« PreviousContinue »
Mr. SABATH. You said something about a statement made public. To whom was the statement made?
Mr. LIPSKY. The statement to that effect was made by the Pope, Pope Benedict. We understand Doctor Weizmann has been to the Vatican within the last two or three weeks, but this report is the only intimation we have had as to what happened there at that time. We are waiting to hear from Doctor Weizmann himself.
Mr. SABATH. Did he not express sympathy with the cause?
Mr. LIPSKY. As I read it, the Pope expressed sympathy for the Zionist movement, but said provision should be made for the protection of the holy places and the shrines. I believe that is correct. That is in line with the ideas of the British Government, the Zionist organization, and the Jewish people in general, and I believe also in line with the ideas of the Arabs. There is no idea of presenting a situation where the holy places will be in any way a subject of controversy or partisan interest.
I want to refer to an argument which was made here by Doctor Philipson as to the implication of alienism that may arise in case a Jewish State would be created in Palestine. I consider that argument based on what may be considered crass selfishness. If a thing is right, if a thing is necessary, it may affect you in some way or other, but if the thing is right it should be done. If it becomes necessary for the Jews of this country to act on behalf of their persecuted brethren, and they act with justice and make sacrifices in giving up something of their own for the benefit of their fellow Jews, and they build up something of value to humanity, the fact that there may be created in the minds of ignorant men an implication that this man is not exactly wholly American, is a notion that has no weight, when you consider the action taken. You may as well say that an Italian who helps to build up something in Italy proclainis by that fact he is an Italian citizen. Somebody may say that man is an ItalianAmerican, or another man may be interested in Czechoslovakia, and he may be interested from a humanitarian point of view, with a view of helping somebody get on his feet, and helping in building up something of value.
The fact that a man does that may distinguish him as a person of Italian interests, and may in the minds of the ignorant associate him with Italy. But that should not deter him from doing the right thing when he knows that is the right thing to be done. And it is not at all true, as a matter of fact, that Zionism has produced that sort of feeling. It has been pointed out that during the last 60 or 70 years there has been a development of national feeling all over the world, a development of a feeling which may be said to be the cause of the hope that will bring about the redemption of the world. This national feeling will in the long run produce a more colorful and much finer relationship between people.
Doctor Philipson gave the impression that in the United States the Zionist movement was the product of the invasion of east Europeans. I would like to refute that on this record and put down the names of the early Zionists in the United States.
One of the first was Emma Lazarus, a poet, who wrote beautiful verse in the English language and who had the admiration of Emerson and Thoreau and was their friend. Mordecai Manuel Noah was a man who stood very high in New York affairs. He was one of the first Zionists. Both he and Emma Lazarus were descendants of Spanish Jews. The first Jews in this country were Spanish Jews, and these two representatives of the Spanish Jews were the first Zionists in the United States.
Subsequently we had Dr. Gustav Gottheil, a Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in New York, one of the leaders of Reform Judaism in the United States. He was at one time president of the Rabbinical Conference referred to by Doctor Philipson. He was the founder of a school in New York which trained rabbis and he was a most ardent Zionist. He was a German Jew, born in Germany.
Dr. Bernhard Felsenthal, of Chicago, was one of the earliest Zionists. He was a remarkable mathematician in addition to being a rabbi. He was a very fine essayist. His essays had a great deal to do with the development of Zionism in the United States. He was a German Jew of the reform wing among the Jewish people.
Then there was Dr. Marcus Jastrow. I think he was a Hungarian or Polish Jew. He was one of the earliest Zionists. I remember him as a very old man. He used to come to Zionist meetings and speak, and he used to write in Jewish newspapers about Zionism. He was a very type of Jewish scholar in the rabbiniate.
Mr. COPPER. Was he the man who was such an expert in the study of mentality?
Mr. LIPSKY. That is his son.
Then there was Dr. Benjamin Szold, of Baltimore, who was one of the best Hebrew_scholars of the time. Dr. Louis N. Denbitz, an uncle of Associate Justice Brandeis, a writer, a speaker, a lawyer, and a very fine Hebrew scholar. He also participated in the Zionist movement from the very beginning.
The organizer of the American Zionist organiaztion was Prof. Richard Gottheil, a son of Doctor Gottheil. He was born in Manchester, England. His father was a German Jew. He was the first president of the American Zionist organization. Then there was Dr. Stephen S. Wise. He at that time was a very young man. He was born in Hungary, I believe. He was the first secretary of the American Zionist organization.
The founders of the Zionist movement in the United States were not Eastern Europeans. They were, in fact, representatives of the Reformed Jewish Temple, or church, and even to-day many of our most active workers, many of our best minds, are representatives of Reformed Judaism. There are, for instance, Dr. Max Heller, of New Orleans, Dr. Martin A. Meyer, of San Francisco, and Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, of Philadelphia.
In connection with the origin of Zionism, I would like to put into the record this finely written and thoughtful article prepared by Mr. Brandeis before he went on the Supreme Court bench. It will indicate to you more than anything I can say how, in the minds of many American Jews, the ideals of the Zionist movement are closely associated with the ideals of the American people.
I do not mean the ideal. represented by Professor Reed. They are the spurious American ideals, expressing themselves in a desire to withdraw from the generous, the hopeful, as if the moral values have no interest for the American people.
I say that I can not express our feelings in the matter as well as they are expressed by Mr. Brandeis in his essay, and I would like to have that go in, for the enlightenment of the members of the committee.
(The pamphlet referred to is printed in the record in full, as follows:)
THE JEWISH PROBLEM—How To SOLVE IT.
[By Louis D. Brandeis.] The suffering of the Jews due to injustices continuing throughout nearly 20 centuries is the greatest tragedy in history. Never was the aggregate of such suffering larger than to-day. Never were the injustices more glaring. Yet the present is preeminently a time for hopefulness. The current of world thought is at last preparing the way for our attaining justice. The war is developing opportunities which may make possible the solution of the Jewish problem. But to avail ourselves of these opportunities we must understand both them and ourselves. We must recognize and accept facts. We must consider our course with statesmanlike calm. We must pursue resolutely the course we shall decide upon; and be ever ready to make the sacrifices which a great cause demands. Thus only can liberty be won.
WHAT THE PROBLEM IS.
For us the Jewish problem means this: How can we secure for Jews, wherever they may live, the same rights and opportunities enjoyed by non-Jews? How can we secure for the world the full contribution which Jews can make, if unhampered by artificial limitations?
The problem has two aspects: That of the individual Jew--and that of Jews collectively. Obviously, no individual should be subjected anywhere, by reason of the fact that he is a Jew, to a denial of any common right or opportunity enjoyed by non-Jews. But Jews collectively should likewise enjoy the same right and opportunity to live and develop as do other groups of people. This right of development on the part of the group is essential to the full enjoyment of rights by the individual. For the individual is dependent for his development (and his happiness) in large part upon the development of the group of which he forms a part. We can scarcely conceive of an individual German or Frenchman living and developing without some relation to the contemporary German or French life and culture. And since death is not a solution of the problem of life, the solution of the Jewish problem necessarily involves the continued existence of the Jews as Jews.
Jews have always found it difficult, if not impossible, to prescribe by definition who shall be deemed Jews. But in the connection in which we are considering the term, it is certainly not in the power of any single body of Jewsor indeed of all Jews collectively-to establish the effective definition. The meaning of the word Jewish in the term Jewish problem must be accepted as coextensive with the disabilities which it is our problem to remove. It is the non-Jews who create the dsabilities and in so doing give definition to the term Jew. Those disabilities extend substantially to all of Jewish blood. The disabilities do not end with a renunciation of faith, however sincere. They do not end with the elimination, however complete, of external Jewish mannerisms. The disabilities do not end ordinarily until the Jewish blood has been so thoroughly diluted by repeated intermarriages as to result in practically obliterating the Jew.
And we Jews by our own acts give a like definition to the term Jew. When men and women of Jewish blood suffer, because of that fact—and even if they suffer from quite different causes-our sympathy and our help goes out to them instinctively, in whatever country they may live and without inquiring into the shades of their belief or unbelief. When those of Jewish blood exhibit moral or intellectual superiority, genius, or special talent, we feel pride in them, even if they have abjured the faith-like Spinoza, Marx, Disraeli, or Heine. Despite the mediations of pundits or the decrees of councils, our own instincts and acts and those of others have defined for us the term Jew.
LIBERALISM AND ANTISEMITISM.
Half a century ago the belief was still general that Jewish disabilities would disappear before growing liberalism. When religious toleration was proclaimed the solution of the Jewish problem seemed in sight. When the so-called rights of man became widely recognized, and the equal right of all citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness began to be enacted into positive law, the complete emancipation of the Jew seemed at hand. The concrete gains through liberalism were indeed large. Equality before the law was established throughout the western hemisphere. The Ghetto walls crumbled; the ball and chain of restraint were removed in central and western Europe. Compared with the cruel discrimination to which Jews are now subjected in Russia and Roumania, their advanced condition in other parts of Europe seems almost ideal.
But the anti-Jewish prejudice was not exterminated even in those countries of Europe in which the triumph of civil liberty and democracy extended fully to Jews “the rights of man." The anti-Semetic movement arose in Germany a year after the granting of universal suffrage. It broke out violently in France, and culminated in the Dreyfus case, a century after the French Revolution had brought “ emancipation.” It expressed itself in England through the aliens act within a few years after the last of Jewish disabilities had been there removed by law. And in the United States the Saratoga incident reminded us, long ago, that we too have a Jewish question.
The disease is universal and endemic. There is, of course, a wide difference between the Russian disabilities, with their pale of settlement, their denial of opportunity for education and of choice of occupation, and their recurrent pogroms, and the German disabilities, curbing university, bureaucratic, and military careers. There is a wide difference also between these German disabilities and the mere social disabilities of other lands. But some of those now suffering from the severe disabilities imposed by Russia and Roumania are descendants of men and women who in centuries before our modern liberalism enjoyed both legal and social equality in Spain and southern France. The manifestations of the Jewish problem vary in the different countries, and at different periods in the same country, according to the prevailing degree of enlightenment and other pertinent conditions. Yet the differences, however wide, are merely in degree and not in kind. The Jewish problem is single and uiversal. But it is not necessarily eternal. It may be solved.
DEMOCRACY AND NATIONALITY.
Why is it that liberalism has failed to eliminate the anti-Jewish prejudice? It is because the liberal movement has not yet brought full liberty. Enlightened countries grant to the individual equality before the law; but they fail still to recognize the equality of whole peoples or nationalities. We seek to protect as individuals those constituting a minority; but we fail to realize that protection can not be complete unless group equality is recognized.
Deeply imbedded in every people is the desire for full development—the longing, as Mazzini phrased it, “to elaborate and express their idea, to contribute their stone also to the pyramid of history." Nationality, like democracy, has been one of the potent forces making for man's advance during the past hundred years. The assertion of nationality has infused whole peoples with hope, manhood, and self-respect. It has ennobled and made purposeful millions of lives. It offered them a future, and in doing so revived and capitalized all that was valuable in their past. The assertion of nationality raised Ireland from the slough of despondency. It roused southern Slavs to heroic deeds. It created gallant Belgium. It freed Greece. It gave us united Italy. It manifested itself even among the free peoples-like the Welsh—who had no grievance, but who gave expression to their nationality through the revival of the old Cymric tongue. Each of these peoples developed because, as Mazzini said, they were enabled to proclaim " to the world that they also live, think, love, and labor for the benefit of all."
In the past it has been generally assumed that the full development of one people necessarily involved its domination over others. Strong nationalities are apt to become convinced that by such domination only does civilization advance. Strong nationalities assume their own superiority, and come to believe that they possess the divine right to subject other peoples to their sway. Soon the belief in the existence of such a right becomes converted into a conviction that duty exists to enforce it. Wars of aggrandisement follow as a natural result of this belief.
This attitude of certain nationalities is the exact correlative of the position which was generally assumed by the strong in respect to other individuals before democracy became a common possession. The struggles of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries both in peace and in war were devoted largely to overcoming that position as to individuals. In establishing the equal right of every person to development, it became clear that equal opportunity for all involves this necessary limitation: Each man may develop himself so far, but only so far, as his doing so will not interfere with the exercise of a like right by all others. Thus liberty came to mean the right to enjoy life, to acquire property, to pursue happiness in such manner and to such extent as the exercise of the right in each is consistent with the exercise of a like right by every other of our fellow citizens. Liberty thus defined underlies twentieth century democracy.. Liberty thus defined exists in a large part of the western world. And even where this equal right of each individual has not yet been accepted as a political right, its ethical claim is gaining recognition. Democracy rejected the proposal of the superman who should rise through sacrifice of the many. It insists that the full development of each individual is not only a right, but a duty to society; and that our best hope for civilization lies not in uniformity, but in wide differentiation.
The movements of the last century have proved that whole peoples have individuality no less marked than that of the single person; that the individuality of a people is irrepressible, and that the misnamed internationalism which seeks the obliteration of nationalities or peoples is unattainable. The new nationalism proclaims that each race or people, like each individual, has a right and duty to develop, and that only through such differentiated development will high civilization be attained. Not until these principles of nationalism, like those of democracy, are generally accepted will liberty be fully attained and minorities be secure in their rights. But there is ground for hope that the establishment of these principles will come as one of the compensations of the present war and with it the solution of the Jewish problem.
NATIONS AND NATIONALITY.
The difference between a nation and a nationality is clear, but it is not always observed. Likeness between members is the essence of nationality, but the members of a nation may be very different. A nation may be composed of many nationalities, as some of the most successful nations are.
An instance of this is the British nation, with its division into English, Scotch, Welsh, and Irish at home; with the French in Canada; and, throughout the Empire, scores of other nationalities. Other examples are furnished by the Swiss nation with its German, French, and Italian sections; by the Belgian nation composed of Flemings and Walloons; and by the American Nation, which comprises nearly all the white nationalities. The unity of a nationality is a fact of nature. The unifying of a nation is largely the work of man. The false doctrine that nation and nationality must be made coextensive is the cause of some of our greatest tragedies. It is, in large part, the cause also of the present war. It has led, on the one hand, to cruel, futile attempts at enforced assimilation, like the Russianizing of Finland and Poland, and the Prussianizing of Posen, Schleswig-Holstein, and Alsace-Lorraine. It has led, on the other hand, to those Panistic movements which are a cloak for territorial ambitions. As a nation may develop though composed of many nationalities, so a nationality may develop though forming part of several nations. The essential in either case is recognition of the equal rights of each nationality.
W. Allison Philips recently defined nationality as an extensive aggregate of persons, conscious of a community of sentiments, experiences, or qualities which made them feel themselves a distinct people." And he adds: “If we examine the composition of the several nationalities we find these elements: Race, language, religion, common habitat, common conditions, mode of life and manners, political association, The elements are, however, never all present at the same time, and none of them is essential.”
“ A common habitat and common conditions are doubtless powerful influences at times in determining nationality ; but what part do they play in that of the Jews or the Greeks, or the Irish in dispersion?”
See how this high authority assumes without question that the Jews are, despite their dispersion, a distinct nationality; and he groups us with the Greeks or the Irish-two other peoples of marked individuality. Can it be doubted that we Jews-aggregating 14,000,000 people-are an extensive aggregate of persons;" that we are conscious of a community of sentiments, experiences and qualities which make us feel ourselves a distinct people,” whether we admit it or not?
It is no answer to this evidence of nationality to declare that the Jews are not an absolutely pure race. There has, of course, been some intermixture of foreign blood in the three thousand years which constitute our historic period. But, owing to persecution and prejudice, the intermarriages with non-Jews which occurred have resulted merely in taking away many from the Jewish community. Intermarriage has brought few additions. Therefore, the percentage of foreign blood in the Jews of to-day is very low. Probably no important European race is as pure.
But common race is only one of the elements which determine nationality. Conscious community of sentiments, common experiences, common qualities are equally, perhaps more, important. Religion, traditions and customs bound us together, though scattered throughout the world. The similarity of experiences tended to produce similarity of qualities and community of sentiments. Common suffering so intensified the feeling of brotherhood as to overcome largely all the influences making for diversification. The segregation of the Jews was so general, so complete, and so long continued as to intensify our “peculiarities” and make them almost ineradicable.
ASSERTION OF JEWISH NATIONALITY.
We recognize that with each child the aim of education should be to develop his own individuality, not to make him an imitator, not to assimilate him to others. Shall we fail to recognize this truth when applied to whole peoples? And what people in the world has shown greater individuality than the Jews? Has any a nobler past. Does any possess common ideas better worth express. . ing? Has any marked traits worthier of development? Of all the peoples in the world those of two tiny states stand preeminent as contributors to our present civilization—the Greeks and the Jews. The Jews gave to the world its three greatest religions, reverence for law, and the highest conceptions of morality. Never before has the yalue of our contribution been so generally recognized. Our teaching of brotherhood and righteousness has, under the name of democracy and social justice, become the twentieth century striving of America and of western Europe. Our conception of law is embodied in the American Constitution which proclaims this to be a government of laws and not of men.” And for the triumph of our other great teaching—the doctrine of peace—this cruel war is paving the way.