Moshe Shertok, who as successor to Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, assassinated member of the Jewish Agency Executive, will handle the political agenda in Palestine, is the youngest member of the Zionist Executive elected at the World Zionist Congress in Prague last summer.
Moshe Shertok came to Palestine twenty-seven years ago. His father Jacob Shertok, one of the best known members of the Russian Chovevei-Zion (Lovers of Zion), had visited Palestine with the Bilu (House of Jacob, Let Us Go), the first group of young Jewish pioneers, who settled there in 1882. The elder Shertok returned to Russia, but in 1906 moved his family to Palestine and became a miller in a completely Arab town situated between Jerusalem and Shehem. Moshe Shertok spent his childhood in this environment, later entering the Herzliah Gymnasium when that institution was founded in Tel Aviv. After graduation he took up the study of law at Constantinople, but the war interrupted this pursuit, Shertok becoming Turkish officer and serving on various Oriental fronts. After the war he studied political economy at London, where he began his journalistic activities and wrote articles on political subjects.
After completing his studies at London Shertok returned to Palestine and became managing editor of Davar, the Palestine Labor Daily now edited by B. Katznelson. After the riots of 1929, when Palestine labor decided to publish an English paper for the enlightenment of English public opinion, the work was entrusted to Shertok, who executed it in brilliancy.
Shertok is one of the most popular of the younger labor leaders in Palestine. He is also the founder and guiding spirit of the Chugim, the pioneer movement that is an outgrowth of the Palestinian schools. He is one of the outstanding authorities on Arab problems and on the politics of the Orient. Shertok is also quite a linguist, having perfect command of Hebrew, Arabic Turkish, French, English, German and Polish.
When in 1931 Arlosoroff took over the political leadership of the Zionist Executive in Palestine, the Histadruth Haovdim (Palestine Labor Federation), which depended greatly upon his work, ceded Shertok to him as his political secretary. As part of his work with Arlosoroff Shertok has carried on outstanding activity in the field of Zionist politics in Palestine and has won the regard not only of his own party but also of outsiders.