A private report which reached New York yesterday discloses the important fact that the British Colonial Office is now seriously considering the opening of Transjordan to Jews.
The insistence of the Arab leaders in Transjordan that Jews be permitted to enter their territory is no doubt one of the reasons why the British government is now inclined to somewhat modify the ban which it imposed upon Jewish immigration into Transjordan. But the major reason for doing so probably is the present war talk in Europe.
WAR AND NEAR-EAST
No one can tell how a new European war will affect the Near East. It is quite certain that Germany in time of war will not be idle insofar as stimulating the Arabs in Palestine against Britain is concerned, as she is not idle now in stimulating Ethiopia against Italy.
Such a situation is foreseen by the Colonial Office in London, where the officials know that in case of war they can depend more upon the Jews than upon the Arabs. Such a situation is also foreseen by some British officials in Palestine interested in the military and strategic position which Palestine has for the entire Near East.
It is for this reason that a revision is now definitely contemplated in the Colonial Office in London with regard to the order forbidding Jews to enter Transjordan. This order may not be revoked at once. Gradual modifications of the order are, however, to be expected in the near future.
Interested in increasing the Jewish population in the Near East, the Colonial Office may now adopt a more liberal policy also with regard to immigration of Jews into Palestine. The year 1935 may witness a more flexible interpretation of the immigration regulations not only for Transjordan but Palestine as well.
There is no doubt that the Arabs in Transjordan will welcome the permission of the British government for the settlement of Jews in Transjordan. While the Arabs prosper in Palestine, the Arabs in Transjordan still suffer starvation and depend largely upon aid from the government. They are envious of the millions of dollars which the Arabs in Palestine receive from the Jews for their land, and are irate because Jews are not permitted to obtain land also in Transjordan. They also fear that if the Jews are not permitted to enter Transjordan, Jewish money will then flow into Syria instead of being diverted to Transjordan.
The Arab pressure for permitting Jews to settle in Transjordan is therefore growing quite serious. Coupled with the present intentions of the Colonial Office, it spells the opening of Transjordan to Jews in the very near future.
Correction: In my column of yesterday, the portion of the paragraph which deals with the revenue which the Warsaw Palestine Amt received from selling immigration certificates, should have read:
“The official organ of the Jewish Farmers Association in Palestine came out with the accusation that in Warsaw the so-called Palestine Amt established by the Jewish Agency had a revenue of 600,000 zlotys last year, or approximately $80,000, just from selling immigration certificates which it had received.”