Jews against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948

By Thomas A. Kolsky | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Council's Wartime Anti-Zionist Campaign

The Opening Battles

By the end of August 1943, both sides were mobilized. The publication of the Council's platform during the American Jewish Conference sparked open political warfare between anti-Zionists and Zionists. With their objectives clearly defined, both sides embarked on campaigns to win support for their respective causes as well as to discredit their opponents. Several acrimonious encounters between protagonists of the opposing sides late in 1943 and early in 1944 reflected the bitterness of the conflict.

Rabbi Reichert's Yom Kippur eve sermon in San Francisco on 8 October 1943, asking his congregation to choose between the ZOA and the ACJ, evoked a harsh Zionist response. On 18 November 1943, in a speech delivered at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, Rabbi Heller defended the American Jewish Conference, rejected Reichert's arguments against the Zionist movement, and sharply attacked the Council. Heller said it was morally irresponsible for the ACJ to question the Zionists' loyalty to America. "Should there ever be a Commonwealth in Palestine," he asserted, "we should owe it no political allegiance. Zionists want it for those who are now there, and for those who will go there, God willing, after the war." Evoking the memory of Brandeis, he argued that Zionism and loyalty to America were compatible. He warned that the attempt to organize the ACJ in San Francisco was "a tragic error" that would hurt the Jewish community in Palestine. 1

On 26 November 1943, in Richmond, Virginia, Elmer Berger and Maurice Samuel hotly debated the Zionist issue. Samuel, who in the September issue of the American Mercury -- in a rejoinder to Rosenwald's June 1943 article in Life -- had dismissed the Council president's arguments as identical to those of the Jewish anti-Zionists of 1917, presented the standard Zionist arguments. In his reply to Samuel, Berger not only rejected the notions of Jewish nationality and homelessness but also argued that the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Jews against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 269

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?