The Arab Labor Federation by its decision, reported yesterday, to picket Jewish enterprises in Palestine and to conduct an anti-Jewish boycott there, can contribute little towards the desired Arab-Jewish rapprochement.
The Arab Labor Federation seems to forget that today two-thirds of the workers in the Jewish fields of Palestine are Arabs. It seems to forget that the situation of the Arabs in Palestine has greatly improved due to Jewish enterprise. It seems to overlook the fact that thousands of Arabs from countries neighboring Palestine are pouring into Palestine daily because the Jews have made it possible for Arabs to live in better economic conditions in Palestine than in any other Arab country.
The Arab Labor Federation, forgetting all these facts, seems to believe that the picketing of Jewish enterprises in Palestine would hit the economic interests of the Jews only. Here is where the mistake of the Federation lies. The Jews in Palestine are not economically dependent upon the Arabs. On the contrary, the Arabs are dependent upon the Jews.
No Arab in Palestine would like to see himself in the starving situation of the Arab of Transjordania or Syria Nor would any Palestine Arab wish to see himself in the same position he was in years ago, before the Jews started to develop Palestine into a prospering country.
The action of the Arab Labor Federation will therefore no doubt be opposed by many Arabs, since an anti-Jewish boycott in Palestine would first and foremost affect the Arabs.
Actually Jewish trade in Palestine depends very little upon the patronage of Arabs. The Arab, with his very low standard of living and with his limited requirements is not among the principal promoters of Jewish commerce. It is the Jewish customer upon whom the Jewish trader in Palestine depends.
An Arab boycott against Jewish trade will therefore hardly be of any damage to the Jewish economic growth of the country. It will however be of much damage to the thousands of Arabs who are now finding employment in Jewish fields.