U.N. Commission Visits Negev; Impressed by Jewish Oasis in Palestine Desert

The United Nations. Special Committee on Palestine today visited this settlement, one of the fourteen Jewish colonies in the Negev, the southern desert of Palestine, and were visibly impressed by the fruits that the 35 settlers have wrung from the arid soil.

The committee spent a full day visiting the Negev, which covers almost half of Palestine, and their observations here may have a significant influence on their ultimate decisions, since if the committee is convinced that the Jews are able to colonize the Negev, the Zionists’ claim that they can bring in tens of thousands of immigrants without displacing any Arabs will bear great weight.

The probers were shown the green patches of vegetables growing in orderly rows, the fruit trees and the asphalt-lined reservoir which catches rain water channeled into it from nearby wadis (river beds) during rainy seasons and stores it until needed for irrigation during dry seasons such as the present.

Joseph Hipner, 29-year-old German Jew who manages the plantation, welcomed the committee members. He made no attempt to slur over the hardships involved in establishing a colony such as this, but pointed with pride to the settlers’ achievements, and stressed their desire to bring in thousands of young people from all parts of the world.

Hipner told the committee that the colonists had had no difficulty with their Bedouin neighbors. They have supplied the Bedouins with nurses and sold them eggs, receiving in turn advice on local conditions. At the entrance to Revivim the committee found a tent set aside for Bedouin visitors, with a sign reading: “Welcome Friends. What’s Ours is Yours.” Inside a lone Bedouin was drinking coffee.

In a brief speech Emil Sandstroem, chairman of the committee, said that they had been much impressed. “You have created an oasis from desert. We understand your pride. We wish you success in your further work.”

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