Saturday, 22 March 2008

Letter 19 - March 20, (1919)

Zionist Commission to Palestine – Tel-Aviv, JAFFA, Palestine

Dear Family,-

Last night we had a little dinner with the local British governor and some British Major named Tudor Pole, who is a good friend of Dr. Weitzman and tho not a Jew a powerful and sincere friend of Zionism. It proved quite a success, the Commandante was at his best, and then he is a wonderful entertainer, and Mrs Moscovitz’s food even excelled her usual fine meals. The local Governor is a very nice, simple, unassuming fellow. I was interrupted as I started this letter and haven’t ad a chance till this evening. Dr. De Sola Poole, wife and child with Miss Shapiro arrived this noon. They (Dr. P. & family) have been underway since Jan. 8 when they left New York and have undergone the most extreme hardships the entire way. To compare their difficulties with our travelling deluxe makes us blush – that we should have had all extremes of comfort throughout our travels while the least of their troubles was their having to live for three weeks on trampship from England to Port Said with only almost, inedible vegetables to eat the entire trip. You know they’re strictly kosher.

Two days later –This morning I was to go to Haifa with Bianchini but the machine in which we were going broke down and we arranged for another and this morn at six we missed each other and e left without me for Ludd. So I’m going to Jerusalem in a mercantile mission instead. My job in Haifa was merely to get acquainted with the people and gov’t. officials and gather various data, reports and recommendations. Now I will have the prosaic job of selling for the Z.C 800 tons of coal which have just arrived at Port Said. These are to be sold to the colonists for their orange groves. At present it is worth at market price £23 or $115.00 per ton – tho I intend to sell it somewhat lower.

Since I’ve been here I have not touched a drop of water – Dr. Friedenwald does not think it is particularly good, tho others drink it without bad results. The alternative is of course wine and oranges. The wines we have here (there are every variety possible) are some of the best I’ve ever (in my limited experience) tasted. National Prohibition July 1 is going to make me quite unhappy. Our oranges are of the best variety what be – big, juicy, and sweet. If orange juice plants are not soon started the world will continue to mss a wonderful drink.

At present I’m trying to buy the Z.C. a Ford – our three venerable cars are dying fast – in fact none of them are running. Whoever got them knew nothing of this country – Fords are fast superceding camels as ships of the desert – but they worth over $1000: How I miss my little green monstrocity-

This letter must go by today’s mail!

Lots of love,


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