Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters
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Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

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[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval-Editor.]

A reply to Dr. Pritchett’s unfavorable report on Palestine was made by Arthur Brisbane in his well known column in yesterday’s New York “American.” Mr. Brisbane says:

“Dr. Pritchett, of the Carnegie Foundation, reports to Dr. Butler of Columbia, that Zionism in Palestine cannot be a success.

“Industry cannot be made profitable, and bringing in many Jews annoys the Arabs. So says Dr. Pritchett.

“Too bad to annoy Arabs, but Dr. Pritchett must know that Jews owned Palestine long ago, and are taking back their own.

“Money intelligence, energy and will power work wonders. The Jews possess all four and will use them.

“Arabs outnumber Jews ten to one in Palestine. Jews outweigh the Arabs a thousand to one when it comes to thinking, and thinking is what counts, not numbers.”

In an editorial in the same issue of the N. Y. “American,” Dr. Pritchett is charged with race prejudice against the Jews.

“We recently cited some of the encouraging proofs of progress made in Palestine,” the paper states, “and there are others-notably a growing awareness among thinking Arabs that the modernizing of Palestine will bring gains to themselves.

“In view of what has been done, it is absurd to forecast failure. The sting in Dr. Pritchett’s comment is that he fears success, lest it breed a national character ‘aggressive, egotistic and without capacity for cooperation with the rest of the world.’

“From a man of his standing we have a right to expect more freedom from race prejudice.”

The conviction that “if the Jews were to leave Palestine tomorrow the Arabs would be the first to cry out, expressed in the British press recently by Major E. W. Polson, after a visit to Palestine, is commented on by the Boston “Herald” of Nov. 30, in an editorial which indirectly replies to the report of Dr. Pritchett.

Referring especially to the relations between the Jews and Arabs, the “Herald” declares that Major E. W. P. Newman in his account of the situation, clears up much in it that has long been obscure.” The paper continues:

“Hitherto, as he shows, it is the town-dwelling Arabs, or Syrians, who began the agitation against Zionism and have supplied all its leaders and agitators. And by far the largest part of the opposition is represented by the land-owners and ‘effendi’ class.

“But the bulk of the Arab majority is made up of ‘fellaheen,’ who constitute in a true sense the indigenous people of Palestine-these also who are most likely to furnish the chief strength of the new move toward peace. How has their attitude been influenced? Major Newman points to numerous Zionist policies which have resulted to their advantage. ‘The establishment of the Jewish colonies and the development of the country generally,’ he says, ‘have given greater opportunities of employment and raised the standard of living among these simple people, who in many cases cooperate with the Jewish workers. They no longer live in fear of hundreds of thousands of Jews descending upon the shores of Palestine and occupying their lands. They have reaped the benefit of the British administration, and many thinking Arabs are grasping the fact that there will be no alteration of policy due to any outside influence.’

A similar reply to the statements of Dr. Pritchett is made by the Baltimore “Sun,” which cites the opinion of Henry W. Nevinson, whose description of Palestine based on an extended study during his recent tour of that country, has been appearing in the “Sun.”

“Those who have sympathized with the aspirations of the Zionists, but who have doubted the practicability of their vision, will find a distinct measure of reassurance in the story Mr. Nevinson tells of progress already achieved, when the story is linked with the possibilities as he sees them,” the paper writes. “‘What of the native Arabs?” has been the question in many minds. Mr. Nevinson reports that although there now are 150,000 Jews in Palestine, plus the approximate 700,000 Arabs, the total population is still less than one-fourth of the number that Palestine may support. He puts that possible population at 4,000,000 at least, and it may very well be that the improvements the Jews have in contemplation, and the application of highly developed technical skill, may make possible the support of a larger population.

“Assuredly,” the paper concludes, “this is a venture that is conducted in the spirit and manner of the best of the Jewish people, and one that merits the thought of enlightened minds throughout the world. It may become at once a great practical achievement and one of the world’s romances.”



In compliance with the suggestion of Dr. Herring that a list of ten books be submitted, for the purpose of creating a list that may help toward stimulating good will between Jews and Christians, and make for better understanding, I beg to submit the following, the I would like to make the number larger:

Madison Peters, “Justice to the Jew,” Morris Joseph, “Judaism as Life and Creed” Simon Wolt, “The Jew as Citizen and Patriot”; Gerald Friedlander, “Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount”; H. G. Enelow, “A Jewish View of Jesus”; C. Baldwin, “Our Modern Debt to Israel”; Isidor Singer, “A Religion of Truth, Justice and Peace”; Travers Herford, “Pharisaism”; Walter Hurt, “The Truth About the Jews”; C. G. Montefiore. “Outlines of Liberal Judaism.”


Richmond, Va., Nov. 29, 1926.

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