25,000 New York Jews Turn out in Impressive Parade to Protest Against Great Britain’s Policy in Pale
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25,000 New York Jews Turn out in Impressive Parade to Protest Against Great Britain’s Policy in Pale

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Despite the sweltering heat 25,000 New York Jews turned out late Thursday afternoon in a street parade and demonstration under the auspices of the New York Zionist Region to protest against the British government for the suspension of immigration to Palestine. Promptly at 5 P. M. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise opened the demonstration with an impassioned address to the huge crowd that packed the Madison Avenue side of Madison Square and declared “we do not want to be the scapegoats of British imperialism in India.”

The parade then began moving down Fifth Avenue. Led by the octogenarian Nissim Behar and a section of aged and bearded rabbis who chanted Hebrew songs as they marched, the parade proceeded slowly to 14th Street, East to Second Avenue and then to Rutgers Square via the Bowery, Grand Street and Ludlow Street.


All sections of New York Jewry, including several thousand school children, were represented in the line of march which was greeted with cheers and applause from the thousands who lined the streets as the parade reached the East Side. Banners and slogans expressing dissatisfaction with the British policy and asking “Did the Balfour Declaration Die with Balfour,” and “Have Jewish Soldiers Died in Vain” were carried by the marchers who plodded the nearly four mile route singing Hebrew psalms.

The grand marshal of the parade was Captain Julius S. Berg, grand commander of the Jewish War Veterans, who despite his leg injury in the World War, courageously walked three quarters of the way. Stretched out in a long line behind Capt. Berg, his fellow Jewish war veterans and the venerable Nissam Behar, who never raised his head from the Hebrew periodical he was reading, were members of the Jewish Legion, thousands of members of the various Jewish labor groups, Jewish national and fraternal organizations and a number of prominent Zionists, including Judge Bernard Rosenblatt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Jacob de Haas, Dr. Samuel Margoshes, Bernard Deutsch, Congressman William Sirovich, former Congressman Nathan Perlman and exattorney general Carl Sherman.

Despite the fact that the parade turned into Fifth Avenue at the height of the evening traffic rush, everything ran smoothly as the two hour procession wended its way to Rutgers Square. Cheers greeted the school children and the halutzim as well as the Jewish war veterans and the Jewish Legionnaires. The most impressive bit of the parade was the total unconcern with which the aged rabbis plodded along with the white-bearded Nissim Behar at their head.


When the vanguard of the parade reached Rutgers Square it was welcomed with a sustained burst of appaluse and the crowds broke the police lines to join the procession and listen to the speeches delivered from a balcony of the building of the “Day.”

Among those who spoke at Rutgers Square were Judge Rosenblatt, Berl Locker, Chaim Greenberg, Mordecai Danzis, Dr. Juris and Dr. S. Margoshes. A resolution adopted by acclamation called on England to fulfill the Mandate obligations by permitting free immigration to Palestine within the country’s economic capacity and by cooperating with the upbuilding efforts of the Jewish people. It also urged England to place the administration of the country in the hands of officials sympathetic with the aims of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate.


The following were among the 55 organizations that participated in the impressive demonstration which was so long that when the head of the line reached Rutgers Square many of the marchers had not yet left Madison Square:

Union of Orthodox Rabbis of America, New York Board of Jewish Ministers, New York Association of Cantors, Mizrachi (the orthodox wing of the Zionist Organization), Hadassah (women’s Zionist organization of America), New York Zionist Region, Order Sons of Zion, Zionist Revisionists, Yeshivah College of America, Avukah (student’s Zionist Federation), Junior Guard, Young Judah, Young Israel, Junior Mizrachi, Menorah, Women Pioneers, Poalei-Zion, Jewish National Workers’ Alliance, Zeiri Zion, Independent Order Brith Abraham, Agudath Ezrath Galilee, B’nai Erez Israel, Jewish Sports Clubs.


Rabbi Wise, in his speech that launched the parade, said, among other things:

“Better for England to have denied us at the outset, than to have granted our wishes and now to have betrayed us. The suspension of the immigration permits into Palestine in purely political interests, after they were granted by the High Commissioner, is a suspension of the mandate. We are gathered not to let the Balfour declaration merely become another scrap of paper in the history of the nations, and to the end that England may not be the England of Luke but the England of Balfour. The day may come when England may need friends. In that day it will be not the Arab people, but the Jewish people, who will befriend them.

“What is it we now ask of Britain? To keep its word to facilitate the establishment of the Jewish National Home. And if we must lose faith in Great Britain (and it is the last thing in the world that we wish to do), let use remember that as for ourselves, however threatening the hour, ‘our hope is not destroyed’.”

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