It seems to me that The New Palestine, organ of the Zionist Organization of America, is not doing the Zionist cause a service by provoking, in its issue of this week, a discussion on the controversy, “Joint Distribution Committee vs. American Palestine Campaign.”
Such a discussion, if it were to become widespread, would not do Zionist interests any good. Every intelligent reader would no doubt have to side with the Joint Distribution Committee in its argument that the Jews in Poland, Rumania and other East European countries require more relief today than the Jews in Palestine. Hence the leaders of the Joint Distribution Committee are quite right in stating that the Zionist Organization of America is not entitled to fifty per cent of the funds collected for the United Jewish Appeal, especially since eighty per cent of the funds come from non-Zionist elements.
WHERE RELIEF IS REQUIRED
At a time when Palestine organizations send large sums for non-Jewish victims of Austrian Fascism, at a time whenâ€”as The New Palestine itself reports so proudlyâ€”the Jews in Palestine send an average of $125,000 a month to relatives in Eastern Europe, at a time when the same New Palestine reports editorially that “the Zionist organization will no longer operate with a ball and chain of deficits,” at a time when the Executive in Palestine has just received a loan of two and a half million dollars to consolidate its work, the question really arises whether Jewish funds collected in America for relief purposes should be sent to Palestine, where there is no need for Jewish relief activities, or whether the funds should better be used for assisting the millions of starving Jews in East European countries.
This question, if brought out for wide discussion in the press â€” The New Palestine seems to wishâ€”would no doubt be answered by an immense majority in favor of the attitude taken by the Joint Distribution Committee of America. Ardent Zionists in America who have relatives in Poland and who are aware of the desperate situation there would now, we are certain, be the first to side with the Joint Distribution Committee.
THE J. D. C. AND ITS MISSION
The J.D.C. is not a political organization. It was established for and is interested only in granting relief wherever such relief is required. If the Jews of East European countries are today in greater need than the Jews of Palestine, it is but natural for an organization like the J.D.C. to wish to see that the larger proportion of the sums collected for the United Jewish Appeal should go for East European aid.
It must be taken into consideration that the Joint Distribution Committee also supports Palestine offices in various East European countries and helps maintain the Hachshara system of training Jewish youth for Palestine. It is the Joint Distribution Committee which this year paid the cost of transporting German Jews to Palestine, and not the Zionist Office in Berlin.
One does not necessarily have to be a lawyer for the Joint Distribution Committee. The New