5 JUNE 1936, Page 21


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—Your correspondent,. Mr. Israel Cohen, failing to disprove the dangers threatening the Arabs of Palestine as a result of Jewish immigration, selling of lands, and the intention of the Jews to establish a Jewish majority, resorts to well- known propaganda which he and other Zionist propagandists have unceasingly repeated in the Press of this country as a ground of justification for the injustices of the policy of the National Home, by contending that the Jews have brought "economic and social welfare" to the Arabs. In reply to this propaganda may I assert the following points?

1. That the Jewish community is isolated from the Arabs is proved by the facts that there is no economic or social insti- tution where the Arabs and Jews meet, that there are only three important towns where the Jews and Arabs are living together, even in different quarters and with a rather per- manent deadlock and boycott.

The Jews, equipped with International capital, did fine work in their settlements and colonies, but what is the benefit to the. Arabs, when Arab labour only is boycotted, and not "

even Jewish labour" as your correspondent asserts ? Article 11 of the Palestine Foundation Fund Agreements lays down : ".The settler undertakes to work the said holding personally and not to hire any outside labour except Jewish labourers."

Article 23 of the Jewish National Fund leases lays down : " Thedessee undertakes to execute all works connected with the cultivation of the holding only with .Jewish labour."

Failure to comply with this duty by the employment of non, Jewish .labour shall render the lessee. liable to the payment of a compensation of £1.0 for each default."

Where are the "8,000 Arabs employed in Jewish agricul- tural settlements " ? There are Arab labourers employed in Kfar Saba settlement, but hear what happens to those few labourers employed in some of the settlements : The entire Jewish .population in the neighbourhood of Kfar Saba has voluntarily mobilised for the purpose of picketing Jew:sh orange-groves in Kfar Saba in which Arab labour is em. ployed." (Jewish Chronicle, April 20th, 1934.) 2., On the other hand the Jews, supported by an Interna- tional Finance, are trying every possible means to dominate the economic situation and exploit the richest resources of the country by taking concessions from the British Government even without giving the slightest consideration to the interests of the Arabs, such as the Dead Sea and Rutenberg Concessions. A few hundred cheap Arab labourers are employed there, but how much of the Jewish prosperity are these cutters of stone and wood and drawers Of water sharing ? And what share had the Arabs in these two greatest concerns in Palestine and of the millions of pounds hidden in the water of the Dead Sea, and which is given to Moses Novoslcy, a Russian Jew with alien international financiers behind him ? This is the "lucrative employment which the Arabs of Syria and Trans- Jordan prefer to the poverty under their national governments"!

3. The Jews contend that those who sold their land took Jewish money which improved their standard of life and methods of cultivation. Two classes sold their lands : (1) the absentee landlords whose standard of life was not im- proved because it was already high, and who lett cultivation altogether. (2) The poor Arab fellah (tenant) who due to ignorance evacuates the village and goes to towns .where he spends his money, and is left without land, money or occupa- tion.'.,.

The Director of Land in his evieence before. the Committee. 1929, said : "A vendor makes a contract of sale with the Jews. We would know nothing of this until live or six months later. We then instruct the District officer to report on the tenants, He would find that the population had already evacuated the village. They had taken certain sums of money and gone. We could not afford them any protection." (Report of that Committee, p. 115.)

Sir J. H. Simpson, the " highly qualified investigator," says, on page 142 of his unchallenged report (in spite of the fact that your correspondent wants it to be " challenged " and "disproved " merely because it is fair and impartial) : "The Jewish settlers have had every advantage that a capital, science and organisation could give to them. The Arab has had none of these advantages, and has received prac- tically no help to improve his cultivation or his standard of life."

4. The landless Arab families, according to Sir J. H. Simpson, are 30,000. Only as the result of the sale of Wadi El Hawareth 1,200 families were displaced, and in that of Vale of Esdraelon 22 villages were included and 1,746 families were displaced. If this is the result of two transactions, is it "gross exaggeration" to say that 6.000 families were dis- placed until now, when they were 5,000 in 1930? The mere fact that there were " only 3,236 applications for admission to the Register of landless Arabs and only 656 were admitted" does not disprove these unchallenged facts.

5. That the development of the Arabs and the increase in their number is natural is proved by the fact that the standard of living in Syria or Iraq is as high as that of Palestine, and the increase in the wages is the same, although they were not affected by "Jewish prosperity:' 6.- The final word to your correspondent is this. Even had their propaganda been true, the Arab was never a " worship- per "of or a" slave "to money. Palestine is an Arab country, and the Arabs arc entitled to refuse Jewish money in exchange for their political and economic pre& llll i ll mice in their country. What is undesirable in other countries is most undesirable in Palestine, and it is immaterial to argue that the .Jews had a historical connexion, which is too remote to establish any right, or that they had a promise, which was a reckless scheme of the War, a scheme which brought many injustices, troubles, difficulties and bloodshed.—Yours faithfully,