TEL AVIV (Dec. 29)
The anti-Semitic poison which the Germans have spread throughout Europe will endure for many generations, Dr. Chaim Weizmann said yesterday, addressing a “Small Zionist Congress” convoked here by the Keren Hayesod. It is necessary, therefore, he added, that a Jewish homeland be established in Palestine as the only solution for the problem of the Jews of Europe.
Dr. Weizmann, who was given a tumultuous greeting when he entered the meeting hall, said that hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children from Europe are striving to come to Palestine, which represents their last hope. He emphasized that the question of large-scale immigration was the greatest and most urgent problem facing the Jews of Palestine and the world.
David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, took issue with a recent statement by Dr. Weizmann in which the latter said that it may be necessary to wait five or six years before a Jewish state is established in Palestine. “We are all ready to wait with Dr. Weizmann,” Mr. Ben-Gurion said, “but nobody has a right to advise the Jews whose families have been slaughtered to wait. We cannot compel Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin to fulfill our demands, but we must be the mouthpiece of the Jews whose parents have been annihilated.”
The only possibility of saving the Jews who remain “without roof, shelter or occupation” is their immediate transfer to Palestine, Mr. Ben-Gurion added. He demanded “not immigration, but a speedy transfer of Jews from Europe and eastern countries to Palestine.” Pointing to the millions of dunams of unsettled land in Palestine and the possibilities for irrigation, the Agency chairman said that the country can absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants and, “therefore, we are entitled to demand immediate realization of our vital needs – state authority, control of immigration and development.”
ZIONIST LEADERS IN AMERICA ASKED TO OVERCOME “PETTY DIFFERENCES”
An appeal to Zionist leaders in the United States to make peace and “overcome their petty differences” was voiced by Joseph Sprinzak, a member of the Zionist Actions Committee, in a greeting to the Jews of the world, especially those fighting on battlefronts on all continents.
Eliahu Dobkin, immigration chief of the Jewish Agency, estimated that five out of every six Jews in Europe have been murdered and said that thousands of the survivors “are knocking at the gates of Palestine,” but are barred by the White Paper. Mr. Dobkin said that the chief immigration task at present is the transfer to Palestine of thousands of Jewish orphans in Europe. He expressed gratitude to non-Jewish groups for the aid they gave these children during the Nazi occupation, but stressed that “we will never agree that they remain outside of Jewry.”
Discussing the economic situation in Palestine, Eliezer Kaplan, treasurer of the Agency, revealed that no able-bodied person is unemployed. If full employment is to be maintained, Mr. Kaplan said, it will be necessary to reduce the high living and production costs in Palestine so that local industries may compete for world markets. A “suitable political regime” and a great deal of financial assistance from Jews in other countries will be necessary he said, to maintain prosperity in Palestine and guarantee its normal development and its ability to absorb increased immigration.
Some progress has been made, the Agency treasurer revealed, in meeting the acute housing shortage here. A “fair amount” of building materials have been obtained and work has already started on 800 units, with the aim of completing 2,500 within a short time. Nine new agricultural settlements have been established in the past year, he said, bringing to 40 the number founded since the outbreak of the war.
Present political portents indicate that solution of the Palestine problem will be postponed for some time, Emil Shmorak, head of the Economic Department of the Agency, told the delegates who jammed the hall to capacity. This is a great disappointment, Mr. Shmorak said, but under any circumstances, the principal economic task now is to prevent a financial crisis. This can be done, he continued, by expansion of agriculture, industry and public works. He also warned against the dangers of inflation and disclosed that the Agency has invited employers and employees to cooperate in an attempt to lower prices, on condition that the Palestine Government cooperate.