Daily 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 indicate indicate approval.-Editor.]

The memorandum of the World Zionist Executive and Dr. Weizmann’s letter to Lord Plumer, submitted to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League, formulating the Jewish demands regarding the development of the National Homeland and expressing regret that there has been “no material change in the attitude of the Palestine government” in this respect, are greeted by the Jewish pressas indications of a new tendency in the policy of the Zionist Organization.

The “Day” (June 9) feels that this latest move on the part of the Zionist Executive is an answer to the charge of weakness of policy that has been levelled against it. “It is difficult to imagine clearer words than those uttered by Weizmann in his letter to the Permanent Mandates Commission,” the paper states, pointing out that the polite tone of the letter does not detract from its firmness. “Dr. Weizmann,” we read, “does no fail to stress the impatience of the Jewish people with the Palestine government; he does not fail to point out that despite the the definite recommendations made a year ago by the Mandates Commission of the League, the Palestine Government has done nothing in the matter of granting the Jews unused State lands and subsidies for the Jewish schools; and he does not forget in conclusion to ask that the entire document be transmitted to the Mandates Commission ‘for their information.’

“It will now no longer be possible,” the paper concludes, “for the English government and the League of Nations to repeat their former assertion that the Zionist Organization did not take the initiative in the matter of making proposals for the solution of the Palestine problem. The Zionist leader, in the name of the World Zionist Organization, has spoken clearly and openly. Now if the situation in Palestine will not be altered radically, the guilt will no longer fall on the Zionist leadership. England and the League of Nations will have to find other excuses, and the Zionist critics-other complaints.”

The “Jewish Daily News” (June 9) discussing the attitude of the Zionist Executive, declares “it is an attitude which should have been adopted long ago,” and observes further:

“It is not important to seek the causes of the new tendency or to relate it, partly, to the circumstance that the Palestine Jews, through the Vaad Leumi. demanded a firmer attitude in certain matters on the part of the Zionist leadership and, partly, with the criticism of Revisionism, which has a sound kernel, especially regarding the attitude to England. What is important is that there is a new tone in the words of Dr. Weizmann, which indicates that the Zionist policy has ceased to be timid. It is to be hoped it will not return to its former weak attitude.”

THE LATE RATHENAU ON HIMSELF AS A JEW

An interesting sidelight, from the Jewish angle, on the personality of Walter Rathenau, the late German Jewish statesman, who was assassinated by anti-Semites, is revealed by Gabriele Reuter, in a correspondence from Berlin to the New York “Times.”

Writing in the “Times Book Review” of June 6, regarding Rathenau’s letters which have just been published in Berlin by Rathenau’s mother, Mr. Reuter says:

“As you know, Rathenau was a Jew, and did not become converted because the odium of its facilitating the access to every high diplomatic post was attached to this religious act. To an intimate friend. Wilhelm Schwaner, the author of the Germanic Bible, he writes:

” ‘You speak of my blood and race, and even of my people, meaning the Jews. I am bound to them in the same way as every German, by the Bible, by the memory and the characters of the Old and New Testaments.

” ‘My ancestors and I have been nurtured by German soil and German spirit and have returned to the German people all in our power. My father and I never cherished a thought that was not German and for Germany; the same is true of all my ancestors as far back as I can trace them’.”

We also learn that Rathenau had a foreboding of the fate that would meet him at the hands of his enemies. Mr. Reuter observes on this point:

“Rathenau saw clearly that if he should become a Minister the forces of the enemy would strike him down. ‘It was the most difficult decision of my life,’ he writes to Max Warburg and others. ‘Man after man will have to jump into the ditch before we can pass over it. However, we will never be able to pass over it if no one makes a beginning. I have very little time’.”

SAYS INDIANS DID NOT ORIGINATE FROM “LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL”

“‘The ancestry of the American aborigines has been traced,” declares the Chicago “Journal,” “to this, that or the other race of Africa, Asia or Europe–even to the Hittites and to the ‘lost’ tribes of Israel I-and the genesis and character of their civilizations have been credited to China, Egypt and even the supposed continent of Atalantis. So the views expressed a few days ago by A. M. Tozzer, Harvard university professor of anthropology, to the American Philosophic society are welcome.

“Professor Tozzer rejects the theories that account for Indian beginnings and culture by immigration from the old world, and Drs. Mead and Hrdlicka agree with him.

“It is doubtful, and grows more doubtful, whether the American aborigines as a whole descended from primitive Asiatics. Possibly man originaled independently in American as well as Asia.”

THE SPECIFIC PROBLEMS OF THE JEWISH FARMERS

The work of the National Farm School, which had its annual conference in New York last week, is seen by the “Day” of June 7, as an indication of the keen interest of the Jews in farming.

“The school,” says the paper, “is non-sectarian. Non-Jews as well as Jews can enter. But it was founded by a Jewish rabbi, Rabbi Krauskaupf, It is maintained with the money of Jews, and its tendency is to teach the immigrant the blessings of the soil and to interest him in agriculture.

“But in the background of this school,” the paper continues, “stands the host of Jewish farmers in America. Twenty-five years ago there were less than one thousand Jewish farms in this country. Today there are more than seven thousand and five hundred Jewish farms, cultivating one million acres of land, valued at $100,000,000.”

The paper stops to discuss the specific problems which confront the Jewish farmers, particularly the problem of giving the children a Jewish education.

“The Jewish farmer,” we are told. “longs for a Jewish atmosphere. He lacks Jewish social contact. He needs Jewish schools. The question of the youth looms up before him, the question of the boys and girls who need a Jewish environment but are far away from Jewish life, growing up frequently in the company of non-Jewish friends, which leads either to intermarriage or forces the grown-up youth to remove to the city.”

The “Day” believes these problems can be solved and urges that measures be devised to help the Jewish farmers in this respect.

Members of the Sephardic Jewish Community of New York, composed of Spanish, at the Hotel Pennsylvania. New York, Sunday night, at which speakers discussed the problems confronting them in America.

Most of the guests came here within the past fifteen years from Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece. Roumania and other near Eastern countries. One of the problems mentioned at the dinner was the number of Yiddish-speaking Jews in New York, and the difficulty of cooperating imposed a barrier.

Among those at the speakers’ table was Edward Valensi, who organized the Sephardic Jews of New York in their first concerted relief effort at the time of the Smyrna disaster in 1922; Dr. David De Sola Pool, rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue: Robert France, Nissim Behar and representatives of Oriental Jewish organizations in this city. John H. Levy was toastmaster.

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