[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does indicate approval.–Editor.]
The attitude of Dr. Paul Nathan, one of the leaders of the Hilfsverein, of Berlin, the German-Jewish relief organization, to the question of Jewish land settlement in Russia, is stated by him in an article published in the “Juedisches Wochenblatt.”
Referring to the proposal made recently in that paper that the German Jews send an impartial investigation commission to Russia to study the situation in connection with the Jewish land settlement movement, Dr. Nathan says:
“I am glad to find you putting forward the plan which I proposed long ago-to send to Russia a commission drawn from all circles of Jewish life and non-partisan in character, to investigate conditions not only from the practical standpoint in the Crimea but above all in Moscow with regard to the political premises for the material support of the movement. It is what I suggested long ago. If this commission arrived at an understanding with the Soviet Government regarding the religious, political and economic premises for the work, it would then be for it to inquire into the practical conditions for the Jewish colonization movement in European and Asiatic Russia.
“Confronted with the alternative of whether the Jewish population now herded together in Russia should be allowed to slowly die of starvation or should be assisted to disperse themselves over the vast Russian territory and take up agriculture. I have no doubt on which side any common-sense person will decide.
“There is, for my own part, no question of hostility to Palestine. I may say the same for the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden. The history of the Hilfsverein will prove this. Besides, all who know Palestine will admit that the East European Jewish question can never, on the point of size alone, be solved in the ancient Home of the Jews.”
DISCUSSES JABOTINSKY’S INFLUENCE
That the presence and activities in this country of Vladimir Jabotinsky, leader of the Zionist Revisionists, has, regardless of the question of the merits of Revisionism, served to stimulate Zionist thinking, is the assertion made by Dr. S. Margoshes, editor of “The Day.”
Writing in that paper of June 29, on his impressions of the Zionist Convention in Buffalo, Dr. Margoshes declares: “The fact that all the demands of the Revisionists were defeated by the Convention. indicates the weakness of the Revisionist group, but yesterday’s sessions have nevertheless shown that Revisionism must be taken into account in regard to all matters relative to the Zionist policy. Whether this is healthy or unhealthy for Zionism, is another question. But Revisionism cannot be waved away as a ‘heresy,’ and everyone felt that were it not for the controversy over Revisionism, the Convention would have been monotonous and lifeless. The shadow of Jabotinsky hovering over Buffalo furnished the Convention the material for the first lively conflict in American Zionism since Cleveland.”
OBJECTS TO REFORM TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM
Objection to the efforts of the organizations of Reform rabbis in America to establish a temple in Jerusalem, is voiced by the “Jewish Daily News,” Orthodox paper.
“We do not know of anything else,” the paper writes, “that would be more unnecessary in Palestine than a Reform Temple. In other words, we do not know of anything that would be so much opposed to everything that is connected with Palestine than the erection of a Reform Temple.
“The guilt for this enterprise,” the paper contends, “falls on another rabbinical body, the United Synagogue, which made the start by collecting a fund for a Center in Jerusalem. ‘We said at that time that Jerusalem and Palestine do not need any Centers, but of course, since the United Synagogue is going to build a Center, the rabbis of Cincinnati must build a Temple. When will the United Synagogue and the Cincinnati rabbis realize,” the paper asks in conclusion, “that one corner in Jerusalem contains more Torah, more Judaism, more Jewish spiritual wealth than all the temples and centers have ever created?”
BERTRAND RUSSELL ON THE JEWS IN ENGLAND
The opinion of Bertrand Russell, the noted British thinker, on the subject of English friendliness to Jews, is given in an article appearing in the “Jewish Daily Forward.”
Contrasting the attitude of the British and Americans to the Jews, Mr. Russell says in part:
“In those parts of London where recently immigrated Jews are numerous, the prevalent attitude of the British-born population is about the same as it would be in America. But the prejudice is rather against aliens than against Jews; Christian immigrants are equally unpopular. The East-End Jew, when he finds himself unpopular, attributes the fact, naturally, to anti-Semitism, but it is due much more to a general anti-foreign feeling. I do not think that in any class in England there is much prejudice against Jews as such. Mr. Belloc, who is of French descent, has tried hard to manufacture anti-Semitism in his readers, but with very little success. The immense majority of English people never notice whether a person is a Jew or not.
“Perhaps (though it is dangerous to ascribe virtues to own’s own countrymen) something should be attributed to the general atmosphere of tolerance in English life. English Jews are generally accepted as quite English, and not regarded as aliens–I am not speaking of recent immigrants. Tolerance in England is the outcome of a very intense and almost universal nationalism. Labor leaders are as patriotic, and even as imperialistic, as the Conservatives. It is just because nationalism is taken for granted that the differences which exist arouse no very fierce antagonisms. When nationalism is seriously infringed–as, for instance, by Sir Roger Casement, who was hanged during the war for fighting on the side of Germany–the English are quite without mercy. But the Jews have every reason to like England, and therefore hardly ever rouse hostility on this ground.”