We do the strangest things, we Jews. Because a group of French Royalists, who hate Jews as much as Hitler does, seeing a group of German Hitlerists attack some Jews in Paris, throw themselves upon the Hitlerists and rout them, Jewish newspapers immediately sing the praises of the French Royalists. The French anti-Semites have merely shown that they hate the German Haman even more than they hate the Jewish Mordecaiâ€”but love for Mordecai there is none!
We round on Churchill in 1922 for his White Paper, and we hoist him on our paltforms in 1929 for denouncing Passfield’s White Paper. We cheer the descendants of Antiochus, of Titus, of Torquemada because they denounce their moral descendant Hitler. We would do the same for the descendants of Pharaoh. We judge an Emperor like Titus by his single act of destroying the Temple, and leave all else of his life and rule out of account. We dismiss a great sociologist and humanitarian like Pass-field, who might have been mistaken but certainly was sincere, as the Butcher of Hebron. Even his wife, who had nothing to do with his policy, was dragged through the mire and denounced on no ground whatever as an anti-Semite. As for Luke, nothing worse has been said even of Hitler. Sir John Chancellor, who came from Rhodesia with golden opinions from the Rhodesian Jews, because his term of administration in Palestine was unfortunate to Jewish aspirations, goes down to history as an anti-Semite. Even so good a friend of Zionism as Lord Snell has been shouted down on a Zionist platform. We ignore all else in Balfour save the Balfour Declaration. We have forgotten Ireland’s “Bloody Balfour.” And we do the same for Cromwell because he readmitted Jews to England, and never stop to think of the Irish “Curse of Cromwell.”
The veriest blackguard in history who has said a kind word to us becomes a saint, and a saint who has dared to question something done by Jews is sent down to history as a villain.
And yet we sometimes forget. As with Churchill. Who now remembers Sir Ronald Storrs as the “Bloody Storrs” of the 1921 pogrom? Or thinks of the howl of execration that went up that year against Sir Austen Chamberlain (now England’s noble spokesman against Hitler), when he told Parliament in the name of the Government that the 1921 disturbances “were of an insignificant character”?
The same British Government to which Jews now confidently appeal was in 1929 assailed by the Jews of the world as a gang of murderers. There was actually talk of taking Britain to The Hague International Court to be spanked. And even now there are Jews who insist that the new outbreaks in Palestine were engineered by the British Government to provide it with an argument against increasing Jewish immigration to Palestine, on the ground of alleged insecurity. The very League of Nations to which Jews now turn with gratitude was denounced in 1925 when its Mandates Commission doubted the possibility of reconciling the two parts of the Palestine Mandate.
The things that hurt or benefit Jews are very important to Jews, but we must not judge the entire universe by that standard. We must try to stop imputing to those opposed to us all villainies, deceiving ourselves into thinking them knaves and fools.
We must realize that in this world the struggle is most often between two rights, or rather between two vital ideas compounded, like everything else, of a combination of good and bad, and not between all good on one side and all bad on the other.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.