The warning sounded yesterday by M. Smilansky, the leader of the Association of Jewish Farmers in Palestine, that he will no longer negotiate with the Executive of the Jewish Agency for immigration certificates and that the association will conduct such negotiations directly with the Palestine government, is a result of the sharp antagonism existing between the Histadruth and the Jewish Farmers Association.
The Histadruth, the Palestine labor party, which strives to dominate everybody and everything in Palestine, seems not to be in a position to prevent its own members from deserting the Jewish fields. One after the other Jewish farm-hands, members of the Histadruth, are leaving the Jewish colonies and going to the cities, simply because they find it more convenient to live in places like Tel Aviv, where the scale of wages is higher than in the colonies.
Leaving the Jewish fields to Arab workers, these members of the Histadruth do not hesitate later to criticize the Jewish farmers for employing Arab labor when they themselves are all flocking to the cities. They accuse the Jewish farmers of being traitors to the Jewish national interests but they hate to admit that they, and not the farmers, are the labor rather than Arab, the traitors.
Anxious to employ Jewish labor rather than Arab, the Jewish Farmers Association, concluding its convention at Tel Aviv yesterday, announced that it has no other alternative than to enter direct negotiations with the Palestine government for immigration certificates for Jewish farm laborers. The Farmers Association believes that it can find such Jewish farm-hands by the thousands in Europe.
The privilege of receiving immigration certificates for bringing laborers to Palestine is now monopolized by the Executive of the Jewish Agency. Were this Executive not dominated by the Laborites, a way could be found to satisfy the demands of the Jewish farmers without pushing them into direct negotiations with the government. The Laborites of the Executive seem, however, to have interests other than keeping the Jews on the land. Hence the warning by Mr. Smilansky.