I Like the British, But—
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I Like the British, But—

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Since writing these articles, several flabby-souled gentlemen whom I am unfortunately compelled to acknowledge as brethren, crawled out of the holes in which they were hiding and asked why I didn’t like the British. They had waited fearfully for the lightnings to strike me down and finding that no such untoward event transpired, drooled into their beards and wondered.

Since these gentlemen have no conception whatsoever of what a brave purpose and a gallant idea are, it is practically impossible to tell them that actually I like the British since that is the case.

If recognition of their virtues constitutes liking a people, there can be no doubt that far from being against them I am actually pro-British. On the stage alone, British girls are handsome and talented and British men are equally engaging.

In all the arts English ability causes me to turn with admiration. Even their smug, self-centered loyalty to Britain is an object of envy and I think many Jews could study this quality and gain much thereby.


I was raised on the kind of pap, just as most Jews were, that caused me to look to England as a great and impelling force for legal justice and social fairness. Moreover, paraphrasing the usual statement, I have many friends among the English.

However, personal admiration is one thing and the recognition of physical enmity is another.

Much as I actually like the British for all their acknowledged virtues, I love the cause of Zion more.

I merely view these British as determined antagonists, none the less worthy people for all that.

If the English set their minds on a course which robs the Jewish people of the only refuge they can hope for in this world, that deprives them of their chance of ultimate security and ruthlessly smashes the dream-world which is the only thing that the mass of Jewry lives by today, then I say that we too must prove worthy antagonists. We must forget everything else except that they are our active enemy, that not only are their actions proving unjustified and cold-blooded, but in view of the obligations involved under the mandate—hypocritical as well.


I would have liked nothing better than to see Palestine a free British dominion working harmoniously and happily with the British community of commonwealths throughout the world. But if the British have set their faces against this; if they have condemned the Jewish dream to death; if they are giving the Jews of Eastern Europe the unenviable choice between Communism and degradation, we must rise as one man in anger. We must say to these English that they made a mistake; that they have met men who will not yield a jot of what is theirs.

Everywhere throughout the world those who love Zion must join with the other myriad enemies of England. We must make our very anti-British attitude so thorough-going that it will put us in a position for barter. We will give over our own anti-British outlook only when they give over the defact# anti-Jewish attitude they are indulging themselves in. Until that time if we are wise, the Irish, the East Indians, the Japanese, and all the other nationalist and commercial enemies of Britain can look to us as their unquestioned allies.

We want no benedictions or nice words We would much rather be on good terms with the British and their devoted friends; but if they are deliberately ruining an enterprise which to us is sacred we must face them with an implacable enmity that will leave no stone unturned and will make itself felt!


We would rather be men and enemies than fawningly accept the saccharine words of Lord Cecil, Chairman of the Governing Council for the League of Nation’s High Council Refuge Committee who yesterday wrote of Dr. Weizmann that he is among the greatest statesmen living today, saying: “He has been able to make Englishmen realize what the Zionist ideals and aspirations really are to a very remarkable degree.”

If there is anyone present who can actually tell me what these words mean I will be glad for the enlightenment. I will also be glad to know whether the poor Jews grinding out an existence in Poland, Rumania, Austria, and Germany, sustained only by the great hope of Zion, can view his Lordship’s words with any enthusiasm.

I would like to know this particularly, when these poor Jews are informed that despite the flood of Jewish money and effort flowing into Palestine, despite all the facts, and despite all reason, the smug Colonial Office says that it recognizes an absorptive capacity for the country which will allow accommodations for 9,700 visas in the next six months.


The natural increase of Jewish population in Palestine alone is probably three times that.

Those Jews, who view this British munificence with so many thankful hallelujahs, will be shocked to learn today that according to cable dispatches the figure 9,700 was granted by the British Office merely as an estimate of what could be allowed. They actually were granting only 7,500 visas for the next six months. They will undoubtedly knock 2,000 or 3,000 off of this meagre amount to arbitrarily cover tourists who slip into the country and cannot be apprehended. Thus you have the Jewish immigration reduced to nothing, with the exception of those always welcome gentlemen who bring in large sums of money.

Are we to regard Palestine as one of these “cultural centers” that these inexplicable Jewish leaders rant about? Where is Herzl’s dream of the Jewish State? Are all of these suffering, tortured Polish, Rumanian, Austrian, and German Jews to be simply consigned to the devil?


Are we to understand then that these huge sums of Jewish money flowing into the country are designed to build up an Arabian empire in which a “Jewish center of culture” will be tolerated for the moment?

I am, for one, against the snivelling hush-hush policy. I am against anything that is cowardly and disreputable. I am against anyone who harms a hair on a Jew’s head any place. I am against any whittling of Jewish rights, no matter how small. I regard the entire British action under the mandate as being illegal, if there is international legality at all. I therefore am violently opposed to the British in this situation. I recommend this course as a primary necessity for the moment, if we are to get anywhere.

I therefore recommend to Professor Brodetsky and the other gentlemen of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, that even if they feel our legitimate desires and aspirations are to be liquidated by a force with which we cannot hope to cope, they take the white feather out of their hats.


I suggest that they get rid of all of the hallelujah chanters in their midst and substitute for them the men who are not afraid to fight a heroic battle for what may be a lost cause.

I recommend that they consider the possibility that British officialdom is not all-holy, even in Britain; that there may be, as I suspect, a tremendous proportion of Britishers who will be against this policy if they knew the facts, and if they were aware that Jewish resentment against this cavalier handling was costing them money.

I do not believe that the British Colonial Office will under these circumstances prove as adamant as it now is, when facing hand-rubbing pleas. I think that they will prove more interested in how our determined, courageous attitude may affect England than in our adolescent, unmanly vociferations about how much we have benefitted the Arabs in Palestine.

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