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Between the Lines

December 11, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Certain Jewish group in America are now trying their best to see that the Biro-Bidjan project gets as little publicity as possible.

Biro-Bidjan, these groups fear, may distract the attention now concentrated on Palestine. Others make it clear that they should not like to see American-Jewish relief organizations become interested in financing Jewish migration to Biro-Bidjan, especially now, when there is a tendency on the part of thousands of Jews in Poland to go there.

All I can say is that both groups are under a mistaken impression. It may be true if the Biro-Bidjan project develops to the point of also accommodating Jews from Poland and other countries, it will call to life those non-Zionist elements in Jewry which have always been #eeking territories for Jews. This, however, does not yet mean that Palestine interests will in any way suffer.


The same is also true with regard to the attitude of American-Jewish relief organizations. There is no doubt that if a possibility arises for {SPAN}s#ttling{/SPAN} Polish Jews in Biro-Bidjan, the existing American relief organizations will take a hand in this work. At present, however, these organizations are, to my knowledge, far from even considering such a step.

The attitude of Jewish relief organizations in America towards the Biro-Bidjan project is clearly defined in the report of Dr. Rosen which we published recently. It is a policy of watchful waiting.


Naturally, if the current attempts by the Soviet government to convert Biro-Bidjan into a Jewish republic are successful, and if Jews from Poland or other countries actually find themselves at ease in Biro-Bidjan, this policy of the American-Jewish relief leaders may eventually be modified. It will, however, be a long time before Biro-Bidjan is fit for Jewish settlement on such a scale as to win the approval and the support of American organizations. This is quite certain.

The pressure now exercised to prevent publicity for Biro-Bidjan is therefore not justified, both from a practical viewpoint and from the viewpoint of the principle of a free press. If any competition comes up soon for Palestine, it will be not from Biro-Bidjan but from Brazil and possibly from other Cent#al and South American countries.


Definite projects are now being promoted here for financing Jewish migration to Latin American countries in such a way that the immigrants will be considered an asset from the very first day of their arrival. A fund of several million dollars will probably be raised in America for this purpose in the near future.

The negotiations around these projects, which it is hoped will conclude successfully, may open a new chapter in Jewish migration. They may spell relief, first for Jews from Germany, and eventually, also for Jews from Poland, Austria and other countries.

The silent campaign against Biro-Bidjan is, therefore, premature. This campaign cannot prevent foreign Jewish interest in Biro-Bidjan if the territory itself warrants this interest.

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