THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, July 1, 1960
By Philip Friedman Bequest
Slomovitz Largest Ever for
of the Government in this matter has been weak, uncertain, and in- Jewish Scholarship
Voltaire to the Aid of a Bigot ... How Theodore Roosevelt
Handled Anti-Semite . . . Way of Handling Rockwell
The famous and oft-quoted statement attributed to Voltaire,
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death
your right to say it, is the most frequently used declaration in
defense of free speech. It has been used in behalf of Nazis and
Communists, it is being used in defense of anti-Semites' rights
to propagate their views. It is the idea that anyone who seeks
freedom for himself must grant it also to others.
Thus, in his demand addressed to New York City's Dis-
trict Attorney Frank Hogan and Police Commissioner Stephen
P. Kennedy, that they should be prepared to arrest George
Lincoln Rockwell, the self-styled "fuehrer" of the "American
Nazi Party," if Rockwell or his followers should incite to
riot—in the event that he were given a permit for his rally
on the Fourth of July, in New York's Union Square — Dr.
Joachim Prinz, the president of the American Jewish Con-
gress said: "Although Rockwell has a Constitutional right
to speak, he has no right to disturb the peace or cause a
Dr. Prinz thereby went on record upholding the principle
that there can be no restrictions on free speech — unless the
person seeking that right incites to riots.
But that is what Rockwell has been doing all along, in the
very shadow of our nation's Capitol and the White House. Yet
the Law seemed unenforceable in his case.
What does the community do to a man who publicly
advocates sending certain groups of fellow citizens to the
gas chambers? Does he remain free to shout "fire" in a
crowded theater, thereby endangering the lives of an audi-
ence? Does a man have the right to advocate extinction of
people whose skins are of a different color than his own, or
to call for the establishment of Nazi gas chambers for Jews
in this land of freedom?
New York's Mayor Wagner acted in good judgment when
he rejected the request for a permit to speak in Union Square
made by Rockwell. Wagner interpreted his application as "an
invitation to riot and disorder from a half-penny Hitler."
But the debate over this issue is far from ended.
It is true that Rockwell does not have many followers. He
admitted in the New York court that his "party" has only 30
members, but he insisted that "they are joining every minute."
While we refuse to believe that right-thinking Americans will
respond to his appeals, we know, nevertheless, that Hitler, too,
had only a few followers. Hitler came on the scene with even
less than 30 followers. But the survivors of Auschwitz and
Buchenwald and the other Nazi exterinmation camps know better
than to remain silent when a Nazi propagates the murder of
people who are unlike them or differ with them. They were
witnesses to the tragedies of millions of victims of Nazism, and
they warn us not to be complacent.
Yet, there is a principle on our statute books: that of free
speech, and we dare not sacrifice it. How are the American
Nazis to be handled?
Of course, there may be other ways of
dealing with people whose hatreds border on
insanity. Theodore Roosevelt found a way
when he was Police Commissioner of New
York, before he was elected to the Vice Presi-
dency. A vile European anti-Semite, Rector
Hermann Ahlwardt, came to New York to de-
liver an anti-Semitic address. There were pro-
tests against his being given the right to speak.
Roosevelt said that Ahlwardt had a right guar-
anteed by our Constitution—to speak freely.
But in order to repudiate the anti-Semite,
Roosevelt provided him with a bodyguard
composed entirely of Jewish policemen.
That was a clever way of rejecting the
T. ROOSEVELT foreign ideas that were then brought to our
shore. It was a rebuke that appealed to the sense of fair play
of the American people.
In the instance of a Rockwell, who advocates the gas
chambers for Jews, we believe that Theodore Roosevelt would
have acted firmly — as Mayor Wagner did. We believe that
the Big Stick then would have been in evidence.
Had Rockwell been given the right to fulminate in Union
Square — as the Civil Liberties Union would do even now —
members of the New York Council of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars would have been there in their uniforms, on call from
their commander, Michael J. Casin, who asked for such a dem-
onstration as a protest against the desecration of the original
meeting place of the Union Army with the Nazi swastika.
There might have been other demonstrations: other war
veterans might have been there to give the Salute to the Flag,
in condemnation of the besmirching of the Fourth of July by
Nazis; Jewish school children might have been there to sing
liturgical and Israeli as well as patriotic American songs; men
and women of all faiths, and of differing races, would have been
expected to give the Nazi both the patriotic demonstration treat-
ment as well as the evidence of their repudiation of the utterly
un-American Hitlerite activities of the disgraceful "guests from
But there might also have developed something else, as be-
came apparent in the court room where Rockwell made his
appearance last week. There might have been a riot, and blood-
shed. It was much wiser, therefore, to deny a platform to Nazis.
There are many ways of granting freedom of speech to all,
regardless of their sanity. And there are many ways of abusing
it, as Rockwell has shown. A new way must be found to prevent
dementia from propagation under the protection of Constitu-
tional free speech.
Humphrey Exposes Administration's 'Piety', Contrariness
During the Senatorial discussion of the merits of Vice Pres-
ident Nixon's letter to Bnai Brith President Label Katz, on the
questions of Israel's rights in the Suez Canal and the injustice
of the Arab boycott of Israel, U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey,
of Minnesota, quoting from the Vice President's statement that
"the United States has unequivocally affirmed its support of
the principle that there should be freedom of transit through
the canal for all nations, including Israel," declared:
"After having made this rather pious pronouncement the follow-
through on the part of the administration leads one to an interpretation
of a contrary policy. ... I happen to believe that the executive branch
te o ) l Jys e e e at t y
'Pi ety '
definite, and has not really exercised the influence and power of the
United States of America. I have reason to believe that we have all too
often been more concerned with some commercial interests in the Middle
Eastern area than we have been concerned with sound international
principles of law, of decency, and of justice."
Senator Humphrey's rebuke to the administration was made
during the remarkable address by Senator Ernest Gruening of
Alaska, to which we referred last week. A number of distin-
guished Senators joined in challenging the effectiveness of the
Vice President's letter. It now seems certain that the Middle
East issue, the unholy alliances that support the Arab boycott
of Israel and the matters relating to freedom of the seas and the
Suez Canal, will be injected in the forthcoming political cam-
paign. It is all to the good: let the issues be aired, and let us
see whether the Vice President's assurance to the Jewish people,
through the Bnai Brith president, was merely a "pious .pro-
nouncement," or whether something will be done to get some
action to put an end to the unsavory roles played by some of the
world's "statesmen" in upholding Nasser and his cohorts.
The fact is that there are many leaders among the Arabs
who desire peace with Israel. Perhaps even Nasser has such a
craving deep down in his heart. But they dare not speak for
peace, fearing assassination. If and when the world's statesmen,
especially the United States diplomats, start advocating peace,
there is hope that even the Arabs will bend in the direction of
justice—even for Israel.
Only one puzzle remains vis-a-vis the muddled situation in
this country: all criticisms have been directed against the
administration, but what about the State Department? We assume
that an administration that makes reality of affirmed policies,
without opening up loopholes for criticism that such policies are
treated as "pious pronouncements," can direct the State Depart-
ment to strive for fairness in foreign relations involving small
nations like Israel. But, even during the Roosevelt and Truman
administrations the State Department seemed to act as it pleased
in such matters. Therefore, it seems to us, something must also
be done to put strength and reality not only into the White
House personnel but also into that of the State Dfipartment.
* * *
Israel's Formative Social Conditions Viewed by Zweig
Israel's formative social conditions, the position of the
worker in Israel's economy and the progress that has been
attained by labor in Israel are evaluated in "The Israeli Worker,"
by Dr. Ferdynand Zweig, published in the Herzl Press.
The emergence of the new working class in Israel, its
advances in comparison with the working classes of other
lands, including the United States, its productivity, its organiza-
tional functions and its cooperatives are delineated with skill in
this informative volume.
In view of the powerful position held in Israel by the
Histadrut, this book gains significance because of the thorough
study of its characteristics.
Dr. Zweig lists some of Histadrut's basic dilemmas: the
conflicts between "a narrow professionalism and a broader social
conception of a workers' organization serving a nation" and those
between unionism and politics, as well as those between bureauc-
racy and democracy, as well as the many-sidedness of Histadrut's
interests involving farmers, manual and professional workers,
consumers, transport workers and others.
The author points to Histadrut's accent on pioneering and
the development of rural and border settlements and on the
absorption of immigrants but he adds: "No one can say that
class interests have been neglected. No one can deny that the
Israeli worker through his Histadrut has achieved a great deal
in terms of wages and social conditions as well as status."
Dr. Zweig also points out: "As group interests are taken
up by parties for their own ends, they become party issues
and a subject for rivalry and struggle. The political immaturity
of large groups of the Middle Eastern population makes this
aspect of Histadrut organization even more difficult."
Describing the activities of the Histadrut Councils, Dr.
Tlis sum of $310„000 has been
bequeathed to the American
Jewish Historical Society by the
late Lee M. Friedman, Boston
attorney who was affiliated with
the society for over 50 years
and served as president from
1948 to 53 and honorary pres-
ident until 1957.
The legacy, largest ever given
by an American Jew to aid Jew-
ish scholarly research, will be
used for capital purposes, ma-
jor research and publication
The 08-year-old society has,
for nearly a half century, occu-
pied the quarters of the Jewish
Theological Seminary, Broad-
way at 122nd St. The gift will
make possible its move to badly-
needed larger quarters
Rabbi Isidore S. Meyer, librar-
ian of the society and editor
of its quarterly Publication of
the American Jewish Historical
Society, estimates that in the
society's possession are some
50,000 volumes, many of them
rare books and periodicals.
Also owned by the society
are numerous collections of
bibliophiles, historians, schol-
ars and writers and various art
treasures, which it will now be
able to display for the first
Mr. Friedman, son o! Max
Friedman, an officer in the
Union Army, was a resident of
Boston, Mass., who held both a
BA and LIB degree from Har-
vard University. He died in
1957, at the age of 86.
of Dead Sea Scrolls,
Is Detroit Visitor
Syrian Orthodox Archbishop
Athanasius Y. Samuel, who
sold the Dead Sea Scrolls for
$250,000 to the Hebrew Univer-
sity, after inserting a classified
advertisement in the Wall
Street Journal, was a guest in
Detroit this week.
Archbishop Samuel had ob-
tained the Scrolls from Bedou-
ins who said they found them
in a cave. They cost him $80.
When first brought to him, they
had an offensive odor. But he
sensed their value and obtained
The late Professor Sukenik
of the Hebrew University,
father of Israeli General Yigael
Yadin, who, like his father, is
a noted archaeologist, risked
"The distance between the Union officer and the rank and file seems
to grow, and especially with the increasing Middle Eastern population. his life to go into Jordan-held
to a large extent even ignorant and illiterate, the relationship becomes Old City of Jerusalem to see
at times that of patronage rather than true representation." He adds:
"If a comparison is made with British and American unions, the the Scrolls.
degree of democracy in Histadrut is certainly below the British level
Then, when the blind classi-
of democratic participation, and probably also somewhat below the fied advertisement was found
level of American participation."
But he modifies this by indicating that "awareness of the in the Wall Street Journal,
need to deepen democratic participation in the Histadrut is fairly Prof. Harry Orlinsky was as-
signed the task of purchasing
general in the Histadrut top leadership . . ." He also states:
". .. by its very comprehensiveness and many-sidedness, the Histadrut the Scrolls, without indicating
can preserve a fair balance between divergent interests, keeping them whom he represented.
in line with broader national interests, helping State and society to
solve its many serious problems. The Histadrut was the forerunner of
the Jewish State, and is still its partner in many fundamental functions.
But in the future, as the state machinery grows stronger, more experi-
enced and more confident, the Histadrut is bound to relinquish some
of its functions and to surrender them to the State."
In "a note on Israeli Socialism," Dr. Zweig makes another
interesting comment. "There is little doubt," he writes, "that
the myth of Jewish Socialism among: the masses. of Israeli
workers at present is a little weakened and dulled. It has lost its
former glamor, its quasi-religious zeal and flavor, its pristine
Describing the East European origin of Israeli Socialism,
and its standard bearers among the Jewish intelligentsia and
middle class, he describes it as a socialism of individuals. The
mixture of Zionism and Socialism, he states, was regarded by
the pioneers as "the only Jewish Socialism possible anywhere
under the conditions of Jewish existence."
"We can call Israeli Socialism 'Kibbutz Socialism'," he
states. "The experience of Kibbutz life has been decisive in
molding Israeli thinking on the theme of Socialism."
He declares that the movement which started with Marxist
Socialism, and was transformed into cooperative Socialism, "now
is in danger of turning into Charity Socialism." While this kind of
Socialism "does not lack romantic and sentimental appeal," he
says that it has "great economic drawbacks which may be fatal
to the future development of the country. In the long run, even
its moral drawbacks become more apparent as many unworthy
claimants abuse and misuse its principles." With Socialism in a
state of flux, he said one thing is certain: "It will not remain
long in the state of strong inner contradiction in which it finds
itself at present."
The thorough coverage given by Dr. Zweig to the study of
the status of Israeli workers makes his book most valuable for
all students of labor and social problems in Israel.
Form Investment Club
for Israel Securities
A number of Israel stocks al-
ready have been purchased by
the recently-formed Detroit-
ISrael Investment Club No. 1,
sponsored by the Zionist Orga-
nization of Detroit.
The group, the first of its
kind ever to pioneer in the in-
vestment of Israeli securities,
met at the home of Mr. and
Mrs. Ben Green, 18301 Cherry-
lawn, and madL plans to pur-
chase additional stocks at each
of its quarterly meetings.
The forerunner of what is
hoped will be a series of simi-
lar clubs throughout Detroit,
the group was formed because
the "rapidly expanding" econ-
omy of Israel is desirous of at-
tracting additional capital and
industrial know-how for further
development of the national
economy, accordir.; to Dr. I.
Walter Silver, its president.
For information, contact the
Zionist House, 10424 W. Mc-
Nichols, DI 1-8540.