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Gandhi and the Jews.

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“My attitude towards Jews, Mr. Gandhi said in an exclusive interview which the “Jewish Chronicle” publishes in its issue appearing to-morrow, “is one of great sympathy. I am very much attracted to the Jew firstly, because of selfish motives since I have very many Jewish friends; secondly, for a far deeper one-they have got a wonderful spirit of cohesion. That is to say, whever you find Jews there is a spirit of comradeship among them. Moreover, they are a people with a vision. The implication and full meaning of that vision, if I may put it without impertinence, they do not themselves realise.

“I am sometimes asked whether I regard Jews as the Chosen People, and I say well in a sense ‘Yes’. But then all people consider themselves to be chosen.

“Zionism in its spiritual sense is a lofty aspiration”, said Mr. Gandhi. “By spiritual sense I mean they should want to realise the Jerusalem that is within. Zionism meaning reoccupation of Palestine has no attraction for me. I can understand the longing of a Jew to return to Palestine, and he can do so if he can without the help of bayonets, whether his own or those of Britain. In that event he would go to Palestine peacefully and in perfect friendlines with the Arabs.

The real Zionism of which I have given you my meaning is the thing to strive for, long for and die for. Zion lies in one’s heart. It is the abode of God. The real Jerusalem is the spiritual Jerusalem. Thus he can realise this Zionism in any part of the world”.

Mr. Gandhi added that unfortunately he had not been to Palestine yet but that he hoped to go there some day. “I should love to go”, he added, “for I have read so much about the Holy Land”.

“Antisemitism”, observed Mr. Gandhi in conclusion, “is really a remnant of barbarism. I have never been able to understand this antipathy to the Jews. I have read Zangwill’s ‘Children of the Ghetto’, and when I read it I realised what unmerited persecution Jews had already gone through, and I felt then as I feel now that this persecution is, if I can again say so in all humility, a reflection upon those who, in the name of Christianity, have persecuted this long-suffering race”.

“The remedy?” he exclaimed. “My remedy is twofold. One is that those who profess to be Christians should learnt the virtue of toleration and charity, and the second, is for Jews to rid themselves of the causes for such reproach as may be justly laid at their door”.

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