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The Southern Israelite. (Augusta, Ga.) 1925-1986, October 04, 1929, Image 7

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Page 7 The Southern Israelite I (Continued from Page 5) N this peculiarity in us is not logical. We Jews are in no sense a (littering in blood from all the •h. r peoples of the earth. On the con- . , we are ethnically a very mixed i,,* 1 The Bible tells repeatedly how foreign strains were introduced into • he Hebraic blood-stream. It reveals tha . e ven the glorious King David, he w h 0 was elected to be ancestor of the Messiah-to-come, was himself de- icended from a Gentile woman named K ;-h. It is clear that intermarriage I between the ancient Hebrews and •h.ir neighbors was common all •hp>ugh Bible times, and that inter- . t * ing was even commoner. For dur- ;I/ m„st of those centuries the He- • rt .\\s were a subject nation, and their ughtcrs were continually at the v.vrcy of foreign troops. It is impossi- to believe that the millions of Mins in the triumphant armies of listia, Assyria, Scythia, Egypt, \ramea. Babylon, Persia, Greece, and imp, who during a thousand years vpi-att-dly committed murder and ar- . n in Palestine, did not sometimes lulge also in rapine. And therefore s impossible to deny that at least I a little—more probably a great deal— ,f the blood of each of those conquer ing races found its way into the veins f the Jews. And the degree of such admixture must have increased immeasurably no* we were driven from our own I ’and and scattered across the face of I the earth. For then, no matter where we fled, whether to Nubia or Italy, to Bactria or Gaul, we found our selves invariably an alien handful ;n the midst of a native horde. As a result, we invariably took <*n the physical characteristics of the races with which we we brought into >ntact. In Spain we began to look like Spaniards, and in Russia like Slavs. s why we show such inordinate physical variety today. It is only a legend that we all look alike. In Abyssinia there exists to this day a group of authentic Jews, the Fala- 'has. who are quite as black as the Negroes surrounding them. In China late as the last century there still dsted a settlement of Jews who were How-skinned and almond-eyes. Only a few months ago I received a letter a brown-skinned Israelite in In dia. who sought permission to trans late my book on Jewish history into the dialect which is the mother ton gue nf a clan of Hindu Jews there. iously, therefore, the distinguish ing quality in the Jew is not racial. N'»r is it religious either, for many h*' most famous (and most noto- n ou.M of Jews do not even remotely conform to Judaism. Indeed, the Jews Miuse names most readily occur to the Gentiles—such as Otto Kahn, Leon °tzky,Justice Brandeis,Emma Gold- JJ*"' Sigmund Freud, the Rothschilds, "alter Damrosch, Albert Einstein, harles Levine, Bernard Baruch— \ e * e are for the most part persons r,t r indifferent or hostile to the synagogue. For that matter, it is dif- V. . t0 rec all a single world-famous e A In *^e history of recent genera- s was a devout follower of ** religion of Moses. Almost all of —for instance, Spinoza, Heinrich V % ^ arx » Disraeli, Mendels- B m rtholdy ’ Dreyfus, Steinmetz, MTw til were either nominal Chris tians or avowed free-thinkers. Yet without exception they were reviled by their enemies and recognized by their friends as Jews. So, obviously, it is not primarily our religion that marks us off from the rest of man kind. Nor is it nationality. Once we were indeed a nation, and the Zionists among us are hopeful of some day making the Jews a nation again. But at the present moment we are so scat tered geographically and divided po litically that we no more form a na tion than do the vegetarians or the mathematicians of the world. We have no land which we can call really our own—for Palestine is still in habited chiefly by Arabs and gov erned by Britishers. We have no one mother tongue nor distinctive cos tume, no single political loyalty nor unified national enthusiasm. In Ger many we are the most loyal of Ger mans, and in America the most loyal of Americans. Had I the space I could cite endless lengths of official statis tics to prove how the Jew has con tributed considerably more than his share to the armies, the honor rolls, and the casualty lists of all the na tions in all the wars of recent decades. Or, had I the inclination, might ex patiate on the fact that there is not a single civilized nation in the world today wherein there are not Jews serving with exemplary faithfulness in governmental positions of trust and power. No, the one common denominator among us Jews that distinguishes us everywhere and always is not some thing biological, theological, nor po litical, but psychological. We Jews have a peculiar manner of reacting to the world, a manner bred in us so long, and still today so stimulated by the people around us, that we cannot possibly slough it off. And at the root of that manner is the inescapable feeling that you Gentiles still consid er us “outsiders”. I know there are many Jews who will not admit they have this feeling. Many do most vehemently deny they have the slightest trace of anything like a “Jewish consciousness.” But the very vehemence of their denial seems to give them away. They may go to fartherest extremes in their effort to identify themselves with the Gentile majority, straightening their noses, intermarrying, joining the church, and even contributing funds to anti-Semit ic “patriotic” societies—but neverthe less they are not able to shake off that tenacious psychology. Always they re main sensitive, always they retain at least a subconscious fear that they are being slighted because they stem from Jews. Always there lurks in them a trace of a suspicion that perhaps, af ter all, they do not “belong.” Nor can you blame them, nor the rest of the Jews, if they feel so sus picious and sensitive. After all, you’ve given us ample fuel for such emotions. For almost three thousand years now you have hunted and harassed us in cessantly. Never have you let us alone, never have you allowed us to live in peace. And the reason? You yourselves have not known it. Oh, you’ve always been glib with good ex cuses, but you’ve never faced the real cause of your hostility. You’ve always resorted to gross or petty faultfind ing; you’ve complained of this little thing in us, or that. At different times you've complained that we killed Christ, or worshipped an ass, or ate soup noisily, or drank Gentile blood at Passover (but very quietly!). In Russia under the Czar it was said that all Jews were Socialists, and now under Stalin it is said they are all Capitalists. In Germany during the World War it was said that the Jews were secretly French spies, and in France that they were German spies. All .sorts of silly legends and stupid rumors and petty prejudices and plausible lies have been used to justify the hostility toward us. But without exception these have been mere after thoughts, lame rationalizations. The basic reason has always been simply that we Jews remain Jews and don’t or won’t become Gentiles. Our chief crime has always been that we persist in being different. • Differentness seems to be the msot grievous fault conceivable, for inva riably it arouses hostility. It seems to be innate in all living things to dislike the unlike. We see that in the lower animals fighting in jungle growths, and we see it also in the higher ones patrolling national frontiers. The in- continued on Page 8) I""""""""""" """"" mu Illustrated by Walter Jack Duncan