Page images

While every other people is striving for development by asserting its nationality and a great war is making clear the value of small nations, shall we voluntarily yield to anti-Semitism, and instead of solving our “problem” end it by ignoble suicide? Surely this is no time for Jews to despair. Let us make clear to the world that we, too, are a nationality striving for equal rights to life and to self-expression. That this should be our course has been recently expressed by high non-Jewish authority. Thus Seton-Watson, speaking of the probable results of the war, said:

“ There are good grounds for hoping that it [the war] will also give a new and healthy impetus to Jewish national policy, grant freer play to their splendid qualities and enable them to shake off the false shame which has led men who ought to be proud of their Jewish race to assume so many alien disguises and to accuse of anti-Semitism those who refuse to be deceived by mere appearances. It is high time that the Jews should realize that few things do more to foster anti-Semitic feeling than this very tendency to sail under false colors and conceal their true identity. The Zionists and the orthodox Jewish nationalists have long ago won the respect and admiration of the world. No race has ever defied assimilation so stubbornly and so successfully, and the modern tendency of individual Jews to repudiate what is one of their chief glories suggests an almost comic resolve to fight against the course of nature."


standing upon this broad foundation of nationality, Zionism aims to give it full development. Let us bear clearly in mind what Zionism is, or rather what it is not.

It is not a movement to remove all the Jews of the world compulsorily to Palestine. In the first place, there are 14,000,000 Jews, and Palestine would not accommodate more than one-third of that number. In the second place, it is not a movement to compel anyone to go to Palestine. It is essentially a movement to give to the Jew more, not less, freedom; it aims to enable the Jews to exercise the same right now exercised by practically every other people in the world--to live at their option either in the lands of their fathers or in some other country-a right which members of small nations as well as of large. which Irish, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, or Belgian may now exercise as fully as Germany or English.

Zionism seeks to establish in Palestine for such Jews as choose to go and remain there and for their descendants a legally secured home, where they may live together and lead a Jewish life, where they may expect ultimately to constitute a majority of the population and may look forward to what we should call home rule. The Zionists seek to establish this home in Palestine because they are convinced that the undying longing of Jews for Palestine is a fact of deepest significance; that it is a manifestation in the struggle for existence by an ancient people which have established their right to live—a people whose 3,000) years of civilization has produced a faith, culture, and individuality which enable them to contribute largely in the future, as they have in the past, to the advance of civilization, and that it is not a right merely but a duty of the Jewish nationality to survive and develop. They believe that there only can Jewish life be fully protected from the forces of disintegration; that there alone can Jewish spirit reach its full and natural development; and that by securing for those Jews who wish to settle in Palestine the opportunity to do so, not only thone Jews but all other Jews will be benefited, and that the long-perplexing Jewish problem will at last find solution.

They believe that to accomplish this, it is not necessary that the Jewish population of Palestine be large as compared with the whole number of Jews in the world; for throughout centuries when the Jewish influence was greatest, during the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman Empires, only a relatively small part of the Jews lived in Palestine; and only a small part of the Jews returned from Babylon when the Temple was rebuilt.

Since the destruction of the temple, nearly 2,000 years ago, the longing for Palestine has been ever present with the Jew. It was the hope of a return to the land of his fathers that buoyed up the Jew amidst persecution, and for the realization of which the devout ever prayed. Until a generation ago this was a hope merely- a wish piously prayed for, but not worked for. The Zionist movement is idealistic, but it is also essentially practical. It seeks to realize that hope; to make the dream of a Jewish life in a Jewish land come true as other great dreams of the world have been realized-by men working with devotion, intelligence, and self-sacrifice. It was thus that the dream of Italian independence and unity, after centuries of vain hope, came true through the efforts of Massini, Garibaldi, and Cavour; that the dream of Greek, of Bulgarian, and of Serbian independence became facts.


The rebirth of the Jewish nation is no longer a mere dream. It is in process of accomplishment in a most practical way, and the story is a wonderful one. A generation ago a few Jewish emigrants from Russia and from Rumania: instead of proceeding westward to this hospitable country, where they might easily have secured material prosperity, turned eastward for the purpose of settling in the land of their fathers.

To the worldy wise these efforts at colonization appeared very foolish. Nature and man presented obstacles in Palestine which appeared almost insuperable; and the colonists were in fact ill-equipped for their task, save in their spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice. The land, harassed by centuries of misrule, was treeless and apparently sterile; and it was infested with malaria. The Government offered them no security, either as to life or property. The colonists themselves were not only unfamiliar with the character of the country, but were ignorant of the farmer's life which they purposed to lead; for the Jews of Russia and Rumania had been generally denied the opportunity of owning or working land. Furthermore, these colonists were not inured to the physical hardships to which the life of a pioneer is necessarily subjected. To these hardships and to malaria many succumbed. Those who survived were long confronted with failure. But at last success came. Within a generation these Jewish pilgrim fathers, and those who followed them, have succeeded in establishing these two fundamental propositions :

First. That Palestine is fit for the modern Jew.
Second. That the modern Jew is fit for Palestine.

Over 40 self-governing Jewish colonies attest to this remarkable achievement.

This land, treeless a generation ago, supposed to be sterile and hopelessly arid, has been shown to have been treeless and sterile only because of man's misrule. It has been shown to be capable of becoming again a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Oranges and grapes, olives and almonds, wheat and other cereals are now growing there in profusion.

This material development has been attended by a spiritual and social development no less extraordinary; a development in education, in health, and in social order ; and in the character and habits of the population. Perhaps the most extraordinary achievement of Jewish nationalism is the revival of the Hebrew language, which has again become a language of the common intercourse of men. The Hebrew tongue, called a dead language for nearly 2,000 years, has, in the Jewish colonies and in Jerusalem, become again the living mother tongue. The effect of this common language in unifying the Jews is, of course, great; for the Jews of Palestine came literally from all the lands of the earth, each speaking, excepting those who used Yiddish, the language of the country from which he came, and remaining in the main almost a stranger to the other Jews. But the effect of the renaissance of the Hebrew tongue is far greater than that of unifying the Jews. It is a potent factor in reviving the essentially Jewish spirit.

Our Jewish pilgrim fathers have laid the foundation. It remains for us to build the superstructure.


Let no American imagine that Zionism is inconsistent with patriotism. Multiple loyalties are objectionable only if they are inconsistent. A man is a better citizen of the United States for being also a loyal citizen of his State and of his city; for being loyal to his family, and to his profession or trade; for being loyal to his college or his lodge. Every Irish American who contributed toward advancing home rule was a better man and a better American for the sacrifice he made. Every American Jew who aids in advancing the Jewish settlement in Palestine, though he feels that neither he nor his descendants will ever live there, will likewise be a better man and a better American for doing so.

Note what Seton-Watson says:

“ America is full of nationalities which, while accepting with enthusiasm their new American citizenship, nevertheless look to some center in the Old World as the source and inspiration of their national culture and traditions. The most typical instance is the feeling of the American Jew for Palestine which may well become a focus for his declassé kinsmen in other parts of the world."

There is no inconsistency between loyalty to America and loyalty to Jewry. The Jewish spirit, the product of our religion and experiences, is essentially modern and essentially American. Not since the destruction of the temple have the Jews in spirit and in ideals been so fully in harmony with the noblest aspirations of the country in which they lived.

America's fundamental law seeks to make real the brotherhood of man. That brotherhood became the Jewish fundamental law more than twenty-five hundred years ago. America's insistent demand in the twentieth century is for social justice. That also has been the Jews' striving for ages. Their affliction, 91% well as their religion, has prepared the Jews for effective democracy. Perse (utlon broadened their sympathies. It trained them in patient endurance, in melf-control, and in sacrifice. It made them think as well as suffer. It deepened the passion for righteousness.

Indeed, loyalty to America demands rather that each American Jew become a Zionist. For only through the ennobling effect of its strivings can we develop the best that is in us and give to this country the full benefit of our great inheritance. The Jewish spirit, so long preserved, the character developed ny so many centuries of sacrifice, should be preserved and developed further, so that in America as elsewhere the sons of the race may in future live lives and do deeds worthy of their ancestors.


But we have also an immediate and more pressing duty in the performance of which Zlonism alone seems capable of affording effective aid. We must protect America and ourselves from demoralization, which has to some extent already set in among American Jews. The cause of this demoralization is clear. It results in large part from the fact that in our land of liberty all the restraints by which the Jews were protected in their Ghettos were removed and a new generntion left without necessary moral and spiritual support. And is it not equin lly clear what the only possible remedy is? It is the laborious task of Inculcating mell-respect--a task which can be accomplished only by restoring the ties of the Jew to the noble past of his race, and by making him realize the possibilities of a no less glorious future. The sole bulwark against demoralization is to develop in each new generation of Jews in America the sense of " noblerne oblige." That spirit can be developed in those who regard their race 114 dentined to live and to live with a bright future. That spirit can best be developed by actively paticipating in some way in furthering the ideals of the Jewish renaissance; and this can be done effectively only through furthering the Zionist movement.

111 the Jewini colonies of Palestine there are no Jewish criminals; because "*Veryone, old and young alike, is led to feel the glory of his race and his obllention to carry forward its ideals. The new Palestinian Jewry produces inM10 of criminals great scientists like Aaron Aaronsohn, the discoverer of will whent; great pedagogues like David Yellin; craftsmen like Boris Shatz, the founder of the Bezalel; intrepid Shom’rim, the Jewish guards of peace, who watch in the night against marauders and doers of violent deeds.

And the Zionist movement has brought like inspiration to the Jews in the Dumporn, 1# Steed has shown in this striking passage from “ The Hapsburg Monarchy":

"To minds like thene Zionism came with the force of an evangel. To be a Jew and to be proud of it; to glory in the power and pertinacity of the race, its I radniony, it triumps, its sufferings, its resistance to persecution; to look the world t'rankly in the t'nce and to enjoy the luxury of moral and intellectual honesty; to feel pride in belonging to the people that gave Christendom its divinilind, that taught ball the world monotheism, whose ideas have permeated civilization is never the idens of a l'ace before it, whose genius fashioned the whole mechanism of modern commerce, and whose artists, actors, singers, and writorn have filled a larger place in the cultured universe than those of any other people, This, Ormomething like thie, was the train of thought fired in youthful Jewith mind by the Zionist wpark. Its effect upon the Jewish udents of Aumrimi universiti WIM immediate and striking. Until then they bisa been de pH and often 11 frented. They had wormed their way into appointments and into the free professions by dint of pliancy, mock humility, mental acuteness, and clandestine protection. If struck or spat upon by *Aryan' students, they rarely ventured to return the blow or the insult. But Zionism gave them courage. They formed associations, and learned athletic drills and fencing. Insult was requited with insult, and presently the best fencers of the fighting German corps found that Zionist students could gash cheeks quite as effectually as any Teuton, and that the Jews were in a fair way to become the best swordsmen of the university. To-day the purple cap of the Zionist is as respected as that of any academical association.

" This moral influence of Zionism is not confined to university students. It is quite as noticeable among the mass of the younger Jews outside, who also find in it a reason to raise their heads, and, taking their stand upon the past, to gaze straightforwardly into the future.”


Since the Jewish problem is single and universal, the Jews of every country should strive for its solution. But the duty resting upon us of America is especially insistent. We number 3,000,000, which is more than one-fifth of all the Jews in the world-a number larger than that comprised within any other country, except the Russian Empire. We are representative of all the Jews in the world, for we are composed of immigrants, or descendants of immigrants coming from every other country or district. We include persons from every section of society, and of every shade of religious belief. We are ourselves free from civil or political disabilities and are relatively prosperous. Our fellow Americans are infused with a high and generous spirit, which insures approval of our struggle to ennoble, liberate, and otherwise improve the condition of an important part of the human race; and their innate manliness makes them sympathize particularly with our efforts at self-help. America's detachment from the Old World problem relieves us from suspicions and embarrassments frequently attending the activities of Jews of rival European countries. And a conflict between American interests or ambitions and Jewish aims is not conceivable. Our loyalty to America can never be questioned.

Let us therefore lead-earnestly, courageously, and joyously-in the struggle for liberation. Let us all recognize that we Jews are a distinct nationality, of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station, or shade of belief, is necessarily a member. Let us insist that the struggle for liberty shall not cease until equality of opportunity is accorded to nationalities as to individuals. Let us insist also that full equality of opportunity can not be obtained by Jews until we, like members of other nationalities, shall have the option of living elsewhere or of returning to the land of our forefathers.


The fulfiilment of these aspirations is clearly demanded in the interest of mankind as well as in justice to the Jews, They can not fail of attainment if we are united and true to ourselves. But we must be united not only in spirit but in action. To this end we must organize. Organize, in the first place, so that the world may have proof of the extent and the intensity of our desire for liberty. Organize, in the second place, so that our resources may become known and be made available. But in mobilizing our forces it will not be for war. The whole world longs for the solution of the Jewish problem, We have but to lead the way and we may be sure of ample cooperation from non-Jews. In order to lead the way we need not arms, but men; men with those qualities for which Jews should be peculiarly fitted by reason of their religion and life; men of courage, of high intelligence, of faith and public spirit, of indomitable will and ready self-sacrifice; men who will both think and do, who will devote high abilities to shaping our course and to overcoming the many obstacles which must from time to time arise. And we need other many, many other men—officers, commissioned and noncommissioned, and common soldiers in the cause of liberty, who will give of their time and resources, as occasion may demand, in unfailing and ever-strengthening support of the measures which may be adopted. Organization, thorough and complete, can alone develop such leaders and the necessary support.

Organize, organize, organize—until every Jew in America must stand up and be counted--counted with us, or prove himself, wittingly or unwittingly, of the few who are against their own people.

Mr. LIPSKY. Now, I just want to say a few words with regard to Professor Reed's observation that this resolution presented here by Congressman Fish is a trap. He used the word "trap" twice, but I think the committee will hardly agree with him in his attempt to read into this resolution something which is not in it.

The Fish resolution, which embodies all that is necessary for this purpose Mr. COOPER (interposing). That is 52?

Mr. LIPSKY. The joint resolution. The Zionist organization is not interested in the form of the resolution. We are interested in the intention of the resolution.

We hope that it is the intention of the committee, and that it will be the intention of the House and of the Senate to express both their sympathy and interest in the development of the Jewish national home in Palestine, or haven, or refuge, or whatever it may be, which will enable the Jewish people to establish in Palestine for themselves a place where they can develop without interference. That is all they ask.

Mr. COOPER. Is that this resolution ?
Mr. LIPNKY. That is the resolution.

Mr, COOPICR. You do not mean the Lodge resolution is the same thing. That 1x different, you know.

Mr. LIPNKY. The Lodge resolution is much stronger, much clearer, and I desire to direct your attention to that instrument which the committee desires to approve for our purpose, the Fish resolution, No. 52.

Mr. COOPER. You want the committee, if it considers anything, to consider the one that you are presenting; is that the idea ?

Mr. LIPNKY. That is exactly it.

I say with regard to this resolution being a trap, with regard to the American Government going into foreign alliances without being conscious of it. The resolution was introduced in the Senate by the leader of the Republican Party, who was outstanding in his opposition to have the American Government enter into the Menate treaties. I think that he stands very strongly against foreign alliances. It is assumed that the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate would not introduce a resolution of this nature unless he had the assurance of the approval of the State Department, which is, we take it, currying out the policy of the present administration with regard to foreign

I submit that the American administration knows what is involved, what is staw, and what is intended in the Lodge resolution. I am sure that the Fish resolution should have the approval of those who are familiar with foreign affairs, and of the members of the House and of the Senate regardless of party, because it expresses the sentiment without definitely stating the instrument to which approval is given.

in the nature of the circumstances the American Government will have to adjust itself to the conditions that are to be created within the territories that were formerly the Turkish Empire. The American Government has certain interests. It will have to come into contact with the British Government, or whoever ju in possession, no doubt, to protect these interests. But a treaty with regard to this matter can not be regarded as an entangling alliance.

Wo submit that to express sympathy and interest in the endeavor to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine is in line with the ideals of the American people, with the traditions of the American Government, and would be at this time a practical indication on the part of the American (tovernment of its interest in having justice dealt out to the Jewish people.

Mr. COOPER. I think that is all.

Mr. LIPSKY. The Chairman agreed the first day that I should introduce into the record the statements of the various governments that have approved of the Balfour declaration of November 2, 1917.

Mr. COOPER. Well, just indicate those to the reporter. (The indorsements referred to are printed in the record in full as follows :) GOVERNMENT INDORSEMENTS OF JEWISH NATIONAL ASPIRATIONS, AND OF THE



The following letter, of December 27, 1917, from Milenko Vesnitch, the head of the recent Serbian mission to the United States, was sent to Capt. David

« PreviousContinue »