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U.J.A. Leaders Warned Israel May Be Forced to Re-introduce Maabaroth

Israel might have to return to putting up immigrants in maabaroth, the undesirable transit camps, unless the money is obtained for construction of adequate housing for immigrants, Aryeh Pincus, treasurer of the Jewish Agency, warned here today. He spoke before the members of the United Jewish Appeal Study Mission inspecting conditions in Israel.

Mr. Pincus reported that 20,000 persons still live in maabaroth, while 25,000 live in temporary asbestos housing and “a larger number” are crowded into small, one-room or two-room apartments. There is a “very high” percentage of social welfare cases among the immigrants, he said, pointing out that it is “a moral impossibility” to select non-welfare cases from among potential immigrants. The rate of immigration, he said, is rather high, and no decline is anticipated.

For these reasons, he warned, the Agency is faced “with the grave question of absorbing the new immigration.” He declared that a return to the maabaroth system “would create an interiority complex” among those placed in camps, and would also “constitute a danger to the country’s democratic way of life.”