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Shertok Hits Palestine Policy Toward Jews

May 16, 1934
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Sharp criticism of the government policy in regard to immigration, the employment of Jews in government works and general treatment of Jews in Palestine was voiced tonight by Moshe Shertok, of the political department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, at the opening session of the Asefath Hanivcharim, elective assembly, at its first meeting in two years. The assembly opened with the absence of the Zionist Revisionist faction which yesterday announced its intention of walking out on the meeting. The Revisionists are numerically the second largest party in the assembly.

Isaac Ben Zvi, leader of the Histadruth, Central Labor Federation of Palestine, in the opening speech of the session, reviewed the two years since last the assembly met. He contrasted the growth of the Jewish population, which has increased forty percent within the two year period, with the fact that the number of Jews employed on Palestine railroads, police, post-office and telegraph projects has decreased. He also stressed the point that the Jews are not getting proportional subsidies in the budget for their institutions.

Shertok urged the Jews in Palestine to adopt a fighting policy as a measure of self protection against governmental restrictions. He called these restrictions a menace to the growth of the Jewish National Home. In the course of his impressive two hour address he repeated the arguments made recently at the World Zionist Executive. Shertok accused the government of violating the principles laid down by the letter written in 1931 by Premier Ramsay MacDonald.

The assembly also heard an urgent appeal for help for Jewish picketers arrested for having protested against the employment of Arab labor by Jews. Berl Katznelson, Laborite leader, who delivered the speech, cited the case of the three Jewish picketers who were sentenced at Kfar Saba to six months in jail for their activities. He asked the assembly to send delegates to the High Commissioner with a strong protest. His proposal was adopted unanimously.

A letter of greeting from High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope was read to the assembly.

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