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November 30, 2007

100 Years Ago in the forward

In last week’s Forward, a letter from Cyrus Sulzburger was printed. In it, he complained that we had wrongly editorialized against the Jewish Territorialist Organization plan to settle Jewish immigrants in the south and west of the country, because conditions for working people were so bad. This week, the Forward received a letter from one Moyshe Opatovsky, an immigrant who was sent to work in a Colorado lumber camp. In his letter, Opatovsky wrote of the promises he heard in the JTA office in Warsaw, that he and the 75 other workers traveling to the American West would be well fed and well treated, and how, in reality, they were given food that wasn’t fit for animals and that they were beaten on the ship and by Negro workers once they were in Colorado. They were forced to work 12-hour days cutting wood in the forests and received almost nothing for their work. The only meat they were given to eat was pork. Opatovsky was fortunate enough to escape with another worker to Lincoln, Neb., where a Jewish organization helped the two travel to Chicago and then on to New York.

75 Years Ago in the forward

In Lemberg, Poland, 46 Jews were wounded in an antisemitic riot. The riot occurred after a group of drunken students from Lemberg University was returning from a party and got into a dispute with three Jewish underworld types. This dispute led to fisticuffs and resulted in one Pole murdered and two sent to the hospital. As the word spread that Jews had murdered one Pole and wounded more, Poles began to fill the streets in search of Jewish blood; they attacked any Jew they could find. In the end, many on both sides suffered wounds from the all-day battle.

50 Years Ago in the forward

Although Israelis like to smoke as much as the next guy, they are unable to buy brands like Lucky Strike or Pall Mall locally. Although these are American brands, the Arab boycott on companies that trade with Israel doesn’t allow Israelis to buy these cigarettes. The American company that makes the cigarettes, Brown & Williamson of Louisville, Ky., is actually owned by British American Tobacco, which is based in England. After inquiries to both companies, no clear answer was given as to why the brands can’t be sold in Israel. Because these brands are available in a large number of other countries, it is assumed that the boycott is responsible.


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