Comité français d’information et d’action auprès des Juifs des pays neutres

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The Comité français d'information et d'action auprès des Juifs des pays neutres was a major French propaganda effort aimed at American Jewry. ... It was created by the Quai d'Orsay's Comité de propagande after consultation with the Chamber of Deputies' Foreign Affairs Commission and Prime Minister Briand. It was housed in 243 Blvd. St. Germain.

On 16 December 1915 the Comité de propagande française auprès des Juifs neutres decided to change its name to to Comité français d'information et d'action auprès des Juifs des pays neutres. Among its leaders were both Jews and non-Jews: Georges Leygues, former minister and president of the Commission for Foreign Affairs at the French Parliament, president of the Jewish Committee and member of the Syrian Committee; Professor Sylvain Lévi; Victor Basch; Ferdinand Buisson; Chief Rabbi Israél Lévi; ... the Socialist Deputy, Marius Moutet; Salomon Reinach; ... Émile Durkheim

The French Committe had come about as a result of a trip to the U.S. by Victor Basch, a professor at the Sorbonne, at the behest of the French Foreign ministry, to sound out the attitude of the Jewish American community. Basch had reported back that there was much sympathy toward France, even in "German-American circles", but that hatred and contempt of Russia were almost universal and the great impediment toward support for the cause of the Entente. Basch recognized that it would be very difficult to overcome this anti-Russian sentiment, but not impossible if the Jewish community could be persuaded that the fatherland of antisemitism were Germany rather than Russia, and proposed tactics to this end. The French propaganda committee then invited Wolf, as secretary of the British Conjoint Committee of the principal representative institutions of British Jewry, to join in an effort to swing the Jews of the United States to the side of the Entente, which Wolf promptly sought authorization from the British Foreign Office to do. He did not base his application on the prospect of persuading the Jewish American community that the Germans were more antisemitic than the Russians, which would have been a very hard row to hoe, but rather argued that "in any bid for Jewish sympathies today, very serious account must be taken of the Zionist movement" and that were Britain and France to pledge that "they thoroughly understood and sympathize with Jewish aspirations with regard to Palestine, and that when the destiny of the country came to be considered, those aspirations will be taken into account" the American Jewish community would universally rally to their cause.

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Comité de propagande française auprès des Juifs neutres

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