NEW YORK (Jun. 19)
In the near future a “co-belligerent” Jewish army will be fighting as an ally of Britain under the British army’s command, Vladimir Jabotinsky prophesied tonight in an address prepared for delivery before several thousand persons at a mass meeting held at the Manhattan Center under the auspices of the New Zionist Organization.
“I challenge the Jews, wherever still free, to demand the right of fighting the giant rattlesnake, not just under British or French or Polish labels, but as a Jewish army,” Jabotinsky said. “Some liars shout that we only want others to fight; some whisper that a Jew only makes a good soldier when squeezed in between Gentile comrades. I challenge the Jewish youth to give them the lie.”
He urged American Jews to demand the right to be able to fight in such an army. “It is for them to consult the Government or the Congress as to whether it is lawful or patriotic, so long as America as a whole cannot step in, for individual Americans to defend her cause in British or Polish or Jewish ranks.”
Col. John H. Patterson, commander of Jewish battalions in Palestine during the World War, warning that a German victory would be followed by pogroms throughout the world, said: “If I were a Jew nothing would give me greater pleasure than to show the German criminals the Jews of today are capable of fighting just as their forefathers were 2,000 years ago.”
Other scheduled speakers were Jean Mathias, a leader of the Jewish Was Veterans of the United States; Czech Consul Hudec and Charles Edward Russell. Messages were read from Senators Claude Pepper and Frederic Coudert.