OCR Interpretation

The Jewish monitor. (Fort Worth-Dallas, Tex.) 191?-1921, May 13, 1921, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89070104/1921-05-13/ed-1/seq-6/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for Page Six

Page Six
Friday, May 18, 1921.
Jewish Problems Viewed Through
Gentile Glasses
'0 wad some Power the gifiie gie us
To see oursel's as others see us!"
NOTE Be It understood that this ser.
let of article presents Jewish quaatlona
purely from the non-Jewish viewpoint,
and neither the editor of this Journal nor
any Jew should be regarded as reeponsl
ble for, or necessarily agreeing with,
any opinion herein expressed, excepting
quotations of Jewish origin. W. H.) .
Prejudice and Persecution.
As a logical corallory, race pre
judice finds its active expression in
Almost from his first appearance
in history the Jew has been subject
to persecution. In the elder years
martyrdom was the daily bread of
his race, opporession was his appren
ticeship to life; and still he sups
on sorrow and drinks the bitter wine
of tears. .
It is a peculiar fact concerning
peculiar people that hostility to
ward the Jews is not confined to any
time or any locality or any class; it
has existed in all ages and in every
land, manifested by men of different
races and divers religions, alike by
the crude and the cultured. It is dis
played even by other Semitic peoples,
notably the Arabs.
The intensity of early social pre
judice against the Jews is shown in
Genesis, xliii:32, where it is record
ed: "The Egyptians might not eat
bread with the Hebrews; for that is
an abomination unto the Egyptians."
Jews have been publicly anathema
tized by a numerous tribe of anti
Semites, from Juvenal and Tactitus
down to the bitter little bigots of
today; from Haman to Henry Ford.
The history of the Jews is a
transcedent tragedy the Iliad of race
immolation. From cradle to coffin
they have been subject to persecu
tions such as no other people ever
Suffered and survived. They have
been harried and harassed and ham
pered In every conceivable manner.
They have encountered every imped
iment to their activities and every
obstacle to their progress. They
have endured every oppression, from
the cruel inquisitions of individuals
to the crushing tyranny of nations.
They have been proscribed and
plundered, exploited and imprisoned,
exiled and enslaved. For then was
created the Pale, within which they
were confined as in a pinfold. They
have known all tortures and terrors;
they have been scorched by the
flames of fanatacism and broken on
the wheel of bigotry. They have
faced the madness of the mob and
found relief from its barbarities in
the red mercy of massacre. And
For the reason that these enmities
are universal, we must conclude that
such wihely distributed effects re
sult from common causes, and that
these causes reside largely within
the Jew himself. No other race be
ing thus marked for uniform malice,
we can account for this nnique unan
imity of hate only on the hypothesis
that the causes thereof are inhrent
In Israel In most cases the causes
of race prejudice are multifarious.
Ordinarily, these causes are biologi
cal, religious, political, lingual,
geographical, physic, and economic.
All these factors enter into the pre
judice against the Jew; but as he
is the object of a special animosity,
we should search also for a special
cause. Let us drop a raisin of analy
sis into the varied ingredients and
note the result.
The most common pretext for per
secution of the Jew is religious. It
also is the safest, being sure of very
general approval. Most persons find
it difficult to forgive those who dif
fer from their religious faith, and
they see a holy justification for pun
ishing the heretic. Some centuries
ago it was charged by persons desir
ous of founding a new religious sect
that the Jews had slain the Christ.
This libel hardened into legend, then
was invested with a halo and became
history. Many early rulers found it
a most effective political issue. Their
successors turned it to economic ad
vantage. Hatred of the Jew, however, does
not depend upon the historical fiction
that he crucified Jesus. That merely
is an expedient for inflaming the
minds of the masses whenever it is
desirable to incite them against the
If Jews are persecuted for relig
ious reasons, why is it that such per
secutions invariably take an econom
ic trend?
Antagonism to, Jews antedates the
Christian Era, and during that era
it has not been confined to Christian
nations. They have been persecuted
with non-sectarian impartiality by
the Alexandrians, Babylonians, Per
sians, Arabs, Turks, and many oth
ers. Even the colossal effrontery of
a Billy Sunday might hestitate to
connect the crucifixion on Calvary
with the Babylonian captivity under
Nebuchadnezzar II, 686 B. C.
Political considerations also often
are responsible for persecution of
the Jews. Conditions resulting from
abuses of government are charged
against them and credited by an ig
norant and a credulous populace,
who thereby are placated toward
their tyrant In old Russia this was
a favorite device for diverting the
spirit of revolt from the rulers and
directing it toward the Jews.
The Jew frequently is persecuted
because of certain qualities of mind
and character, but this fact, as we
shall see, should not cause him to
esteem himself less excellently.
Race enmity is not engendered by
superiority of the enemy. Superiority
tends always toward tolerance. In
feriority invariably hates superiori
ty. I am unwilling to admit, however
inferiority to the Jew of the Aryan
race. Possibly my instinctive race
consciousness prevents my doing so.
Of race-pride I have none; nor have
I reason for such pride more than
has my race reason to be proud of
me. The Aryan race is what it is
without help of mine, so why should
I pride in its achievement? More
over, my race has done so many
things of which I am ashamed, that
I am disposed toward humility. ..
While denying any general super
iority of the Jew over Aryan peoples
it must be conceded that he surpasses
them in certain special qualities and
endowments, even as he is surpassed
by them fn certain others. For ex
. ample, the ethics of the Jew are su
perior, and he excels in mental alert
ness. It is for these special excellen
cies he is hated, and not for any
general race characteristics.
We find many specific instances of
this envy-inspired hatred. For ex
ample, Jews excel in music, which
accounts for Wagner's amarulent at
tack upon them in his "Judaism in
Another prolific cause of prejudice
against the Jew is a distinctiveness
that makes the non-Jew conscious
always of their differences. His
marked unlikeness causes dislike. In
variably those who are unlike are re
garded as inimical to the interests
of those to whom they are dissimil
ar. The Jew makes the mistake of
perpetuating Orienalism in the Wes
tern World.
The mental fellowship that makes
for understanding also is lacking.
Men form no liking for mysteries;
they distrust what they do not un
derstand. Jew and non-Jew are
psychic strangers; their viewpoints
have no common focus, their modes
of thought are alien. Between their
respective intelligences is draped a
veil impenetrable. The workings of
the Oriental mind are hidden from
all the West except those few favor
ed ones to whom it is given to see
always the souls of other men.
The Jew must emerge entirely
from the cramping chrysalis of Ori
entalism before he can enter into
the fullness of Occidental freedom.
The Jew is hated also because of
his ideals. They fail to fit into the
Gentile scheme of things, and this
prevents a complete social adjust
ment according to the Gentile meth
od. Were these ideals wholly spirit
ual there would be no such difficul
ty, hence no hatred. But the Jew has
an economic ideal, and all his ideals
are interwoven and they interact
The Gentile has no economic ideal
only an economic idea. The solution
is a universal ideal idea.
Again, the Jew evidences an aloof
ness and exclusiveness that is an un
spoken claim of superiority and as
such is aperennial challenge to Gen
tile egotism. As one writer has ex
plained of the Jew;
"He intrenched himself behind the
fences that had been erected around
the Torah by Ezra and the first
scribes, later by the Pharisees and
the Talmudists, reformers of prim
itive Mosaism and enemies of the
prophets. He isolated himself, not
merely by declining to submit to the
customs which bound together the
inhabitants of the countries where he
settled, but also by shunning all in
tercourse with the inhabitants them
selves. To his unsociability the Jew
added exclusiveness." Again: "At the
time the serpent temped Eve, says
the Talmud, he corrupted her with
venom. Israel, on receiving the rev
elation from Sinai, delivered itself
from the evil; the rest of mankind
could not recover. Thus, if they have
each its protecting constellation, Is
rael is under the very eye of Jeho
vah; it is the Eternal's favored son
who has the sole right to his love, to
his good-will, to his protection, other
men are placed beneath the Hebrew;
it is by mere mercy that they are
entitled to Divine munificence, since
the souls of the Jews alone are des
cended from the First Man, The
wealth that has come to the nations,
in truth belongs to Israel, and we
hear Jesus himself reply to the
Greek woman, 'It is not meet to take
children's bread and cast it unto the
dogs.' (Mark, vii:27). This faith in
their predestination, in their election
developed among the Jews an im
mense pride. It led them to view the
Gentiles with contempt, often with
hate, when patriotic considerations
supervened to religious feeling."
Thus, the Jew, by his own Inherit
ed attitude a legacy so many have
not yet renounced is in no small
measure responsible for Gentile ani
mosity. It scarcely could be expected
that the arrogant assumption of the
Jews that they are the Chosen Peo
pleselected by Deity for special fa
vor, instead of being set apart for
a special mission should be relished
by other races. It is but natural that
victims of Divine discrimination
should discriminate against the bene
ficiaries of such partiality.
I would not have the Jew cease to
be a Jew, but I would have him
cease to isolate himself.
Effects in turn become causes to
produce other effects.
Isolation is at once a cause and an
effect of race prejudice. Isoltion and
effect, by a series of reactions, cre
ate a vicious circle; isolation engen
ders prejudice, and prejudice gener
ates isolation.
Gentile exclusion is a logical re
action against Jewish exclusiveness.
In order of objectionableness, next
to the Jew who is offensively boast
ful of his blood comes the one who
fain would conceal his racial identi
ty. No man respects another who
fails to respect his own origin. When
one apparently is ashamed of such
a thing, it is not strange that other
should assume there is sufficient
cause for shame. Clandestine Jews
do more than any other class to des
troy racial dignity, and effect more
serious damage to race repute than
docs the entire horde of Judaiphoes.
A type of Jew, by no means rarer,
who adds to the prejudice against
his people is he who sycophantly af
fects a contempt for the traditions
of his tribe. He ostentatiously orders
pork in a public refectory as if
thereby he were practicing a shining
virtue that should command the
commendation of all Gentile observ
ers. Now, there is no essential merit
in eating pork. Hygenically consid
ered, of all meats it is least fit for
human food. It is, of course, quite
within the rights of the Jew to share
the dietic sins of the Gentile, but it
were better he should do so unob
trusively and without obvious intent
One major reason for prejudice
against the Jews collectively is th
fact that a certain limited and least
desirable class is by the unenlighten
ed public accepted as representative
of the entire race. "Every Jew has
been made responsible for the acts of
every other Jew," says Madison C
Peters in "Justice to the Jew." As
one anonymous Jewish writer so
well has stated it:
"The fault or folly of one Jew is
reflected in popular opinion on the
Jews as a whole. Every Jew of evil
eminence is taken as a type. A Jew
ish murder, a Jewish divorce, a Jew
ish embezzlement, a Jewish case of
usury, even a particularly 'loud' cos
tume or luxurious equippage, if th
property of Jews, is imputed not
merely to the sinful agent, but to
the Jewish community en bloc. There
is a merciless argument from the

xml | txt