The Reader’s Forum

(The editors reserve the right to excerpt all letters exceeding 500 words in length. All letters must bear the name and address of the writer, although not necessarily for publication.)

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

In one of your last week’s issues, in “The Reader’s Forum,” you published a letter from a Philadelphia rabbi stating that Mr. Samuel Untermyer’s chief motive for his activities in the Nazi boycott movement is “his passion for publicity” and “exploiting the suffering of the Jews for his own self-dramatization.”

I am very much inspired by the courageous way Mr. Untermyer is approaching the anti-Nazi fight. I followed with great admiration the broad vision that he instilled in the boycott movement, the organization of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, and in participation in the international field of this work.

Mr. Untermyer was untiring in his efforts of organizing and even in carrying out the very details of these activities—his various conferences with heads of industries, the many meetings with the heads of the leading department stores (who eventually joined the boycott), his participation in the innumerable gatherings and mass meetings in New York, as well as other cities in the United States.

It is gratifying to note with what promptness and keen understanding Mr. Untermyer challenges, in his characteristically courageous way, any statement of attack on this work.

When Mr. Untermyer started this boycott movement he was practically alone in the field; very few of the Jewish organizations were ready to come out for it in a full-hearted manner. It was the justice of the cause and his dynamic personality that brought the boycott to its present stage. Surely the boycott movement benefitted by the publicity and popularity that Mr. Untermyer’s name offered it. He hardly needs the publicity, as his name is constantly before the public in conjunction with civic affairs of various kinds.

Rabbi Woolsey, although his title identifies him with some religious congregation, certainly has no right to question or exclude from Jewish activities any man just because that man is not identified with a religious congregation or because he has a divergent belief, whatever it may be. It is therefore tactless and absurd to term Mr. Untermyer as “one who all his life long has boycotted Jewish religion” and to attack him from this point of view.

I felt duty-bound to write this letter as one who is inspired by and appreciative of Mr. Samuel Untermyer in the great service and heroic work he is doing for the Jews and humanity at large in his anti-Nazi fight. History will afford him a well deserved place.

Isadore Rothman

New York,

October 15, 1934.

REPLY TO DR. FEINBERG

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

Dr. Feinberg’s objection to a World Jewish Congress aim for representation on the League of Nations on the ground that membership to the League is territorial, and that the W. J. C. idea conflicts with Zionism—to me appears purely legal and technical, and contrary to the spirit of the League. Though an ex-territorial nation the Jews are recognized as a minority group on a par with other nationalities. This already shows the League’s trend toward a liberal interpretation of nationality other than purely territorial. Also the recognition of the Jews’ moral and historical rights to their ancient Homeland—even though a future hope—shows this same liberal tendency to recognize the Jewish nationality, even though yet ex-territorial. Our ex-territoriality the past 3,000 years was no fault of ours; and even today, were it not for the Arabs and the British policy in Palestine, our Homeland would have been greatly facilitated by now.

To delay this plan of League representation for the protection of Jewish rights until such a time when Palestine will have absorbed the bulk of world Jewry on a territorial basis, it is the same as exposing homeless refugees without a country until such a time when some country might admit them to citizenship. But the League is not so legalistic and technical, and being aware of such emergencies, has established Nansen Passports. Thus the bulk of diaspora Jewry can be classified in this category —an ex-territorial nation of homeless refugees, requiring Nansen passports. This can best be secured through League representation, and we can be more successful in rousing the world’s conscience to force open the doors of Palestine for our refugees. In Central Europe about 5,000,000 Jews are exposed to the Fascist terror, caught in a death-trap without means of escape. All immigration doors are heavily barred except Russia’s autonomous regions. These 5,000,000 Jews must be provided with Nansen Passports to insure safe emigration from their “death trap.” This can be facilitated best by being represented on the League.

Zionism’s aim ultimately may be territorial, Palestine; but Zionist membership is ex-territorial, and is so recognized by the League. Therefore the World Jewish Congress’ aim for League representation would not conflict with Zionism but would enhance it, by facilitating the development of our national home through increased immigration into Palestine.

Rabbi Samuel Horowitz

Temple Beth El

Sunbury, Pa.

THE REVISIONIST SIDE

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

Permit me to correct a misstatement which appeared in your special correspondence from Warsaw in your issue of October 16.

In this correspondence, Ben-Gurion is alleged to have said, among other things, that in the recent municipal elections in Jerusalem the Revisionist list “notwithstanding their vigorous propaganda polled only an insignificant number of votes.”

This is not true. Out of the total of 1,225 votes cast in the Jewish election districts 467 votes were cast for the Revisionist ticket, which number represents almost forty per cent. of the entire vote.

It is a remarkably significant number since their list was pitted against the combined list of all the other Jewish parties including the Mapai and since it is almost twice as much as their proportion of votes cast in the elections to the Asiphat Hanivcharim in 1929, when they received twenty-two per cent. of the votes cast.

Elias Ginsburg, Chairman, Central Committee, Zionist-Revisionist Organization of America. New York, October 16.

NEXT STORY