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Marshall Says Zangwill’s Suggestion of Jewish Vote Can’t Be Tolerated

October 24, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee, in an exclusive statement today to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency scores the intimation made by Israel Zangwill in his address before the American Jewish Congress on October 14 that the Jewish citizens of this country would be well advised to resort to “a Jewish vote” on questions affecting them.

This is the first reply from Mr. Marshall to Mr. Zangwill’s extended remarks more than a week ago, during which the celebrated author referred ironically to the conduct of American Jewish affaires as “Marshall Law”.

Mr. Marshall’s statement follows:-

“I disagree totally with Mr. Zangwill’s intimation that the Jews of this country should unite for political action, or that there should be such a thing as a Jewish vote in the United States. The thought cannot be tolerated that the citizens of this country should form racial or religious groups in the excercise of their civic and political functions.

“The citizens of the United States constitute one people, and there can be no divergent interests among them so far as government is concerned. For years the leaders of Jewish thought in America have with emphasis decried the intimation, emanating from those who do not understand the genius of American institutions, that recognition should be given to an Irish, a German, a Jewish or a British vote.

“In like manner, the idea that there should be a Jewish Republican or a Jewish Democratic, or an Irish Republican or an Irish Democratic, political club has been justly deprecated.

“It is the glory of our country that before the law all men are equal, that every member of the state owes unqualified loyalty to it, that its laws must be free from discrimination, and apply equally to all citizens. Hence every citizen, regardless of origin, creed or color, is equally bound to observe the laws that are enacted by the Congress and by the State Legislatures, as interpreted by the courts.

“It is therefore inconceivable that a government of laws, and not of men, such as ours is, can exist if the electorate is divided and sub-divided into a multitude of segments or blocs, each considering merely its own interests.

“I am confident that there is no part of our population which would with such determination oppose such an idea of political segregation as the Jews. For centuries their ancestors in foreign lands suffered from the consequence of an enforced segregation of this character, and they would not be so fatuous as to create voluntarily a condition which in effect would establish an American ghetto.

“Our fellow-citizens need not fear that Mr. Zangwill’s views on this subject are shared by any appreciable number of the Jews of the United States. The spontaneous protest which they have voiced is sufficient evidence of that fact.”

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