Monday, July 05, 2021

Julius Kahn, His 1919 Letter and the Irony

In a (Hebrew-language) tweet, I mentioned the 1919 letter of 299 Reform Rabbis to President Woodrow Wilson not to support the Zionism, the Balfour Declaration and a decision to reestablish the Jewish Nation Home.

I had previously included the episode in this previous blog post in 2017.

As some people asked my for sources, I simply upload here more material from the Hebrew Standard, The Sentinel and the New York Times as well as a book and an academic article. The episode is also mentioned here and here.

And just by the way, the  Julius Kahn Park in San Fransisco, so named in 1926, had it named changed.

members of the Chinese community...announced the effort to remove Kahn’s name — and his racist legacy — from a 92-year-old city playground.

Julius Kahn led the effort in 1902 to make permanent the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese laborers from entering the United States. Members of the Chinese community today say that decision, rooted in racism, tore families apart. The act was finally repealed in 1943.

In calling for the Chinese Exclusion Act’s passage, Kahn called Chinese people “morally the most debased people on the face of the Earth,” and portrayed them as criminals. The rhetoric echoes our current national struggles.

Irony of ironies.