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Wise Attacked in Chicago Talk by Jabotinsky

March 29, 1935
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A sharply worded attack on Rabbi Stephen S. Wise was made here last night by Vladimir Jabotinsky, Revisionist leader, addressing a large audience in Chicago Orchestra Hall.

Taking exception to the recent attack made by Rabbi Wise on the Revisionist movement, Jabotinsky charged that Rabbi Wise has never made a study of the Revisionist program and based his allegations only on a superficial knowledge.


The meeting was opened by H. L. Meites, editor and publisher of an Anglo-Jewish weekly in Chicago. Mr. Meites, in his opening speech, told of the severe opposition which he encountered from various opposing groups in preparing the meeting. Charles P. Schwartz presided.

Mr. Jabotinsky started with an objection to Rabbi Wise’s characterizing the Revisionists as “Fascists.” He declared that the use of this term is an extremely serious matter.

“That is not a term of derogation,” Mr. Jabotinsky said, “but a name of a political belief of a power that is still friendly to the Jews. If such careless use is made of this term in a fight among the Jews, we face the danger of enrolling a new power among the ranks of our enemies, a power we need and need badly.”

“Rabbi Wise says that we are against social justice,” Mr. Jabotinsky continued. “I cannot understand his misuse of the word ‘justice.’ All one has to do is to pick up a dictionary and look up the meaning of this word. We object to the whole class war ideology and psychology and we do not want it in Palestine.”

Replying to Rabbi Wise’s assertion that the Revisionists advocate militarism, Mr. Jabotinsky said, “All one has to do is to get someone who can read and understand Hebrew and read our party program printed in Hebrew. He will then see how ridiculous it is to charge us with militarism. All we advocate is merely the protection of Jews in Palestine, since the British army in Palestine is not large enough to insure Jewish life and limb. We do not want a Jewish army. What we are doing is to prepare ourselves to have our own protection in case of necessity,” Jabotinsky explained.

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