In yesterday’s Jewish Daily Bulletin we published an interesting letter from Mr. Jacob de Haas, noted publicist, biographer of Theodor Herzl and Zionist teacher of Louis D. Brandeis. Referring to my recent editorial “Unity Among Rabbis,” Mr. de Haas says:
“This talk of unity attained ‘by careful preparation and organization’ is only a new form of idol worship…. The confusion in Jewish life is not the result of sharp differences between organizations, nor does it spring from division in the ranks of either the Rabbis or the laity. Its cause is the complete lack of a policy adequate to the situation…. The word ‘Achdus’ is being thrown at us as though it had the power to ward off evil. Actually it is used as a soporific. Let us be united. About what? About being united. and then? Where there is no direction, how shall all of us pursue one road?”
My view of the type of unity needed by the Jewish people was expressed in that editorial as follows:
“Unity can be attained by careful preparation and organization, but first there must be the sincere and unselfish will to unite in the face the most awful tragedy that has befallen the Jewish people. American Jewry needs unity–unity in planning with foresight and in acting with courage, dignity, wisdom and responsibility in this dark hour of Israel’s crisis.”
Does this mean unity merely for the sake of unity? Unity without planning, unity without organization, unity without a policy is valueless. There must be careful-planning, coordination and organization. First a definite policy should be elaborated and then a united effort organized to carry it out.
Hitlerism is waging war against the Jews. Hitlerism is united in pushing this war against the Jews on all fronts, persecuting them ruthlessly at home and seeking to incite anti-Jewish hate abroad.
There must be a united command in the forces of Jewry to resist the Nazi offensive. The strongest and best trained army is doomed to failure if it lacks carefully elaborated plans and a unified leadership. This also applies to the moral defensive war which the Jews have been compelled to wage against Hitlerism.
Whether it be diplomacy, or protests, or the economic boycott against German-made products, or the campaign against German-made propaganda, there must be a definite, unified policy. There must be no scattering of energy, no overlapping activities, no rivalry among the leaders during this crisis. The danger is too grave. American Jewry has found the road to unity in the relief campaign to be launched soon. It should now seek and find the road to unity in defending the Jews against the Hitler attack. This should have been done long ago. But it is not yet too late to do it now.
Fortunately the destructive forces of Hitlerism carry within them the seeds of self-destruction. The Nazi terror is directed not against the Jews alone. The present rulers of Germany are camouflaging their war preparations behind deceptive words of peace. They are pleading poverty while spending huge sums on propaganda and munitions. The eyes of the world are being opened to the real menace of Nazism. Public opinion against Hitlerism is beginning to be crystallized in various lands. Though the Jews are not the only sufferers, they must do their full part unitedly in their own defense as well as in defense of civilization.