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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.]

Senator James A. Reed, who is chief counsel for Ford in the libel suit brought against the latter by Aaron Sapiro, is criticized by the “Jewish Daily News.”

Emphasis is laid by the paper on the fact that Ford’s charges were made not against Sapiro personally but against Sapiro the Jew, and in such cases the position of the defense counsel “cannot be viewed merely as business relations between lawyer and client. Ford has no business interests in the case–his interests are anti-Semitic; and to defend him in court against one who has taken up the cudgels for a large part of the citizenry which is being libelled, can merely be construed as an act of sympathy for Ford’s activities.” The paper then proceeds:

“It is certain that if Reed regarded Ford’s activities as wrong he would not have accepted his case, despite the large fee.

“There is another point. Reed is a Senator, a politician who seeks the favor of public opinion. It is even said that he is aiming at the Presidential nomination on the Democratic ticket in 1928, and he would not be doing anything which he might feel would hurt his prospects. It is to be deduced therefore that not only does Reed himself not think Ford has been wrong in his anti-Jewish activities but that he believes America’s public opinion shares this view and that hence his chances for a presidential nomination so far from suffering will be enhanced by his defense of Ford.

“Reed’s connection with Ford’s case is therefore based on one of two things: either he believes anti-Semitic propaganda is no fault in the eyes of the American public and he can lose nothing by serving as Ford’s counsel, or else he actually believes that to be connected with Ford is a favorable factor which will yield him benefits in the political sense. Perhaps he thinks he can gain the friendship of certain elements, for example, the elements whose support McAdoo sought three years ago at the Democratic convention. Perhaps he thinks that the Ford case may enhance him in the eyes of those who are against the Jews, more than it may hurt him. In the first case, it would show that his conception of liberalism and the principle of equality of all citizens, of justice and truth, is quite a meagre one. In the second case, it would be still worse, since it would imply making an issue of race hatred.”

LOUIS UNTERMEYER AND THE STUDENT SUICIDES

The decision of Louis Untermeyer, the noted poet whose son recently died at Yale University, apparently by his own hand, to devote his time and money to the reduction of suicides by the young, among whom there have recently been reported a large number of Jewish students, “will enlist the sympathetic understanding of all,” avers the N. Y. “World” of March 12.

The paper takes occasion to point out that the so-called “wave” of student suicides is not unusual, explaining as follows:

“On the basis of the mortality statistics furnished by our Government, more than 1,200 young persons, between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four, take their own lives every year. In the year 1922, for example, 1050 are tabulated, 340 in the fifteen-to-nineteen-age group, 710 in the nineteen-to-twenty-four-age group. Making a correction for the 15 per cent of the population not covered by the figures, we get 1,235 as the approximate total for the whole country. This is at the rate of more than three a day, and it is inevitable, under the law of probabilities, that a considerable proportion of these young people should be students in high schools and colleges. One must conclude that we have no abnormal wave of student suicides.

“What happened was that just after the Christmas holidays several students of prominence got into the news in this connection, among them young Untermeyer, and after that the newspapers began to count. And our suicide wave is a wave only in that it has received unusual notice.

“If we are to do anything about it, we must seek for causes not peculiar to the year 1927 but peculiar to youth itself. Mr. Untermeyer, indeed, seems to realize this. He expresses doubt as to whether there are more youthful suicides now than in the past. ‘But of course there are too many,’ he adds and goes on to explain that his idea is to provide youth with faith in life. And one devoutly hopes that he will make progress.”

CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS’ ANTI-SEMITIC CAMPAIGN AND JEWISH “CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS”

The outbreak of a persistent anti-Semitic propaganda through radio and mail on the part of a wing of the Christian Science movement will have the good result of awakening the Jews who have become members of the Christian Science Church to their folly, declares the “S. A. J. Review”, organ of the Society for Advancement of Judaism. In its March 11 issue the paper says:

“Christian Science has resorted to the old game of Jew-baiting. While this outbreak of anti-Semitism in the ranks of the Christian Scientists is to be deplored, it will in the long run have a salutary effect upon the many Jews who have become victims of its malicious pretentions. It offers further verification of the very obvious truth that no matter how hard Jews may try to conceal their Jewishness or to merge their identity with those of their Christian neighbors, sooner or later, whatever the cause or the cult, antagonism will break out against them. This inescapable fact of Jewishness reasserts itself constantly and the reality of the condition of the Jew must be accepted and understood, not evaded.

“Christian Science had become a real menace to Judaism and threatened to absorb a great many of our people. Many of them were duped into the belief that one could be a good Jew and a Christian Scientist at the same time. The cult of Christian Science has found its way into homes of Jews one would never suspect of such folly and gullibility. Only an anti-Semitic outbreak can convince such people of the utter falsity and humbug of the evangelical therapeutics of Christian Science.”

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