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Zionist “war-time Congress” Discusses Post-war Possibilities for Palestine

The possibility that the British Government will reward the Jews in Palestine for their contribution to the war effort, which is acknowledged both by the civil and military authorities, was hinted here at today’s session of the “war-time congress” which is taking place in lieu of the World Zionist Congress, with more than 200 delegates of the last Zionist Congress in 1939, which was interrupted by the outbreak of the war, in attendance.

“There is always the possibility that as a reward for the Jewish war efforts, the British Government will revert to the policy which it pursued in the last war with regard to Palestine,” Moshe Shertok, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, told the session today in reporting on the post-war political outlook for Palestine. He stressed the dual policy which the Palestine Government is now pursuing with regard to the Jews. “On one hand the government admits the necessity of utilizing Jewish industry and Jewish man-power for military purposes, while on the other hand, it fears that these vary industries and troops might become an obstacle in the way of certain other aims which the government is pursuing.”

JEWISH AGENCY WORKING ON PROGRAM OF ARAB-JEWISH RELATIONS

Referring to Jewish-Arab relations, Mr. Shertok said: “We are not striving to rule or dominate anybody. We are not striving to exploit the country. Our ideal is not eternal strife with our neighbors. We do not want to live with a sword in hand. We want only the right to live our national life as free human beings. There is already Jewish-Arab rapprochement. The Jewish Agency for Palestine is doing much towards establishing sincere and friendly relations between Jews and Arabs, but only the creative forces in this country will decide the issue.” Shertok concluded his report with an appeal for internal unity among the Jews in Palestine, stressing that “there is no greater danger for our national cause than a split in our internal forces.”

Cables greetings from Dr. Chaim Woizman and American Zionist leaders were read to the gathering at today’s session, The Ohel Theatre where the congress is taking place is crowded with hundreds of guests, creating an atmosphere of pre-war Zionist Congress.

The suggestion that all Zionist drives be merged was made at the session today by Dr. Anron Barth, Mizrachi leader and attorney of the World Zionist Congress. Dr. Emil Shmorak, head of the economic department of the Jewish Agency, spoke of the necessity of bringing more laborers to Palestine in order to prevent the closing lown of many pants established by Jews with much effort and sacrifice. “In order to meet the shortage of labor, the doors of Palestine must be opened for thousands of Jewish refugees from Poland now stranded in Russia, instead of importing workers from the Sudan and other places in Africa,” Shmorak said.

MEASURES TO PREVENT ACUTE POST-WAR UNEMPLOYMENT DEMANDED

At the same time, Eliezer Kaplan, executive member of the Jewish Agency, in addressing today’s session emphasized the necessity for making preparations now for post-war reconstruction of Palestine so as to prevent acute unemployment which might arise after the war is over. “Such unemployment may be converted into a political issue and cause grave difficulties,” he warned.

In reviewing the Jewish achievements in Palestine since the last World Zionist Congress of 1939, Mr. Kaplan reported that $60,000,000 in Jewish capital has come into Palestine during the last three years. The areas cultivated by Jews during these three years are yielding more crops than under their former owners. The Jewish Agency and the Keren Hayesod had an income of more than 10,000,000 dollars during the period, of which thirty percent has been spent on agricultural colonization, twenty-two percent on security, and the remainder on other work in Palestine.

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