Two months ago we sent the following letter to the “Nir”â€”the Jewish Agricultural Cooperative Labor Association of Palestine:
“I am returning herewith the bill which you sent me for the shares which I subscribed to in April, 1933, when I was in Palestine. I would gladly take up these shares but have become so completely out of sympathy with your organization because of its arrangement for the transfer of German-Jewish capital by way of German exports to Palestineâ€”which is in effect a violation of the boycottâ€”that I cannot further subscribe to the work of your organization.
“There is no reason why a German Jew wishing to export his capital by way of German goods to Palestine should be favored over against other German Jews whose business has suffered by the boycott. Jewish Palestine should have been a leader of world Jewry in boycotting Germany. Instead, German exports to Palestine have been steadily increasing from month to month and the effect of this upon the non-Jewish world throughout has been lamentable. Your organization has made a serious mistake in identifying itself with such an activity Palestine is not short of capital and Jewish labor in Palestine did not need this financial support which can only be had at the cost of outraging the sentiments of world Jewry. You have placed yourselves in the same category with the orange growers of Palestine who last year began the sabotaging of the world-wide anti-Nazi boycott.
“I write this in the friendliest of spirit for, as you know, my sympathies have always been with the cause of Jewish labor in Palestine.”
Since the writing of the above letter, the Jewish orange growers of Palestine have concluded a new barter agreement with Hitler’s Government whereby Germany will be able to export two dollars’ worth of goods for every dollar’s worth of Palestinian oranges she will import. The Anglo-Palestine Bank attempts to throw sand in people’s eyes by declaring that it is incorrect to term this agreement “barter.” “It is merely a triangular arrangement under which credits of the normal German exports to the Far East will be used to pay for German imports of Palestine oranges, while orange importers in Germany may accept half the amount in Reichsmarks and the other half in the so-called “orange marks.”
All of which means nothing at all! “Das ist fuer die Katze!” The plain truth is that the Jewish orange growers of Palestine have again ripped the world-wide boycott of Germany wide open. Because they live in Palestine and have oranges to sell, these gentle men feel themselves to be in a preferential position as against the rest of world Jewry. They are entitled to trade with Germany, flood Palestine with German exports and indirectly act as agents and salesmen for German goods even outside of Palestine while the rest of world Jewry wages a bitter struggle in national self-defense to close the markets of the world to German goods in an effort, to undermine the barbarous Hitler regime and the anti-Semitic Brown International which it directs and finances.
This is as infamous a piece of national sabotage as can be found anywhere. And as yet no official protest against this national betrayal has emanated from organized Palestine Jewry â€” the Vaad Leumi, nor from the Jewish Agency.
In the meantime, German exports to Palestine are growing by leaps and bounds. The first quarter of 1934 showed an increase of more than sixty per cent over the first quarter of 1933.
The transfer agreement was explained away and apologized for on the ground that the poor German emigres to Palestine (some of them not so poor. . . .) had no other way of removing their possessions ##om Germany.
But what excuse or apology can be invented to explain away this cynical fiscal concordat of the Palestinian orange grower with the Nazi Government?
What a magnificent opportunity Palestine had and forfeited to give the superb example of sacrificial solidarity not alone with world Jewry but with all the freedom-loving and struggling forces of mankind! The whole of Jewish Palestine should have been declared hermetically sealed against everything emanating from Germany. What a contribution that would have been to Jewish national prestige and honor! What a quickening and heartening example of wise and courageous political and spiritual leadership that would have beenâ€”the sort of leadership which the Jews of the world have been taught and promised to expect from Palestine!
It is gratifying to learn that many Jews in Palestine are keenly aware of the national indignity which these export and transfer agreements involve. “The Palestine Committee for the Boycott of German Goods and Service” is doing its utmost, in the face of great resistance, to check the flow of German goods into the country and to remove the reproach to which Palestine Jewry has up to now laid itself wide open.