Vilna (Aug. 23)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
An attempt to organize a new Jewish party in Poland to be known as the Democratic Party, is being made here at a conference of democratic leaders.
The new party is to be constructed out of the remnants of the former Volkspartei, of which Noah Prilutzky is the leader. The new democratic party is to be under the leadership of Dr. Schabad of Vilna. It is stated that the new party is being formed in order to remove Prilutzky from leadership.
THE DANGER OF ASIATISM TO PALESTINE
The establishment by Zionists of a special “Keren Ha’tarbuth,” a fund for Hebrew culture, in addition to the Keren Hayesod and the Keren Kayemeth–a proposal formulated by M. M. Ussishkin–is warmly supported by Dr. Joseph Klausner in the last issue of his Jerusalem Hebrew magazine, “Ha’shiloach.”
“Palestine lies in Asia. There was some truth in the criticism of the enemies of Zion among the assimilationists that we preach the return of the Jews to Asiatism,” Dr. Klausner writes. “Asia has a great past and we are sure that it also has a great future. At present Asia has incomparably less–a living and creative culture–than Europe, despite all the opinions of the romantics. When Japan needed culture it borrowed it from Europe. Rabindranath Tagore would not have become a preacher of the new Buddistic culture and opponent of European culture, if he would not have absorbed European culture in a large measure. In order to prevent us in Palestine from becoming “Asiatics” in the worst meaning of the word (they call them today “Levantine,” a name which is too “mild,”) it is necessary that we strengthen here our European Hebrew culture. There is indeed refuge in that culture. The Hebrew culture from the middle of the period of the Second Commonwealth until today has absorbed important European elements. The European culture since the days of Alexander the Great has absorbed important Hebrew elements. Thus, the more we will strengthen in our midst the influence of Hebrew culture in a European form and the influence of the European culture in a national Hebrew form, the more we will absorb a Hebrew and human culture at the same time, a culture which will save us from the Asiatic backwardness, without losing the good qualities of the Asiatic culture, the ancient and that which is now rising out of its conflict and war against the negative elements of the European culture.
“There are two languages and two cultures fighting against us in Palestine. The Arabs have large masses who speak a living and natural language rooted in the soil, but they have no complete political government and their new literature is poor; the English have no large masses, but their political power is complete in the country, their language is supreme in countries with a population of hundreds of millions and their literature is one of the richest in the world. How will be be able to stand against these–we, whose language is just beginning to revive, whose new literature is meagre, who have not yet large Hebrew speaking masses rooted in the soil and whose complete political power will not come to pass for many a year?
“If we will not apply all our forces, if we will not make superhuman efforts for the sake of our national, human culture, what is our hope? Only the strong forces of the great past, together with the aspiration toward an unusual renaissance in the present, only in the union of these two forces can we achieve a victory, although this will not be complete, over the two strong forces which stand consciously and unconsciously against us,” Dr. Klausner writes.