Jewish workers in Palestine have the right to demand that Jewish entrepreneurs employ Jewish labor only, and this demand must be complied with to the fullest feasible extent if the ideal of an independent Jewish national home is to be furthered, Dr. Chaim Zhitlowsky, veteran Socialist Yiddish publicist, declared in an article in yesterday’s Day, local Yiddish daily.
Discussing the slogan, “Jewish enterprises for Jewish labor,” a cry which has created one of Palestine’s most difficult problems since the day it was first raised, Dr. Zhitlowsky indicates that capitalist elements, for both class and personal profit reasons, would tend to minimize the demand for Jewish labor.
Arab laborers have always been available at lower rates than Jewish, and money thus saved was put to work in new undertakings which brought increased incomes to the inhabitants of the country, he points out.
At the same time, he declares, Arab labor is the more tractable. Except where the Jewish worker was the more productive, Arab labor was therefore preferred, though not expressedly, especially since it constituted a sort of threat to the Jewish worker, the writer finds.
Dr. Zhitlowsky declares that the argument, such as might be made in Socialist circles, that the Jewish labor slogan violates the principles of international solidarity is not applicable here, since the aim of Jewish colonization in Palestine is not to further the interests of the private entrepreneur but to create an independent Jewish state.
The Jewish masses have contributed generously towards the materialization of this ideal, and without their aid the capitalist group in the country could not have attained its present status, he feels.
Moreover, Zhitlowsky says, the first aim of the working class anywhere is to achieve a decent standard of living, and this the Jewish worker of Palestine must also be permitted to do for himself.
Whatever aid he wishes, and eventually must, give to the Arab in his struggle against the Arab capitalist, the worker cannot be part of this aim but must be independent of it, the writer says, if the ideal of the Jewish state is to be advanced.