National Geographic : 1950 Dec
737 Herbert S. Sonnenfeld An Israeli Tends His Sheep and Doubles as Lookout along the Syrian Border This war veteran is a member of the Maayan Baruch settlement in north Galilee. Syria (hill in back ground) was one of seven Arab States arrayed against Israel in the Palestine war. Since the Jewish and Arab nations have not yet signed a peace treaty, frontier residents remain on the alert. Still there is a manpower shortage, although new areas are constantly being developed. More than 700,000 Arabs left the land and only 500,000 Jews have come in. Of these, 239,000 arrived in 1949. Half of them were from Europe, a third from Asia, a sixth from Africa, and 1,358 from the Americas. Im migration in 1949 was three times what Chaim Weizmann had hoped for in 1947. "Operation Magic Carpet" Though Israel's population is over the mil lion mark, only 520,000 acres were under culti vation on January 1, 1950. So how big a population can Israel absorb? Dr. I. Wolfsberg, writing in WIZO in Israel, argues that a majority of the world's Jews should settle in Israel-an average of 10 to each acre now cultivated. But one Zionist expert had a better idea of immigration that would help the new na tion. Said he: "I just wish that one percent of the Jews in the United States-a mere 50,000 of them-devoted to their people and willing to work for its ideals, would come to Israel. I think they'd be happy here." Most spectacular of mass immigrations was "Operation Magic Carpet," which winged in 60,000 Jews from Yemen, the tiny kingdom in the southwest portion of the Arabian Penin sula, and from southern Saudi Arabia. At the beginning of the operation, 140 Yemenite Jews, dehydrated from their overland trek from San'a to Aden, weighed in to fill a 70 passenger plane. Others have criticized little Israel for her unlimited immigration policy when the nation is still so young and not ready to receive new comers. But some officials stoutly defend the "come one, come all" ruling. "To Build Up a Wasteland" "Israel was established," they say, "as a Jewish homeland. As long as a single Jew anywhere wants or needs to come here, the door must be open. If one person is refused ad mittance, we shall have failed in our purpose." President Weizmann says in his book: "The Jewish people would never produce either the money or the energy required in order to build up a wasteland and make it habitable, unless that land were Palestine."