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(A recent cable to the effect that the British plan to build a jetty and harbor at Haifa to cost $5,000,000 gives added interest to the follow ing article.) Haifa and the Bay of Acre are potentially the best port on the coast of Palestine. That does not say so much for the only other port is Jaffa, which is very inadequate. In the ancient mediaeval world there were numerous Palestinian ports. The names of Tyre and Si don are only the most famous of these, but the ships of antiquity and of the Middle Ages were small, and what would make a good harbor then would be quite useless today. Haifa and the Bay of Acre, how ever, ought, without much difficul ty, to be made better than any port on the coast of Syria, as well as better than any port on the coast of Palestine. Beirut is far from being a good, natural harbor, and has this further disadvantage: the moun tains run down quite close to Beirut, and communication with the interior is by means of a mountain road or a narrow rack and pinion railway. Haifa, on the other hand, is at the mouth of the great valley of Jezreel. All the traffic of Gali lee, of Samaria, and the Jordan Val ley pours naturally into Haifa. The approach to the Trans-Jordanian Plateau from Haifa via the Yarmuk Valley is also relatively easy, so that Haifa is the port for that great producing region. Nor is that all. Ports on the coast of Syria and Palestine will compete not only for The Future of Haifa THE AMERICAN cJEWISIWORLD Weekly Journal oi Modern Jewish Lilt Labors VOL. VIII. St. Paul and Minneapolis—June 27,1919. No. 43 the local traffic of Syria and of Palestine, but also for the com merce of the vast Hinterland of Mesopotamia, which has a limitless future before it. Damascus is com monly called the port of the desert. It is also the commercial centre of Southern Syria. There will as suredly be a battle royal between Beirut and Haifa for the traffic which concentrated at Damascus. Not commercial factors alone will decide. If they did, the victory would certainly go to Haifa, but a good real will depend upon which Power rules in Damas cus. The French claim Damascus. The British are putting forward no pretensions, but, on the other hand, Damascus is claimed by the Arab State. If Damascus falls to France, then France will use every art to divert the traffic of Damascus to the port of Beirut. In that case we may see the administration of the future Arab State seeking to set up a rival to Damascus, which shall at tract the trade of the desert and di rect it to Haifa. Bozrah might well be that mart. It is on a net-work of old Roman roads and has a con siderable commercial history behind it. Beirut will have to face for the traffic of Syria other serious com petitors beside Haifa—Tripoli for Central Syria and Alexandretta for Northern Syria. In the event of Damascus falling to the Arab State almost certainly its traffic will be diverted to Haifa and its prosperity be greater than ever. The new Haifa will look far be yond the valley of Jezreel, the val* ley of the Jordan, the Hauran, and the desert, to Mesopotamia. The Bagdad railway project was, among other things, a project for develop ing the wealth of Mesopotamia and diverting the stream of that wealth to a favored spot. Germany de cided that the Western outlet should be Alexandretta. Now that Great Britain controls the Bagdad railway and Mesopotamia the Brit ish Government will assuredly det*. ermine the Western outlet, and quite certainly Great Britain will choose an outlet in Palestine. Haifa is clearly destined by the British' Government to be the Mediter ranean seaport of Mesopotamia. How the railway connection shall be made will depend in part upon the frontiers decided at Paris. At the present moment Haifa has con tinuous railway communication of a kind with Bagdad. A railway from Haifa links up with the Hedjaz line and with Damascus. From Damas cus a line continued via Rayak to Aleppo and the Muslimieh Junction, where the Bagdad railway begins its eastward march to Mesopotamia. This connection,, however, is imper fect at present. The line from Haifa to Damascus is of narrow gauge. From Damascus to Rayak it changes once again, and from Rayak the standard gauge for the Syrian railway and the Bagdad railways commences. There are thus three breaks of gauge and a fourth must be added, or even, a fifth, when we come to consider the railway connection with Egypt.-Ob viously, a uniform gauge wll have to be established, which means itr effect that a standard gauge rail way will have to, be built from Haifa to Rayak.—-Palestine.