New York (Jul. 24)
“The Jews of Greece enjoying all the political and religious rights must not ask to be exempted from the general measures and to have distinction and privileges granted them apart from the other citizens.” This is the answer of the Greek Charge d’Affaires in Washington to the inquiry directed to him by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in connection with the compulsory Sunday rest law recently enacted in Salonika.
“I beg to inform you,” he further states, “that it is not right for the Jews to consider the Greek law imposing a Sunday rest upon everyone in Greece as an act of the Greek Government affecting the religious rights of the Jewish population of Salonika.
The law of Sunday rest in Greece was voted in favor of the working and industrial classes in order to limit the number of working hours. Inasmuch as this is the aim of the law, it could not contain any exemption, but ought to be general for all those residing in Greece, independently of their nationality and their religious beliefs. A lawis respected by everyone, and does not provoke discontent when it is general and applies to all.
“Therefore it is evident that the Jews are wrong to think that this Sunday law affects their religious rights. It is well known that the Jews, according to their doctrines do not work on Saturday. If a law had been voted in Greece imposing work upon the Jews on this day (Saturday) then they would be right to protest and to consider the law as affecting their religious rights. But since such a thing has not happened, and the law which was voted, for the benefit of the working classes fixing Sunday as a day of rest for all peoples living in Greece independently of their nationality and religious beliefs, as it is fixed in many nations, there could be no exception in this law, and the protest of the Jews to be exempted from this general measure is such that no government or nation could accept.
“The same law exists in England to which everybody is submitted, and consequently the Jews. But these last have never thought of protesting against this measure.