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.]

That the misunderstanding between the Zionists and the non-Zionists on the subject of Palestine and Russian colonization is “a dangerous and needless schism in Israel” which may have the fatal consequence of ruining “the prospect of Jewish regeneration,” is the opinion of Solomon Poliakoff, noted Russian-Jewish political publicist, author, dramatist and communal leader who arrived in the United States last week. Mr. Poliakoff, who is a Zionist but not a party man, last Spring visited Palestine in company with Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

Urging the participation of the Jews in both the Russian colonization work and Palestine reconstruction, Mr. Poliakoff declares:

“To begin with, it is wrong to look upon the Russian colonization work as harmful. The economic condition of Russia is by this time too well known to be dwelt upon here. No emigration to the United States, no sound economic activity within. Palestine, too, cannot afford the luxury of a million hungry Jews desperately knocking at its doors and insisting on immediate entry. Reason and pity, statesmanship and humanity dictate alike the urgent necessity of immediate help for Russian Jewry. Tilling the soil is the best way to save them. It is so in every other East European country, and tenfold so in Russia where political conditions, bad as they are, offer no other way out, and at the same time are particularly favorable to colonization. Nobody knows for sure how many families will find bread and shelter in the new colonies; but one thing is evident: those are in the right who do something, and not those who merely offer criticisms and objections. Acts endure while words fade away. It was so with the old anti-Zionists who kept on saying: ‘Nothing will happen, nothing will be accomplished.’

“The Joint Distribution Committee, the Ica, the Ort, etc., are doing wonderful work, work deserving every encouragement, work never to be forgotten by the starving Jews of Russia and Poland.

“But-

“This spring I visited Palestine, and that was the most thrilling experience, the most overwhelming experience of all my life. I experienced the rare joy of seeing a new people, a new race arising from the hard soil of the ancient Land of Israel. I saw happy, merry Jews, workers proud of their labor, men looking forward with courage and calm assurance, beautiful and healthy, children speaking the revived language of David, Solomon, and Isaiah. I saw a young commonwealth emerging in which the purely human and the Jewish elements blend in perfect harmony. I heard ancestral voices from our glorious past whispering the marvels of a Jewish future under a sky of unimaginable beauty. And there I understood the Zionists’ legitimate jealousy of anything that may hinder or delay the realization of this great work. I understand that if Russian colonization is a current event (though no doubt a most important one), the colonization of Palestine is history. The Russian colonization work possesses a purely material and local significance, while the work in Palestine has a significance unprecedented in history. There, in Palestine, is the pride and glory of every Jew the world over; there is the justification of two thousand years of struggle and martyrdom … Nowhere else can a Jew, conscious of the call of his ancestors, be as happy, as serene, as proud, as productive as in Palestine …. If abstention from the work in Russia is a mistake, what shall we say about abstention from the work in Palestine?”

WANTS MIXED COMMISSION TO STUDY JEWISH SITUATION ABROAD

A suggestion that a mixed commission, of Jews and Gentiles, be appointed for the purpose of studying the Jewish situation abroad and working out a program to cover European relief and Palestine reconstruction in place of the present separate periodic drives, is put forth by Charles Joseph in his Random Thoughts appearing in the “Jewish Review and Observer” of Cleveland.

“I suggested some time ago,” Mr. Joseph writes, “that a mixed Commission, (Jews and Gentiles) composed of the best financial and political minds make a complete survey of the Jewish situation abroad: that a program be outlined that will have for its purpose the correcting not merely of the economic but of the political situation of the Jew. It may cost fifty million dollars, it may cost a hundred million dollars to bring about the desired result, but at any cost it will be much cheaper than this constant raising of millions every little while as a palliative. What is needed is a radical operation, not a poultice.”

The Hadassah Organization and the Histadruth Ivrith have officially joined the Zionist Council of Greater New York, it was announced by the Council.

Hadassah elected Mrs. Adolph Slomka and Mrs. Anna Markowitz Cross as members of the Administrative Committee of the Zionist Council and Holman Whiteman represents the Histadruth Ivrith.

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