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Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

September 3, 1926
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[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.–Editor.]

That Zionism is today “standing on trial” and the reconstruction work in Palestine has reached the cross roads, is the assertion made by “Haolom” of London, official Hebrew organ of the World Zionist Executive.

“All over Palestine,” the “Haolom” says, “in the towns and villages, the Zionist movement is standing on trial. All of us in the Diaspora, the men who hold high office in the various institutions of our movement have to recognize that this trial is our own trial. If irresponsible and dishonest people accuse us in the foreign and the enemy press of having enticed them to Palestine and left them there to die of starvation, it might rouse our indignation and we could disregard their accusations and exclude this irresponsible rabble from our midst. But if we consider the matter deeply asking ourselves whether we have done all in our power to prevent such a state of affairs, can we help being overwhelmed with shame and a feeling of disgrace? It has been frequently pointed out by Zionists belonging to responsible quarters and it should again be stated openly and explicitly for all to hear: There are Zionists in high positions in the Zionist movement, both honorary and paid, who as members of the Zionist Organization have been elected as deputies to Parliament, and members of Municipalities in various countries and communities, some of them even standing at the head of various Zionist business enterprises who are not doing their duty to the movement or who are doing it in so paltry a fashion as to make it appear a mere travesty of a public sense of duty.

“The immigration to Palestine for the last year,” the paper continues, “amounted to 40,000. Based on this figure, a definite scheme has been worked out for the establishment of the Jewish National Home. If the fourth Alyah (immigration of the middle class) contained unsuitable elements who could not adapt themselves to the economic conditions prevalent in Palestine and were in consequence compelled to leave the country, this fact does not fill us with any alarm. Such things are not to be avoided in any immigration movement which is carried on on a large scale. Even if the immigration officers were endowed with supernatural vigilance they would not be able totally to eliminate persons incapable of making good in Palestine. The only way for Palestine to be able to absorb a steadily growing immigration would be if it were given the proper support to enable it to develop its production and its needs.

“But today there are several thousands of unemployed in Palestine, most of them belonging to the suitable element, and we know that we are to blame for their deplorable state, because we have not raised the sums required for the establishment of the enterprises which would provide employment for thousands of workers.

“We cannot go on at this slow pace any longer. People acquainted with the conditions in Palestine all agree that what has to be done in Palestine must be done within the next few years, otherwise we may be greatly disappointed.

“This is the essence of the recent manifesto issued by the Zionist Executive calling for the raising of two million pounds for the settlement of 30,000 new immigrants. Will the whole people respond to the call, realizing that we stand at the cross-roads and that this is the moment when all Jewish energy must be directed into the way which leads to Jewish life?”

PROPOSES JEWISH COLONIZATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

A proposal for Jewish colonization in South Africa is put forth by the “African Jewish World” of Johannesburg.

Recalling that it had made the same suggestion a number of years ago, the paper writes, in its issue of July 23:

“By degrees this matter is beginning to arouse attention and at the last conference of the Board of Jewish Deputies of South Africa, a delegate introduced a resolution regarding Jewish colonization. The resolution was rejected. Impossible! was the reply, without qualifications. But life makes possible many things that seem impossible. Jews are beginning to discuss the question more and more.

“It is the duty of all organizations connected with the Board of Jewish Deputies to demand that measures be adopted to create a body whose purpose should be to evolve plans and negotiate with the government to secure–free or at a very low price–land for Jewish colonization, to conduct an intensive propaganda among the Jews, and to turn the stream of ‘luftmenschen,’ particularly the new comers here from the city to the land.”

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