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 prediction that the Jews of Europe and elsewhere are likely to disappear in the next century is made by Jakob Wassermann, the noted German Jewish novelist. In the course of an interview appearing in the current issue of the “American Hebrew,” Mr. Wassermann says:

“Highly undesirable as it may be to be swallowed by the so-called white race, I am of the opinion that–perhaps within not much more than another centary–the Jews of Europe and elsewhere will be absorbed by the other nations. To be sure, we shall probably always have historical specimens of the race; but as a communal entity the Jew is doomed to disappear. And this process of assimilation, especially if accompanied by a corresponding degree of universal enlightenment, will eventually lead to that state of true human fellowship which alone can insure the happiness of the world. The Jew, in other words, must–whether he wills it or not–continue to serve as the spiritual leaven for the preservation of mankind.”

WHAT THE GERMAN ZIONISTS EXPECT OF THE JEWISH AGENCY AGREEMENT

A statement of the attitude of the German Zionists to the Weizmann-Marshall agreement and their expectations of the new Jewish Agency when it will be organized, appears in the Feb. 4 issue of the “Juedische Rundschau,” of Berlin, organ of the German Zionists.

The “Rundschan” regards it as an auspicious sign that whereas hitherto the chief emphasis was laid on the question of the constitution of the Agency, the Weizmann-Marshall agreement stresses “the concrete question of the purposes and aims of the Agenc,” and adds: “When the Jewish Agency, embracing all pro-Palestine Jews, will be organized, it must be clear that this new body will have the aim of making the Jewish national homeland a reality in the quickest possible time, in conformity with the requirements of the Mandate. Whereas the present Jewish Agency is doomed to impotency in the economic sense because the aims and tasks facing it are vastly above its material powers, so that we are thrown from one crisis into another one, the new Agency will have to carry out its work on the basis of a carefully weighed and scientific plan which will take into consideration all needs and possibilities. The activity of the Agency must be all em-bracing, it must have an economic general staff which, with a view to all the realities in the country, will settle every available unoccupied space. Such a really large-scale colonizing body will have to lay its plans for years ahead. The functions of this general staff should be taken over by the experts commission. After the plan will be presented the Agency should be formally organized, provided that the Jews in other countries will have gone as far as those of America on the subject of the Agency.”

The paper then takes up the budget question, on which point it observes: “There can be no doubt that while the experts commission can work out a colonization plan, the carrying out of the plan and the tempo of the work depend, in the last analysis, on the size of the budget. The Zionist world and all friends of Palestine expect that after the plan will be prepared a budget will be assured which will make possible really constructive work and speedy progress in the reconstruction of the Jewish homeland.”

The “Rundschau” upholds Weizmann in the matter of the peace letter addressed to Marshall. “Dr. Weizmann, as a true statesman, realized that at this moment questions of prestig, can play no role. A peace agreement between two contending parties is possible only by concessions from both sides. Therefore we have to construe the new accord as a legitimate peace instrument of which the exchange of letters between Weizmann and Marshall, preceding the signing of the agreement, constitutes a part. In the fight of the American Zionists against the Crimea project the formula of ‘Palestine priority’ played a great role. It is a self-evident demand of every Zionist. On the other hand, it has come to be clearly obvious that a ‘non-Zionist’ is a person who does not recognize the ‘priority of ‘Palestine’ formula, even though he regards Palestine as very important and is willing to work for it. The misunder-standing, which arose in connection with this question of ‘Palestine priority’ during the heat of the controversy, as been cleared up by the Weizmann statement. It is a sign of marvelous discipline and a sense of responsibility on the part of the American Zionists that they consented to this step in the interests of Palestine reconstruction.”

PALESTINE LABOR PAPER ON JEWISH AGENCY AGREEMENT

The Weizmann-Marshall accord on the Jewish Agency is the subject of an article published in the “Davar,” Palestine Hebrew labor daily, in its issue of January 28. Commenting on the enthusiastic support given to the accord by the “Doar Ha’yom” and the expressions of regret on the part of the “Ha’aretz,” the labor daily in the main approves of the accord, declaring:

“Is there anything surprising in that the Marshall group does not recognize the priority of Palestine? Priority is the dividing line between Zionism and non-Zionism. We always knew that the agreement will have to be made with non-Zionists who will not become Zionists over night. Our hope is that in the course of time, in the process the Palestine work, Palestine will increase in importance to the non-Zionists, until they will consider Palestine as the main problem, just as we do. But this is no more than a hope and it cannot be made a condition of the Agreement. Such a condition would mean waiting until Marshall becomes a Zionist, which would be an apriori annullment of the agreement. There is, therefore, in our judgment, no reason for the irony poured on the New York agreement because of the non-priority.

“The decision to send a neutral investigating committee signifies a certain lack of confidence on the part of non-Zionists, in the Zionist information. We should not, however, deprive these men of their right to come and see with their own eyes whether there is in Palestine objective possibility for the work in which they undertake to participate and what is the way of carrying it out. Zionism does not demand confidence in advance.

“These are the official reports and we can not close our eyes to the fact that there is, in the manner in which the agreement was published and in the meagerness of the details, something which can create fear that we are exposed to certain dangers. We knew, in advance, that we are inviting to common work and privilege, men to whom the Palestine work is not dear in the same measure as it is to Zionists. We knew that this work will not be easy. The Zionist movement has, nevertheless, in overwhelming majority, agreed to extend this invitation.

“We cannot, therefore, sidetrack the danger of the Jewish Agency. The question is only what do we receive in return for this danger? To this question there is not yet an answer. This is the main thing. In the absence of an answer to this question we cannot properly judge the agreement. Let us he frank. We want to receive much. Let us not be ashamed of this truth. Let Jabotinsky cry: ‘they sell Zionism,’ we want the extension of the work. At the price of extending the work, it is worth while to march in the face of danger.”

Three ku klux klan marriage bills were unanimously rejected by the House of Rrepre, sentatives in the State of Connecticut.

The first prohibited intermarriage of whites and persons of negro descent, declaring all such marriages null and void.

The second forbade persons who perform a marriage ceremony from inducing the parties to enter into an agreement as to the education or religious training of their children.

The third was “to prevent the derogation of the sanctity of civil marriage.”

Judge Peck, of Bristol, who explained the unfavorable report of the Judiciary Committee on the bills, said the committee had received hundreds of letters in support of the bills, but the letters all appeared to have come from the same source.

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