NEW YORK (Dec. 1)
B. C. Vladeck, general manager of the Jewish Daily Forward, who recently returned from a trip abroad during which he spent five weeks investigating conditions in Palestine, has set down his observations of the Jewish situation in the Holy Land in a series of articles published in the Forward.
His major conclusions follow, in brief:
1. While the Jews have made certain gains as a result of the Arab strike, including greater representation in various industries and fields of public employment, there were also harmful effects: building and trade were curtailed, the immigration rate dropped and Arab Nationalism was strengthened.
2. Britain cannot maintain peace by force, but must avoid recurrence of the strike and rioting by aiding understanding between Arab and Jew. To this end, accepted attitudes and beliefs should be abandoned.
3. The Arab economic grievances are not important, for the Arabs have gained much through Jewish settlement. But Arab Nationalism is gaining ground, led by an organized minority which utilizes the indifference of the masses. This minority includes the Arab youths, who give time and energy, and the merchants and rich landowners, who supply funds and prestige. They are aided by Italian and German propaganda, which aim to make trouble for Britain.
4. Jewish anti-Arab feeling and the estrangement between the two peoples breeds isolation, makes the Arab susceptible to propaganda and hinders efforts at amity. Today Arabs and Jews refuse to budge from their respective stands. England will eventually force both groups to compromise, but it would be better that the Jews make the compromise voluntarily and directly with the Arabs. “Peace cannot be achieved as long as the Jews demand a majority or possibility of a majority in the near future.”
5. Only 14 per cent of the Jews are settled on land, for one reason because of high cost of settlement. Loans for settlement would be difficult to meet, and almost impossible at present high interest rates. The Kvutzoth (communal settlements) are only a temporary solution; they will almost certainly not be in a position to meet financial obligations due in two or three years. Colonization costs and high price of money places further broad-scale settlement out of the reach of the chalutz youth.
6. Palestine has no economic plan; is afflicted, indeed, by “economic anarchy” which some feel necessary “to attract money to the country” and, by stimulating the speculative fever, create employment, but which, Mr. Vladeck holds, is “just as harmful to future Jewish settlement as the Arab terror, or the indifference of the Mandatory Power.”Summing up, “there are well organized bodies for propaganda, for fund raising, for politics, but there are no organized bodies to build the Yishuv according to a plan and with a purpose.”