REVIEW of REVIEWS

Palestine Has Bright Future

Jewish Colonists Developing This Once Backward Land in Amazing Manner

NAHUM SOKOLOW November 1 1932
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Palestine Has Bright Future

Jewish Colonists Developing This Once Backward Land in Amazing Manner

NAHUM SOKOLOW November 1 1932

Palestine Has Bright Future

Jewish Colonists Developing This Once Backward Land in Amazing Manner

REVIEW of REVIEWS

NAHUM SOKOLOW

THE extent to which Jewish colonists are developing agriculture in Palestine and otherwise advancing that once bleak country is described by Nahum Sokolow in the New York Times in part as follows: “Palestine is no longer merely a land with a past. Its future has become an important factor in the consideration of many present problems. The growth of the country within recent years has been so steady and so consistent that predictions as to further development need not be purely speculative.

“It is common knowledge that the Jewish people have salvaged Palestine from the arid wilderness of backward countries and given it a place in the modem economic, industrial and social advance of the world. Encouraged by moral approval, fortified by international treaties as represented in the Palestine mandate awarded to Great Britain under the auspices of the League of Nations, the Jewish people have made their dream of a restored Jewish national home the instrument for giving back to the world a land that once bulked large on the material as well as spiritual horizon.

“The effort to rebuild Palestine dates back fifty years. But the tempo of energetic activity was not stimulated until 1917, when the Balfour Declaration, preceded by the declarations of France, the United States, Italy and other nations, was issued by Great Britain. The actual reconstruction work was not begun until some ten years ago. Much has been written about the rebuilding of the Jewish national home. Perhaps less has been said about the actual achievements, in terms of economic growth, industrial expansion and agricultural improvement.

“Palestine is being rehabilitated by the sweeping emotional force that brought 100,000 Jews into the country within a decade. They were not attracted by smokebelching factories which ground out wealth; they were not drawn by vast acres of profitable grain. They came seeking peace of mind, self-respect. They found both, even though many died clearing up the dreaded malarial swamps, though others were broken by the unaccustomed toil in afforestating barren hills, clearing rocky acres, plowing soil that had lain barren for centuries.

“But not even the most overwhelming sentiment could prevail against impossibility. What makes the effort of Jew's in Palestine so worthwhile is that this is only the beginning. Palestine has resources, prospects, realizable possibilities.

“There are various sources that could support this increased population: agriculture, industry, trade, tourist traffic, among other channels of constantly swelling income. There are approximately 3.000,000 acres in Palestine itself which are capable of cultivation. At the present time oranges account for 45 per cent of the total value of Palestine’s export trade. The extent of growth in this particular branch of agricultural produce is shown by the fact that in 1885 there were exported from Palestine 106,000 cases of oranges. In 1931 the number was 2,857,041.

“The Jewish influx has been responsible not only for larger cultivation by Jews but for the realization by Arabs of the value of more advanced citrus fruit cultivation. In 1924, for example, the Arabs owned 22,000 dunams (four dunams equal one acre) of orange groves. The Jews had 12,000 in that year. In 1930, the Jewish ownership had increased to 58,000 dunams but the Arabs had more than doubled their own acreage to 55,000 dunams.

“The flexibility and adaptability of Palestine’s soil can be seen from the developed and varied viti-culture. competing w'ith German and French w'ines—is one of the products of the last forty years. The grains that may be grown include wheat, barley and maize, among others. Industrial plants, such as tobacco, flax, sugar cane, cotton, mulberry, and vegetables including potatoes, onions, tomatoes and watermelons, are among the exports. It is, therefore, seen that the possibilities in this field are tremendous, when one also remembers that livestock rearing, the traditional occupation of the nomad Bedouins, poultry-farming, bee-keeping and fisheries can furnish a livelihood for countless thousands.

“Palestine’s most rapid grow'th will depend, in a large measure, on the development of industry. It can readily become

the supply market for the entire Near East. The food, drink and tobacco industries, chemical and allied trades, textiles, metal works, timber trades and building materials, stationery and printing, leather and canvas trades, not to speak of a host of small home industries, furnish the basis for a vast network of labor that can be maintained on Palestine’s natural resources and through the import of raw materials. The fabulous mineral deposits of the Dead Sea, already being extracted; the extensive possibilities opened up by the Rutenberg electrification scheme, the building of the new harbor at Haifa, which may become one of the leading ports on the Mediterranean; the running of the oil pipe lines from the Mosul fields to Haifathese are all parts of the prospects and realities which provide hope to the friends of a re-created Palestine.”