Lucerne (Aug. 22)
The raising of $5,000,000 within the next two years for the redemption of land in Palestine through the Jewish National Fund was demanded today by Menachem Mendel Ussishkin, 72-year old world president of the Fund.
In a ringing address in which he condemned land speculation in Palestine and denounced the indifference of Jews to the problem of land acquisition there, Ussishkin severely criticized the unhelpful attitude of the Palestine Government, declaring that the Government is not willing to further the acquisition of more land by Jews in the country.
Ussishkin declared that he is unable to understand the tranquility of Zionists while less than six per cent of the land in Palestine is in Jewish hands. The new Executive to be elected by the Congress, he said, must concentrate more attention on the redemption of land for the Jews.
He also pointed out that despite the increase of Jewish National Fund receipts last year, the increase in income of the Fund still lags far behind the rise in the price of land. “More money buys much less land new,” he declared.
Ussishkin announced that new settlements will soon be established in the Beisan area where the Jewish National Fund a few months ago acquired a large concession in an exchange with the Arabs. Among the settlements will also be Kfar Masaryk, named in honor of the Czechoslovakian president who has ever been a friend of the Zionist movement. A large tract of land has also been acquired for the Kfar Ussishkin colony, he said. This latter settlement was undertaken last year following a resolution by the last Zionist Congress to establish a colony in honor of Ussishkin’s seventieth birthday.
Ussishkin concluded with the hope that this Congress “would mark the beginning of a new era for the Jewish people, for the Jewish land, and for the Jewish National Fund, and that an economic Ghetto such as threatens Palestine Jewry in its present urban centers which grow up overnight will be prevented from arising.”