Enthusiastic praise of the work of the Histadruth, Palestine Labor Federation, and for the accomplishments of the Hechalutz movement was voiced by Mrs. Irma Lindheim, former president of Hadassah and now a member of the cooperative colony Mishmar Haemek, who returned yesterday on the Italian liner Conte de Savoia.
Mrs. Lindheim, whose permanent home is in Palestine, is here in the interests of the League for Labor Palestine and the Jewish National Fund. She will make a nation-wide tour for the organizations beginning with the West Coast.
COLONY LIFE GRIPS HER
Terming the work of the Histadruth “the only striking thing in Palestine Jewish life,” Mrs. Lindheim declared that life on a cooperative colony has gripped her to such an extent that she has determined to spend the rest of her life there and had torn herself away from Mishmar Haemek even for a short time with profound regret.
“It is the moral and spiritual idea behind the work of the Histadruth, which has had such a profound effect on me,” she declared.
“I come from a completely assimilated family and knew very little of Jewishness, but here in the cooperative colonies in Palestine I found a beautiful ideal to build up without tearing down.
FINDS LABOR WORK ABSORBING
“It is for that reason that the work of the Palestine labor movement is so absorbing, including the cooperative colonies, the hospitals, sick fund groups and the varied and widespread operations of the labor organizations.
“That is why the finest types of young intellectual Jews have found it possible to give up everything and to work at monotonous manual labor and to do menial work of all kinds.
“Only one who has known what back-breaking physical farm labor means and then has seen a harvest on the fields can know what I mean.
NOT AFFECTED BY TREND
“That is also why the trend of Palestine Jews to leave the farms and move to the cities has had no effect on the cooperative colonies. It is a remarkable achievement that the cooperative colonies can point toâ€”their labor supply is intact and they lost no workers during the movement of workers to the cities.
“In those cooperative colonies the highest moral ideal of Jewish Palestine is embodied. They have had a profound effect on Jewish life there and, no matter what happens, even if the Revisionists should gain power, they will have to destroy first, before they can do any building.”
ASSAILS LAND SPECULATION
Land speculation, which is a result of the boom days in the Holy Land, Mrs. Lindheim denounced in the most outspoken terms, declaring that such speculation will kill the Jewish colonies.
“As a result of speculation, Jewish colonies in the Wadi Hawareth are being desolated by malaria,” Mrs. Lindheim declared.
“The Jewish National Fund made arrangement to buy neighboring swamps from Arab sheiks and to drain them.
“The deal was already closed when Tel Aviv speculators approached the Arabs and offered them five times the sum offered by the fund.
“The Arabs refused to sell, the swamps were not drained and, in some colonies in the Wadi Hawareth, practically all the adults are down with malaria.
“Why, in some cases land changes hands ten or twenty times in a short period! This is madness.”
CHALUTZIM ARE LAUDED
Mrs. Lindheim also praised very highly the work of the small group of American chalutzim in Palestine. Already, she said, Palestine was aware of the splendid work being done by the 100 American chalutzim now in the Holy Land, who have their own cooperative group at Hederah.
Mrs. Lindheim, who visited Poland before her return to the United States, declared that conditions there were “horrible” and “hopeless.”
“The only note of hope that I could find in that wretched country,” she stated, “was the magnificent youth movement.
“The achievement of Jewish labor in Palestine and abroad stand out in startling relief to all palliatives and temporary compromises,” Mrs. Lindheim concluded. “Labor is building securely for the Jewish future.