No one writing or thinking in Palestine is regarded as objective or neutral. The moment a writer says anything that, true though it might be, is in any way offensive to the susceptibilities of any particular faction, he is labeled as “partisan” in the interests of the other side, and vilified.
The only way to escape such treatment, I heard a wag say recently, is to act the same way that the Palestine Government does towards the Jews and Arabs, buffet them on alternate days, so that the real measure of neutrality may be gauged.
One cannot write of the internecine Jewish party strife today without rashly venturing into a field of intricate polemics. It would be much more controversial to apportion the blame for this incessant hostility, which assumes physical violence at times, and which is serving only to injure Jewish prestige in the eyes of the Arabs, the British, and the outside world at large.
Yet the fight between two principal parties in Palestine occupies the spotlight on the stage of Palestinian affairs. It is the main topic of public and private discussion in some form or other, whether it be actual enmity or the positive aspect of trying to find a compromise. A number of members of the Zionist Actions Committee met here the other day with the Jewish Agency Executive. They represented different right wing parties, excluding the Revisionists. The group demanded that steps should be taken towards finding a way to peace. But leaders of independent thought here feel that their endeavors are foredoomed to failure.
That people have got together and pressed Zionism’s authoritative body to seek a solution of differences is a good omen; but it remains little more, according to local opinion, than a gesture. And many deny that a successful outcome will crown the move for a truce.
The situation with regard to newly arrived illegal immigrant Jews is growing more complicated. Certainly there are many hundreds of these people eluding frontier control and settling in the country. The times have called forth this phenomenon, just as was the case in America some years ago with immigrant infiltrations through Canada and Mexico. One cannot stop migration of this character just by issuing a fiat or stationing police to watch the frontiers; in some way or other, the determined immigrants get through.
The Palestine authorities themselves have the remedy in hand. By approving a labor immigration quota of twenty-five or thirty thousand per annum, about a third less than the Jewish Agency ask for, they would be meeting current Jewish demands, and they would be fortifying the Jewish Agency’s position to ask for a general discipline by those Jews anxious to come in here. In a word, if illegal immigration is proving an embarrassment to the British authorities in Palestine, they themselves can provide an effective solution.