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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.]

Had the United States and the other Powers in 1879 not taken ‘too much for granted” and withheld recognition of Roumania until she had fulfilled her obligations to the Jews there would be no need today for a protest movement against Roumanian excesses, declares the N. Y. “Evening World” of Jan. 4, wherein we read:

“Forty-eight years ago Roumania was asking recognition for her Government after she had won her independence.

“At that time the ‘Union of American Hebrew Congregations’ took action similar to that of last Sunday and a formal protest against recognition without assurances of religious toleration in Roumania was sent to William M. Evarts, Secretary of State, and signed by Myer S. Isaacs, as President, and Adolph Sanger, as Secretary, (Foreign Relations United States, 1880–35-6).

“This protest was sympathetically received by Evarts and sent to John A. Kasson, our Minister to Austria, who was negotiating the recognition of Roumania, in a letter instructing him to do all in his power ‘favorable to the interests of this much injured people.’

“In the negotiations Kasson followed instructions. Other nations, notably Austria and Italy, interested themselves similarly, and Roumania made numberous gestures indicative of assent. Even so, she did incorporate in her Constitution a clause modifying the conditions imposed by the Congress of Berlin for the protection of the Jews, and Germany, France and England in formally according recognition expressed the hope that in putting this clause into effect Roumania would ‘approximate continually to the liberal ideas which prompted the great powers.’ (Foreign Relations, 1880–53.) The United States joined the other nations, took too much for granted, and the result is that after forty-eight years a mass meeting at the Hotel Astor passes resolutions similar to those of the ‘Union of American Hebrew Congregations’ sent to Mr. Evarts.

“Had recognition been withheld by the Powers at that time until the Constitution was made to conform with the spirit of the Berlin Congress there would have been no occasion for a mass meeting last Sunday.”

Objection to the widespread protest movement set on foot against Roumania by the American Jewish Congress, is voiced by the “American Israelite” of Dec. 30. Referring to the conference of the American Jewish Congress on Dec. 19, the “Israelite” writes:

“A resolution was adopted calling on the Jews of America to give voice to their protest at public meetings to be arranged for that purpose immediately. This is once again an undertaking on the part of a very few individuals to stir up serious excitement, not to say strife, and disturbance among the Jews of America. It seems that some of our self-constituted leaders will never learn that they have no license, celestial or mortal, to speak or act for the Jews of this country. Fortunately there were serious-minded people at the meeting like Congresswoman Mrs. Florence P. Kahn, of San Francisco. Congressman Sabbath of Chicago, and Congressman Meyer Jacobstein of Rochester, who interjected some sense of moderation and caution into the meeting. It is high time that those unquiet spirits who seem to find no rest anywhere but are continually bobbing up and raising their voices at the most inauspicious time and in the most ineffectual manner to remedy wrongs which exist largely in their own inflamed imaginations. This is not intended to minimize the outrages but to deplore the sensational methods employed in this country.”

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