The National Labor Committee which raises funds in America for the Histadruth activities in Palestine, by means of annual drives popularly known as the Gewerkschaften campaign, has submitted a report to the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, disclosing that during the ten years of its existence it raised in the United States and Canada a sum of over $1,170,000, including $117,000 in the year 1933-34.
Obliged to submit such a report to the National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds because it is included in twelve welfare funds in America, the National Labor Committee does not feel it necessary to give a detailed accounting of how the money raised here has been spent by the Histadruth in Palestine.
The report of the Committee limits itself to general figures showing that during the past year it spent $34,000 on administrative expenses in America and forwarded $82,000 to the Histadruth in Palestine. How this $82,000 was spent by the Histadruth is not accounted for.
American Jewry today is inclined to believe that the Histadruth is not at all justified in raising funds in America. The Histadruth is the richest organization in Palestine today. It has sixty thousand members, all of whom are paying their dues regularly. It has a special reserve fund for unemployment, although there are no unemployed. Every member of the Histadruth contributes toward the maintenance of the labor hospitals known as Kupath Cholim. What does the Histadruth have to collect money in the United States for?
In its report, the National Labor Committee states that the Histadruth has decided that fifty per cent of the funds raised in the United States and in Canada will be allocated for promotion of new labor colonization. Must such colonization necessarily be undertaken by the Histadruth when the Jewish National Fund and the Keren Hayesod are engaged in colonizing activities? Will the Histadruth find men to settle on the projected new labor colonies when there are not enough men now for the old colonies? Is it not a fact that forty per cent of the labor in the Jewish Colonies is Arab because the members of the Histadruth prefer to remain in the cities and are not overly anxious to work on the land? Is it not a fact that while membership of the Histadruth has grown 113 per cent the proportionate number of its members on the land has decreased fully thirty-four per cent?
Even assuming that fifty per cent of the sums raised in America may go for Histadruth colonies, what is being done with the other fifty per cent? Why is there no detailed account published?
The Jews of the United States and Canada, contributing nearly $1,200,000 toward the Gewerkschaften campaign within the last ten years have a right to know what their money was spent on. Figures and details must be made public. Otherwise there is no justification for any collections in America.