E IL VICINO ORIENTE
tratta da “The Sidney Morning Herald”
1920 ↔ 1922
|Anno di inizio spoglio: 1921.|
PALESTINE. PROTEST OF NON-ZIONISTS.
LONDON, March 18. A message from Cairo states that a deputa- tion representing non-Zionists in Palestine is seeking to interview Mr. Churchill. The deputation desires the cessation of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and emphatically protests against Mr. Balfour's declaration to make Palestine a Jewish national home. They also request the establishment of a native government in conformity with article 22 of the League covenant, and protest against the mandate articles.
And the general verdict upon Palestine was: "This is good country. Give this land decent government and good work for ten years and you would not know it again." Those who had studied the science of cultivation were sure that even the rockiest of the uplands and the wildest wadies wandering amongst the hills would well repay systematic treatment; for decomposed limestone makes rich soil. When the Anzac Division returned from that dread- ful first Salt-Amman stunt, though they had passed through a's-stlff (?) a time as any that was faced by British soldiers in the war, yet their talk was full of the wonderful country on those rich uplands of Moab and Bashan; "it could grow enough wheat to feed the British Islands." And it is matter of common know- ledge that many of the men applied to take up land after the war – and were turned down.
A great controversy rages as to the numbers that Palestine will support. The Zionist propagandist asserts that it at present has only half a million, and will hold its millions. The Arab propagandist replies that it is full already, and every Jew immigrant will be a burden and an intruder. Both are probably wrong. It is absurd to say that in its present neglected state it is carrying its full quots of population; but the limits of what it could carry would long be reached before it acco- modated even a fair proportion of the 11 or 12 million Jews who are now scattered over the world – even if those Jews are able and willing to become the kind of landsmen who alone can improve the country.
All the present immigration into Palestine, is Jewish, and it must be said that it is at present of a most disappointing type. Reference to any Zionist propaganda will show that there is no idea of selection amongst immigrants, with a view to sending those who will be of the type that such a country needs.
They are frankly using Palestine as a place of refuge for oppressed Jews; it is Palestine for the use of the Jews, not Jews for the use of Palestine. They certainly are not used to “life on tho land,” nor can it be said that they take to it kindly or show much likelihood of becoming a race of cultivators. Also the immigration has been allowed to commence before arrangements had been thought out for settling people on the land, even if they were fitted; with the result that the Government has had to provide relief works on a considerable scale for the immigrants.
The Jews, however, point triumphantly, as their great argument for the benefit that will accrue to tho country from Jewish settlement, to such colonies as Richon-le-Zion and Rehoboth. It is perfectly true that in those places land that would simply have been roved over by a few Bedouins has been turned into prosperous and fertile fruit orchards and vineyards. But I am afraid that those of the Anzac Division who had the opportunity for some months of watching pretty closely those settlements will agree on tho verdict, "These Jews do not work; they pay Arabs to do the work. Thoy had abundant Rothschild money behind them in tñe foundation of these colonies. But If the country is to have a population numbered in millions who are only going to stroll about while they pay others to do the work it is not the way to make Palestine prosperous." There is not enough money even in the Jewish exchequers to cover Palestine with Richons. It wants people who will go to work like a pioneer goes to work in an up-country district of Australia or New Zea- land. They must work.
There is little good to be said for the Bedouin, viewed as an asset to a country that needs development. They live In their black tents, they have roving rights over fairly large tracts, they scratch a spring crop here, move on to grazing there, and represent the very opposite of "closer settlement." It was somewhat disquieting recently to see Sir Herbert Samuel, at a most picturesque meeting which he had with a gathering of Bedouin sheikbs at Beersheba, tell them that "the Go- vernment had no intention of interfering with the ancient customs of the Bedouin poople."
If that is so a good deal of Palestine must remain undeveloped. The fellahin or village-dwelling peasantry of the country have not had much chance yet to show what is in them in the way of possibilties of development; what was the good, under the Turk, of getting anything but a bare living from the land, whon any appearance of prosperity only meant the certainty that the tax-collector would regard you as a subject for special attention? But those who know them best think highly of them; they say that they work, and first, last, and all the time wo come back to that test when thinking of the future of Palestine.
"Give the country a chance; give it good Government, and you won’t know it." So said the Anzacs, and they may be interested to hear what the Government is doing. "Make ye sure to each his own that he reap where he hath sown." The flrst thing a Government must do is to diffuse a feeling of public security, to make it worth a man's while to look far ahead. Particularly so is this in Palestine, on the hills; for the labour of clearing his patch of soil from stones, of laboriously terracing the hill-side, of constantly keeping up his terrace walls, is incessant and fatiguing; and the olive tree, which is the great wealth of the country, is a slow-growing tree, taking about 20 years to come to full bearing, and then going on for generaions. But I will not treat here of the general feeling of the country, only to say that it is extremely sad for any man of British blood, .who knows the welcome that was given to the idea of British rule and proection, the confidence that was felt that it would mean security and protection, now to find the total change from all that. It is chiefly due to the loud shouting of tho Zionist element referred to before; men like Zangwlll openly say "the Arab must go, this country is ours;" and very reluctantly the Arab has come to the conclusion that we have "sold him to tho Jews," and that he is not sure to "reap where he has sown." This is politics; but its connection with tho develop- ment of the land that needs above all a happy, confident class of cultivators, is obvious. Nothing is more urgent for Palestine than a clear definition of what we mean by the famous phrase in the mandate, that in Palestine we are to establish 'a national home for the Jews." How of the Arabs, 90 per cent, of the population?
But our Government has shown considerable zeal, in helping the cultivators to develop the land. The land needs money – we have pro- vided it; it needs live-stock – we are importing them; It could grew all sorts of crops unknown as yet – we are experimenting with them. Few Anzacs will bo ready to hear a good word of the Jordan Valley, after their experience there; "anyone can have it for me" was the common verdict. Yet overyone who thinks of the abundant supply of springs, the unworked soil, the possibilities of irrig- gation from the Jordan, and the past record of the wonderful fertility of Jericho, must realise that it can become a wonderful source of wealth under tropical creps. (And yet some lunatics want to cut a canal from Haifa ano lot (?) the Mediterranean Sea into it!) Under the present political arrangement of frontiers, the East of Jordan will probably not come under British rule; and the French have retained control of the waters of the Litany and the Yarmuk, so essential to the full development of Palestine. Still, much may be done; and a few details of the activities of the Agricultural Department may he of interests.
It is now seven months since civil govern- ment took the place of military administration. During that time, a sum of about £ 150,000 has been disbursed for the purpose of agricultural loans. During military administration, a sum of about £ 170,000 had been used in the same way; so that since the British occupation, £ 320,000 has been granted in loans to the cultivators. Animals valued at £ 12,000 have been purchased on behalf of the cultivators, who pay for them on a system of instalments spread over three years. A large selection of seeds, representing now varieties of crops, has been issued for trial in co-operative plots. Successful ploughing and tractor trials have been held at several centres. A Land Commission has investigated the conditions of land tenure in different parts of the country, with a view to the framing of recommendations for the protection of tenants rights. Animal quarantine stations have been opened. The export of wheat are barley was till recently prohibited; but the export of barley is now allowed, under license; the prices of grain have been high, and the discontent of the people is largely due to the high cost of living; "It was much cheaper under the Turk," they say. Special rates have been granted by the railway for the transport of cereals; but railway rates are extremely high, as fuel is still expensive.
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Altri periodici del 1921. - Navigazione: Indice delle Fonti e Repertori: Cronologia - Analitico. - Forum: «Tribuna di “Civium Libertas”». - Societas: «Civium Libertas».
POPE AND PALESTINE. SITUATION OF CHRISTIANS.
LONDON, June 14.
A message from Rome states that a passage In the Pope's allocution during a secret concistory is attracting attention. The Pope says: "The situation of Christians in Palestine has not only not improved, but has been worsened by the new civil arrangements wich are ousting Christianity from its previous position and putting Judaism in its place." The allocation exhorts Christians, including non-Catholic Governments, to insist that the League of Nations shall examine tho British mandate.
PALESTINE. GENERAL SMUTS’ INQUIRIES
CAPETOWN, Sept 7.
Replying to a resolution of thanks from the Zionist Association General Smuts said that when in London he discussed the situation in Palestine with Mr Winston Churchill, Secretary of State for the Colonies, Satisfactory assurances were given regarding the future. The policy of a National home would be carried out to the fullest extent to which Palestine could absorb immigration. Administrative changes would be made. The giving of this policy a fair chance in the future now depends on the extent which the Jewish communities all over the world would financially support the cause.
JEWS IN POLAND. EXPATRIATION URGED.
LONDON, Dec. 8.
A Warsaw report states that a conference of business men was held to decide how to dispose of the Jews. While declaring that it was not anti-Semitic, the conference insisted that Poland could not allow the Jews to maintain a state within the State, and recommended their expatriation to Palestine and elsewhere. The conference held that Poland’s fight against Bolshevism would be unsuccessful until the Jews were removed or restrained.