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 failure of Poland to secure a permanent seat on the League Council has resulted in the demand put forth by the National Democratic party that the national minority rights guarantees in Poland, especially those relating to the Jews, be abrogated.

Commenting on this, the “Day” of Sept. 7 observes: “Such is the demand of yesterday’s rulers in Poland–the National Democrats. In their unscrupulous ambition they do not ask: are the minorities in Poland really to blame for the League’s refusal to give Poland a permanent seat on the Council? They also deliberately ignore the fact that it was precisely the Jewish minority which openly demanded a seat on the Council for Poland. They likewise deliberately forget that the National Democratic government in Poland made use through one of its representatives of an article in the Paris ‘Haint’ in order to show that the Jews joined with the Polish demands in this respect.

“Thus yesterday’s rulers of Poland–and perhaps tomorrow’s rulers. They have learned nothing and have forgotten nothing. They continue the old anti-Semitic tradition: for every trouble, a Jewish victim, and let God have mercy.

“It does not occur to the National Democratic party that the League of Nations thinks it is in Poland’s own interests to have all its citizens equal, including the minorities. It does not occur to them that by violating the treaty guarantees for such motives as theirs, Poland would not only not gain the respect of the League of Nations, but that it would be regarded as an act of petty rascality, to which respectable nations do not stoop.”

THE FIFTH RESERVATION AND IMMIGRATION

The question of immigration is probably one of the reasons why the United States insists on the fifth reservation to the World Court protocol, declares the New York “Telegram” in its issue of Sept. 7. In substantiation of its opinion, the “Telegram” quotes the following despatch from Paul Smith’s to the New York “Times”:

“It was pointed out today in connection with the discussion on the fifth reservation that the United States objects to advisory opinions without its consent because of the fear that immigration may be made a question for court advisory action. The immigration question is regarded by the United States as a purely domestic matter, but the covenant of the League of Nations, which is the highest law of the World Court, enables the League Council to determine whether such a question is domestic or subject to the intervention of the League. The World Court’s advisory opinion on that point, if adverse to the United States, might lead to serious international difficulties, if not hostilities.”

Commenting on this, the “Telegram” expresses itself thus:

“The right to exclude foreigners from the country is absolute. It has been asserted in innumerable instances and can neither be granted away by act of Congress, nor restrained, even by treaty.

“So actually, if Congress were to make a law prescribing that only fair or red-headed persons should be admitted to the country, it would be perfectly legal and nobody’s business but our own, even if the critics did make an outcry at the absurdity of America preferring blondes.”

SAYS IMMIGRATION QUOTA SCATTERS RACIAL GROUPS

That the racial groups of foreign-born in the United States are beginning to break up and disintegrate owing to the changes brought about by the immigration quota laws, is the opinion expressed in the New York “Times” of Sunday, in an article by Emery Deri.

“The stream of new immigrants that kept the ranks of the foreign-born population filled with fresh accessions has dried up; and the rising generation never sticks to the colonies formed by its parents. There are no new audiences for the foreign-language theatres, and no new readers for the more than 2,500 foreign language newspapers published within the United States,” Mr. Deri writes.

“Aside from the death rate, which cuts wide swaths into the masses of our foreign population, the population of the ‘foreign quarters’ are being lessened by the ever increasing number of foreign-born citizens who are leaving the different linguistic ghettos for the open spaces of American life, where the horizons are wider and chances for success manifold. Business men and professional men, eager to save themselves from the approaching break-up which is threatening the solidarity of the quarters where the alien-born grouped themselves are making a new start among Americans by essaying to become integral parts of the actual American life.

“It is a well known fact that the members of every racial colony represent only the first generation of immigrants. Every attempt to preserve the second generation, the so-called junior class, for an alien-born community, has invariably failed even within such racial groups as the Jews, where religious ties are interwoven with racial links, or in the case of the Germans, where love and admiration for German culture and literature aided cohesion. Every girl or boy who attends American schools becomes lost to the racial community of the parents. The second generation does not want to be different from other Americans, and looks down upon the limited possibilities of the racial community’s ghetto life.

“A considerable part of the foreign-born immigrants also can be regarded as lost to the ‘foreign quarters’,” the writer says. “Though there are no statistics available regarding the Americanization of immigrants — the adoption of American citizenship does not necessarily mean the immigrants’ Americanization–it is observed that those immigrants who come to our shores under the age of 30 become Americanized so rapidly that after the lapse of a few years they depart from the sharply drawn limits of their racial group.”

The decrease of banks serving only this or that racial group also throws light upon the new situation, we are told. “While before and immediately after the war almost every immigrant sent part of his income to the old country for the amortization of the cost of a piece of land or of a house. That stream of American dollars to the native lands of the immigrants has dried up.”

Regarding the effect on the foreign language newspapers, the writer declares: “This discounting of the coming depopulation of the ‘nationality islands’ or racial centres is perceptible in the nervousness prevailing among the foreign-language newspapers. Their circulation has not fallen off much as a whole since the quota law went into operation. Some have lost, but others have managed to hold their own. The publishers of the foreign-language newspapers, however, are not deceived by the fact that so far they have suffered little. They can see that the present stock of their readers is bound to diminish through the working of the death rate, which is almost twenty per thousand among the foreign-born who are over 25 years old. They know that the rate of mortality cannot be cheated.”

LAUDS MR. OCHS

The recent celebration of the thirtieth anniversary since Adolph S. Ochs took charge of the New York “Times” is the occasion for an editorial in the “American Israelite” of Sept. 2, wherein Mr. Ochs’ attachment to his people is especially emphasized.

“Mr. Ochs throughout his career has remained a faithful Jew,” we read. “He has been one of the most valuable supporters of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and of the Hebrew Union College, with personal service and liberal money contributions, and is today a member of the Executive Board of the Union and also Trustee of Temple Emanu-El Congregation of New York. At the end of last June, Mr. Ochs was in Chattanooga to be present at the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of his father, the late Julius Ochs. The new Mizpah temple is to be a memorial to Mr. Ochs’ parents and he contributed $100,000 to its building fund.

“Taking him for all in all, he is one of the leading Jews in the United States, perhaps the foremost.”

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