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Digest of World Press Opinion

The trial which opened yesterday in Berne, aiming to repudiate the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ and to establish through a court that this document was forged, received wide comment in the Jewish press:

The Jewish Day says editorially:

“The trial about the ‘Elders of Zion Protocols’ will be converted into a fight arena for Jewish honor. From this fight we can only emerge the victors.

“We have no reason to be afraid of the truth. From all the world’s tribunals we ask only the truth about ourselves. Our enemies operate against us with the aid of falsehoods, and they are strong only so long as these lies go unpunished. But let the lie be put to the test and it becomes powerless at once.

“This is not the first time that the Jewish people seek justice in the courts. We do not always go there of our own free will. Often we are dragged there. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, justice nevertheless does stand on our side. Thus it happened in the case of the Dreyfus trial; thus it happened, too, in the Beilis trial. And we have every reason in the world to believe that such will also be the case now, in the Berne process.”

Jacob Fishman, managing editor of the Jewish Morning Journal, writes in his paper:

“The suit opening tomorrow in Berne, brought by the official Jewish community against a group of Nazis who published in Switzerland the long familiar ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ with new appendices, was begun by conservative Jewish leaders, such as Mr. Dreyfus-Brodzky and others

“The wisdom of this step can therefore not be disputed because the old-established Jews of Switzerland surely know whether the matter is to be ignored or whether it is necessary to call the slanderers before a court. But the truth must be told—these processes do not bring us any great satisfaction even in the best event, that is, even when the anti-Semites get their punishment, as happened in South Africa. We are not convinced that the attention which such trials attract in the non-Jewish world is a good thing for us. Who knows whether because of them many non-Jews do not begin to think that ‘there must be something in it.’

“In addition, there is a certain risk in every trial no matter how small that risk may be, that the Jews will not get justice because of the fact that the libels are about a whole action and not of individuals. But here one must reckon with juridical procedure which in many countries does not permit a community or a nationality to sue for libel.

“The truth is that the libel of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is more a matter for the League of Nations than it is for trials in court. If the League of Nations were what it should be, it would long ago have taken the necessary steps to damn this libel at a meeting of its council.”

The Chicago Courier comments:

“The Federation of Swiss Jewish Communities has done well in instituting trial procedure against those who spread this libel.

“It may be expected that the lying baseness of the so-called ‘Protocols’ will be conclusively revealed in an official manner by a series of experts, and the decision of the Swiss court will be of world-wide importance. Once and for all an end will be made to the base legend which has made the Jews suffer long enough and of which they should have gotten rid a long time ago.”

The Cleveland Jewish World says of the trial:

“The extent of the world’s attention to this case may be judged from the report that correspondents of newspapers of various European countries and from America as well have gathered to witness the trial.

“We should be pleased by the fact that so many newspapers of the world will witness the adjudication, although it may appear an insult to every understanding person, and certainly to Jews, that there should still be persons who need proof that the absurd, clumsy ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ are an anti-Semitic machination and a ridiculous libel of the Jews. Sad it may be that proof should be necessary, that there were never any ‘Elders of Zion’ anywhere and that the whole story of any protocols whatsoever of non-existent ‘Elders of Zion’ are forgeries, utter untruths, falsehoods and #bels that cry to heaven like the blood libel. Sad, we say, as it is that proof should be necessary to deny this, there are still apparently creatures on earth who let themselves be misled into believing that there are somewhere among the Jews, or were, ‘Elders of Zion’ who wrote such ‘Protocols’.”

THE NAZI-PALESTINE PACT

The barter agreement reached last week between Germany and Palestine has provoked strong criticism not only by the Yiddish press in New York, but also in the Jewish press in the provincial cities and abroad.

The Canadian Jewish Daily Eagle comments as follows:

“We have been and shall continue to be under the impression that the commerce which has been going on between Palestine and Germany was obligatory. Twenty thousand German Jews have entered Palestine since the Hitler upheaval. Their mony was withheld by the Hitlerite government and they were ##crefore compelled either to exchange it for German goods or to let their fortunes go lost. We could therefore very well understand why the Jews of Palestine who are without any doubt just as good Jews as we are (in their opinion they are much better Jews than we are) felt compelled to buy German goods. Otherwise it would have meant that they were punishing the German Jews in Palestine, although their intention was apparently to strike at Hitler.

“But now we read a report which tells of an arrangement which the Anglo-Palestine Bank is said to have made with Nazi Germany about an exchange of German goods for Palestinian oranges. And we must admit that we are not clever enough to say with any certainty that this agreement too is for the good and welfare’ of the German Jews in Palestine. A detailed explanation of the whole affair will be necessary before Jewish public opinion will again understood an offer of ‘fatherly forgiveness’ If it should, heaven forbid, #timately appear that the compact no longer deserves either ‘fatnerly’ or ‘motherly’ forgiveness, it will be necessary to ‘act accordingly’ as the Englishman says.”

The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent writes in an editorial:

“There is a great deal to be said for the opponents of this pact from the standpoint of principle and absolute national discipline. However, facts often make it impossible to follow the straight and narrow path in face of bitter realities. It is difficult to blame the German Jewish refugees, who escaped with their lives from the thraldom of Nazism, if they try to save some part of their possessions even though the road is somewhat devious. Would they serve the cause of liberty more by leaving their goods to the mercies of Hitler’s henchmen, who are just as likely to confiscate them on one pretext or other? We are inclined to believe that their action is the better part of wisdom in the face of the conditions as they exst.”

The London Jewish. Chronicle, commenting on the Barter agreement, says:

“The effect of this arrangement appears to be co enable Germany to import oranges from Palestine without exporting currency, the oranges being paid for out of exports not to Palestine, but to the Far East. From a German point of view, therefore, it is a barter agreement, though not from the Palestine point of view. This, however, is immaterial to the main consideration, which is that the oranges will help Hitler to get through the winter.”

COLONIZATION IN MEXICO

The question of colonizing Jews in Mexico is dealt with in an editorial appearing in the Jewish Herall of Providence, Rhode Island:

“The country in which colonization is being advocated by some of our contemporaries, but where Jewish colonization would be neither wise nor advisable is Mexico. The advocacy of Jewish colonization in that country seems to be prompted by two considerations. The fact that economically the Jews are better off there than in most of the other countries, and because the Mexican government has recently stated that the country needs an immigration of experienced farmers to enrich the land and to teach the native how to cultivate the land. What the advocates of the colonization project overlook, however, is that Mexico is a country of uncertainty and inconsistency. What the government says today may not be what it will say tomorrow. Despite the economic well-being of the Jews there, the Jewish population there, numbering about fifteen thousand, lacks the elements that tend to make people happy and contented. The Jews of Mexico are plagued by a feeling of fear and insecurity. They know that they are not welcome in the country and are not wanted. The chauvinistic spirit of the Mexicans often assumes ridiculous proportions. In a country in which there is so much chaotic mixture of peoples as in Mexico, such a spirit is not easily explicable. Yet the fact is: the Mexicans dislike foreigners in general and Jews in particular, and even if their antipathy to other foreigners is not often expressed openly, because they have their respective governments to defend their interests, the Jews often prove an easy prey for agitators and trouble-makers. Even citizenship does not protect them nor make their position secure. For, even naturalized citizens are classed as foreigners. Even their children are classed as foreigners. How, then, can anything be hoped for in the present or in the immediate future in that country?”

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