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Young Zionists Issue Protest Against Soviet Government

October 23, 1924
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The Zeiri Zionists in Ukrainia have issued proclamations to the Jewish population of the Ukraine accusing the Sovict authorities of anti-Semitism and of depriving the Jews of Ukrainia of the last economic position they held in the country. The proclamations of the Zeiri Zionists draw attention to the appalling misery which has been the fate of the Jewish masses since the Soviet rule was introduced. They bitterly attack the government, under which, seven years after the Bolshevist revolution, freedom of speech and liberty in holding meetings are draconically suppressed; the government has deprived thousands of Jews of their livelihood by re-introducing its old policy against private trade.

“The situation”, the proclamations, “has reached the stage where we cannot continue to suffer silently. The Soviet Government, which claims to know no differences of race and religion, has dismissed thousands of Jewish officials and under the mask of Sovietism, the most fanatic, nationalistic and chauvinistic Ukrainian policy is being conducted.”

Following the issuance of these proclamations, the authorities have taken active measures to suppress the activities of the Zeiri Zionists. Anyone, however slightly suspected, has been arrested. It is estimated that the number of arrests runs into thousands.

The courageous and fearless action of the Zeiri Zionists has strongly impressed the public. The Jewish Communist newspaper of Moscow, the “Emes” expresses in an editorial the fear that the Zeiri Zionists agitation will meet with response in view of the deplorable situation facing the Jewish artisans because of the dismissal of Jewish officials by the Ukrainian Soviet officials. The paper admits that these dismissals are the consequence of the Ukrainiazation of the administration, which the Zeiri Zionists stigmatize as anti-Semitism.

The “Emes” severely criticizes the Zeiri Zionists for having started their agitation at a time when the international counter-revolution is again concentrating its attacks on Russia and takes them to task for arousing the Jewish masses at this critical moment. It blames the Zeiri Zionists for being silent on all the benefits the Jews have enjoyed under the Soviet rule; the Zeiri Zionists make no mention of the Jewish colonization program which the Soviet Government tries to put into effect and also of the fact that national freedom was granted to the Jews under Soviet rule. Jews now being allowed to move freely in Russia and not subjected to any exceptional laws as in the time of Czaristic Russia.

Other reports received from Russia further indicate that the process of Ukrainization which has been going on for more than a year has led to the dismissal of almost all Jews who were employed in the various branches of the Government. Even Jewish Communists have now been replaced by Ukrainians and, with the exception of the Cheka, the army and civil authorities in Ukrainia have succeeded to free almost every office of Jewish officials. Even to the Jewish Communists this situation has created much consternation and it is in view of these circumstances that the “Emes” expressed its fear of the impression which the progaganda of the Zeiri Zionists is likely to make.

The Ukrainization has been made possible by the fact that Russia was transformed into a federation of states and a large autonomy was granted in the internal affairs to each republic, which is a part of the Soviet federation, leaving in the hands of the Central authorities only the postal telegraph, the army and the Ugqu (the new political police which is replacing the old Cheka).

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