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Drift from Palestine Noted; 9,000 Jews Emigrated in 22 Months

A MARKED MOVEMENT OF JEWISH POPULATION AWAY FROM PALESTINE, IN PROGRESS FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS, IS REVEALED BY ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT MIGRATION STATISTICS BY THE JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY.

IN THE TWENTY-TWO MONTHS FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1936 TO THE END OF OCTOBER, 1937, 9,000 JEWISH RESIDENTS OF THE HOLY LAND LEFT FOR ABROAD AND DID NOT RETURN, ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL FIGURES. THE TOTAL FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1935 THROUGH OCTOBER, 1937, WAS 11,157.

WHILE THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO STATISTICS AVAILABLE AS TO THE PRESENT WHEREABOUTS OF THESE ABSENTEES, WHAT FACTS IT HAS AT HAND INDICATE THAT THE UNITED STATES WAS A FAVORED DESTINATION, THAT CONSIDERABLE NUMBERS HAVE GONE TO BRAZIL AND TO RUSSIA, AND THAT MANY HAVE RETURNED TO POLAND, RUMANIA AND EVEN GERMANY.

THE MOVEMENT REACHED SUCH PROPORTIONS THAT DURING APRIL, MAY AND JUNE OF THIS YEAR THE JEWISH POPULATION DIMINISHED BY 3,306. THIS LOSS HAS BEEN MADE UP SINCE BY THE INFLUX OF THOSE RETURNING FROM SUMMER TRIPS ABROAD, BUT THE GOVERNMENT TOTAL FOR THE NUMBER OF JEWS IN PALESTINE INCREASED BY ONLY 114 FOR THE FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 1937, TO 389,504. THERE WAS THUS A SLIGHT DECLINE IN THE PERCENTAGE OF JEWS TO THE ENTIRE POPULATION, WHICH TOTALED 1,356,518 IN 1936.

THE CAUSE OF THE OUTWARD DRIFT APPEARS TO LIE MAINLY IN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS WHICH HAS CONTINUED IN PALESTINE FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS, WITH THE ATTENDANT HARDSHIPS FOR THE JEWISH POPULATION, ALTHOUGH THE ARAB TERRORIST CAMPAIGN SEEMS TO HAVE HAD A SECONDARY EFFECT. THE MOVEMENT GAINED IMPETUS TO A MARKED DEGREE AFTER THE START OF THE ITALO-ETHIOPIAN WAR, WHICH CAUSED WITHDRAWAL OF LARGE AMOUNTS OF CAPITAL FROM PALESTINE, HAMPERED TRADE AND THUS INCREASED THE ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES.

THE NUMBER OF JEWISH RESIDENTS NOW ABSENT FROM PALESTINE DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE TOTAL FIGURES FOR JEWISH POPULATION BECAUSE IT IS COVERED BY THE FIGURES FOR IMMIGRATION AND NATURAL INCREASE (MARGIN OF BIRTHS OVER DEATHS). IT IS TO BE OBSERVED, HOWEVER, BY COMPARING THE STATISTICS ON JEWISH RESIDENTS DEPARTING WITH THE CORRESPONDING FIGURES ON THOSE RETURNING.

GOVERNMENT STATISTICS OF THIS TYPE ARE AVAILABLE FOR 1933, WHEN SEPARATE DATA WERE FIRST COMPILED ON JEWS, MOSLEMS AND CHRISTIANS. THE NUMBER OF JEWS GOING ABROAD THAT YEAR WAS 9,282, AND THE NUMBER RETURNING 10,236, SHOWING AN INCOMING BALANCE OF 954. IN 1934, 14,987 JEWISH RESIDENTS WENT ABROAD AND 14,052 RETURNED, LEAVING AN OUTGOING BALANCE OF 935. IN 1935 THE NUMBER DEPARTING WAS 25,207, AGAINST 23,050 RETURNING, AN OUTGOING BALANCE OF 2,157.

IN 1936 THE OUTGOING BALANCE ROSE TO 6,716 WITH 24,611 JEWISH RESIDENTS DEPARTING AGAINST 17,895 RETURNING. IN THE FIRST TEN MONTHS OF THIS YEAR THE OUTGOING BALANCE WAS 2,284, WITH 29,746 JEWS LEAVING FOR ABROAD AND 27,462 RETURNING.

THERE WERE THEREFORE, ACCORDING TO THOSE GOVERNMENT FIGURES, 11,157 JEWISH RESIDENTS WHO HAD LEFT PALESTINE SINCE THE BEGINNING OF 1935 AND HAD NOT RETURNED BY THE END OF OCTOBER, 1937, WHILE THE CORRESPONDING FIGURE SINCE THE BEGINNING OF 1936 WAS EXACTLY 9,000.

LATEST FIGURES MADE PUBLIC BY THE JEWISH AGENCY, WHICH INCLUDE NOVEMBER, ONE MONTH MORE THAN THE LATEST PUBLISHED GOVERNMENT FIGURES, WERE: JEWISH RESIDENTS DEPARTING DURING THE FIRST ELEVEN MONTHS OF 1937,30,580, JEWISH RESIDENTS RETURNING, 29,000, LEAVING AN OUTGOING BALANCE OF 1,580.

THE AGENCY’S FIGURES WERE ANNOUNCED BY ELIAHU DOBKIN, HEAD OF THE AGENCY’S IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE AT WHICH HE RIDICULED “TALK OF A PANIC EMIGRATION OF JEWS FROM PALESTINE.”

WHAT TYPE OF PERSONS ARE INCLUDED AMONG THE JEWISH ABSENTEES, WHERE THEY HAVE GONE, AND HOW MANY WILL REMAIN AWAY PERMANENTLY, ARE QUESTIONS AT PRESENT NOT DEFINITE. MOST OF THEM ARE IN THE CATEGORY OF RESIDENTS WHO, AT THE TIME OF DEPARTURE, DECLARED THEIR INTENTION OF RETURNING WITHIN A YEAR. THE GOVERNMENT HAS ONLY BEEN ANALYZING STATISTICS ON THIS TYPE OF MOVEMENT FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS, AND HAS NOT YET BEGUN A PARALLEL ANALYSIS OF THE STATISTICS ON RESIDENTS RETURNING.

THERE ARE, HOWEVER, OFFICIAL FIGURES ON THE DESTINATIONS OF THOSE WHO DEPARTED WITH THE INTENTION OF REMAINING AWAY MORE THAN A YEAR (CLASSIFIED AS “EMIGRANTS”), WHICH INFORMED OFFICIALS REGARD AS A FAIRLY GOOD INDEX. THIS RECORDED JEWISH EMIGRATION TOTALLED 773 IN 1936 AND 690 FOR THE FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 1937. IN THIS CLASSIFICATION, THE FAVORED DESTINATIONS DURING 1936, THE LAST PERIOD FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT STATISTICS ARE AVAILABLE, WERE, IN ORDER, THE UNITED STATES, POLAND, RUMANIA, GERMANY, BRAZIL AND RUSSIA.

THAT THE UNITED STATES IS A FAVORED DESTINATION IS BORNE OUT BY THE INCREASE IN APPLICATIONS FOR VISAS AT THE AMERICAN CONSULATE IN JERUSALEM. FOR SEVERAL MONTHS THE CONSULATE HAS BEEN ISSUING VISAS TO JEWS AT THE RATE OF 100 A MONTH, THREE TIMES AS MANY AS A YEAR AGO. THE MAJORITY WERE TAKEN BY POLISH JEWS, WITH GERMAN JEWS RANKING SECOND.

THE NATIONALITY OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE JEWISH OUTWARD MOVEMENT IS LIKEWISE DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE FROM AVAILABLE STATISTICS. REFERRING AGAIN TO FIGURES ON THOSE DEPARTING FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, AS THE BEST INDEX, THESE SHOW THE LARGEST NUMBER OF EMIGRANTS WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS, WITH CITIZENS OF POLAND, PALESTINE, RUMANIA AND GERMANY FOLLOWING IN THAT ORDER.

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