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Looking Back May 5, 2006


New York City’s Lower East Side has been flooded with fliers that denounce the Forward. “We Galician Jews hereby protest the Forward for the insult they printed, saying that Galitzianers are shnorrers.” The flier, which is signed by “The Committee,” demands an apology. We would like to ask just who this “Committee” is. Who paid for the printing and distribution of such a flier? For all we know, it’s just a band of hooligans who don’t like the Forward. We know that the Galician quarter in New York loves our reporting from Galicia, and we have dozens of letters to prove it. The reality is that the current economic situation in Galicia is terrible, hence the reason for the large number of impoverished Jews who have no other way to make a living but to schnor.


The Yishuv in Palestine is up in arms after a British-appointed Jewish judge sentenced a 12-year-old boy to lashes after discovering that his parents overstayed their visa. The child’s parents, Yisrael and Zilba Ezra, arrived in Palestine a little more than three months ago from Kurdistan, on a visa with a three-month time limit. The Ezras were arrested after it was discovered that their papers were expired. Judge Zuckerman fined the couple a pound sterling and the cost of the trial. Because their child could not be fined monetarily, the judge suggested to the high commissioner that the boy receive lashes. The entire family will be deported.

In what could be labeled a pogrom, hundreds of Jewish peddlers were driven from Mexico City’s main market this week. Police attacked and arrested Jewish peddlers who set out their wares. After those peddlers were taken away, Mexican peddlers set up their own stands and celebrated. The arrests were made by government decree: Just last week, the government declared that foreigners who arrived in Mexico claiming to be laborers would not be permitted to involve themselves in sales or in trade. Those foreigners who did arrive as traders were forced to renew their licenses, but Jewish peddlers were not permitted to renew theirs. The country’s president, Ortiz Rubio, applauded numerous antisemitic speeches that were given at a mass meeting of Mexican peddlers.


“Guilty!” a cry rang out. “Guilty of murdering Yiddish writers! Guilty of murdering Yiddish culture! Guilty of holding 2 million Soviet Jews hostage and preventing them from contact with their brothers and sisters the world over!” These were the verdicts read in front of 1,500 delegates of different Jewish labor organizations at New York’s Biltmore Hotel, where a mock trial was held in which the Soviet Union was put in the dock. The delegates demanded that the Soviet Union free its Jews from the communist hell in which they are forced to live.


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