Jews as New York Magistrates See Them

The International Jew, by Henry Ford


THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT has been frequently importuned to make exposure of the Jewish crime record in New York and other cities, but up to this time has chosen not to do so. The material is mountainous and the facts are damaging. But THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT will continue to assume that the majority of the Jewish people do not approve of criminal acts, even against non-Jewish life and property. This paper prefers to confine its attention to those matters which are plainly within the purpose and approval of the Jewish leaders. There is a decided criminal element in the Jewish Question and no small part of the criminality flows directly or indirectly from the attitude of the Jewish leaders, but the Great Crime is the introduction of corruptive and anti-American ideas into American life, and Jewish leaders cannot escape responsibility for that.

The magistrates of every city with a considerable Jewish population know the facts. In practically every state in the Union there is today a celebrated case where some Jew, through money or influence, is playing horse with American law. It is locally known, but not generally, except in two or three instances. The local press — deriving 80 per cent of its support from Jewish advertising — is usually very discreet, preferring to leave the matter to the courts. Strange things occur in the courts, such as judges being taken into very lucrative partnerships after giving decisions favorable to wealthy Jewish defendants.

The following extracts of opinions given THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT by magistrates of the City of New York are offered in the hope that the Jewish leaders will read and digest them, and see, if possible, what a hopeless game they are playing. The Jewish Question of today is turning about in the direction of the Jewish Question of tomorrow — which is, When are the Jewish Leaders going to admit that their game is a losing one? They see it now; but they must admit it and quit it. And it will not be surprising if a mass movement of the Jewish people compels them to do so.

"The Jewish race," said one of the magistrates, "seems deliberately blind to its own faults. Some twelve years ago General Bingham, then police commissioner, found it necessary to call attention to certain criminal tendencies of the East Side Jews. His criticisms were bitterly resented. I venture to say, however, that there are few men who preside in our inferior courts who will not readily indorse those views of General Bingham in their application to the conditions of the present day."

(It was because of General Bingham's criticisms that the New York Kehillah was increased in power — not to clean up conditions, but to shut up the critics.)

"The different groups, racial or religious, of New York City, have always each supported institutions for the care of its fallen women. We have the Magdalen Home, the Protestant Episcopal House of Mercy and the Catholic House of the Good Shepherd. The Jews alone are the exception. Yet it does not require more than short experience in the Magistrates' Courts to convince one that more than two thirds of the fallen women in the metropolis are of the Jewish race. This fact and the urgent necessity of caring for these unfortunates was laid before some prominent Jews. They gave the assurance that ample provision was being made by a group of wealthy Jewish families to endow an institution of the kind. However, nothing was done or even contemplated. The Jews absolutely ignored the issue. And today we magistrates are compelled, as usual, to commit such Jewish women to the Protestant Episcopal and Catholic homes.

"This is indicative of a strange refusal to look facts in the face, if the facts reflect on the Jews. A lawyer, once highly prominent in Jewish circles here, became involved in a blackmailing scandal with a notorious member of his race known as the 'Wolf of Wall Street.' The 'Wolf' was convicted and sent to a Federal prison. The lawyer was scathingly denounced by the Appellate Court and only escaped disbarment because of his age. The Jews of New York deliberately refused to condemn this man's nefarious acts. Only the other day they 'honored' him by dedicating a library to him in one of their charitable institutions, and hanging his portrait on the wall. An action such as this smacks a great deal of an absence of moral sense."

One magistrate prefaced his remarks by stating that he had no desire to dwell upon any special misdemeanors or crimes that might be considered peculiar to the Jewish race. But he pointed out that a more serious situation than one caused by sporadic criminality had been created by reason of a persistent class movement among the Jews.

"Any law," he said, "which appears to be obnoxious to the self-centered Jewish element, is deliberately ignored by them, or opposed with a stubborn resistance which neither time nor education seems to mitigate. The result is that our Magistrates' Courts and the Court of Special Sessions are crowded with cases of violations of that character. The newly arrived Jews especially are apparently determined to subordinate this country to their own desires, rather than to accommodate themselves to the conditions here as other races do.

"The most blatant example of this attitude is in connection with the law relating to Sabbath breaking. Our Penal Law is plain and specific on this matter. It states:

The first day of the week, being by general consent set apart for rest and religious uses, the law prohibits the doing on that day of certain acts hereinafter specified, which are serious interruptions of the repose and religious liberty of the community.

A violation of the foregoing prohibition is Sabbath breaking.

"Sabbath breaking is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine or by imprisonment in a county jail, and where the offense is aggravated by a previous conviction, the fine and jail sentence are doubled. Yet the various acts specified as Sabbath breaking are violated openly and with insolent impunity by thousands of Jews every Sunday in New York. Their race has much to say about its own religious liberty, but it thinks nothing of outraging the religious liberties of other races. If any serious attempt were made to enforce this statute in the Jewish districts, the police would be compelled to arrest the larger part of the population.

"These Jews are determined to trade and traffic and to keep their factories and workshops going on the American Sunday. They impose their will upon the greatest city in the United States, through silent resistance and the sheer force of numbers.

"The Jews of whom I am speaking are mostly from Eastern Europe — Russia, Galicia, and Poland. They are of the first or second generation of immigrants. They generally speak and read only the Yiddish tongue. But it is a deplorable fact that Americanized Jews of prominence, openly encourage these ignorant people in their defiance of the law. Whenever Yiddish tradesmen and manufacturers are arrested for Sabbath breaking, hosts of Jewish lawyers spring to their defense, and powerful Jewish societies intervene to protect them. The Jewish Sabbath Alliance, with offices on Fifth Avenue, conducts a constant propaganda among the ghetto people, urging them to insist upon their alleged legal right to pursue their ordinary vocations on the American Sunday. And it provides them with legal counsel with they get into trouble.

"Jewish lawyers set up the specious claim that these people from Eastern Europe observe another day as 'holy time,' and therefore have a right to labor and traffic on Sunday. Some of the Jewish magistrates encourage this contention by discharging such lawbreakers. But there is no question of religion in these Sunday violations. It is merely money greed. These Jews are so hot after money that they are afraid of losing some if they close their shops on Sunday. This is easily proved by the fact that when the Jews find it to their interest or convenience to observe Sunday closing, they do it by agreement among themselves.

"This was demonstrated during last summer. In Rivington and Delancey streets, and in fact throughout the ghetto, there were signs posted in the shop windows of Jews, authorized by an organization calling itself 'The Independent Ladies' Garment Merchants Association, Incorporated.' The notices read:

This Store will be
closed on
JUNE 26th until the end of AUGUST
The Independent Ladies' Garment
Merchants Association, Incorported.

"In other words these shopkeepers were spending week-ends at the Yiddish summer resorts. They didn't want any of their competitors to steal the trade of customers during their absence. So they all agreed to close up. The question of religion did not enter their minds.

"Jews of the more intelligent and well-to-do class are also constantly attempting to break the Sabbath laws in sections of the city where their race does not predominate. Non-Jewish merchants have had to organize associations to protect themselves against this unfair competition. If a non-Jew is arrested for Sabbath-breaking, he suffers. The Jewish Sabbath-breaker goes free. This gives the Jew an unfair advantage.

"Not long ago there was a large advertising sign posted conspicuously on the platforms of the elevated railroad. A Jewish wholesale house on Fifth Avenue notified buyers that its salesrooms would be open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday afternoon. I thought this was going a little too far, and I called the attention of several of the protective associations to the methods practiced by this firm. The signs soon afterward disappeared. However, such tactics are continually being attempted by Jewish merchants and manufacturers in the Bronx and on the West Side of the city, in an effort to gain a business advantage over their non-Jewish competitors.

"But there are means of putting an immediate and effective stop to all this rascality. This would be by enforcing Section 2149 of the Penal Law, which provides for the forfeiture of commodities exposed for sale on Sunday. The section reads:

In addition to the penalty imposed by section 2142, all property and commodities exposed for sale on the first day of the week in violation of the provisions of this article shall be forfeited. Upon conviction of the offender by the justice of the peace of a county, or by a police justice or magistrate, such officer shall issue a warrant for the seizure of the forfeited articles, which when seized shall be sold on one day's notice, and the proceeds paid to the overseers of the poor, for the use of the poor of the town or city.

"This statute is not enforced. But I believe we shall yet be compelled to enforce it in New Yorkl. The seizure of the stocks of some of these Jewish shopkeepers would be the most effective lesson one could administer in teaching them to respect the law."

Another magistrate expressed himself still more forcibly on the Jewish question. "These people from Eastern Europe," he said, "are tending to destroy all American conceptions of right and justice. Day after day my court is crowded with Jewish people. I am compelled to fine and warn them. The attitude of the women is especially truculent. They have adopted a misconception of woman's suffrage. They say to me: 'This is a woman's country. Woman can do what she likes — men can't.'

"There is no denying the fact that New York is falling more and more under the dominance of Jews. Americans are gradually being driven from public life. It will not be long before we shall have a Jewish mayor and a Jewish board of aldermen. This in itself should be no great misfortune were it not for the tendency of the Jew to abuse his power. He is ambitious and restless to obtain authority. But the moment he gets it, he becomes oppressive. This is evident already wherever the Jews are obtaining monopolies. A friend, a young man, came to me the other day, complaining bitterly that he was deliberately being driven out of business by the Jews. He was the owner of a prosperous laundry. But the large machine laundries of the city are now mostly in the hands of the Jews. They refuse to do his work for him, saying: 'You are not a member of our syndicate.'

(This is one of the new phases of the Jewish invasion — the almost complete absorption of the laundry business.)

"We all remember the time when the Jews began to clamor for special news stand privileges. They formed Jewish organizations of news dealers, until the business was entirely in their hands. While they still had non-Jewish competition they were obliging and attentive enough. They did anything to curry favor. But today they carry themselves like lords. No Jewish news dealer in New York will deliver newspapers to his non-Jewish customers on Jewish holidays.

"In the New York postoffice, where there are now some 11,000 employes, about one half of whom are Jews, the same conditions exist. The Jewish postal employes complained that they were being deprived of their constitutional rights if they were compelled to work on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. The postmaster was compelled to grant their demands, at the same time pointing out that leaves of absence could not be granted to Christian employes on Christmas, New Year's and Good Friday, otherwise the postoffice would be swamped with mail."

Another phase of this Jewish insistence upon special rights was emphasized by one of the magistrates. "I have often observed," he said, "that there is generally a good result when a Jew settles in a small New England town where there are only three or four stores. The situation develops social stimulus and competitive spirit. Too often there is a tendency toward dry-rot among the native population. They stagnate.

"But where Jews assemble in large numbers, as they do in New York City and the industrial towns of New Jersey, they immediately develop a class and racial consciousness that is unfortunate. It is not surprising that Jews should cling to their traditional customs. But it is a peculiar fact that of the forty different nationalities in New York, it is only one race, the Jewish, that persistently tries to impose its own modes of life upon the mass of the people.

"One dangerous feature of this tendency is a constant effort to put upon the statue books laws which favor the Jewish race, and placing weapons into the hands of the mischievous and litigious.

"In the Penal Law of the state of New York there is a statute which is outrageous in its import and should be stricken from the code. In effect it renders a man guilty of a misdemeanor if he ventures to have a process served upon a Jew on Saturday. He is equally guilty if he dares to serve a process which is made returnable on Saturday. It is a notorious fact that a large percentage of Jews deliberately alter their names in order to conceal their race. Yet if a man should induce his lawyer to procure a civil action to which such a Jew is a party to be adjourned to Saturday for trial, in ignorance of the fact that the borrowed American name conceals a Jew, that man renders himself liable to fine or imprisonment.

"This is Section 2150 of the Penal Law. Its exact wording is as follows:

Maliciously serving process on Saturday on person who keeps Saturday as holy time — Whoever maliciously procures any process in a civil action to be served on Saturday, upon any person who keeps Saturday as holy time, and does not labor on that day, or serves upon him any process returnable on that day, or maliciously procures any civil action to which such person is a party to be adjourned to that day for trial, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

"Advantage was taken of this statute by a Jew in the city of Rochester to evade the payment of goods which had been delivered to him. The summons which had been served upon him was made returnable upon a Saturday, and upon the return day the Jewish defendant, evidently at the instigation of his Jewish lawyer, appeared in the action for the sole purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of the court upon several grounds, but more especially for the reason that the defendant was a Jew, and that as such he uniformly observed Saturday of each week as 'holy time.'

"This case was used to tie up the business of two courts until it was finally taken to the appellate division of the Supreme Court, where Judge Adams rendered a decision in which he said:

"'In order to give to this section the construction claimed by the defendant's counsel, we must hold that the legislature has not only utterly ignored this elementary principle (that to constitute a crime there must be not only the act itself, but a criminal intent must accompany the act), but, in violation thereof, has declared that, while in the case specified, malice or intent must exist in order to constitute the crime of procuring a process to be served on Saturday or of procuring a civil action to be adjourned to that day, the crime of serving a process which is returnable on Saturday may be committed without any intent accompanying the act.

"'This proposition, it seems to us, has only to be stated to render its absurdity manifest; for the person who served the summons in this action, as is generally the case, was a public officer; and it is fair to assume that he performed his official duty in this instance without knowing, or having any reason to suppose, that the party served regarded one day of the week as more sacred than another.

"'It is true that the defendant is a Jew, and certain racial characteristics may have manifested themselves to such an extent as to acquaint the officer with that fact, but there are other religions than the Jewish that require the observance of the seventh day of the week as "holy time," and, consequently, if the rule contended for is to obtain, an officer must somehow ascertain, in every instance before serving a process, that the party upon whom it is to be served does not come within the favored class; otherwise he renders himself amenable to the statute.

"'It is inconceivable that the legislature intended that a person thus serving a process returnable on Saturday, in ignorance of the fact that he was in any way interfering with the religious liberty of the party served, should be regarded as a criminal and it is equally certain that a conviction under such circumstances would be absurd and unjust, if not impossible. A construction of a statute, therefore, which leads to such a result should manifestly be avoided if practicable.'

"Judge Adams thereupon reversed the judgement of the county court and of the municipal court, with costs."

"Now Jewish politicians and Jewish lawyers are clever enough, as a rule," continued this magistrate. "Therefore it seems the more surprising that they should waste their time and efforts in placing such laws on the statute books, and trying to establish precedents by means of them. It is very stupid business. The ultimate effect is calculated to bring ridicule upon the Jew and awaken suspicion, dislike and enmity against his race."

Another of the magistrates commented on the fact that in London, Jews were permitted to trade on Sunday by Act of Parliament, but only within the circumscribed limits of their ghetto. "When I was in London several years ago," he continued, "I was shown one of the Jewish Sunday markets in full swing. Opposite it was an English church. But trade was confined to the Yiddish district."

"But compared with New York, there is only a small Yiddish population in the British metropolis. Our millions of Jews are scattered throughout the city, and if we were to relax our Sunday laws in their favor, it would mean goodby to the Christian Sabbath. I cannot understand the attitude of the Jews on this question. They cheapen their own status by their conduct."

[THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT, issue of 10 December 1921]