NEW YORK (Dec. 27)
The Jewish National Fund will devote a substantial part of its income next year for reclaiming the area near Lake Huleh adjacent to the Palestine-Syrian border, it was decided today by 120 leaders of the fund attending a meeting of its national advisory council at the Hotel Astor.
The J.N.F. allocation from its anticipated $500,000 income may be supplemented by special fund-raising activities. The resolution on the subject stressed that the special effort is in connection with the 35th anniversary of J.N.F. activities in Palestine and would help to effect better understanding between Arabs and Jews.
Another resolution criticized the Palestine Government for failing to facilitate close settlement of Jews on land. Speakers included Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American J.N.F.; Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Pierre van Paassen, and Maurice Levin, who presided.
When reclaimed and connected with neighboring ground, the project will create the possibility for establishing 2,500 homesteads. The plans provide for drainage of the whole lake and swamp area, converting it into good agricultural soil, and creating a network of irrigation canals.
It was pointed out by speakers that under an agreement reached between Jewish colonization authorities and the Palestine Government, 15,000 of the 57,750 dunams of the immediate zone of operations are to be reclaimed at Jewish expense for Arab cultivators, thereby aiding Arab-Jewish amity and serving as “an example of Arab-Jewish cooperation in the future.”
Dr. Goldstein said that the J.N.F. will participate to the extent of 50 per cent in the project, and will cooperate with the PICA (Palestine branch of the Jewish Colonization Association), the Palestine Economic Corp., and a South African company. The project was described as the largest reclamation effort to be undertaken in modern times in Palestine.