A Divergence of Opinion
To the Editor:
For many months your sensitive and valuable magazine has been marred by the untiring cynicism of Mr. Sidney Hertzberg. His adventures in Realpolitik have betrayed an anti-Zionism which has more than once verged on anti-Semitism. Through unrelenting disparagement of Palestinian Jewry, atomization of the world community of Israel, and friendly nods in the direction of Arab feudalism, he has become a symbolic spokesman of the last ditch stand of Jewish self-hatred. Only the bland facade of “facts” has been able to conceal his vicious crop of half-truth and innuendo.
But at last Hertzberg is in the open. In a review of Behind the Silken Curtain by Bartley C. Crum and Palestine Mission by Richard Crossman, the chips are down and the colors unfurled. Of course, he must needs prefer the British objectivity of Crossman to the Christian moralism of Crum. But, indeed, it is the Cross-man of the slur on Jewry, not Crossman the moderate Zionist, who wins his approval. Where Crossman is an authority on Palestine, he is merely criticized, but where the aristocratic outsider notes American Zionism adversely, and admits his own dislike of Jews, he is quoted in extenso. The angry Crum, crusading not without reason for justice miscarried, is passed off as a naive and melodramatic corporation lawyer.
And even the “reason” is here. “One tires,” sighs the weary reviewer, “of indignation.” Here in all its naked filth is the flotsam washed up by vagrant cosmopolitanism. Like some southern Bourbon making charts of Negro housing in Georgia, Hertzberg asks for more “understanding” and less “indignation.” Let him cheer the forgotten remnant of Europe with his call for “understanding.” Jews will prefer the harder, more creative road of action to this word-splitting and political merry-go-round. The justice of the Jewish claim to Palestine will not be refuted. The little noise of the Hertzbergs cannot drown the ancient thunder which still bids Jews not to keep silent, for the sake of Zion and for God’s world.
Arnold Jacob Wolf
Hebrew Union College
To the Editor:
I found your August issue especially interesting and on a consistently high level. Mr. David Bernstein’s report on “Europe’s Jews: Summer 1947” was easily the most thoughtful and balanced piece written on this subject anywhere, and Mr. Sidney Hertzberg’s book review of Behind the Silken Curtain by Bartley C. Crum and Palestine Mission by Richard Crossman, showed a keen critical insight into the merits and backgrounds of two popular books.
To the Editor:
. . . . I think that COMMENTARY is continuing its high standard of good writing on many interesting subjects. I always read its issues almost from cover to cover and whoever happens to be with me has to share at least some one article with me.
Frieda Schiff Warburg
White Plains, N. Y.