New Insights on Mussolini and Zionism
JERUSALEM — Classified ing with Weizmann (in Rome, the Mediterranean coast),
documents which _ recently Feb. 17, 1934) Mussolini had but recognized by other
reached the hands of Dr. devised a plan to divide states. Weizmann avoided
Yitzhak Minerbi of the Heb- Palestine between the Arabs answering, and argued that
rew University's Institute of and the Jews. In September before territorial solutions
Contemporary Jewry have re- 1933, he instructed Marquis could be discussed, Jews
vealed previously unknown Theodoli, the Italian chair- must make up at least half
chapters in the strange story man of the League's per- of Palestine's population.
of the relations between manent committee on man-
But this was only part of
dates, to work behind the the picture. Classified docu-
Zionism and fascism.
Dr. Minerbi is now re- scenes to mediate between ments from the Italian For-
searching these documents Arabs and Jews. He told him eign Office now in Dr. Min-
thoroughly with the help of it was in Italy's interest to erbi's hands testify to three
Dr. Yoel Fishman, Hanan encourage large-scale aliya additional conversations be-
Halfon and Amedeo Taglia- and quickly achieve an inde- tween Weizmann and a
foreign ministry official nam-
cozzo. New revelations about pendent Zionist state.
Theodoli contacted repre- ed Scarpa. Scarpa was known
the last meeting between
Chaim Weizmann and Ben- sentatives of Zionism and of as a friend of the Jews, and
ito Mussolini, and the rela- Arab nationalism and sought Weizmann was frank with
tions between the Revision- a way to bring them to a him.
ists and Mussolini, are among settlement based on territor-
In the first conversation
ial boundries in Palestine. Weizmann said that as far as
"Mussolini's attitude to According to Mussolini's Zionism was concerned, it
ward the Jews," says Dr. plan, the Jewish home was was preferable to put off a
Minerbi, "was ambivalent. to rise in the southern part settlement with the Arabs
He was not by nature an of Israel and the rest of the until the Jewish population
of Israel reached half a mil-
anti-Semite, but was prob- area would be Arab.
The Italian Foreign Office lion. A catastrophe was in
ably infected by the general-
was less enthusiastic. "Italy store for us, he said, and
has nothing to gain by the aliya, especially from Ger-
creation of a Jewish state!" many, must be increased, at
argued the foreign office, for all costs.
these reasons: 1) Britain
Another reason for delay-
would not give up Palestine ing partition came up in
because of its i strategic Weizmann's third conversa-
value; 2) Britain would con- tion with Scarpa. "I am afraid
tinue to support Zionism, be- of the Jews," Weizmann said.
cause the Arab nationalist "What is the Zionist corn-
movement wasliable to munity in Palestine? It is a
jeopardize her position in the Babel Tower of people from
region; 3) The future Jewish all corners of the earth, all
state would continue to be professions, all levels. It will
dependent on Britain; 4) A take more than a few years
Jewish state in Palestine to mold them into an organic
would be a new factor in the society. Turn the Zionist corn-
ly prevailing anti-Semitism. Mediterranean, upsetting the munity into a state? Internal
balance and competing eco- strife would soon finish it
On the one hand, he was sus- nomically
and politically with off!"
picious of the Jews' power in the Meriterranean nations.
Turning to documents deal-
the world; on the other,
On Nov. 24, 1933, Theodoli ing with the ties between the
fascist ideology compelled
him to suppress Zionist ac- wrote to the Italian under- Revisionists and the Fascist
tivity among Italy's Jews. secretary for foreign affairs regime, Dr. Minerbi said,
Thus, while Mussolini attack- "Further to the Prime Min- "This question is fraught
ed the Italian Zionists, he did ister's directives, I have tak- with controversy. Attempts
not always oppose Zionism in en actions in Geneva . . • had been made to discredit
To my surprise, may I in the Revisionists and label
his foreign policy.
In his first meeting with form you that both sides feel them pro-Fascist. Their ans-
Zionist leaders (Sokolow, that the only solution is a wer was that not only did
Weizmann) Mussolini expres- territorial solution: to sep- Jabotinsky never meet Mus-
sed interest in the possibili- arate the two elements." solini (as other Zionist lead-
But subsequent events ers — e.g. Sokolow, Gold-
ties for Italian immigration
to Palestine — in the face of proved Theodoli's estimates mann, Weizmann — did),
but he never even asked to.
America's having closed im• to be unfounded.
"The first statement is
migration to Italians.
Weizmann's reports of his true — Jabotinsky never met
In exchange for jobs in last meeting with Mussolini with Mussolini." But Dr. Min-
Palestine (particularly con- told of Mussolini's suggestion erbi has in his possession
struction work in Haifa port) to Weizmann that a "State
he promised vague political of Zion" be established in documents
support by Italy which as a Palestine. History teachers, wished to tell Mussolini that
member of the League of Mussolini told Weizmann,
Nations had fought for equal that it is better to have a
rights in the mandate over state with limited territory
Palestine. (this time he spoke of he
Even before his last meet- Jewish state as an area along
of Events in Detroit Jewish Community
Week of May 25-31
May 26-27—Weekend in Tel Aviv sponsored by Pioneer Worn-
en at Labor Zionist Institute. Art show 8:30 p.m.
Saturday; bazaar noon-10 p.m. Sunday. Admission.
May 27-2:30 p.m.—United Jewish Social Club Yizkor Serv-
ice for Holocaust victims at Cong. S h o m r e y
May 31-6:30 p.m.—Shaarey Zedek Hospital Dinner at Young
Israel of Oak-Woods. Michael Shashar, speaker.
Is a British Kosher Hotel
Competition for Grossinger's?
—Grossinger's has an Eng-
lish competitor. Green Park,
an exclusive hotel on the
British seafront, has an in-
ternational staff of 95, but
its cuisine is strictly kosher.
The 60-room hotel is owned
there was much to be done
to promote Italy's interests and managed by Reuben
in the East, and that the Mariott, a British hotelier
Revisionist Party was pre- who is unrelated to the
pared to act extensively on American Mariotts. His wife,
Italy's behalf in exchange for the former Sarah Richman,
a secret promise of support and her three unmarried sis-
for Zionism. ters help in the management
Jabotinsky himself (the of the hotel, but they look
document states) was ready to Mariott for supervision.
Sarah takes charge of the
to meet with Mussolini to put
functions at the hotel.
forth his plan.
Less than a year later, on Judy Richman does the ac-
Feb. 29, 1932, Leone Capri, counts, Ray is in charge of
head of the Revisionists' reservations and reception
Italian branch, sent a letter and Hannah oversees cater-
ing, the kitchen, the dining
(on official stationery with room and room service.
the letterhead "Zionist Re-
Green Park caters to the
visionist Union — Italian Di- British faction of the Jewish
vision") to the Italian For- high society. For Passover, a
eign Office referring to his
previous request to arrange guest must have "sterling
a meeting between Jabotin-
At Pesah we say no to
sky and Mussolini.
everybody—and then we sort
Additional papers on the out the people we'd like to
subject of the Revisionists have," Mariott said. He tele-
and fascism include a letter phones the fortunate chosen
dated Dec. 24, 1935 from a and asks them if they will be
Revisionist representative to coming for Passover.
the Italian consul in Jerusa-
The ballroom was changed
lem suggesting the establish- into a synagogue, and on
ment of a school for Jewish holidays a Mariott relative
flyers in Italy.
comes to the hotel to serve
Another letter, in 1936, as cantor for the services.
suggests enrolling Jewish Re- Less observant Jews who
visionists in Fascist move- head for a local casino in-
ment ideological schools. stead of attending Friday
Dr. Minerbi stresses that night services, have a special
one must not forget that other privilege upon their return:
Zionist leaders — Weizmann, the "shabbas entrance."
The shabbas entrance is a
Sokolow, Goldmann — had
sought ties with the fascists polite way of saying one
as well. "But apparently would rather be dropped off
certain Revisionists were also at a street corner instead of
attracted to fascism ideolo- in front of the hotel for the
purpose of not offending any
Mariott imp oses a TV
blackout on the Sabbath. The
only diversion allowed is
Scrabble. The players keep
score by opening a book to
the page that corresponds to
the players' score because
writing is not permitte(
On Saturday after sere:
guests can promenade along
the cliff top until noon.
At the end of the Sabbath,
Mariott signals the slowly-
growing-impatient guests. A
regular guest calls the wait-
ing game "the time when the
minutes are thq longest in
The Mariotts and the Rich-
mans have an extraordinary
memory for social detail and
personal -idiosyncracy. They
remember names, marriages,
divorces and personal pref-
The main dish at the table
d'hote is a choice of three
kinds of fish, but Mariott
said the guest may have all
three or pick from three
other types of fish. "What
we put on the menu is just a
suggestion," he said.
A regular feature for Sat-
urday night dinner is lox,
and the Sunday night special
is always borscht.
Meat dishes are reserved
for dinner and Saturday
lunch. An Italian orchestra
plays Italian, Hebrew and
Yiddish melodies but is dis-
continued on the Sabbath.
Morning tea is always
served in bed. Afternoon and
evening teas are always ac-
companied by cakes. Late
card players can always ex-
pect cheese, tea and biscuits,
while losers at kalooki, a
popular card game at the
hotel, can have a cup of hot
chocolate to put them to sleep.
PORTFOLIO OF THE PRESENT
Hebrew U. Board Approves
$100 Million Endowment Fund
JERUSALEM — The 35th of new, pollution-free sour-
annual meeting of the Heb- ces of energy and others.
rew University's board of
governors came to a close
The Muriel and Philip I.
with the board resolving to
work toward the establish- Berman National Medical
ment of a $100,000,000 endow- Library, rising at the Heb-
ment fund to be set up in rew U n i v e r s i t y-Hadassah
time for the university's 50th Medical School at Ein
Kerem, had its cornerstone
anniversary in 1975.
The proposal to establish officially laid in a ceremony.
Presently housed in over-
the fund was made by board
chairman Sam Rothberg and crowded premises, the medi-
unanimously approved by all cal library is hard put to ful-
fill the needs of the univer-
sity's expanding student body
A chair in enviromental and research establishment
studies has been established centered at Ein Kerem and,
at the Hebrew University by at the same time, to serve
Leon J. and Alyce K. Ell of other institutions in Israel.
Miami. The new National Medical
The new chair will further Library will come under the
the work of the Hebrew Uni- aegis of the Jewish National
versity in helping solve prob- and University Library, and
lems of urban and rural plan- will serve physicians and
ning, correct exploitation of medical researchers from all
natural resources, creation over Israel.
48—Friday, May 25, 1973
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
"Tour Vealeh"—"Tour and Settle" is the
name for a special effort undertaken by the
Aliyah and Absorption Department of the
Jewish Agency. The idea is to interest people
in making their visit to Israel a personal
exploration tour with a view of future set-
711` 5)14 17
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The other two ads reprinted here show the
signs of the time in the mirror of today's
Tuva, npl yrnIN ns
Honor your guests
nyv rn5y5 nynn 1) ,31
4,14, 2nvi rniDio ❑
1'2), 711 r1)771
268146 11T71.) 1111 D11.1•11U
and take home a real pizza.
tourist who displays /his Avalhol
inve.vtigale. ■ the possibility jen .
A li oh 10 Israel. Be friendly to hint! tour-
tvi who is pleased will 1%•a1(1 10 conic iu .settle.
Special-Feature Prepared by Tarbuth Foundation for the Advancement of Hebrew Culture