The silver lining in the cloud of anti-Jewish persecution and oppression is that it makes known to us those of our friends who have not the ulterior motvie of foul-weather identification, Gentiles that is, who could stand aloof without peril to themselves and see the Jew persecuted did not some instinct of chivalry impel them to speak out for fair play and justice.
In the dedication to R. D. Blumenfeld, Sidney Dark writes (in his “The Jew Today”): “A reasonable sense of shame, therefore, stimulates the desire to attempt, at this particular time and from a non-Jewish point of view, a sympathetic study of a people that has preserved individuality in the face of periodical and unparalleled repression, and that remains, as it has been since the Dispersion, a unique phenomenon in human history.”
Mr. Dark’s “The Jew Today” is topical, not historical. It is an answer to Hilaire Belloc’s “The Jew” and to Henry Ford’s “The International Jew” and punctures again that fantastic conception of the Jew the world over united in plotting the downfall of Christian civilization which is projected in the forgery known as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” It is a calm and reasonable exposition, lacking perhaps in the warmth which a self-conscious Jew might put into that exposition, but more likely therefore to persuade.
THE THREE CHIEF POINTS
The three main points which Mr. Dark substantiates with facts are that the Jew is not united, neither nationally nor internationally; that he has not been, and is not, the influence in the politics or the business of nations that he is reputed to be, and, thirdly, that even when the Jew is an influence, as he may be for a time in a certain industry or in the cabinet of a certain nation, that influence is not directed specifically to Jewish ends, or to promoting a Jewish point of view, or a Jewish philosophy.
Even in international banking, in which the influence of the international Jew is supposed to have been exerted toward Jewish ends, according to the anti-Semitic legend, that influence has declined almost to the point of non-existence. And if the Jewish influence in the moulding of public opinion is to be granted, as Mr. Dark grants it so far as the pre-Hitler German press is concerned, recent events can only prove that even in those cases where the Jew has influence he has not cunning enoughâ€”and cunning is a trait anti-Semites always grant him to avoid the very consequences toward which that concentrated influence should have been directed.
Even Jews are ready to grant that the Jewish influence in Soviet Russia is predominant. Mr. Dark marshals for us a set of facts to the contrary, showing that a greater part of Jewish influence went into the moderating Mensheviki branch of the Socialist movement. Also, that since the emergence of the Georgian Stalin there have been fewer Jews in high places in the government of Russia than are to be found, say, in the government of Great Britain and that, here again, Jews do not act and work as Jews, but as Communists. The burden of Mr. Dark’s effective chapter, “Does the Jew Matter?” is that the Jew doesn’t matter so much as we had thought and that even when he does matter, as he does in the metal tradeâ€”note the Guggenheimsâ€”he doesn’t matter in any way that might be deemed Jewish.
Mr. Dark has the impression and the belief that the Jew represents the bourgeois, the middle-of-the-road point of view; and that the very fact that Jewish life has centered around the family would tend to make him an anti-extremist, an anti-revolutionary, a Social Democrat perhaps because Social Democracy offers equal rights and claims of family and the rights of private property which inhere in the conception of the family.
Mr. Dark considers also the questions of Zionism, the Jewish Religion and Jewish culture. In the sect on Modern Jewish Philosophers he has had the collaboration of the Rev. A. E. Baker.
“The Jew Today” is a London publication, the publisher being Ivor Nicholson & Watson Ltd.