The editors reserve the right to excerpt all letters exceeding 250 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:
Mr. Smolar, in his article in The Bulletin of January 8, condemned the drive against Yiddish in Palestine. In his opinion, the persecution of Yiddish there will serve the Soviet government as an excuse to crush Zionist and Hebrew activity in Russia. Hebrew fanaticism in Palestine, according to Mr. Smolar, also sets up a bad example for the Polish government which refuses to subsidize Hebrew schools in Poland.
It is true that some Hebrew extremists, in their zeal to strengthen the position of Hebrew in Palestine, have been intolerant of Yiddish, considering it a rival to our ancient language. They have manifested their intolerance by obstructing Yiddish activity in Palestine. But at the same time the assertion that Yiddish is persecuted in Palestine, as are Hebrew and Zionism in Russia, is contrary to fact. Zionism in Russia has been labeled counter-revolutionary and Zionists are thrown into prison and exiled to Siberia. Malicious attacks against Hebrew, that have led to its complete obliteration, have been carried on constantly by Jewish Communists. Not only is the circulation of Hebrew newspapers and books prohibited in Russia, but any one who dares to pronounce a few words in Hebrew in public is severely reprimanded, whereas in Palestine a great part of the Jews converse in Yiddish without being disturbed by anybody.
The heat with which the question is discussed can be accounted for by the fact that the cause of Yiddish is taken up by groups which seek to undermine the very foundations upon which Zionism builds. They look upon the Zionists as exploiters of the Arab masses…. Against such destructive tendencies the Hebraists are determined to fight.
As for the policy of the Polish government of curtailing the rights of the Hebrew and Yiddish languages, the Palestine situation cannot justify such action.
It was as a result of the realization that together with the redemption of our land we must revive our original language, that Hebrew was recognized by the settlers as our national tongue, and as such it must be recognized by all Jews who intend to make Palestine their home.
New York City,
Jan. 13, 1935.