and compel us to appeal to world Jewry to make a sacrifice for Palestine by contributing to an emergency collection. Nothing is further from our intentions than to misrepresent the character of Jewish achievements in Eretz Israel by emphasing the gravity of the present moment. The work of reconstruction in Palestine has made steady advances until quite recently. Even at a time of economic catastrophes in the whole world, at a time when Jewry in all the lands of the Diaspora is suffering serious economic losses, the will of the Palestinian Yishub to build has performed great things in the economic and cultural spheres, despite political difficulties.
In agriculture, the consolidation of our settlements has progressed. Another final effort is necessary in order to make these colonies, in which the experiences of a long period of reconstruction find expression, entirely independent.
In the Coastal Plain, the centre of orange cultivation, Jewish ownership is extending more and more. The rooting of the Jew to the soil, the return of the Jew to agriculture, is now an accomplished fact. Hand in hand with this, urban settlement has also developed. Supported by the requirements of the agricultural hinterland and also by the economic development of the Near East, there is growing up a young industry full of promise, which is beginning to acquire markets both at home and abroad. Large prospects are opening up for the future. The construction of the harbour and the projected pipe line, as well as the new railway connections with Iraq and with Syria, will place Palestine in the centre of development in the Near East.
The Yishub has become strengthened from year to year and is preparing to take upon its own shoulders the burden of its social welfare and educational work, with which it will serve not only itself, but the Jewish world as a whole.
All this-the achievement of endless endeavours and heroic sacrifices – is now in extreme danger. The great historical task of the Jewish Agency is to-day severely threatened, because the material contributions for Palestine of certain Jewish communities, affected by the critical conditions in the countries concerned, have declined in recent months to a catastrophic degree, and caused a gaping breach in the finances needed for our plan of construction. Thus our work in Palestine may be thrown back for years, whilst it is just these years that are of decisive importance and demand a redoubling of our energies.
Despite all sacrifices already made, the position of our colonies and villages is still very serious. Little is needed in order to make our settlements economically independent. But if we do not succeed in raising the necessary means almost immediately, then important points which to-day are still in the course of development will be faced with the danger of decay and collapse. Immigration into Palestine, which we have been demanding incessantly and which is of such far-reaching importance for the Jewish masses, would have to cease for lack of means. Our educational work, the strongest bulwark of a new Jewish youth and an indispensable prerequisite for the revival of the Hebrew language, would be brought to a standstill.
The Executive of the Jewish Agency, therefore, while fully appreciating the serious position of every individual, addresses a solemn appeal to the Jewish world in this grave hour to secure our economic and cultural position in Eretz Israel by making an extraordinary sacrifice. The Jewish Agency needs up to the end of September, apart from the regular income of the Keren Hayesod, a minimum amount of Â£100,000. This sum can suffice, although with great difficulty, to bridge over the unusually dangerous situation which at present faces the work in Palestine. Fellow-Jews, we expect that everybody, mindful of what is at stake, will immediately respond to our appeal. Many tens of thousands of Jewish men and women have devoted their lives to the reconstruction of Palestine. Success. almost crowns an achievement which fills us with pride and which should evoke from a progressive world acknowledgment and admiration. This historic work of reconstruction should be maintained and continued in order to ensure our existence and our future. Upon you and your willingness to make a sacrifice will depend progress or stagnation. In this hour of serious trial, we call to you: Let every Jew fulfil his duty to the Jewish National Home which is being rebuilt Let nobody refrain from giving his contribution in the emergency campaign for Palestine.