The advances in Palestine since the Arab riots of 1929 are unbelievable and the tempo of development may be compared to that of the United States at its peak, according to Mrs. Irma Lindheim, prominent Zionist, and former head of the Hadassah organization of America, who has just returned to the United States from her fifth visit to Palestine in the last seven years.
In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency representative yesterday, Mrs. Lindheim stated the real Palestine has not yet penerated to the Diaspora, that it is now essential for America to go to Palestine.
Palestine no longer represents a philanthropic undertaking. It offers both investment opportunities and spiritual opportunities exceeded nowhere else in the world, she said.
Because Palestinians have been living on a deflated scale, this present advance has become possible.
There can be seen in Palestine today, according to Mrs. Lindheim, one of the most significant social developments in modern civilization. Responsible for this is the Histadruth, Palestine Labor Federation, she says.
Mrs. Lindheim, who spent six weeks in Palestine surveying the work of the Histadruth, has returned here so deeply impressed that she will undertake the formation of Leagues for Palestine Labor in the United States.
Mrs. Lindheim will seek to create an undertaking in this country of the work of the Histadruth and to secure financial and moral support for the work of the organization in Palestine.
One of her chief interests, she said, is the establishment of a Labor Seminar in Palestine for the purpose of acquainting Americans and others outside of Palestine with the situation in the Holy Land. Indeed, Mrs. Lindheim has gone so far as to purchase land in Palestine where she hopes to establish facilities for the Seminar which, would, as she envisions it, be conducted on a three months rotary basis.
The Histadruth in Palestine has a membership in Palestine of 30,000 and is the leading progressive force in the country, she stated. The Histadruth in addition to the purely labor aspects of its works which has included the development of a co-operative marketing system has helped to bring about the development of the individual while it has strengthened the collective, she points out.
The Histadruth has its own system of schools where in addition to the usual education for children, special courses in vocational training are offered. It has tamed the “wild youth” of Palestine; it is responsible for the change in the child labor legislation; it conducts a bank; maintains two convalescent homes; is organizing the working mothers.
The Histadruth further is conducting adult education work. To the outlying districts it sends visiting lecturers; circulating libraries; travelling seminars.
In this year of the world depression the Histadruth Workers Bank is able to pay dividends for the first time in five years.
The Histadruth too is helping to bring about the unionization of the Arabs and in this manner is promoting good will.
The Palestine High Commissioner, Mrs. Lindheim said, is giving strong and intelligent direction to the country.
Among thinking people, both Arabs and Jews, the conviction is that both the Jews and the Arabs are here to stay and that Palestine must be made the common denominator.
Mrs. Lindheim remarked on the marked impetus given to building in Palestine and emphasized the great opportunities for middle class settlers as well as chalutzim.
She also pointed to the remarkable advances in the fruit development in Palestine which she says now is on a par with that of any tropical country.
She plans a coast to coast tour in the winter in the interests of the Histadruth, and hopes to return to Palestine in the spring.