who are willing to make whatever sacrifice may be needed to preserve Jewish religion, but are not so particular about the traditional customs of Jewish life; third, those who have no very strong convictions either way, but are opportunists, and will always swerve in the direction of success; and, fourth, those who believe and preach that the only solution of the differences between the Jew and other men is the complete absorption of the Jewish race by the other races. The fourth is the weakest, most unpopular and least to be considered of all the parties.
With the Gentiles there are only two classes, as far as this special question is concerned: those who dislike Jews, they cannot tell why; and those who are disposed to fairness, in spite of the accident of congeniality or uncongeniality, and who recognize the Jewish Question as, at least, a problem. Both these attitudes, whenever they become apparent, are subject to the charge of “anti-Semitism.”
Anti-Semitism is a term which is bandied about too loosely. It ought to be reserved to denote the real anti-Jewish temper of violent prejudice. If used indiscriminately about all who attempt to discuss Jewish characteristics and Jewish world-power, it may in time arrive at the estate of respectability and honor.
Anti-Semitism in almost every form is bound to come to the United States; indeed, it may be said that it is here now, and has been here for a long time. If it be mislabeled now, the United States will not be able to work within it the transformation which has been effected upon so many other ideas that have arrived here in their journey round the globe.
It may be a serviceable clearing of the ground to define what anti-Semitism is not:
1. It is not recognition of the Jewish Question. If it were, then it could be set down that the bulk of the American people are destined to become anti-Semites, for they are beginning to recognize the existence of a Jewish Question and will steadily do so in increasing numbers as the Question is forced upon them from the various practical angles of their lives.