London (Mar. 11)
The Jewish problem in all countries is a difficult one, Lord Moynihan of Leeds, the famous surgeon, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said in opening the fourth Palestine Bazaar in Leeds yesterday. The purpose of the bazaar, he went on, is to assist in the repatriation of the Jews, a cause which has the cordial approval of all Jews who really matter in every land in which they have entered.
The Jews are an ancient and a great race, Lord Moynihan said, a people conscious as few are, of nationhood and of unity, proud of their race, and firm in their inextinguishable faith, yet a people without a homeland, seeking to regain the territory from which they have been harshly excluded for nearly 2,000 years.
Every religion is occupied with symbols, he continued, and one might recall the birthplace, the labours, the sacrifice or the death of the founder of the faith. I doubt, he said, whether any religion is so native to any soil as is Israel to Palestine. In Judaism, race, religion, and soil are inextricably and fundamentally interwoven in the minds of the Jews and in the very fabric of Jewry.
One feature of Jewish life is remarkable, Lord Moynihan remarked. In every country they possess fabulous wealth; yet among Jews there is great poverty; and oppression and injustice fall hardest upon the poor.
The ideal of a return to the homeland of the Jew, while it would bring a sense of freedom and independence, Lord Moynihan proceeded, must not impose a sense of exclusion upon Jews whose departure from us would be of no advantage to themselves and of irreparable disaster to communities whose activities have in no small degree been built round them. In Palestine they are already creating a new country, making many blades of grass grow where none grew before, of the future of this homeland no man can feel apprehension. But some Jews must remain in other lands. Just as the Scot takes frugality, industry, and trustworthiness; as the Irish take romance, inspiration, imagination, insight and a sense of eternal truth into other lands, so must the Jew take his industry, his astonishing faculty for finance, and his sense of charity in the help of others.
Mr. Montague Burton, who presided, said that the presence of Lord Moynihan was a great incentive and encouragement to Jewish people in Leeds and throughout the world. Many notable Yorkshire people had from time to time by their influence helped the Jewish cause of trying to resume their national home and a national life. Most Jews, and a good many Gentiles, believed that by giving Jews the opportunity of returning to their national home they would be able once again to send out those messages which they did in Biblical times, those eternal truths which were the foundation of the best in civilisation. If it were simply a question of bread and butter they realised that they might do better in the undeveloped land of South America, but the Jew had through long centruies proclaimed his desire to return to his national home, and with the passing of the ages that desire had become intensified. During the last decade that desire had taken practical shape.