Between capital and land : the Jewish National Fund's finances and Zionist national land purchase priorities in Mandatory Palestine, 1939-1945 / by Eric Engel Tuten.
Five factors influenced Jewish National Fund (JNF) finances and land purchase priorities during the Second World War: (1) lack of sufficient national capital; (2) withdrawal of private Jewish capital investment and concern for the security of Jewish settlements caused by the Arab Revolt (1936–1939); (3) the possibility of partition of Palestine; (4) the Land Transfer Regulations (LTR) of 1940; and (5) the loss of income from continental Europe because of war. All these factors prompted the JNF both to search for additional sources of income and to rethink its land purchase policy. By 1941–1942, the English-speaking world (especially the U.S.) filled the financial gap created by the loss of continental Europe. Overall, increased expenditures accompanied increased income during the war. However, the JNF always lacked sufficient funds to purchase all land offered for sale. Four case studies relating to JNF finances and land purchase priorities during the Second World War are presented. The Joint Land Purchase Scheme (JLPS) and the Farm City Scheme (FCS) were part of the JNF's land purchase policy of “internal expansion.” The other two case studies—JNF land purchase activities in the region north of the Huleh and in the Negev (where JNF landownership was negligible)—constituted part of the JNF's “outward expansion” purchase policy. During the war, the JNF successfully circumvented the LTR through four land purchase methods: (1) purchase of land from private Jewish landowners in restricted zones; (2) consolidation of JNF land holdings; (3) focus on lands for which files were opened in the Office of Land Registry before the publication of the law; (4) purchase of “mortgaged lands” put up for public auction. Overall, rising income allowed the JNF to obtain enough of its land purchase objectives to warrant (according to the United Nations) the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, However, the income success of the JLPS indicates the JNF would not have succeeded in purchasing all land offered for sale even if it had sufficient funds—the JLPS failed, not because of lack of investment interest but rather because of land purchase complications in the last decade of the Mandate.
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