Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Chairman Bloom. Do they pay?

Mrs. EPSTEIN. In the out-patient department, very few pay even the small fee scheduled. In the hospital, those who can afford to pay according to their means, an established scale, while many receive free treatment. Many distinguished Arab potentates come to our hospital for treatment. I have here a very interesting picture of the son and son-in-law of Ibn Saud seated on a bench under a large relief map of the United States. These are only two of the many important Arabs who have come into Palestine for treatment, and who have been very much impressed by the hospital and its services. A tribute from the son of Ibn Saud was sent on to us in a letter, one sentence of which I would like to read.

"You see,” he (Prince Mansour) said, "when Prince Fahd fell ill there was a consultation of some 18 to 20 physicians in Cairo, and it was suggested that he be flown to London. I was asked my opinion and I said: 'Nonsense. Why should he be taken to London if there is Hadassah in Jerusalem-take him there.' And you see, I was right. Now nobody will go anywhere but to Jerusalem, Your hospital is famous throughout the Middle East."

Hadassah's health program has been a very real factor in bringing Arabs and Jews closer together. The Arabs are beginning to understand that the contribution which Jewish colonization brings to the country, can do much to bridge the difference between the East and West and to introduce into that part of the world, the scientific standards which the twentieth century has made possible.

Another field in which Hadassah has brought about better health conditions, not only for the Jews, but also for other inhabitants of the country, is malaria control. At the beginning of the war, Hadassah voted on annual subsidy for intensifying malaria-control services in Palestine, particularly in the newly established colonies where such services were lacking. This work is carried on under the direction of Prof. I. J. Kligler, head of the department of hygiene of the Hebrew University. An interesting letter received by him, written in Arabic, reads in part:

The undersigned, the Muchtar, notables, and residents of the village of Mulacha, near Hule, hereby tender their deep thanks for the help given them during the last 15 years, when treatments were given to all the people of our village, young and old, who suffered from malaria.

Last year you established a malaria station in our village. This year, despite the spread of the disease among our children, and despite the increased cost of drugs and the higher cost of travel, instructions have not yet been issued to reopen this station.

Although insufficient funds bad closed this station, Professor Kligler, as a result of this letter, was able to hurry along the necessary subsidies. The station was reopened and is now functioning.

I would like to add one word about the effectiveness of this malariacontrol program on the health of the troops stationed in Palestine, I quote from Dr. Kligler's latest report:

It is a source of satisfaction that our control work has benefited the forces stationed in Palestine. The contrast between malaria incidence among the troops stationed in Palestine during the last war, or among those now stationed in Syria, with that among the forces at present in Palestine, is so striking_that no comment is required. Twenty years of malaria control have rendered Palestine the only country in this part of the world in which this infectious disease is of minor significance as a factor in troop morbidity.

In addition to actual malaria control, efforts were invested also in the training of personnel. As a matter of fact, a group of malari. ologists trained by Professor Kligler are now serving with the armed forces not only in Palestine but also on other near eastern fronts.

Another important indirect effect of Jewish colonization on the general health conditions of the Arabs is brought about by the use of state revenue for health conditions. It is a fact that the participation of the Jews in state revenue is higher than their proportion in the population, and this revenue serves to build up social services in the country. Since the Jews take care of their own health needs to the largest extent themselves, revenue is allocated almost entirely for the benefit of the Arabs.

According to Dr. Ruppin, the Jews in Palestine already contributed in 1932 40 percent of the state revenue, while their share in the population was only 17 percent. The percentage is much higher today.

The Royal Commission for Palestine confirmed that the social services in Palestine could be made "more advanced than that of any of its neighbors” as a result of this state revenue based on the Jewish contribution. At the same time, the Arab population benefited from the health services of the Jewish organizations.

We quote from the Palestine Royal Commission Report, July 1937 (p. 129):

(v) The reclamation and antimalaria work undertaken in Jewish colonies have benefited all Arabs in the neighborhood.

(vi) Institutions, founded with Jewish funds primarily to serve the National Home, have also served the Arab population. Hadassah, for example, treats Arab patients, notably at the Tuberculosis Hospital at Safad and the Radiology Institute at Jerusalem, admits Arab countryfolk to the clinics of its rural sick benefit fund, and does much infant welfare work for Arab mothers.

(vii) The general beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare is illustrated by the fact that the increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, 6 years ago, the percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.

33. The further claim, based on the Jewish contribution to revenue, seems to us indisputable. Arab witnesses argued that the Government could have spent more money in social services if the National Home had not, on the one hand, necessitated a more elaborate and costly administration than was needed for the Arabs, and if it had not, on the other hand, involved so large an expenditure on security to protect it from attack. But they could not deny that such public services as had in fact been provided had benefited their people, nor could they deny that the revenue available for those services had been largely provided by the Jews. It is impossible to calculate with anything like precision what share of taxation is borne by the Jews. But it is certain that much the greater part of the customs duties are paid by them, and the rising amount of customs revenue has formed from 1920 to the present day the biggest item in the rising total

revenue.

We also quote from the Palestine Partition Commission, London, October 1938 (p. 27):

It would seem that the growth of the population must be due mainly to a lower death rate, brought about not so much by a change in personal habits (although in this region also the effect of education and advice by Government medical officers and clinics is beginning to be seen), as by general administrative measures, such as antimalarial control, under an efficient and enlightened government

We thus have the Arab population reflecting simultaneously two widely different tendencies—a birth rate characteristic of a peasant community in which the unrestricted family is normal, and a death rate which could only be brought about under an enlightened modern administration, with both

*

*

*

the will and the necessary funds at its disposal to enable it to serve a population unable to help itself. It is indeed an ironic commentary on the working of the mandate, and perhaps on the science of government, that this result, which so far from encouraging has almost certainly hindred close settlement by Jews on the land, could scarcely have been brought about except through the appropriation of tax revenue contributed by the Jews.

I would like to add one word about other health services that are not under the aegis of Hadassah. Hadassah has been a standard bearer in Palestine and other Jewish groups have followed the lead. The labor group in Palestine has a highly organized health system of workmen's compensation and sick benefit which cares for the health needs of a large part of the population and assures good health conditions for the workers of the country.

In concluding this portion of my testimony, I would like to point out that if one judges the cultural level of a country by the health education and social service standards, then the level of Palestine has been raised very much higher than that of neighboring Arab countries. Inevitably, this higher standard must affect not only the population of Palestine, but must affect the Arabs of neighboring countries. When an Arab woman who has borne 20 children and is able to raise only 2 to manhood, accepting this condition as inevitable, sees a neighbor, a Jewish woman, bring up the children she has borne, in health and well-being, she will ultimately demand for her own children those conditions which have safeguarded the health of her neighbor's children.

Chairman BLOOM. You mean if the Arab woman had 20 and lost 2? Mrs. EPSTEIN. No; I mean, lost 18.

Chairman BLOOM. What have these facts to do with the resolution which is before us today?

Mrs. EPSTEIN. I was asked to present a particular facet of the upbuilding program of the Jewish national home. The 125,000 Hadassah women functioning through Hadassah are motivated by the belief that the solution of the 2,000-year-old Jewish problem demands the reestablishment of Palestine as the Jewish commonwealth-a center where the Jews may be the majority section of the population and where they may live a normal national existence. Since the support of the resolution, calling for this objective, has been so ably expressed by others, I have not stressed it in my presentation, but I want to make it clear here that the large program which Hadassah carries is undertaken and motivated by the belief that we must create the facts which will make possible the speedy establishment of the Jewish commonwealth. At the same time, we are determined that the Jews returning to Palestine shall be supported and sustained on the level which we think this century with its great opportunities should make available to all people.

What I have tried to stress here in presenting the health work in some detail, is the effective weapon which I believe it to be for bridging the gap between Arab and Jew and supplying the means to bring two sections of the population together for the common good of the country and the whole population.

Mr. EATON. Will the lady tell the committee the meaning of the word “Hadassah”?

Mrs. EPSTEIN. It is the Hebrew word for Esther.

Mr. Eaton. Esther was a queen and she seems to have some descendants.

Chairman Bloom. Tell me how many members the Hadassah has. Mrs. EPSTEIŅ. In the senior group we have about 110,000. Chairman BLOOM. That is all over the United States?

Mrs. EPSTEIN. That is all over the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific, very active and articulate women groups.

There is another part of Hadassah's program that is not directly connected with our health undertakings, but which is very important and has direct connection with the resolution before the House. That is the Youth Aliyah program (youth immigration program) for which Hadassah is the sponsor in America-a program which has been successful in bringing over 10,000 young girls and boys from central and eastern Europe to Palestine in the last 10 years. These children have been instructed and reeducated and made ready for a new life in their new home. They have been integrated into the country, have become useful citizens and are creating opportunities for new builders and new youth who will follow them. An interesting commentary is the fact that 1,500 Youth Aliyah graduates have volunteered their services and are fighting under British command on many fronts.

Hadassah alone has not been responsible for bringing over all of these children, but it has played a large part, and we are grateful to the American community that has made it possible for us to save such a large group of young people who would otherwise have perished and who now have the opportunity for a creative and useful life.

Chairman Bloom. Any questions, Mrs. Bolton?

Mrs. EPSTEIN. I would like to quote for the record a letter from Dr. Parran which has a direct bearing on the report which I have brought here today:

Hadassah is especially to be commended for the wartime performance of the medical and public health units sponsored by it in the Middle East. There is a particular reason to rejoice that basic health and welfare facilities have been developed in Palestine over a period of 30 years. Decade-long encounters with illness in its entirety have made it possible for these units to hold the lines against disease and to sustain the armed forces of the United Nations in the present war crisis. Chairman BLOOM. Does that conclude your statement? Mrs. EPSTEIN. Yes, sir. Chairman Bloom. Are there any questions?

Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. Chairman, I am going to spoil the record and ask a question.

Chairman Bloom. All right, I will freely give you opportunity. Mr. Wright. Is there any particular woman's group which reacts adversely to the proposition?

Mrs. ĚPSTEIN. There is certainly no organized woman's group and I cannot imagine such a group is in formation or is possible.

The woman we have approached have understood very well the purposes of Hadassah.

Mrs. DAVID DE Sola Pool. Mr. Chairman, I would like to interpose a word here. There is a conference committee of national Jewish women's organizations which comprises every national Jewish women's organization in the country, and on a number of occasions they have gone on record as opposing the white paper and supporting the Balfour Declaration. There has been no group which has excepted itself from that position.

Mrs, EPSTEIN. I want to add a few words. Hadassah women have been deeply interested as women in the services that we have been

able to give to the men, women, and children of Palestine who otherwise would not have received them, but the motivation for working for a project 6,000 miles away is the determination to provide for the Jewish National Home those conditions that shall make possible the absorption of the largest possible number of Jews in the shortest possible time. They have worked for the preservation of the health of those who are in the land and those who are coming into the land in order to establish good and firm foundations for the future Jewish Commonwealth.

We are an integral part of the Zionist movement, the objective of which is the reestablishment of Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth. Toward the achievement of that objective all our work and efforts are dedicated.

Chairman Bloom. Any further questions? (No response.) Thank you very much and we appreciate your coming here.

I would like to call on two representatives, one from Brooklyn and one from New York, Mr. Delaney from Brooklyn.

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. DELANEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK

Mr. DELANEY. Mr. Chairman, I came in to get some education because as a member of the Rules Committee I thought you might want to come to us

Chairman BLOOM. You do not want to go on record saying you are in favor of it.

Mr. DICKSTEIN. Surely he is.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you, Mr. Dickstein.

STATEMENT OF HON. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK Mr. DICKSTEIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am in hearty support of House Resolution 418 and I see House Resolution 419 is along the same lines. I am in full support of both and I will do everything I can. I think in part the resolution came too late because some action ought to be taken and England ought to wake up and understand we have something to say about the Palestine question. I hope that some future date we will discuss it on the floor.

The Balfour Declaration is a sort of a Magna Carta for the Jewish people of Europe, especially at this time when most of the nations saw fit to indulge in a campaign of extermination and when Hitler and his satellites are doing everything in their power to destroy the Jewish people.

The only place which these people can find to reestablish their lives and to make a new home is Palestine. Palestine is not a British possession. Britain was only given a mandate by the League of Nations, a mandate which makes it a trustee for the benefit of the people of Palestine and which is based on Britain's declaration that "His Majesty's Government will facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish Home Land."

In 1924 our Government became a "contracting” party to the Palestine mandate. This was effected by a convention signed be

« PředchozíPokračovat »