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.]

Objection to the attitude of Reuben Brainin, vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America, as expressed in his cables from Moscow regarding the Jewish colonization plan, is voice by “Dos Yiddishe Folk,” organ of the American Zionists.

“Mr. Brainin,” the paper declares in its Aug. 20 issue, “spent several months in Palestine and there was a general interest to know the impression made on him by the growing Jewish Homeland. But not only did he fail to cable from there, he remained silent on his Palestine trip. In Moscow, it would seem, a new spirit entered him. He is now sending cables. And the only thing he can report is–enthusiasm for the Crimean colonization. Even the official figures mention only some 5,000 Jewish families that have been ‘colon###.’ How about the other several million Jews in Russia? Do they deserve no attention at all? Did Mr. Brainin go there as a free person to acquaint himself with the situation of Russian Jewry, or did he go as a special visitor for the Crimea colonization? His cabling at least justifies such a question.”

As for Mr. Brainin’s assertion to the effect that those who are opposed to the Russian colonization plan are committing a crime against the whole Jewish people, “Dos Yiddishe Folk declares, in part: “The famous Hebrew writer Zalman Epstein, who was in Russia during all the years of the revolution period up to recently, is certainly as big an authority on Russian colonization as Mr. Brainin. In his recently published booklet ‘Meshek’ he condemns the Jewish colonization plan in Russia as a criminal step misleading from the right path, as a swindle on the part of the ‘Yevseks’ (Jewish Communists) and as a misfortune for the spiritual and material interests of Russian Jewry. Brainin assures that there is no conflict between the Russian colonization plan and Palestine. Being away travelling a year now he has evidently lost all contact with the happenings in Jewish life. Apparently he does not know that Crimean colonization has practically become the gathering point for everything anti-Zionist. Apparently he does not even read the ‘Yevsek’ press.”

THE CONFLICT IN MEXICO AND THE JEWS

How does the conflict in Mexico between the Government and the Catholic church affect the Jews in that country? Is any effort made to suppress the Jewish religion? These questions are discussed in the Philadelphia “Jewish World” by David Galter, who believes that the Jews will remain practically untouched in the fight between state and church. The Jewish situation in Mexico is described as follows:

“The old Jewish population in Mexico consists of some five thousand persons. Many of them have been caught in the stream of assimilation. If they or their children have not become completely mixed with the Christian majority they have nevertheless been greatly estranged from Judaism. The Jewish question which arose in Mexico during the last few years (since the arrival of the Jewish refugees) has brought many of the old Jewish residents to realize their Jewish origin and to regain in a measure their Jewish nationalism and a large number have responded warmly when called upon to give to Jewish causes.”

In view of the fact that Jewish nationalism and Zionism are not looked upon as religious movements, the Mexican government, we are told, is very friendly to these activities.

“Since the Jews,” we read further, “constitute such a small part of the population the new law regarding religion will not affect them much.

“Of course, the situation is not very pleasant. No doubt there will be moments of strained relations. But the friendly attitude of the heads of the Mexican government to the Jewish national movement gives grounds for feeling undisturbed in general.”

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