The progress of Jewish agricultural colonization in Palestine in the 25 years since it was undertaken in the Valley of Jezreel was outlined at this afternoon’s session by Dr. Arthur Ruppin, chairman of the Palestine Executive of the World Zionist Organization.
Two factors were cited by Dr. Ruppin, as militating against progress of the colonization work: the difficulties imposed by the Palestine Government on Jewish acquisition of land and the menace of land speculation.
Although in 1934 more than 62,000 dunams of land (exclusive of the Huleh concession) passed into Jewish hands, Dr. Ruppin reported that because of speculation there is still a shortage of acreage. During 1934, he said, speculators in land were very active, the year witnessing an exchange of 48,000 dunams from Jews to Jews.
Chief sufferers of this condition, Dr. Ruppin pointed out, are the new immigrants desiring to settle on land nearer the cities. Where formerly the speculation was confined to the cities, the evil has now spread to the rural districts, he pointed out.