Union of Roumanian Jews Concludes Election Pact with Roumanian Merchants’ Federation

The Union of Roumanian Jews has concluded an election pact for the coming parliamentary elections with the Federation of Merchants in Roumania, which is placing 15 candidates of the Union of Roumanian Jews as leading candidates on its lists.

The Federation of Merchants comprises the Merchants’ Guilds, the General Federation of Orchard Growers, the Economic Federation, the General Federation of Small Industrialists, the General Federation of Office and Shop Employees, the Federation of Pharmacists, the Federation of Small Merchants in Transylvania, the Federation of Restaurateurs, Hoteliers and Cafe-Owners in Transylvania, the House-Owners’ Federation of Braila, and the Automobile Association of Roumania.

We tried to reach an agreement with the Party in power, Dr. Filderman, the President of the Union of Roumanian Jews, said in an interview with the J.T.A. representative here, but it would not agree to the programmatic guarantees that we demanded. We could not agree to a pact without the Government binding itself to definite points of programme on the Jewish demands, because in 1928 this same Party concluded a pact with the Zionists without guaranteeing any programme points, and afterwards it carried legislation completely contrary to Jewish interests.

We then attempted to form a united Jewish front with the National Jewish Party. That, too, failed, because the Party instead of forming a united front with us to destroy antisemitism, preferred to put a demand for the destruction of our organisation, just as the antisemitic movement has been trying to do for years.

We also negotiated with the Liberal Party, but the special circumstances of the present election campaign prevented us from concluding an agreement with this Party. The leader of the Liberal Party recognised that we were bound by certain duties to the Jewish populations, and while expressing his regret that he could not have our assistance in this election campaign, released us from the obligations which we had assumed in the past towards his Party, and declared that if his Party should again come into power he would continue to regard himself and his Party bound by these obligations.

We considered putting forward a Jewish list of our own, but we decided that since we consider a specifically Jewish list undesirable we could not possibly be responsible for having two Jewish lists.

We therefore considered it in the Jewish interest to conclude a pact with various urban professional organisations, to join with them against those economic measures which are hitting all sections of the urban population, to which the Jews almost exclusively belong. The ten economic organisations with which we have allied ourselves represent a very important element in the economic life of the country.

If there is a Jewish list, Dr. Filderman concluded, the antisemites attack the Jews, but if there are Jews on a list together with Christians, then the antisemites attack those Christians for allegedly promoting Jewish interests, and those Christian therefore defend the Jews to justify their own position.

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