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Digest of World Press Opinion

The establishment of a partisan news agency on the funds of the Executive of the Jewish Agency is severely criticized by the Hebrew press in Palestine.

Under the headline “Why a New Telegraphic Agency?” Doar Hayom, impartial daily in Jerusalem, writes:

It can only be regretted that the dry official spirit, the spirit of vengeance and partisanship, has been brought into our life. It is especially regrettable that this is now brought into the field of information from Palestine. The news reports from Palestine which will now be contradictory will only bring confusion to the minds of the readers.

It is very much to be regretted that the existence of an institution like the JTA is being undermined so nonchalantly. After all, much labor has been invested in the establishment and the development of the JTA and our national movement has derived much benefit in the past through the JTA.

EXECUTIVE CRITICIZED FOR PARTISANSHIP

Emphasizing that the news service from Palestine, for which funds from the Jewish Agency are being used, is partisan and serves the interests of one party only, the Yiton Meyochod, daily evening paper in Tel Aviv, says:

We know from experience how “impartial” the publicity and the information of the new news service is. The members of the staff of this service are not superhuman. They are merely human beings. They have their partisan viewpoints. Their party affiliation is an open secret.

It is self understood that the establishment of a news service by the present Executive will lead to the natural establishment of “pickets” for the protection of the truth on Palestine; for the “correction” from time to time of the truth which will be sent out by the news service and which is not always “the truth and nothing but the truth.” It is possible that in the nearest future we shall have to enter into the telegraphic war business. It is doubtful whether this would be beneficial; however, it is better to fight with the assistance of telegrams than to fight with the assistance of stones.

LABOR DAILY EXPLAINS WAR

Davar, official Hebrew labor daily in Palestine, declares editorially:

Another storm has been started in the Palestine press: a war between two news agencies — between the Palcor and the well-known Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The average man in Palestine will wonder. He will not even understand what the forces behind this storm are. The matter is, however, very simple.

The JTA exists. It conducts its work normally. Some think that it works quite well. Others are of the opinion that it is to a certain extent responsible for spoiling our communal relations, for not presenting Palestine properly to the lands of the Diaspora, for self advertisement on one side and for hatred toward the class group on the other side.

Pointing out that each side has a right to its own opinion about the JTA, Davar refuses to admit that the new service established to compete with the JTA is a partisan one. The paper concludes with the assurance that there is no war against the JTA and no dictatorship of one party in the Executive of the Jewish Agency.

HAYARDEN ON JTA VALUE

Hayarden, Hebrew daily in Jerusalem, severely criticizes the Executive of the Jewish Agency for its efforts to subject the JTA to a censorship. Emphasizing that the present Executive is dominated by one party only, Hayarden, under the headline “The Jewish Agency Wishes to Free Itself of an Impartial News Service,” writes:

The entire value of the JTA service would be lost if the JTA would agree to censorship by the Agency. The JTA would then be converted into an organ spreading news in the spirit of the Socialist Laborites who today are ruling the Executive of the Jewish Agency.

One of the very important factors in the JTA work is its efficient supplying of Jewish news to the non-Jewish press. It is due to this factor that the voice of the suffering Jew reaches the ear of millions of non-Jews. In this respect the work of the JTA is far beyond estimation. However, if the JTA would put itself under the censorship of the Jewish Agency, the non-Jewish newspapers would consider its service mere propaganda which cannot be taken seriously.

The paper concludes by pointing out that the staff of the new news service consists entirely of members of the Socialist Laborite party and that the service will not win any confidence in the world.

GAIN NEGLIGIBLE, SAYS HAARETZ

Haaretz, Tel Aviv daily, emphasizes the fact that the news service was established by the Executive because the JTA refused to put itself under censorship of the Executive.

It is self evident that under such circumstances the Zionist Executive has no other way but the difficult and responsible and complicated way of establishing its own news service from Jerusalem to spread Zionist and Palestine news.

It must be admitted that great determination and initiative were required before entering the news service. However, the Zionist Executive dared, decided and did what it did.

It must be assumed that the Executive has taken upon itself the new responsibility realizing its great difficulties. There is no doubt that if the Zionists in different countries and the Yishuv in Palestine have always been severe critics of the news coming from Palestine, they will now be even more severe. Those who are responsible for the new service ought, therefore, to understand that if their news will be colored in a partisan spirit the game will not be worth while.

TASKS OF THE JEWS IN THE HULEH SWAMPS

The unofficial mouthpiece of the British Colonial Office, Near East and India, discusses the Huleh land concession which the Jews have recently obtained in Palestine:

The reclamation and irrigation works are expected to cost half a million pounds, and will be completed, with the proposed settlement of farmers, in three to five years. A total of 2,000 Jewish families is expected to be settled as colonists, and local experts estimate that in time the region will support a Jewish population of thirty thousand. There are at present about a thousand Arab families there, subsisting on meagre cultivations or fishing or rush-ware manufacture. The great advantage of the Jewish work will be to rid the area of malaria and yellow fever with which it abounds owing to the dense marshland. The incidence of such disease has been enormous, and the Arab residents there will greatly benefit from the drainage operations now planned.

ENGLISH ‘AUNTS’ AID REFUGEES

The Manchester Guardian, reporting on the work done in England by the Society of Voluntary Unofficial Aunts, relates:

The duty of an aunt, when called upon, is to make herself useful to some poorer household which cannot afford to pay for extra help. Each aunt undertakes to give two, three, or more hours a week to the work.

Pathetic cases have occurred recently among the German Jews now refugees in England. They have been able to go out in the evening to attend classes to learn English, while an aunt has taken care of their little children and shown these innocent victims that they are not altogether friendless in a strange land. An aunt, too, has enabled more than one overworked mother to take sufficient time off to visit her own old parents at a distance.

Aunts can, and do, take children to clinics, invalids for sunray treatment or massage take others to the railway station and see them off comfortably and meet them and bring them home. An aunt possessing a car and willing to take an invalid for an hour’s drive can indeed give pleasure.

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