The Hopes Achievements and Crises

The years between 1919 and 1928 were the most crucial in the history of the Zionist idea and enterprise, the result of the euphoric days following the Balfour Declaration. With the end of the First World War, it appeared that the dream of generations had come to pass and that a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel would ensue. Throughout the world Jews were holding festive rallies, publishing evaluations and forecasts concerning the composition of "the first Jewish government," and many thousands had packed their belongings and were preparing to leave for Eretz Israel.

The reality, however, was bleak. The British had imposed martial law on Palestine and its senior commanders, the majority of whom opposed their government's pro-Zionist policy, were preoccupied with their own problems. For whatever reason, they did not - or would not - find time to deal with issues relating to the Jewish Yishuv, in particular Jewish aliyah; in fact they closed the gates of Palestine to olim. The Zionist leadership was also not in a hurry to send Jews to Palestine. Fearing that the country - bruised and beaten after the war - would be unable to absorb new arrivals, they curbed the growing enthusiasm of the Jews and demanded that they be patient. These were the years when Dr. Chaim Weizmann was working toward becoming the Zionist leader. His road, however, was paved with competitors and rivals, the most challenging of all being Louis D. Brandeis, the renowned Zionist leader from the United Sates. Most of the American Zionists, led by Brandeis, believed that the Zionist movement needed to concentrate on building a Jewish national homeland in Eretz Israel by economic means, and should not occupy itself with ideological matters. Weizmann and the European Zionists, however, got the upper hand and Branders retired from Zionist activity.

From the 1920s a change began to take place. Great Britain received the mandate for Palestine in the spring of 1920 and on July 1 of the same year, Herbert Samuel became the first civilian high commissioner. Samuel, a British Jew closely associated with the Zionists, was extremely helpful in bringing about the Balfour Declaration. All Zionist aspirations, it seemed, had now been realized. Aliyah began anew, although not at the rate that Weizmann would have wished; the fervor and enthusiasm of 1919 had passed. Some time after Weizmann was heard asking sadly, "People of Israel - where are you?"

In spite of this, there was much activity in Palestine. The Yishuv's institutions, headed by the Zionist Commission and the Zionist Executive that replaced it, expanded their land acquisition activities, and from 1921 - after much argument - acquired extraordinarily large tracts of land in the Jezreel Valley. Large-scale settlement activity in the valley began, and within less than a decade, 20 new settlements had been added to the Jewish Yishuv in this valley alone.

By 1923, some 8,000 olim were arriving in Palestine every year. This period was known as the Third Aliyah. Many of the new arrivals were pioneers - young, single and with a socialist outlook on life, wanting to establish in Eretz Israel not only a Jewish state but a more just society. They founded settlement bodies, kibbutzim and moshavim, the most famous of them being the Gedud haAvoda (Labor Battalion), in honor of Joseph Trumpeldor, who was killed in battle when Arabs attacked Tel Hai in 1920. The World Zionist Organization supported them, and cooperative settlement, in those years, became the apple of its eye. At the same time, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, was also attempting to attract non-Zionists to Palestine; people of means from America whom he tried to recruit to the Zionist endeavor through a new body that he would establish - the Jewish Agency.

In 1924, a new, different wave of aliyah began - the Fourth Aliyah - and tens of thousands of Jews from Poland streamed into Palestine. Most of them were not pioneers but middle-class Jews interested in urban rather than agricultural settlement. Over the next two years, Tel Aviv grew considerably, and turned from a town into a city. The Fourth Aliyah clarified the ongoing argument: should the World Zionist Organization support agricultural and cooperative settlement, which obliged it to make large financial investments, or should it leave the market forces "to play themselves out," with the minimum of interference, so as to enable the growth of a capitalistic market? There were many who objected to this, the most prominent being Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

Sixty thousand Jews made aliyah, mostly without financial or other aid, and settled in quickly, mostly in the towns. The atmosphere of prosperity that prevailed in the Yishuv at this time satisfied the supporters of a capitalistic market and provided them with valuable ammunition to support their claims. But not for long.

Throughout the years of the Fourth Aliyah - the so-called "urban" aliyah - both public-cooperative and private agricultural settlement continued. During these years a bloc of new moshavot northeast of Tel Aviv, in the Sharon region, rose up, including Bnei Brak, Herzliya, Ramatayim and Magdiel (later Hod Hasharon), which strengthened the settlements that had previously been established in the area (Kfar Saba, Ra'anana and Ir Shalom - later Ramat Hasharon). The citrus industry was the area's main means of income.

However, after the prosperity of 1924-1925, an economic crisis erupted that proved to be the worst to hit the pre-State Jewish Yishuv ("the Fourth Aliyah crisis"). Businesses began to collapse, there was a slump in the building industry, which had been the leading branch of the economy, unemployment reached a peak and thousands of Jews left the country. The Zionist enterprise was in danger. Weizmann searched unremittingly for financial aid to strengthen the Yishuv and in 1927 recruited influential non-Zionist American Jews to take action in Eretz Israel. In 1928, the Joint Palestine Survey Commission completed its work, which paved the way for the establishment of the Jewish Agency in 1929 (to be discussed in the next chapter).

Eretz Israel of 1928 was somewhat gloomy, but there were some bright spots. The crisis was not yet over, but the achievements of the decade since the Balfour Declaration was far from insignificant. The number of Jews in Palestine had tripled - from 55,000 to 160,000; the number of settlements had also increased significantly - from 49 in 1917 to 96 in 1928; and the Jewish National Fund had purchased more than 200,000 dunams of land. The Zionist enterprise in Eretz Israel was fraught with problems and although progress was being made, it was slow and erratic. The British were sympathetic, but not to any great degree. The Arabs rioted twice in the Jewish Yishuv at the beginning of the 1920s and then ceased their hostile activity. Some hoped and prayed that this was because the Arabs were becoming used to the presence of increasing numbers of Jews in Palestine.

1919

January 3
An additional meeting takes place between Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader, and Emir Feisal, one of the leaders of the Arab revolt. An agreement is negotiated and signed between the two in which Feisal accepts the Balfour Declaration and Weizmann promises to help the Arabs develop their countries.

A World Zionist Organization memorandum is presented at the Paris Peace Conference, held in Versailles, France. The Zionist demands: the Jews have an historic right to Eretz Israel; it is proper that Britain receive the mandate for Palestine; and the borders of Eretz Israel will include parts of Lebanon, Syria and Transjordan.

February 3
The Jewish delegation to the Peace Conference (Comite des Delegations Juives) begins to function. It consists of representatives of organizations and bodies from all over the world who appeared before the Peace Conference, at the initiative of the World Zionist Organization. They demand a guarantee of national rights for Jews wherever they reside. The Committee operates until 1936 when it merges with the newly founded World Jewish Congress.

February
A large Zionist convention convenes in London with representatives from many countries. On the agenda are current issues, including discussions on the Peace Conference, the guaranteeing of rights to Jews in the countries they reside, the question of Jewish emigration, etc.

February 24 – March 12
A Zionist delegation, headed by Weizmann and Sokolow, appears before the presidium of the Peace Conference. It presents the claims of the Zionists concerning Palestine and their standpoint regarding the granting of national rights to Jewish minorities in new European countries.

June 10
An international commission of inquiry, led by Americans Henry C. King and Charles R. Crane, is sent by the Peace Conference to Palestine. The two have come to learn about the aspirations and needs of the residents of Palestine regarding their political future. The committee's conclusions, published at a later date, are anti-Zionist and recommend, among other things, that the project of making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth be given up and that Palestine be included in a united Syrian state.

July 9
Louis D. Brandeis, a Supreme Court judge and Zionist leader in the United States, arrives in Palestine for a visit.

August
The Actions Committee (Va'ad HaPoel HaZioni) convenes in London with Weizmann and Brandeis's participation. For the first time, the modus operandi of the Jewish Agency is discussed. There is tension between Weizmann and Brandeis.

October
The well-known Zionist leader Menahem Ussishkin makes aliyah and is appointed to head the Zionist Commission, the most senior Zionist representation in Palestine.

Joseph Trumpeldor, a member of the Second Aliyah, who previously left the country, makes aliyah a second time. He has come to prepare the ground for the aliyah of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of members of the HeHalutz (The Pioneer) movement in Russia.

December 9
The Judean Regiment is established, comprising remnants of the three battalions of the Royal Fusiliers that were created two years previously. Its insignia is a menorah (seven-branched candelabrum) with the Hebrew word kadima (forward).

December 19
The S.S. "Ruslan" reaches the Jaffa shore. On board are 671 returnees and olim from Russia. This is considered the beginning of the Third Aliyah - sometimes compared to the American "Mayflower" because it is comprised mainly of public figures, scholars, doctors and artists.

Throughout December 1919 the security situation in four Jewish settlements in the Upper Galilee - Metulla, Kfar Giladi, Tel Hai and Hamara - deteriorates. Trumpeldor is sent to the Galilee and is appointed commander of Tel Hai. In 1919, the British military regime forbids large-scale Jewish aliyah to Palestine. The Jewish leadership also has concerns regarding such an aliyah until the conditions in Palestine improve. An announcement, circulated by the Zionist Executive in the summer of 1919, reads: "Uncontrolled and incompletely prepared immigration will be the greatest calamity for the immigrants and for our renascent land." Despite all the warnings and fears, some 2,000 olim make aliyah in 1919.

1920

Tension in the north increases and there is concern for the Jewish settlements.

March 1 (11 Adar 5680)
The battle for Tel Hai. Arabs attack Tel Hai and Joseph Trumpeldor and five of the men under his command are killed. The defenders abandon Tel Hai and a few days later Kfar Giladi and Metulla (Hamara was abandoned in early January).

April 4-7
The Arab riots of 1920 (5680) in Jerusalem. Arabs attack the city's Jews, killing six and wounding 200. Jabotinsky leads the defenders. The British arrest him together with 19 of his defenders and sentence them to long terms in prison. The Yishuv is outraged.

April 19
Elections are held to the first Elected Assembly (Asefat haNivharim) of the Jewish Yishuv in Eretz Israel.

April 25-26
The Supreme Council of the Allies (Triple Alliance) meets in San Remo, Italy and elects to grant the mandate for Palestine to the British. The Balfour Declaration is included in the mandate agreement. There is rejoicing in the Jewish Yishuv and in the Zionist movement all over the world.

June 15
The Hagana is founded.

July 1
British military rule in Palestine ends. The first civilian high commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, a British Jew who is closely associated with the Zionists, takes office.

July 7-24
The annual conference of the World Zionist Organization (the Zionist Conference) convenes in London. The first large Zionist gathering after the war, participants include representatives of countries defeated in the war (Germany, Austria, etc.). Discussions relating to settlement in Eretz Israel take place and Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund), a vital overseas funding mechanism of the WZO, is founded. Weizmann is elected President of the WZO. There is a rift between Weizmann and Brandeis. Brandeis wants to build the Yishuv in Eretz Israel on economic foundations and objects to the preoccupation with ideological and cultural matters in Palestine and the Diaspora.

July 8
The new high commissioner grants pardons to Jabotinsky and his 19 colleagues. He also releases Arab prisoners.

August 25
The Joseph Trumpeldor Defense and Labor Battalion (Gedud haAvoda vehaHagana al shem Yosef Trumpeldor), usually referred to as Gedud haAvoda (Labor Battalion), is founded - a significant pioneering group active in Palestine during the 1920s.

October 5
Members of Kfar Giladi return to their settlement in the Galilee.
Members of Tel Hai and Metulla follow suit.

October 7-11
The opening of the Elected Assembly is held and a National Council (Va'ad Le'umi) is elected to act as the Assembly's executive organ. It is proclaimed the "Supreme Authority in dealing with the public and national interests of the Jewish people in Palestine."

November 4
A reorganization committee arrives in Palestine, sent by the WZO Executive in London, to inspect the Zionist organizational and settlement work in Eretz Israel. It recommends major cuts in expenses.

December 5-12
The founding meeting of the General Federation of Labor (Histadrut haOvdim) takes place in Haifa - a central body in the life of the Yishuv and the country.

Aliyah to Palestine in 1920 stands at more than 8,000. Many are young pioneers prepared to do any kind of manual labor, such as draining swamps, paving roads and constructing new settlements.

1921

February 22
First elections to the Rabbinical Council of Palestine take place and two chief rabbis are chosen: Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, and Rabbi Ya'akov Meir, Sephardi Chief Rabbi.

May 1-6
The Arab riots of 1921 (5681). Arabs attack Jews in Jaffa, Petah Tikva, Rehovot and Hadera. Forty-seven Jews are killed and more than 100 are wounded. Among the dead is the renowned writer Yoseph Hayim Brenner.

May 14
The British suspend Jewish aliyah due to the tense situation in Palestine.

August 1
The British publish the new immigration regulations, which limit Jewish aliyah to Palestine.

September 1-14
The Twelfth Zionist Congress convenes in Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia, the first to be held in eight years (since World War l). The Congress approves the decision of the London Zionist Conference the previous year to found Keren Hayesod and acquire large tracts of land in the Jezreel Valley.

September 11
During the Congress, Nahalal, the first worker's moshav, is established in the Jezreel Valley.

September 22
Members of the Labor Battalion (Gedud haAvoda) establish Kibbutz Ein Harod in the eastern Jezreel Valley. By the end of the year, an additional three settlements – Geva, Kfar Yehezkel and Tel Yosef - will be established. During September, the entrepreneur Pinhas Rutenberg receives two franchises from the British for producing electricity in Palestine. He is assisted by the Zionist Executive.

December
David Ben-Gurion, who spent the last year in London as an envoy of Ahdut Avoda, returns to Palestine and is appointed a member of the secretariat of the Actions Committee (Va'ad HaPo'el) of the General Federation of Labor, and the Federation's secretary-general (a position he holds until 1935).

In 1921, large areas of the Jezreel Valley are acquired by the Palestine Land Development Company of the WZO. A protracted argument takes place within the institutions - whether to purchase quality land while money is short or consider buying cheaper land. This prompts Menahem Ussishkin to make his famous remark - that if the purchase had been considered costly, he and Ruppin would have been called poor businessmen, but if they had not bought the land at all, they would have been called criminals.

1922

April 16
The HaPo'el HaMizrachi Organization of Palestine, which unites religious laborers, is founded.

June 2
The Jewish Yishuv makes progress towards self-rule: the first three moshavot - Petah Tikva, Rishon leZion and Rehovot - receive local council status.

June 3
The British government issues an official policy statement concerning Palestine (White Paper of 1922) in which it retreats from the promises made in the Balfour Declaration. Among other things, it declares that Abdullah ibn Hussein, a member of the ancient ruling Hashemite family from Hijaz, will be Emir of Transjordan, that Jewish aliyah will be limited, and that a legislative council will be established comprised of representatives of all the inhabitants of Palestine. This can only be detrimental to the Jews, who are in the minority.

July 24
The mandate for Palestine is officially handed over to Britain by the League of Nations Council.

October 22-28
The mandatory government holds its first census in Palestine. It attests to a population of 757,000 - 84,000 Jews and 673,000 Arabs and others. The Jews comprise 11% of the population.

1923

January 1
Frederick Kisch, a British Jew and former Lieutenant Colonel in the British army, becomes head of the Political Department of the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem.

January 15-17
The Actions Committee convenes in Berlin to discuss the subjects on the agenda of the forthcoming Zionist Congress. Dr. Weizmann reports on settlement activity in Eretz Israel and London. There is much resentment at the meeting due to a delay on the part of the British mandatory authority in Palestine in ruling on the political and legal status of the National Council. Towards the end of deliberations, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, a member of the Executive, drops a bombshell: he announces his resignation due to Weizmann's reconciliatory line, especially with regard to everything relating to the separating of Transjordan from western Palestine by the British. He claims that the policy of the Executive might well result in failure for the Zionist movement and for activity in Eretz Israel.

August 5-16
The Thirteenth Zionist Congress convenes in Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia. On the agenda: settlement activity in Eretz Israel, the activities of Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund), the opening of a university in Jerusalem and the plan to establish the Jewish Agency. Dr. Chaim Weizmann is elected president of the WZO once again.

August 29
British mandatory rule in Palestine officially begins. The mandate agreement includes the British promise to build a Jewish national home (according to the Balfour Declaration).

December 27
Betar (Berit Trumpeldor), a Revisionist youth movement, headed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, is founded in Riga, Latvia. Its aims are to educate youth in the spirit of shlemut hamoledet - Jewish statehood on both banks of the Jordan River - the ingathering of the exiles and military training for youth.

At the end of 1923 the Third Aliyah to Eretz Israel ends, having brought 34,000 Jews to Palestine, many of whom were pioneers. A serious social and economic crisis hits the Jewish Yishuv because of reduced government activity (especially road-building). There is increased yerida from Palestine.

Keren Hayesod provides funding for the country's first two absorption centers for olim from the Third Aliyah. It takes upon itself the funding of the Yishuv's education network and builds a village which serves as a refuge for orphans of the Ukrainian pogroms. At the same time it finances settlement areas, the health service, development, infrastructure and industry.

1924

The crisis in the Jewish Yishuv continues and aliyah is at a low ebb. From the spring, however, a change begins to take place as thousands of olim pour into Palestine in what will later be called the Fourth Aliyah. Most of the olim arrive from Poland due to the harsh economic measures imposed on Jews by the Polish prime minister and minister of finance, Wladislaw Grabski. For this reason, the Fourth Aliyah is also known as the Grabski Aliyah. Another reason for increased aliyah is the implementation in the United States of restricted entry of emigrants from Eastern Europe, leaving Palestine almost the only option.

In 1924, 14,000 Jews make aliyah - as opposed to 8,000 the previous year - a record since the First Aliyah. Many of the olim make their way to burgeoning Tel Aviv.

March
The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA) is founded (whose beginnings go back to the Jewish Colonization Association - ICA), which deals with matters relating to settlement and industry in Palestine. Its chairman is James Rothschild, the son of "the well-known benefactor."

March 26
The poet Hayim Nahman Bialik and his wife Manya make aliyah and build a house in Tel Aviv.

May 14
Ultra-Orthodox Jews from Poland establish an agricultural moshava east of Tel Aviv called Bnei Brak. During the year, a settlement for hassidic Jews is founded near Haifa - Kfar Hassidim.

October 17
HaNo'ar haOved (Working Youth), a new youth movement, is established in Tel Aviv under the patronage of the General Federation of Workers (Histadrut HaOvdim), which unifies working boys and girls.

November 23
A new moshava is established north of Tel Aviv - Herzliya - after the father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl.

December 8
The Bayit vaGan neighborhood, situated south of Jaffa and later to be known as the city of Bat Yam, is founded.

Throughout the year Weizmann repeatedly attacks the Polish aliyah, because of their lack of pioneering tendencies and their preference for the city of Tel Aviv over the agricultural settlements. He declares that he would not want to see in Palestine towns and neighborhoods like the tiny industrial and commercial suburbs of Warsaw. His words provoke criticism among the immigrants and in middle class circles. The Jewish Yishuv's citrus industry continues to expand and within a few short years becomes one of Palestine's major industries.

1925

Within two months two institutes of higher education are founded in Eretz Israel, with the assistance of the WZO -the Technion in Haifa, which opens on February 9, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which opens its doors on April 1. There is much excitement in the Yishuv, especially at the university's opening ceremony. Distinguished guests include Lord Balfour, the father of the declaration that bears his name, General Edmund Allenby, who conquered Palestine in World War I, and Zionist leaders such as Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow.

March 31
Afula is founded - an agricultural-industrial town in the heart of the Jezreel Valley. Its original name was Jezreel City, and it was planned as the biggest city in Palestine.

April 30
Ze'ev Jabotinsky founds a new political movement in Paris with a critical (revisionist) approach towards the Zionist leadership - the Revisionist movement.

In the spring and summer months, aliyah increases, reaching its peak in June with 4,200 immigrants. Throughout the Yishuv, especially in Tel Aviv, there is economic prosperity. By the end of the year, 35,000 new immigrants have arrived in Eretz Israel - a number unprecedented since the days of the First Aliyah.

August 18-28
The Fourteenth Zionist Congress convenes in Vienna, Austria. At this time there is mass aliyah to Palestine (the Fourth Aliyah). A dispute develops at the Congress regarding the fulfillment of Zionism in Eretz Israel among supporters of the pioneering-cooperative approach and supporters of private initiative. The success of the latter, especially in Tel Aviv, is extolled. Delegates from the Center and the Right call on the leadership of the WZO to abandon their support of the cooperative settlements. Weizmann defends this form of settlement.

Tel Aviv, which at the beginning of 1924 had 20,000 residents, has a population of 40,000 by the end of 1925.

Economic prosperity reigns throughout most of the year, but towards the end of the year, signs of a decline are being felt.

1926

As the year progresses, the economic and social crisis strengthens in Jewish Palestine and unemployment grows. "The Fourth Aliyah crisis" - as it is later called - deepens.

May 4
Thousands accompany the remains of the renowned Zionist leader Max Nordau (who died in 1922), which were brought from Paris to Tel Aviv for burial. It is a day of mourning throughout the Yishuv.

September
In order to help recover from the economic crisis, the Hityashvut haElef (Settlement of the Thousand) scheme proposes the creation of intensive farms with holdings for 1,000 families. (The second such scheme takes place in the 1930s.)

Following a lull in settlement activity in the Jezreel Valley, seven new settlements are set up in 1926 in the western part of the valley.

Gordonia is founded in Poland, a Zionist youth movement named after Aharon David Gordon and associated with the Young Workers Party (Mifleget haPo'el haTzair) in Eretz Israel. It establishes branches in a number of European countries, as well as in Eretz Israel.

In 1926, the Fourth Aliyah ends, having brought some 60,000 Jews to Palestine over a two-year period. It is considered the first mass aliyah, many of whose members came from Poland's middle classes. Keren Hayesod headquarters are moved from London to Jerusalem. In 1926, the famous economist and sociologist Prof. Franz Oppenheimer (who planned the first experimental cooperative settlement in Merhavya) arrives in Eretz Israel for an extended visit - at the request of the Zionist Executive - in order to observe agricultural and cooperative settlement. His report is exceptionally critical and is not well received by the settlers and most of the leadership.

1927

"The Fourth Aliyah crisis" is the worst crisis to hit the Jewish Yishuv. Forty percent of the workforce in Tel Aviv is unemployed, aliyah to Palestine is at its lowest ebb and emigration from Palestine reaches a record high: 2,700 immigrants and 5,000 emigrants.

January 2 (28 Tevet 5687)
The writer, editor and father of spiritual Zionism, Ahad HaAm (formerly Asher Ginzberg), dies at 71. He is brought to rest in Tel Aviv.

January 17
Dr. Chaim Weizmann signs an agreement with Louis Marshall, a leader of the non-Zionists in the United States, regarding the establishment of an expanded Jewish Agency.

In the first stage the two decide to send two committees to Palestine - that were included in the Joint Palestine Survey Commission. The committees arrive for extended stays in Palestine during 1927 and early 1928.

April 1
The Kibbutz Artzi of the Hashomer HaTzair (Young Guard) movement is founded - a kibbutz federation headed for many years by Meir Ya'ari and Ya'akov Hazan.

April 9
After a lengthy struggle, the entrepreneur Moshe Novomeysky succeeds - with the help of British partners and aid from the WZO - in obtaining a franchise from the British government to operate a chemical plant near the Dead Sea.

April 24
The Betar movement is founded in Eretz Israel.

June
The Solel Boneh Company, one of the bases of power of the Histadrut, goes bankrupt due to the economic crisis.
Menahem Ussishkin, chairman of the Jewish National Fund, obtains one million dollars from Canadian Zionists (to be transferred over a period of ten years) for the acquisition of a new, marshy area of land intended for settlement -Wadi Hawarith, later Emek Hefer (Hefer Valley).

August 5
The Kibbutz Me'uhad (United Kibbutz) is founded, which in time becomes the largest kibbutz movement. Yitzhak Tabenkin heads it for many years.

August 30
The Fifteenth Zionist Congress convenes in Basle, Switzerland. Discussions are overshadowed by the crisis in the Yishuv, especially the high unemployment rate in Eretz Israel. A small executive body is established consisting of three members, which aims to fight "the Fourth Aliyah crisis."

September 11
In Naharayim in the Jordan Valley work begins on a hydroelectric power station belonging to the Palestine Electric Company (later the Israel Electric Corporation), headed by Pinhas Rutenberg.

1928

January 1
The Constitution of Knesset Israel, approved by the mandatory government, becomes valid. This is the legal framework for the organization of the Jewish Yishuv in Eretz Israel and from which the activities of the main institutes are derived: the Elected Assembly, the National Council, the Rabbinical Council and the communities in the towns and settlements.

April
The Zionist Executive, in cooperation with the General Federation of Labor, initiates a series of development projects, in order to ease the appalling unemployment.

June 18
The Joint Palestine Survey Commission's report, whose members remained in Palestine for extended periods of time to learn first-hand about the achievements and problems of the Jewish Yishuv, especially its pioneering settlements, is published in London.

In the weeks that follow, the report, which attacks the collective settlements and the Jewish National Fund, causes angry outbursts in the Yishuv and the Zionist movement.

July 19-31
The Actions Committee convenes in Berlin in order to discuss the Joint Palestine Survey, which is being attacked from all sides. Weizmann, who supports it, threatens to resign. In the end, most of the rejectionist standpoints are accepted, but almost everyone leaves satisfied. This paves the way for the establishment of the Jewish Agency.

September 24 (Yom Kippur 5688)
The Wailing Wall incident. Clashes between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem are triggered by the removal of a screen dividing men and women, which enrages the Jewish Yishuv. In the months to come, the clashes escalate and the Arabs accuse the Jews of coveting the Moslem holy places on the Temple Mount.

November 20
The JNF announces the acquisition of a large tract of land in the desolate Zevulun Valley. In the first stage, 22,000 dunams are acquired.

1928 is still a difficult year with immigration standing at 2,178. The number of emigrants is slightly more - 2,186.

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Jul 2005 / 14 Tamuz 5765 0