“The British administration in Palestine is too slow and too conservative in dealing with the Jewish problem and with the question of Jewish immigration. I am very much disappointed at this attitude,” Dr. Nahum Sokolow, president of the Zionist World Organization and the Jewish Agency, said in an interview here with the Doar Hayom.
He would like more encouragement, he said, for Jews who wish to enter the Holy Land, greater opportunity for Jewish participation in government service and larger contributions by the government to Jewish education.
“The government wants to be loyal to its duties,” he said. “I do not believe in the speculation that the government is making an effort to encourage the antagonism between Arabs and Jews. But with regard to the question of Jewish immigration there is much too much conservatism.”
ARABS AND MANDATE
With regard to the question of peace between Arabs and Jews, Dr. Sokolow said:
“The Arabs must first recognize the mandate, and what the mandate implies. So long as they refuse to recognize the right of the Jews to settle in Palestine, the danger of trouble remains.
“The early principles of Zionism which emphasize the need for settlement by Jews of agricultural areas, have been eclipsed by the speedy industrial development of Palestine,” Dr. Sokolow complained. “The result has been a setback in farm development. The ideal of a Jewish Palestine, however, is the establishment of farms and villages for Jewish immigrants.
“Of course large cities are necessary for the development of the country,” he continued. “People flock in larger numbers to cities, and capital investment is attracted when there are large cities.”
Asked what he considers the absorptive capacity of Palestine, Dr. Sokolow said that physically Palestine is about the size of Belgium. Belgium supports seven million people, and this is approximately the number Palestine should accommodate.
“The whole scheme is premature,” Dr. Sokolow said, referring to the project of a Legislative Council for Palestine. “The time is not yet ripe for such a step. I do not know what the stand of the Arabs is toward the measure, but the Jews are firmly opposed to its establishment.”
Dr. Sokolow exhorted the Jews of the world to come to Palestine in greater numbers, since, he said, “as soon as we are stronger in numbers, Palestine will come nearer to being a Jewish community, and then she will be ready for a measure of self-government such as is now proposed.