Open Wide Palestine Doors, Morris Rothenberg Pleads in Report to Zionist Executive

a satisfactory growth of the Jewish population in the national home. The soundness of the formula that immigration must proceed in consonance with the absorptive capacity of the country is not to be challenged. But the formula that immigration should be guided by the absorptive capacity of the country is sound only if adopted in a positive sense.

“The time has come for giving a new interpretation to that formula. Hitherto the phrase has been employed in a negative sense, and was so used as to constrict the Jewish National Home. That an absorptive capacity is itself promoted by immigration is proved by the experience of the last few years. The satisfactory economic condition in Palestine is factually in large measure the result of Jewish immigration. Of course there will be those who may be expected to show opposition to an increased immigration, but they will object under all circumstances. We have a right to expect that the Mandatory Power will not be deflected from pursuing a policy proven to promote the best interests of the country.

“Aside from the fact that a homeless people whose tragic lot has been accentuated by a new calamity, is knocking at the door of the ancient land internationally recognized as its rightful home, it should not be overlooked that the expansion of Palestine has in every manner benefitted the Arabs as well. Apart from the benefits which they are enjoying as a result of the economic growth of Palestine, Jews are paying directly to the Arabs in wages, rentals, and purchase of agricultural products over £500,000 more than received from them in a similar way.

FEARS INCOME TAX

“There is much still to be achieved in improving the Government’s attitude in connection with school work, the health service, employment of Jewish labor in public works. The question of taxation also rouses considerable concern. The proposal of an income tax by the Government can only mean a check to the inflow of capital, and seems wholly unwarranted at a time when the Government has a large surplus in its treasury.

“The expressed intention of the High Commissioner to proceed with the organization of a Legislative Council gives cause for serious anxiety. While details are not yet available either as regards allocation of the seats on the Council or as to the functions and powers of the Council, it is known that plans for the Council are under consideration. We cannot possibly agree to a constitutional change which in practice would give the Arabs the power of obstructing the execution of the Mandate. While the Government offers to guarantee the continued work and progress in the country, yet apart from the question of the practical value of such a guarantee, a Legislative Council under present conditions could only result in placing the Jews in Palestine in a position of a political minority. This would strike against the very heart of our fundamental rights and status under the Mandate, and must be vigorously resisted.”

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