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Palestine Sets Political Limits on Immigration; Jews Classified As “foreigners”

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HEBREW NEWSPAPERS AND ZIONIST CIRCLES EXPRESSED INDIGNATION TODAY OVER A LONG-EXPECTED ORDINANCE PROMULGATED IN THE OFFICIAL PALESTINE GAZETTE EMPOWERING THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER TO SET POLITICAL LIMITS ON IMMIGRATION.

THE ORDINANCE, WHICH WAS ISSUED IN LINE WITH THE ROYAL COMMISSION’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON PALESTINE, ALSO CHANGES THE DEFINITION OF A DEPENDENT AND RESTRICTS THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS’ RELATIVES ALLOWED TO ENTER THE COUNTRY. RELATIVES UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE WILL PERMANENTLY BE CONSIDERED IN THE CATEGORY OF DEPENDENTS.

THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IS AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE A MAXIMUM AGGREGATE NUMBER OF “FOREIGN” IMMIGRANTS FOR ANY PERIOD; SECONDLY, TO ESTABLISH CATEGORIES OF IMMIGRANTS, FIXING THE MAXIMUM IN EACH CATEGORY; THIRDLY, TO ESTABLISH A JEWISH PROPORTION OF THE MAXIMUM AND TO FIX MAXIMUMS IN EACH CATEGORY OF JEWS.

THE GOVERNMENT DIRECTOR OF IMMIGRATION IS TO DECIDE IN CASES WHERE A DISPUTE ARISES OVER WHETHER OR NOT A PERSON IS JEWISH.

IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THIS ORDINANCE FOR THE FIRST TIME OFFICIALLY CHANGES THE BASIS FOR IMMIGRATION FROM THE PRINCIPLE OF “ECONOMIC ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY” LAID DOWN BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE PALESTINE MANDATE TO A POLITICAL PRINCIPLE.

COMMENTING ON THE ORDINANCE, THE PALESTINE POST STRESSED THAT IN THIS DECREE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE CREATION OF THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME AND IN THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH MANDATE, JEWS ARE DESCRIBED AS “FOREIGNERS.”

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