Brodetsky Decries Britain’s Policy
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Brodetsky Decries Britain’s Policy

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tine is at the present moment undergoing development on a very considerable scale. It has grown, unfortunately not in size, but it has grown and is growing in importance and in the way in which people can live there.”

Prof. Brodetsky praised the High Commissioner’s report because it linked, he said, the development of the country with Jewish immigration.

“That,” he stated, “is very important to us It is our view that Palestine must remain a derelict country, except as it is developed by Jewish immigration. . . . The difference between Palestine and other countries is that in most countries people are afraid of immigration, because they think it means taking away work from those who have work, whereas in Palestine the more immigration there is, the more opportunities it creates for workers and the more need and demand there is for workers.”

$5,000,000 A MONTH

Prof. Brodetsky called attention to the huge amount of capital Jewish immigrants were bringing to the Holy Land.

“Hardly a month goes by without at least a million pounds going into Palestine. That does not mean that rich Jews are going to Palestine. But it means that a thousand people with a thousand pounds each make up the large investments.”

The recent offer of the Syrian government to admit Jews with capital under certain restrictions was commented upon by the Jewish Agency member.

“That sort of thing,” he said, “has happened often enough, that countries welcome us, that we build up enterprises, put in work into those enterprises, and then we are kicked out. But in the case of Palestine that is not to to be. We Jews have wandered all over the world, but Palestine is to be the terminus of our wanderings. Therefore it is clear that the immigration into Palestine must be an immigration of workers.”

Commenting on the labor shortage, Professor Brodetsky said: “It is important also to note that the High Commissioner in his statement says that there is a shortage of labor in Palestine. That is what we have been saying all along. Not only is there a shortage of labor in Palestine, but there is a growing shortage of labor.

“We maintain that this labor must be Jewish. There are people who complain that this implies a boycott of Arab labor. There is no boycott. In the same way as the English worker has a right to expect that the English employer should employ English workers, so the Jewish worker has the right to expect that the Jewish employer should employe Jewish workers.

“While there has been an increase in the number of certificates, 7,500 instead of 5,500, nevertheless, it is important to bear in mind that the number of certificates granted is still too small to make good the actual accumulated shortage of labor. Let us hope that the precedent of the High Commissioner in granting a supplementary schedule will be followed again, and that we shall receive another lot of certificates before the six months are over.


“The government said that the number of certificates it thought reasonable was 9,500. We believe the government is wrong. We have all respect for the British mandatory government, {SPAN}bu#{/SPAN} experience has shown us that the government’s calculations were wrong in the past. But in addition the government deducted 2,200 certificates for what it calls illegal immigration.

“Now no one wants the law broken. It is to our interest that Palestine should be ruled by law. But the question of immigration into Palestine must be viewed in relation to the Jewish problem in relation to the Jewish need for immigration, the Jewish homeless-ness. The question of immigration is one on which we shall still have to put our views to the government. What has been done is no small improvement. But our need as a people is so great, that as long as there is room in Palestine for one more Jew and that Jew is not admitted, we are not satisfied.

“In regard to land, the Arabs complained that Jews were taking away their land. The government has gone into this question very thoroughly, and it has found by careful investigation that this is not the case. There is no wholesale displacement of Arabs. Furthermore, the laws have been s# shaped and the opportunities of the Arabs to put obstructions in the way of Jews obtaining land belonging to Jews, that there is no question of Arab dispossession. So the High Commissioner was able to tell the Arabs that they had nothing to complain about.

“And he announced the decision that has been taken with regard to the Huleh area, to grant a concession there. The Huleh area consists of marsh land, very much like the Emek before it was taken over by Jews and cleared. It is land which is now practically useless, but agriculturally it is perhaps the best land in Palestine.

“This land has since 1914 been in the hands of Syrian concessionaires. The High Commissioner pointed out that there was this land which had been in the hands of Arab concessionaires and for twenty years nothing had been done. A concession is granted by a government on certain conditions, which mean that the concession must be worked. They have done nothing. The land is a center of disease for the whole district. For this reason the government has decided to allow the land to pass to a Jewish company.


“The other day the documents were handed over formally to the representative of the Jewish Agency. This is a very important event in the history of Palestine. The land is very important. The conditions made by the government are most generous to the Arabs. We have to drain the land, and about a third of it will have to be given to Arabs. We do that because we shall have the rest. In his speech to the Mandates Commission, the High Commissioner estimated that the drainage of this land would cost about a million pounds. It will perhaps cost more, but it is gratifying to know that a great part of the money is already there.

“This represents one of the most important steps forward in the agricultural development of Palestine, particularly now when land is so difficult to obtain, largely to our own folly in speculating, which is resulting in putting up the price of land. The situation shows that our contention is right, that the restrictions on land sales are dangerously harmful and should be abolished.

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