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Albert Einstein, in J.t.a. Interview, Urges Completion of Jewish Agency and Unity in American Jewry

November 11, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Prof. Albert Einstein, in an interview with the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here, has expressed his satisfaction at Dr. Weizmann’s arrival in New York to head the new Palestine Campaign in the United States and to conclude his negotiations for the extension of the Jewish Agency. “I hope,” Prof. Einstein said, “that Dr. Weizmann’s endeavors in the direction of extending the Jewish Agency, will be crowned with success. Everything is desirable that tends towards a concentration of Jewish forces on behalf of the reconstruction of Palestine. It is a matter of great regret to me that the Jewish people is split up into parties. The upbuilding of Palestine is a gigantic task which demands a tremendous effort on the part of the Jewish people as a united force. I wish, therefore, from my heart that Dr. Weizmann may succeed in carrying through his mission.

“I recall very vividly,” Professor Einstein went on, “my meeting with Mr. Louis Marshall, the President of the American Jewish Committee, with whom Dr. Weizmann is to conduct his negotiations. He made a very excellent impression on me. I see in him a strong personality and a convinced and good Jew who is honestly and sincerely concerned to serve the Jewish cause.

“I should particularly regret it,” Professor Einstein continued, “if the negotiations were to fail because of the controversies over the question of Jewish colonization in Russia. Although I believe that it is only in Palestine that work of lasting value can be achieved and that everything that is done in the Diaspora countries is only a palliative. I nevertheless hold that the efforts which are being made to colonize Jews in Russia must not be opposed because they aim at assisting thousands of Jews whom Palestine cannot immediately absorb. On this ground, these efforts seem to me worthy of support. I do not, therefore, believe that the money which is expended in Russia on Jewish colonization is being wasted. Whether the necessary guarantees exist for the success of this colonization work, I cannot say without first having been on the spot. But if the colonization is successful, it will ultimately be of benefit also to us because it will mean a strengthening of the Jewish people and every effort, every factor, which strengthens our people, even if only morally or indirectly, is justified.

“We ought. perhaps also to test.” Professor Einstein declared, “whether, if Transjordania is opened up to Jewish immigration, Palestine would not itself provide an opportunity of colonization on a big scale. In no case can I accept the view that the crisis which is reported from Palestine, must influence our further upbuilding work. The crisis, when all is said and done, has been brought about by the fact that many Jews have immigrated from Poland because of the pressure of political and economic measures enforced by the Polish Government. Naturally, Palestine unprepared for such a large immigration, could not immediately absorb the immigrants.

“The Jews of all countries must increase their efforts not only to maintain that which has already been created in Palestine but to make possible a rapid growth of our work.

“Thousands of Jews who are today suffering under the unbearable pressure of economic conditions or of anti-Semitic persecutions could find a homeland in Palestine if the Jewish people would provide the funds which are necessary for the upbuilding work.”

The anti-Semitic movement is on the wane, Professor Einstein thinks. It is no longer so virulent and active as it was a few years ago. The League of Nations, the pan-European movement and other similar tendencies, he believes, are gradually creating a conciliatory atmosphere which is resulting also in a more tolerant attitude towards the Jews.

As to the allegation made by the anti-Semites that the Jews have a large number of mediocre talents but have very few creative personalities, Professor Einstein said “that is a mistake. The Jews distinguished themselves especially in the field of discovery. Public opinion would be astounded to find how many Jews there were among the discoverers, if proper statistics were compiled on the subject.”

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