Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.--Editor.]

The facts have disproven the fears of the opponents as well as the exaggerations of the proponents, believes Dr. K. Fornberg (the “Day,” April 2), referring to the recent report of the Comzet, the Soviet government’s committee for Jewish land settlement, on the work accomplished in this respect during 1925.

“Take the characterization of the land settlement work as ‘Crimean colonization’–what are the actual facts?” Dr. Fornberg asks and proceeds to cite the following figures of the Comzet: “It was planned to settle in 1925, 3,000 Jewish families in Ukrainia: 1,000 families in Crimea; 1,200 in White Russia; 224 in the District of Homel. Altogether 5,424 families. The result was that only 4,373 families were settled during the year. Of this there was realized in Ukrainia 98 per cent; in Homel District 100 per cent; but in Crimea only 30 per cent. That is, all in all, Crimean settlement amounted to 305 families out of 4,373, or 6 1/2 per cent of the total.

“But it the opponents exaggerated, the friends did likewise,” the writer continues. “The friendly side always speaks of 400,000 Jewish families that will be settled on the land in Russia. The official report also mentions this figure–but only as the maximum pro gram, as a historical enterprise for years and years to come. In reality it is a much more modest undertaking.

“We have seen the figures for the year 1925. The plans for the current year, 1926, are not much bigger. The maximum program for the year is 5,600 families with a budget of 4,700.100 rubles.”

THE REASON FOR THE JEW’S SURVIVAL

The reason for the survival of the Jew is the “sense of human dignity” instilled by the Torah, declares Samuel F. Darwin Fox in the “Forum” for April, in the second article of a series on “The Problem of Anti-Semitism.”

“If Pharaoh Nechao, Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes, Titus, Adrian, and Torquemada were foiled, each and all, in their attempts to make an end of Israel,” we read, “the only adequate explanation of their defeat lies in the profound and ineradicable sense of human dignity which the Thora had burned everlastingly into the soul of Jewry, welding into an invincible power this nation, shorn of State and territorial possessions indeed, yet jealously conserving its unity of tradition, and guarding intact the assurance of its primacy as the Chosen People of God.”

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