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Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

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[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 story of a Jewish woman who was runner-up in the Virginia state golf finals for women, but who refused to play last week because the contest was set for Yom Kippur and thus forfeited by default the possible honor of winning the state championship, is related editorially by the “Jewish Morning Journal” of Sept. 21, wherein we read:

“The scene or the battlefield, is on the golf links of Richmond, Virginia. The city is aristocratic and only the chosen are admitted to the links. But it so happens that a Jewish woman, Mrs. I. J. Spitz, is one of the best players there and she had good prospects of winning the championship for women golfers in Virginia. The decisive battle between her and a Mrs. Jones was to have taken place last Saturday, Yom Kippur, and the request of Mrs. Spitz that the finals be postponed was rejected. Mrs. Spitz refused to play on Yom Kippur and Mrs. Jones won the championship by default of her opponent.

“We leave it to others,” the paper says “to express the necessary opinion regarding the committee that refused to alter the date of the finals. It happens sometimes that Jews themselves are forgetful on such days, and it is not our habit to accuse anyone of anti-Semitism without sufficient proof to that effect. But the ‘lady martyr’ of Virginia has our full sympathy and we feel that the recognition which she will receive from Jews, and even Christians, is worth more than the honor which might have been hers on that day.”

SAYS PRESIDENT HAS POWER TO NULLIFY “NATIONAL ORIGINS” MEASURE

The “national origins” quota system, which is to replace the present system of immigration quotas in July, 1927, provides not only for discrimination in favor of Nordics, but for discrimination among the Nordics in favor of England, declares Eugene P. Thackrey in the New York “World” of Sept. 19. The “national origins” measure can be repealed only by an act of Congress or it may remain ineffective, according to some authorities, by the failure of the President to proclaim and make known, as required by the terms of this measure, the quota of each nationality which is to be determined and reported to him by a board of six.

“A conditional Federal law to discriminate for the first time among Nordics in favor of the British in immigration, is in the hands of one man–the President. This one-man option will be based upon the findings of six other men, who, to date, have found little but chaos and have begun the descent of their statistical Everest,” writes Mr. Thackrey.

“But the obvious confusion,” we read further, “of an attempt to separate such a mixed population as that of the United States into its national origins is heightened by the indefinite conflicting clauses of the origins provision itself, which reads in part:

” ‘Such officials shall, jointly, report to the President the quota of each nationality, determined as provided in subdivision (b), and the President shall proclaim and make known the quotas so reported. Such proclamation shall be made on or before April 1, 1927.

” ‘If the proclamation is not made on or before such date, quotas proclaimed therein shall not be in effect for any fiscal year beginning after the expiration of the proclamation. . . . If for any reason quotas proclaimed under this subdivision are not in effect for any fiscal year, the quotas for such year shall be determined under subdivision (aa) of this section.’

“That is, if the national origins provision does not become operative, the existing arrangement shall continue, but shall be subjected to change every year, upon proclamation by the President, giving ninety day’s notice.

“The confusion resulting from the mandatory terms of the first paragraph requiring determination of national origins quotas, a report on the same to the President, and a Presidential proclamation by April 1, 1927, in juxtaposition to the ‘if’ clause of the second paragraph has baffled Government department experts. The President is delegated as a mere orderly in the first and clothed with power as a dictator in the second.

“Taking advantage of the wording,” the writer tells us, “several members of Congress opposed to the provision have introduced bills to repeal it. Representative Sabath, Democrat, of Illinois, who twice successfully led opposition to the measure but was overwhelmed by the final compromise on the entire law, is making an issue of such a move to repeal and has announced he will press for action on it at the short session this year.”

COMMUNICATION TO THE EDITOR

Sir:

In an interview with me which appears in the “Bulletin” September 15th, I am quoted as saying that the Soviet government does not persecute the Zionists as such, but as counter-revolutionists, in proof of which is the fact that over 2,000 Chaluzim are now working in the Jewish colonies.

In making the above statement I merely quoted Smidovitch and Larm to whom I pointed out at great length the injustice resulting from the arrest of Zionists qua Zionists. But I heard so much conflicting testimony relative to the attitude of the Soviets to Zionists that I am not in a position to state authoritatively to what extent Smidovich and Larin reflected the views of their associates.

JACOB BILLIKOPF. Saranac Lake, N. Y.

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