Joseph A.] [Wilner.

Why! Woodrow Wilson should receive the undivided support of every Jew in America online

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Woodrow Wilson Should Re-
^^ ceive the Undivided Support

/ /l ^(j/YxJl - n\J''t' ^^ Every Jew in America. . . .

'J<J^ u-

A Symposium of Accomplishments,
Appointments, Friendly Acts Per-
formed and Humane Treatment Ad-
vocated for the Jewish Race Here
and Abroad by the Wilson Admin-

. ant

President of the United States.


Having a competency in a business way, the inspiration of
this volume does not come from the alluring promises of any
political party, as I am not courting favors from either ; but
it emanates from a keen sense of gratuity for what has been
accomplished, and I submit this acknowledgment without
hope of fee or reward save the consciousness that I am aiding
and assisting my brethren.

In presenting this to my people I do so with the hope that
the many reasons herein advanced why we should support
the Wilson Administration in the coming campaign may
reach the conscience of those who love and live for the
emancipation of the Hebrew race.

Of all nations in ancient times, the Hebrews approached
the nearest to the possession of the eternal principles upon
which liberty rests. They were made acquainted with the
existence and the omnipotence of the Creator. From Him
they received the law to be holy and perfect. They rose with
David to the heights of penitence and prayer; they lifted
their voices with Isaiah in preparing the glory of the Lord ;
they shouted praises with Daniel in foretelling the endless
majesty of His Kingdom. At this latter date, buffeted upon
the billows of contemptuous commercialism, yet in fulfill-
ment of the prophecy, they arise equal to the occasion and
accept Woodrow Wilson as the Moses to lead the children of
Israel from 'neath the yoke of bondage and oppression still
bourne in European countries.

With absolute faith, fidelity and love for the man justified
by a predicated past, I respectfuly dedicate to him this



Compiled by

Washington, D. C.



"Take heed to thyself lest thou make a covenant with the
inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a
snare in the midst of thee" — forewarns the Hebrew law.

The ritual of time-honored customs and obedience to the
divine precepts, from which source came the law, presents
to the American people the commendable fact that there is
no "Jewish Vote."

The Jews are strictly nonpartisan. Like all intelligent
citizens they use decided discretion in selecting their man
and vote for the one they believe will serve the country best.
Notwithstanding the claims of some petty politicians of a
partisan Jewish vote, it is an absolute fact that the Jews
stand steadfast, will give their support and always remember
their friends more so than any other race or creed, particu-
larly those who have rendered unusual aid and defended
their cause.

The famous French attorney, Labori, who defended the
cause of the martyred Dreyfus, will forever remain immor-
tal. Count Tolstoi and Gorky, occasional defenders of Jewry
in Russia, are recalled with admiration and gratitude. The
illustrious Pontifs, Pope Innocent II, Alexander III and Clem-
ent VI, who interceded for the Jews throughout their Pontifi-
cal careers in Spain, Germany and France, and defended and
protected them during the darks days of barbarity, preju-
dice and persecution, covering a period of years — their
benevolent attitude toward the members of the Jewish faith
will always .live in the hearts of the Hebrew race with loving

Likewise the name of Woodrow Wilson will forever be a
household word with every Jew throughout the entire world
as the emancipator of the children of Israel. This assertion
is not a mere prediction or a prophecy — it is based on actual
deeds performed in the recent past. More was done in the
past three-and-a-half years for distressed Jews abroad by
President Wilson and his administration than all the relief
combined during the prior sixteen years, which is the object
of this pamphlet : to familiarize the Jews with the assistance


rendered to their oppressed brethren wherever possible by
the man now before you, of whom it is your sacred duty to
continue him in the place where his scholarly attainments
and gentlemanly principles will redound to your pride and
prestige in the days to come.

Much more is yet to be done. The opportune time for
greater accomplishments are at hand. The 1916 Democratic
Platform proclaims: "At the earliest practical opportunity
our country should strive earnestly for peace among the
warring nations of Europe and seek to bring about the adop-
tion of the fundamental principles of justice and humanity,
that all men shall enjoy equality of right and freedom from
discrimination in the land wherein they dwell."

Our brethren are subjected to cruel oppression and hor-
rible persecution in some of the belligerent countries, par-
ticularly Russia, where their sufferings have reached the cli-
max during the present war; consequently at the close of
the war, when Peace Treaties are to be signed, where can we
find a more courageous man, a more determined man, a man
of deep scholarship and reserved force, a lover of peace, jus-
tice and humanity to intercede in behalf of our cause and
solicitate with the powers for the emancipation of the Jews
from their plight and secure them equal rights, than our
President and President-to-be, Woodrow Wilson — loyal to
his pledges, the redeemer of his party's promises, the Prince
of Peace, the Friend of the Jews.


July 3rd, 1912, the Democratic National Convention at
Baltimore adopted a plank, as follows: "We commend the
patriotism of the Democratic members of the Senate and
House of Representatives which compelled the termination
of the Russian treaty of 1832, and we pledge ourselves anew
to preserve the sacred rights of American citizenship at
home and abroad.

"No treaty should receive the sanction of our Government
which does not recognize the equality of all our citizens irre-
spective of race or creed, and which does not expressly guar-
antee the fundamental right of expatriation. The constitu-
tional right of American citizens should protect them on our
borders and go with them throughout the world, and every
American citizen residing or having property in any foreign
country, is entitled to and must be given the full protection
of the United States Government both for himself and his

Has the Administration lived up to this plank? It has.
In spite of the powerful influence brought to bear by large
commercial interests and a subsidized press here and abroad
which urged that steps be taken for the negotiation of a new
treaty with Russia, without paying any heed to the Passport
question, giving as their reason for such stand the resump-
tion of a large export trade. President Wilson remained firm
and loyal to his pledge.

It has been and will be his purpose to see that no treaty
shall be ratified by the United States with any foreign coun-
try unless discrimination against the Jews cease.



The war in the Balkan peninsular, which began in Octo-
ber, 1912, and concluded in August, 1913, has resulted in
the cession of an immense region formerly belonging to the
Ottoman Empire, to the Balkan States. In this conquered
territory over a quarter of a million Jews, exiled by Spain in
1492, had been residing for more than 400 years, reasonably
free from harsh discrimination.

The American Jewry feeling most deeply concerned over
the lot which may have befell these Turkish citizens un-
der their new sovereigns, being mindful that the Greek
Orthodox Church, which is so notoriously hostile to the Jews
in Russia, is practically the predominating church in the
Balkan States, endeavored to safeguard their positions by
having representatives of the American Jewish Committee
appeal to President Wilson to use his good offices in an effort
to secure the insertion of a clause in the Treaty of London
and Bucharest to insure full civil and religious liberty to all
inhabitants, without distinction as to race or creed.

President Wilson became deeply interested in the matter
and promised to give the subject his earnest consideration
and act at the opportune time. Accordingly, the State De-
partment instructed the American Ambassador at London
to express to the British foreign office, the head of which was
the chairman of the Conference of Ambassadors of the Euro
pean powers, to wit: That the United States would regard
with satisfaction any agreement that might ultimately be
concluded in regard to the settlement of the affairs in the
Balkan Peninsular of a provision assuring the full enjoy-
ment of religious and civil liberty to the inhabitants of the
territory in question without distinction of race or creed.

The American Ministers accredited to Greece and Monte-
negro, and to Bulgaria, Servia and Roumania was also in-
structed to make similar requests of their governments as
well as the delegates of all countries participating in the
Peace Conference at Bucharest — to include in the Treaty of

Peace a special provision guaranteeing to all inhabitants of
the annexed territory full rights of citizenship without dis-
tinction to race or creed.

The earnest efforts of President Wilson is most notewor-
thy and will forever remain in the hearts and history of the
Jews as having been successful in safeguarding the liberty
of 250,000 of their people in according them the full enjoy-
mentof civil rights and religious freedom.


TEST, JANUARY 28, 1915.

Extracts from a letter written by President Wilson (then
Governor Wilson) to Dr. Cyrus Adler, showing his attitude
towards immigration:

"This country can afford to use and should give oppor-
tunity to every man and woman of sound morals, sound
mind, and sound body who comes in good faith to spend his
or her energies in our life, and I should certainly be inclined,
so far as I am concerned, to scrutinize very jealously any
restrictions that would limit that principle in practice."

Below we print the literacy clause of the Burnett Bill,
restricting immigration, which was vetoed by President
Wilson :

"The following persons shall also be excluded from ad-
mission thereto : All aliens over sixteen years of age, physi-
cally capable of reading, who can not read the English lan-
guage, or some other language or dialect, including Hebrew
or Yiddish : Provided, That any admissible alien or any alien
heretofore or hereafter legally admitted, or any citizen of
the United States, may bring in or send for his father or
grandfather, over fifty-five years of age; his wife, his
mother, his grandmother, or his unmarried or widowed
daughter, if otherwise admissible, whether such relative can
read or not ; and such relative shall be permitted to enter.
That for the purpose of ascertaining whether aliens can
read, the immigrant inspectors shall furnish with slips, of
uniform size, prepared under the direction of the Secretary
of Labor, each containing not less than thirty nor more than
forty words in ordinary use, printed in plainly legible type in
some one of the various languages and dialects of immi-
grants. Each alien may designate the particular language
or dialects in which he desires the examination to be made,
and shall be required to read the words printed on the slip
in such language or dialect."

In vetoing this measure. President Wilson said :

"Restrictions like these, adopted earlier in our history as
a Nation, would very materially have altered the course and


cooled the humane ardors of our politics. The right of
political asylum has brought to this country many a man of
noble character and elevated purpose who was marked as an
outlaw in his own less fortunate land, and who has yet
become an ornament to our citizenship and to our public
councils. The children and compatriots of these illustrious
Americans must stand amazed to see the representatives of
their Nation now resolved, in the fullness of our own Na-
tional strength and at the maturity of our great institutions
to risk turning such men back from our shores without test
of quality or purpose. It is difficult for me to believe that
the full effect of this feature of the bill was realized when it
was framed and adopted, and it is impossible for me to assent
to it in the form which it is here cast.

"The literacy test and the tests that accompany it consti-
tute an even more radical change in the policy of the Nation.
Hitherto we have generously kept our doors open to all who
were not unfitted by reason of disease or incapacity for self-
support or such personal records and antecedents as were
likely to make them a menace to our peace and order or to
the wholesome and essential relationships of life. In this
bill it is proposed to turn away from tests of character and
of quality and impose tests which exclude and restrict, for
the new tests here embodied are not tests of quality or of
character or of personal fitness, but tests of opportunity.
Those who come to seek opportunity are not to be admitted
unless they have already had one of the chief of the oppor-
tunities they seek, the opportunity of education. The object
of such provisions is restriction, not selection."

President Wilson vetoing the bill was an act for which
the Jews in particular should forever feel grateful. Had
this bill become a law it would have worked considerable
hardship upon the immigrant and would have debarred a
great number of literates in spite of the fact that 85 per
cent of the Jewish immigrants can read Hebrew or Yiddish.
Fifteen per cent of the literate class at least, being agitated
and in an excitable state of mind, would have become con-
fused and fail to pass the test, the penalty for which would
have been deportation.

As a rule the Jewish immigrant, fleeing from a country


where he is constantly aggrandized by carpet-baggers and
freebooters from the highest government official down to
the petty police officer, with thoughts of loved ones behind,
in most cases destitute, suffer a mental agony that wholly
unfits one for an educational test of any description, to say
nothing of the horrors experienced crossing the border
(especially from Russia) which fills one with despair.

It is hardly fair to subject an immigrant to a rigid exam-
ination, unless he is in a composed state of mind, cool and

The Jewish immigrant upon reaching our shores, after
experiencing the rudeness of steamship agents, lingering in
port for weeks prior to the ship's departure, suffering the
hardships of a steerage, cognizant of the possibility of be-
ing refused to land, doubtful as to his relatives or friends'
ability to meet him, reach the immigration inspector in a
state of mental aberration that completely unfits him for any
test whatever, though he may be everything desired of one
agreeable as a citizen. Such conditions are responsible for
at least 15 per cent of our brethren failing to satisfy our
immigrations officers, and consequently deported, while in
every other respect they are desirable.

This document is of further importance to the Jews be-
cause of the contents therein, and the reasons cited by the
President for vetoing the bill are facts concerning and
alluding to the Jews only, wherein he said:

"For the new tests here embodied are not tests of quality
or of character or of personal fitness, but tests of oppor-
tunity. Those who come to seek opportunity are not to be
admitted unless they have already had one of the chief op-
portunities they seek — the opportunity of education," which
is aimed with reference to the Jews who are denied the right
of education in some of the lands from whence they come.

Secretary of State.



(Data furnished by the State Department, upon request, June 2G, 1910.)

Among the first to suffer from the gigantic struggle now
raging in Europe were the Jews of Palestine. The greater
part of them being dependent upon the benevolence of their
co-religionists in Europe for their maintenance. With the
outbreak of the war, not only was their source of supply
simultaneously cut off, thus affecting their economical con-
dition, but the Turkish program adopted for the consolida-
tion of the Empire included a mandate that all Jewish sub-
jects of the countries at war with Turkey must, within a
short specified period, be deported or expelled.

The expulsion began in October, 1914, by debarring and
exiling three hundred and fifty unfortunate Jewish families,
compelling them to return to Russia. The Colonists, most
of whom were not Turkish subjects, have suffered from vio-
lence, pillage and incendiarism, leaving entire communities
in misery, famine and destitution.

A great calamity to befall Israel in the land of their
fathers ! The cry of distress reached the ears of the Amer-
ican Ambassador, the great philanthropist, Henry Morgen-
thau, and like Queen Esther who hurried to the Persian
King, risking her life in order to save her people from de-
struction, he hastened and appeared before the Turkish
Ministry and demanded in the name of his Government that
the atrocities committed upon the defenseless Jews be
stopped, and further pleaded with the Government not to
expel Russian Jews, but, instead, allow them to become
Turkish citizens.

Accordingly, on November 26, 1914, the State Department
at Washington received assurances from the Turkish Gov-
ernment that it would not expel the alien Jews from her
domain, but would permit them to become naturalized Turk-
ish citizens, and that the officials in charge of the territory
where outrages occurred had been punished by removal.

The State Department informed the American Jewish
Relief Committee that 6,000 foreign Jewish refugees were
being provided with transportation to Alexandria, Egypt,


on the U. S. S. Tennessee, and that large numbers are ex-
pected, all of whom are in destitute condition, and that funds
for their relief were urgently needed. The American Am-
bassador, Henry Morgenthau, cabled to the Committee that
$50,000 be forwarded to him immediately for the relief of
starving Jews of Palestine.

During January and the early part of February, 1915,
the U. S, S. Tennessee was busily engaged in transporting
Jews from Jaffa to Alexandria. On February 18, 1915,
Captain Benton C. Decker, commanding officer of the Ten-
nessee, reported (in part) as follows, relative to the landing
of the refugees at Alexandria and the reception given lo
the Tennessee at that place :

"1. On arriving inside the breakwater at Alexandria on
February 17th, it was apparent that there was on foot an
effort to render the ship honors by the Jewish community.
Numbers of Jews were on the breakwater and cheered the
ship as she passed, also a number of boats were filled with
Jews and officials having duty in connection with the refu-
gees. A moving picture machine was in operation on one of
the boats taking a picture of the ship as she moved through
the water.

"2. Upon securing to the buoy, Mr. Hornblower, repre-
senting the Interior Department, came on board with the
committee and stated that he wanted to take pictures of the
refugees and their disembarkment and other objects that
would be of interest to the people here and in other parts
of the world, showing what the Tennessee was doing. This
privilege I was glad to accord Mr. Hornblower, with the
understanding, however, that a copy of all pictures should be
given the ship for the Navy Department, which he readily
consented to do.

"3. The Jewish Relief Committee came on board and
their representative stated that they desired to present to
the ship, for the officers and crew, a testimonial of their
appreciation of the work done in transporting the refugees.
On account of the limited time that they had to prepare this
testimonial, and the fact that the ship might never return
to Alexandria, they requested that I give them an oppor-
tunity during the evening to present it formally to the ship.
About ten members of the Committee came on board about

Secretary of the Navy.


8 o'clock and were assembled in the Admiral's cabin with
such officers as were on board. It was my intention to have
received it on the quarter-deck in the presence of the officers
and crew, but on account of the lateness of the hour the
ceremony had to take place in the cabin.

"4. The testimonial was in the shape of a silver tablet
of about 5V2 by 8y2 inches, mounted on a black marble slab
13 by 17 inches. The chief Rabbi of Alexandria presented
the tablet with a few remarks in French as to the gratitude
of the refugees and the Committee for the work that the
Tennessee had done, and that the remembrance of it would
long remain in the minds of the Jewish people, both by
those who had been benefited by the work and by the Jews
as a race. To this I replied, in the name of the officers and
crew of the ship, that the acceptance of the testimonial was
a great pleasure ; that the work done by the Tennessee was
such that we could not take any of their gratitude to our-
selves personally, though it undoubtedly meant much extra
work and trouble for the officers and crew. I wanted all the
refugees to know, and the Jewish Committee to inform them,
that their gratitude was due to the people of the United
States, who stood, in this time of great turmoil and upheaval,
for the interests of humanity. That, in our work, we had
been constrained by the knowledge that the people of the
United States desired such efforts made by their repre-
sentatives, wherever they might be. Later I had the pleas-
ure of showing the chief Rabbi about the ship and pointing
out to him the organization that we had followed in assign-
ing the refugees to quarters on the ship, and he expressed
himself as very much pleased with the manner in which
they had been cared for and the kindness of their treatment.

"5. During the evening the French Consul called on
board officially, to express his thanks for the treatment that
had been accorded French citizens, and to inform me that
he had reported the work done by the Tennessee to his gov-
ernment and that he had been directed to extend to me the
thanks of the French Government for the work done by the
Tennessee. I informed him that I would report the matter
to the Government, and I knew that the Government would
be pleased at the recognition of the work done by the Ten-
nessee. He remained on board and was present at the pre-
sentation of the testimonial by the Committee."


During the summer of 1915, a serious question arose as
to what could be done for a large number of Jewish refugees
who had gathered at or near the various Turkish seaports,
as the Egyptian Government refused to permit any more
to be brought to Egypt and the Turkish Government threat-
ened to have these Jews placed in internment camps unless
they left Turkey immediately. Finally, arrangements were
effected by the American Ambassador at Constantinople,
Henry Morgenthau, under which these refugees were per-
mitted to go to Crete, and on August 26th the work of
transporting these people was begun by the U. S. S. Chester
which sailed from Beirut on that date. The Chester was
assisted in this work by the U. S. S. Des Moines and by the
middle of September all the remaining Jewish refugees had
been transported to Crete.

Relief Ships to Palestine.

On November 6, 1914, Mr. Glazebrook, the American
Consul at Jerusalem, cabled to the Department, through the
American Embassy at Constantinople, that the situation
arising out of the war prevented remittances being sent
from Europe for the Jews in Palestine, that the extent of the
suffering among the poorer members of this race was with-
out precedent, and that even the prosperous farmers and
planters were destitute because of the lack of an outlet for
their products. The Consul concluded with an appeal to the
citizens of the United States to render all possible assistance

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Online LibraryJoseph A.] [WilnerWhy! Woodrow Wilson should receive the undivided support of every Jew in America → online text (page 1 of 3)