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Are English Jews Failing in Palestine Support? New York Weekly Asks

February 27, 1928
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Severe criticism of English Jews for their failure to give adequate financial support to the rebuilding of Palestine was voiced by the “S. A. J. Review,” New York weekly, organ of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism.

In an editorial entitled “The Failure of English Jewry?” the paper states:

“Dr. Magnes tells the story of a wealthy English Jew whom he approached for a contribution to the Hebrew University. The latter offered to give five pounds to the Hebrew University, provided the administrators would consent to model it on the lines of the Breslau Seminary.

“This could be a text for a discussion of English Jewry in its relation to the Nationalist movement, it the text were not practically a complete description. Unless English Jews awake soon to a consciousness of their responsiblity, there will be room in a future history of Zionism for a lengthy chapter on the failure of English Jewry. American Jewry has not always been positively joyous in its response to Zionist appeals, but it has at least borne patiently the moral burden thrust upon it. It has heard, and by now it knows, that nothing can be expected from the torn and broken Jewry of continental Europe. English Jewry must certainly have heard the same thing, at least as often. Its tardiness in learning the significant truth demands some explanation. The bitterness we have sometimes felt against the British Government for its laissez faire attitude in Palestine begins to seem misdirected. Before we go crusading against the British Government for certain of its failures, we might stop to reflect that the failure of a Government is partly the failure of its subjects. Can it be that British Jews have forgotten they are British subjects?

“It is impossible Beyond doubt they are when occasion requires, very much aware of the fact. Then, even as Englishmen, if not as Jews, the Jews of England should be in the material thick of the Zionist movement. An English Zionist in the world. It is unpleasant to remember that only when American Jews wanted to participated in the development of the Dead Sea concession did the Jews of England become suddenly jealous of their special relationship to the Zionist movement. This was British patriotism without Zionism. British Jews should have both.

“We should hesitate to approach our English fellow-Jews with ‘mussar’ were there not already signs of awakening. ‘The Judea,’ the English Zionist paper, has already called barsh attention to the niggardliness of wealthy English Jews. Let English Jews remember that Zionists look to England,” the paper concludes.

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