"Jewish Rights" Clash with American Rights

By Henry Ford

(Reprinted from the 12 March 1921 Issue of the house journal of the Ford Motor Co, the Dearborn Independent and slightly edited by Raymond Bray to eliminate the numerous uses of "which" for "that" in the original.)

It is well that the public should understand that the present study of the Jewish Question in the United States is not based upon religious differences. The religious element does not enter except when it is injected by the Jews themselves. And it is injected in three ways: First, in their allegation that any study of the Jews is "religious persecution"; second, by their own records of what their activities in the United States consist of; third, by the impression that is very misleading if not corrected, that the Jews are the Old Testament people of the Old Testament religion that is so highly regarded in the Christian world. The Jews are not the Old Testament people, and the Old Testament, their Bible, can be found among them only with difficulty. They are a Talmudical people who have preferred the volumes of rabbinical speculation to the words of their ancient Prophets.

The note of religion does not enter this discussion until the Jews place it there. In this series of articles we have set aside every non-Jewish statement on this question, and have accepted only that which proceeds from recognized Jewish sources. It has been more than a surprise, in studying the proceedings of the New York Kehillah and the American Jewish Committee and their affiliated organizations, as represented by their activities throughout the country, to learn how large a part of these activities have a religious bearing, as being directly and combatively anti-Christian.

That is to say, when the Jews set forth in the public charters and constitutions of their organizations that their only purpose is to "protect Jewish rights,: and when the public asks what are these "Jewish rights: that need protection in this free country, the answer can be found only in the actions taken that the Jews take to secure that "protection." The actions interpret the words. And thus interpreted, "Jewish rights" seem to be summed up in the "right" to banish everything from their sight and hearing that even suggests Christianity or its Founder. It is just there, from the Jewish side, that religious intolerance makes its acceptance.

What follows in the course of this article is nothing less nor more than a group of citations from Jewish records covering a number of years. It is given here partly as an answer to the charge that this series of articles is "religious persecution," and partly to help interpret by official actions the official Jewish program in the United States.

An important factor is that previous to the formulation of the Kehillah and the Jewish Committee, this sort of attack in the rights of Americans was sporadic, but since 1906 it has increased in number and insistence. Heretofore it has gone unheeded by the public as a whole because of our general tolerance in this country, but from this time forth the country will possess information that what it has been tolerating is intolerance itself. Under cover of the ideal of Liberty we have given certain people liberty to attack liberty. We ought at least to know when that is being done.

Look rapidly down the years and see one phase of that attack. It is the attack on Christianity

That is rather a hard thing to set down in writing in this country, and it would not be set down did not the facts compel it. Jewish writers nowadays show a great deal of anxiety that non-Jews should follow certain Christian doctrines. "We gave you your Savior, and he told you to love your enemies; why don't you love us?" is the implication with which their statements usually come.

However, here are a few items from the record: They are recorded according to the Jewish calendar (our modern calendar is "Christian," and therefore taboo) but here both calendar dates shall be supplied.

5661 (A.D. 1899-1900) The Jews attempt to have the word "Christian" removed from the Bill of Rights of the State of Virginia.

5667 (A.D. 1906-1907) The Jews of Oklahoma petition the Constitutional Convention protesting that the acknowledgement of Christ in the new state constitution then being formulated would be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.

5668 (A.D. 1907-1908) Widespread demand by the Jews during this year for the complete secularization of public institutions of this country, as a part of the demand of the Jews for their constitutional rights - Supreme Court Justice Brewer's statement that this is a Christian country widely controverted by Jewish rabbis and publications.

5669 (A.D. 1908-1909) protests made to governor of Arkansas against ""Christological expressions: employed by him in his Thanksgiving Day proclamation, 1908 - Professor Gotthard Deutch protests against "Christological prayers" at the high school graduating exercises in Cincinnati.

5673 (A.D. 1912-1913) The alarming growth of the Jewish population in New York makes it necessary for business men advertising for clerks or secretaries, or housewives advertising for help, to specify where Jewish help was not desired, otherwise the flood of Jewish applicants was overwhelming. The expressions "Christians preferred," or "Jews please do not apply" are used. This year the New York Kehillah takes the matter in hand stating that "these advertisements indicate an alarming growth of discrimination against Jews and it is remarkable that many firms that cater to the trade of Jews display this form of prejudice."

5679 (A. D. 1918-1919) The American Jewish Committee took up the alleged discrimination against Jews by army contractors. Louis Marshall, president of the Committee, notified Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, that advertisements had appeared calling for carpenters to work in government camps, and that the advertisements required the applicants to be Christians. Secretary Baker replied that he had made an order prohibiting contractors from making this discrimination. (On the whole, this special form of advertisement may appear rather stupid: how many Jewish carpenters are there? Not enough to discriminate against. But there were doubtless other reasons.)

Provost Marshall Crowder, in charge of the Selective Draft, had issued an order to all medical examiners, under direction of the Surgeon General, stating "The foreign-born, especially Jews, are more apt to malinger than the native born," and Louis Marshall again telegraphed both the Provost Marshall and the Surgeon General demanding that "the further use of this form shall be at once discontinued; that every copy of it that has been issued should be recalled by telegram; and that proper explanations be made, so as to expunge from the archives of the United States the unwarranted stigma upon three millions of people."

It was President Wilson, however, who eventually ordered the excision of this paragraph.

The United States Shipping Board sent an advertisement to the New York Times calling for a file clerk and stating that a "Christian" (by which is always meant a non-Jew) was preferred. The ad was not published as written; it was changed so that it requested applicants to state their religion and nationality. This last form would seem to be far more objectionable than the other. In the first instance the employer states fairly what he wants. In the second instance the applicant is compelled to divulge certain facts about himself in utter ignorance of the employer's preference. In the first instance, only the two classes that can do business get together; in the second instance there is no clearness about the situation until much useless effort is undertaken. Why? Because the Kehillah demands it. And why does the Kehillah demand it? Because, while it is all right for a Jew to remember that he is a Jew, it is not all right for you to remember it.

So Louis Marshall got into action again with the Shipping Board, this time with certain drastic demands. Strangely enough, the protest was lodged through Bainbridge Colby, who was Woodrow Wilson's last Secretary of State. Mr. Marshall demanded: "Not because of any desire for inflicting punishment, but for the sake of example and the establishment of a necessary precedent, this offense should be followed by a dismissal from the public service of the offender, and the public should be informed of the reason."

Attention is particularly called to the tone that Mr. Marshall adopts when addressing high American officials in the name of the Jewish Committee. It is not to be duplicated in the addresses of any other representatives of other nationalities or faiths.

Unfortunately for Mr. Marshall's plan of punishment, the object of his wrath was found to be a woman, and she was not discharged, although the Jewish Committee got an apology from Charles M. Schwab.

The Federal Reserve Bank and Liberty Loan Committee also got in wrong when an advertisement was printed calling for a "Stenographer for the Liberty Loan Committee (Christian)." Protest was made to Benjamin Strong, governor of the Federal Reserve Bank and chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee, and the advertisement was withdrawn. But this was not enough. Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo was also drawn in to express his "reprobation for an unpatriotic act."

An officer in the Quartermaster's Department replied to a young woman who applied for the position of secretary to him that he preferred not to have Jews on his office staff. He was reprimanded upon the request of Mr. Marshall.

The Plattsburg Manual, published for officers in the United States officer's training camps, contained the statement that "the ideal officer is a Christian gentleman." Mr. Marshall at once made the standard protest against all "Christological manisfestations," and the Manual was changed to read, "the ideal officer is a courteous gentleman."

5680 (A.D. 1919-1920) In this year the Kehillah was so successful in its New York campaign that it was possible for a Jewish advertiser in New York to say that he wanted Jewish help, but it was not possible for a non-Jewish advertiser to state his non-Jewish preference. This is a sidelight both on Jewish reasonableness and Jewish power.

One gathers that a few people are still hugging the delusion that there is no Jewish Question in the United States. But another glance down the records will show the most prejudiced person that there is such a Question. If space permitted, the few details added below could be matched by a sufficient number to overflow all the pages of this paper.

5668 (A.D. 1907-1908) Jews agitate in many cities against Bible reading, Christmas celebrations or carols.

In Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Paul and New York the Jewish opposition to the carols is met with strong counter movements.

5669 (A.D. 1908-1909) Jewish Community at Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, defeats resolution providing daily Bible Reading in the schools - Jews attempting same compulsion in New Jersey are met with decision that pupils may absent themselves from devotional exercises - Jewish agitation in Louisiana stirs ministerial association to defend the right of the school to the Bible. - Local council of Jewish Women of Baltimore petitions school board to prohibit Christmas exercises - On demand of Edwin Wolf, Jewish member, Philadelphia school board prohibits Christmas exercises - Jews present bills asking that New York Hebrews be permitted to ply trades and businesses on Sunday. Interdenominational Ministers' Conference takes official action and Rev. Dr. David J. Burrell, of the Marble Collegiate Church, states that the attempts of the Jews to undermine the sanctity of Sunday are ethically unjustified.

5670 (A.D. 1909-1910) On demand of Jews the school board of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania votes to discontinue the recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the schools - In Kentucky State Senate, Jews defeat the Tichenor Bill making the Bible a book eligible for the schools.

5671 (A.D. 1910-1911) Jews oppose Bible reading and singing of hymns in Detroit schools - New York State Federation of Labor opposes Jewish Bill to exempt Jews from prosecution for violating Sunday laws. (The workingman knows that it means a 7-day week for the Goy!) - New York Kehillah does two contradictory things; favors bill to permit Jews to do all kinds of business on Sunday, and pledges itself to cooperate in the strict enforcement of the Sunday laws.

5672 (A.D. 1911-1912) Upon the urgence of two Jews the Hartford, Connecticut, school board votes on the question of abolishing all religious exercises in the schools. The motion is lost by 5 to 4. - Jewish pupils in Passaic, New Jersey, school petition the board of education to eliminate the Bible and all Christian songs from the school. - At the request of a rabbi, three principals of Roxbury, Massachusetts public schools agree to banish the Christmas tree and omit all references to the season in their schools - Jewish pupils of Plainfield, New Jersey petition the abolition of the Bible and Christian songs from the schools - The Council of the University Settlement, at the request of the New York Kehillah and the Federation of Rumanian Jews adopts this resolution: "That in holiday celebrations held annually by the Kindergarten Association at the University Settlement every feature of any sectarian character, including Christmas trees, Christmas programs and Christmas songs, and so on, shall be eliminated." - Philadelphia Kehillah demands that Jews be exempted from operation of the Sunday laws. - In the Outlook Dr. Lyman Abbott advises an inquiring schoolmaster that he is under no moral obligation to admit Jews to his private school. - A Jewish delegate to the Ohio Constitutional Convention suggests that the constitution be made to forbid religious references in the schools. - Jewish merchants of Paterson, New Jersey petition for exemption from the Sunday laws. - Board of education of Yonkers, New York denies Jewish request to forbid singing of Christian songs in the schools.

5673 (A.D. 1912-1913) Annual Convention Independent Order of B'nai B'rith at Nashville, Tennessee adopts resolution against reading the Bible and singing Christian songs in public schools. - Jews at Jackson, Tennessee seek an injunction to prevent the reading of the Bible in city schools. - Jews of Nashville, Tennessee petition board of education against Bible and Christian songs. - Richmond, Virginia school board restores Bible reading in the schools. -Bill introduced into Pennsylvania legislature providing for Bible reading in schools and the discharge of teachers omitting to do so. Jewish rabbis protest against bill. Jewish Kehillah of Philadelphia sends telegram to governor urging him to veto bill. Governor approves bill. - Chicago board of education, scene of much Jewish agitation, approves recommendation of subcommittee to remove Christmas from the list of official holidays in public schools. - In response to demands of Jews the Revere, Massachusetts school board consents to remove references to Jesus from Christmas exercises in public schools. This action, however, was rescinded at a special meeting - California Jews appeal before Senate Committee on Public Morals to protest against a proposed Sunday law. - At Pasaic, New Jersey, 29 Jewish members of the senior high school class walk out of class election, alleging "racial discrimination." - At Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the national convention of the United States War Veterans, the proposal to restore the Cross as part of the insignia of chaplain, was defeated by Jews.

5674 (A.D. 1913-1914) This year the energies of the Jewish powers were concentrated on the task of preventing the United States from changing the immigration laws in a manner to protect the country from undesirable aliens.

5675 (A.D. 1914-1915) Jewish rabbi demands of California state superintendent of public instruction that some verses appearing in school readers be eliminated. - New York Kehillah concerns itself with attempts to secure modification of the Sunday laws.

5676 (A.D. 1915-1916) This year occupied by opposition to various movements toward making the schools free to use the Bible, and in opposition to the Gary system. The Gary system receives a great deal of attention from the Jews this year.

5677 (A.D. 1916-1917) Jews are busy carrying out an immense campaign against the "literacy clause" of the immigration bill.

And so it goes on. The incidents quoted are typical, not occasional. They represent what is transpiring all the time in the United States as the Jews pursue their "rights." There is no interference whatever with Jewish ways and manners. The Jew may use his own calendar, keep his own days, observe his own form of worship, live in his own ghetto, exist on a dietary principle all his own, slaughter his cattle in a manner of which no one who knows about can approve - he can do all these things without molestation, without the slightest question of his right in them. But the non-Jew is now the "persecuted one." He must do everything the way the Jew wants it done; if not, he is "infringing on Jewish rights."

Americans are very sensitive about infringing on other people's rights. The Jews might have gone on for a long time had they not overplayed their hand. What the people are now coming to see is that it is American rights that have been interfered with, and the interference has been made with the assistance of their own broad-mindedness. The Jews' determination to wipe out of public life every sign of the predominant Christian character of the United States, is the only active form of religious intolerance in the country today.

But there is still another phase of the matter. Not content with the fullest liberty to follow their own faith in peace and quietness, in a country where none dares make them afraid, the Jews declare- we read it in their activities- that every sight and sound of anything Christian is an invasion of their peace and quietness, and so they stamp it out wherever they can reach it through political means. To what lengths this spirit may run is shown in the prophecies of the Talmud, and in the "reforms" undertaken by the Bolsheviki of Russia and Austria.

But even that is not all; not content with their own liberty, not content with the "secularization," which means the de-Christianization of all public institutions, the third step observable in Jewish activities is the actual exaltation of Judaism as a recognized and specially privileged system. The program is the now familiar one wherever the Jewish Program is found: first, establishment; second, destruction of all that is non-Jewish or anti-Jewish; third, exaltation of Judaism in all its phases.

Put the Lord's Prayer and certain Shakespeare plays out of the public schools; but put Jewish courts in the public buildings - that is the way it works. Secularization is preparatory to Judaization.

The New York Kehillah is an illustration of how it is all done, and the American Jewish Committee is an illustration of the type of men who do it.

Now for illustrations of the third phase of the program of "defending Jewish rights."

The year 5669 (A.D. 1908-1909) was marked by an effort to introduce the idea of the Jewish Sabbath into public business. Jews refused to sit as jurors in court, thus postponing cases. Boycotts were instituted in New York against merchants who opened on Saturday. That this campaign has borne fruit is known by all travelers in eastern cities who notice that even large department stores are closed on Saturday.

The year 5670 (A.D. 1909-1910) was dedicated apparently to the work of introducing the idea of Jewish national holidays into public life. This question lately rose in New York in a threatening way, but was withdrawn just before the breaking point. Only temporarily withdrawn, however, The feint revealed the identity and number of those who are still on guard against the complete Judaization of their city - Jewish members of stock exchanges endeavored to have these institutions recognize Yom Kippur by closing; In Cleveland this was done. - The Council of Jewish Women appealed to the Civil Service Commission at Washington for recognition of Jewish holidays. - In Newark, New Jersey, the rabbis asked the night schools to discontinue Friday evening sessions, because the Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday.

in 1911 an attempt to have Hebrew officially recognized was frustrated by Supreme Court Judge Goff who refused incorporation of "Agudath Achim Kahal Adath Jeshurun" on the ground that the title should be in English. - Chicago Jews have election date changed because the official date fell on the last day of the Passover.

In 1912-1913 a number of special recognitions of the Saturday Sabbath were obtained, including Jer