Additional testimony to the remarkable improvements in the economic condition of Palestine has been given by Harry Fischel, real estate operator, Zionist and philanthropist, who, with Mrs. Fischel recently returned from their fifth trip. They first visited Palestine when it was under Turkish rule, in 1910; again in 1921, for the third time in 1923 and for the fourth in 1927.
“Prosperity is noticed everywhere,” declares Mr. Fischel in his comment on Palestine. “Business is booming. Every industry has made great progress. New industries have sprung up. Large factories have been erected, as well as large office buildings in order to provide office space for the thousands of people who are interested in the various business enterprises for export and import. Even new bank buildings have been erected almost equal in style and beauty to those in the large cities in America.
“The building industry has grown beyond all expectations, and wages have increased considerably. In spite of the large immigration, no unemployment exists in the large cities, such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and especially in Haifa, which city has grown many fold during the last six years, on account of being the largest port of the Near East to be constructed there. The building trade is controlled by the Jews and very little Arab labor is employed in the building industry.
“Agriculture has also made unusual progress. The citron industry, consisting of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and esrogim, and last, but not least, the wine industry, have grown to a great extent in this short period, surpassing the anticipations of everyone. The orange industry especially is increasing many fold every year.
“During the year 1933, 4,500,000 cases have been exported and shipped to many parts of the world, and even to Canada.
“Refrigeration plants and packing houses have been established on a large scale.
“Many banks have been organized with large capital and are offering liberal credit at very low rates of interest. In my talks with a number of bankers, I was informed that during the last four years, and especially during the last year, many wealthy families have arrived in Palestine with capital ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. These people have seen an opportunity in Palestine and are taking advantage of those opportunities offered to them.
The real estate industry has grown beyond all expectations. Millions of dollars have been invested in this industry. During my stay in Jerusalem, I witnessed the sale of an office building on Jaffa Street, the business centre of the city, for the sum of Â£53,000, equal to about $250,000.”