- Biblical Basis.
- Relation to Messianism.
- Rejected by Reform Judaism.
- In Talmudic Times.
- Joseph Nasi.
- Colonizing Attempts Outside Palestine.
- Mordecai Noah.
- Rise of Nationalist Sentiment.
- French Anticipations.
- In Austria.
- Moses Hess.
- Heinrich Graetz.
- George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda."
- The Chovevei Zion.
- Influence of Anti-Semitism.
- Herzl's "Judenstaat."
- Herzl's Reception in London.
- Protest of German Rabbis.
- Lucien Wolf and Laurie Magnus.
- Minor Objections.
- Christian Attitude.
- The "Kultur-Frage."
- The Basel Congress.
- Propaganda After the First Congress.
- The Third and Fourth Congresses.
- Herzl's Interview with the Sultan.
- Zangwill at the Fourth Congress.
- Zionism in Russia.
- Herzl's Interview with Von Plehve.
- The East-African Project and the Sixth Congress.
- The East-African Commission.
- Rise of Territorialism.
- Death of Herzl.
- Question of the Guas Ngishu Plateau.
- The Seventh Congress.
- Proposed Work in Palestine.
- Present Condition of the Movement.
- Jewish Colonial Trust.
- Jewish National Fund.
- Educational Work.
- Jewish Students' Societies.
- Gymnastic Societies.
- Influence on Literature and Art.
- Zionistic Press.
- Wide Spread of Zionism.
- Parties in Zionism.
- Ẓiyyone Zionists.
- Territorialists; Israel Zangwill.
- Other Groups.
- Moral Zionism of Aḥad ha-'Am (Asher Ginsberg).
Movement looking toward the segregation of the Jewish people upon a national basis and in a particular home of its own; specifically, the modern form of the movement that seeks for the Jews "a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine," as initiated by Theodor Herzl in 1896, and since then dominating Jewish history. It seems that the designation, to distinguish the movement from the activity of the Chovevei Zion, was first used by Matthias Acher (Birnbaum) in his paper "Selbstemancipation," 1886 (see "Ost und West," 1902, p. 576; Aḥad ha-'Am, "'Al Parashat Derakim," p. 93, Berlin, 1903).Biblical Basis.
The idea of a return of the Jews to Palestine has its roots in many passages of Holy Writ. It is an integral part of the doctrine that deals with the Messianic time, as is seen in the constantly recurring expression, "shub shebut" or "heshib shebut," used both of Israel and of Judah (Jer. xxx. 7, 1; Ezek. xxxix. 25; Lam. ii. 14; Hos. vi. 11; Joel iv. 1 et al.). The Dispersion was deemed merely temporal: "The days come . . . that . . . I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof . . . and I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land" (Amos ix. 14; comp. Zeph. iii. 20); and "I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon" (Zech. x. 10; comp. Isa. xi. 11). In like strain the Psalmist sings, "O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad" (Ps. xiv. 7; comp. cvii. 2, 3). According to Isaiah (ii. 1-4) and Micah (iv. 1-4), Jerusalem was to be a religious center from which the Law and the word of the Law were to go forth. In a dogmatic form this doctrine is more precisely stated in Deut. xxx. 1-5.Relation to Messianism.
The belief that the Messiah will collect the scattered hosts () is often expressed in Talmudic and midrashic writings; even though more universalistic tendencies made themselves felt, especially in parts of the Apocryphal literature (see
The Reform wing of the Synagogue, however, rejects this doctrine; and the Conference of Rabbis that sat in Frankfort-on-the-Main July 15-28, 1845, decided to eliminate from the ritual "the prayers for the return to the land of our forefathers and for the restoration of the Jewish state." The Philadelphia Conference, Nov. 3-6, 1869, adopted as the first section of its statement of principles the following: "The Messianic aim of Israel is not the restoration of the old Jewish state under a descendant of David, involving a second separation from the nations of the earth, but the union of all the children of God in the confession of the unity of God, so as to realize the unity of all rational creatures, and their call to moral sanctification." This was re-affirmed at the Pittsburg Conference, Nov. 16-18, 1885, in the following words: "We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community; and we therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning a Jewish state."In Talmudic Times.
Historically, the hope of a restoration, of a renewed national existence, and of a return to Palestine has existed among the Jewish people from olden times. After the first Exile, the Jews in Babylonia looked forward continually to the reestablishment of their ancient kingdom. However much the Jews spread from land to land, and however wide the dispersion and consequent Diaspora became, this hope continued to burn brightly; and from time to time attempts were made to realize it. The destruction of the Temple by Titus and Vespasian (70
But the outward condition in which the Jews lived so many centuries made it impossible for them to think of realizing in fact that which they hoped and prayed for. The supernatural accessories with which theology had clothed the idea of the restoration also palsied any effort that might have been made. The Deity was supposed to lead the way; and the hand of man remained inert. From time to time, it is true, individual Jews or bands of Jews journeyed to Palestine, there either to lay their bones in sacred soil or to await the coming of the Messiah. (see Pilgrimage). Only fitfully and at periods far distant from one another was any attempt made to anticipate Providence and to venture such a restoration on a practical basis. And even in such cases it was not always Palestine that was selected for the first attempt, because of the practical difficulties which were known to inhere in any such a scheme. An attempt of this kind was that of Joseph Nasi in the middle of the sixteenth century, both in his endeavor to gain from the Republic of Venice an island to which the Portuguese Jews might emigrate and in his proclamation to the Jews of the Roman Campagna asking them to emigrate to Palestine.
By the side of such projects there were others of a more fantastic character. In 1540 an Augsburg Jew attempted to form a Jewish state upon a Messianic basis (see "Anzeiger des Deutschen Nat. Museums," 1894, p. 103). Of schemes based upon Messianic speculations and purely religious hopes, the most important was that of Shabbethai Ẓebi (1626-76), who, personating the Messiah, announced that he would restore Israel to the Promised Land. How ardent and true the belief in the restoration was in the hearts of the Jews may be seen from the fact that numerous communities were ready to follow the impostor's lead. Even such men as Spinoza believed in the possibility of the accomplishment of the project; and after Ẓebi's fraud had been discovered, the belief in the impending restoration lingered for many years.Colonizing Attempts Outside Palestine.
The problem, however, was attacked also from the philanthropic point of view. The condition ofthe Jews in many parts of Europe occasioned well-meaning and charitable persons to seek some means of settling them under such conditions as would insure to them repose and freedom from persecution. Of such a kind was the project elaborated in England about 1654, an account of which is contained in the Egerton collection of manuscripts in the British Museum. This account is entitled "Privileges Granted to the People of the Hebrew Nation That Are to Goe to the Wilde Cust," and, according to Lucien Wolf, has reference to a Jewish settlement in Surinam. Such colonies as these with far-reaching administrative rights had been established in Curaçao in 1652 under the authority of the Dutch West India Company, and in 1659 in Cayenne by the French West India Company ("Tr. Jew. Hist. Soc. Eng." iii. 82). In 1749 Maurice de Saxe, a natural son of August II. of Poland, had in mind a project to make himself king of a Jewish state which was to be founded in South America (M. Kohler, in "Menorah," June, 1892). The invitation of Napoleon to the Jews of Asia and Africa to settle again in Jerusalem under his egis (see "Moniteur Universelle," No. 243) was a political document and not meant to be taken seriously. Even Mendelssohn was approached with a proposal of a similar nature made by an unknown friend in the year 1770. He refused to entertain the project on the ground that the oppression under which the Jews had been living for so many centuries had robbed their spirit of all "vigueur," that they were too scattered to work in common, that the project would cost too much money, and that it would need a general consent of the great powers of Europe ("Gesammelte Schriften," v. 493, Leipsic, 1844). A like measure was elaborated in 1819 by W. D. Robinson, who proposed the formation of a Jewish settlement in the upper Mississippi and Missouri territory; and in 1850 the American consul in Jerusalem, Warder Cresson, a convert to Judaism under the name of Michael C. Boaz Israel, established a Jewish agricultural colony near Jerusalem, enlisting in its support the Rev. Isaac Leeser of Philadelphia, and L. Philippson of Magdeburg (M. Kohler, in "Publ. Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." No. viii., p. 80).Mordecai Noah.
The most persistent advocate, however, of such schemes was Mordecai M. Noah (see also Ararat). As early as the year 1818 he actively propagated the idea of the necessary restoration of the Jews to Palestine. In a "Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews," delivered in 1845 before a Christian audience in the city of New York, he showed the wide range of his political views, and laid down the chief principles upon which a return of the Jews to Palestine could be effected. In developing this idea, he conceived a plan for a preliminary settlement named "Ararat" on Grand Island in the Niagara River, near Buffalo. On Jan. 19, 1820, Noah's memorial to the New York legislature, praying for the sale to him of Grand Island, was presented. This project aroused much interest in Europe also. Of course nothing definite came of it (ib. No. viii., pp. 84 et seq.; No. x., p. 172; No. xi., p. 132); though in 1873 the London "Jewish Chronicle" editorially suggested a Jewish colony in the United States upon a plan similar to that of Noah (July 4, p. 233).Rise of Nationalist Sentiment.
All these projects of the preliminary stage were bound to fail because the Jewish people had not been educated to understand their true position in the modern world, nor had they been sufficiently stimulated by the great waves of feeling that had swept through Europe. The two influences that made themselves felt in such manner as to form the first stage in the development of modern Zionism were the rise of a strong nationalistic sentiment and the development of anti-Semitism. The last part of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth are characterized in Europe by a strong sentiment of cosmopolitanism which even exceeded the bounds of rational development. It was a natural reaction against the arbitrary grouping of nationalities which ignored all racial affiliations and was based simply upon political necessities. The swing of the pendulum went too far; and the counter-reaction in favor of personal freedom made itself felt throughout the whole of the first half of the nineteenth century. The idea of personal freedom brought in its wake the desire for racial freedom. The action of Switzerland, Hungary, and the various Balkan states, the attempt of Ireland to free itself from British rule, the unification of Italy and Germany upon racial lines, were bound to react upon the Jews. Upon the continent of Europe many of them had been in the front ranks of those who had fought for this racial freedom. The Jews little thought that the weapons which they had used against others would be turned against themselves, and would create within their own ranks a longing for racial unity and a communal life.
Under these influences there arose gradually, especially among the younger generation in eastern Europe, a sentiment in favor of Jewish national existence, which carried in its wake many of the brightest and most advanced Jews of the day. And the opening up of the Eastern question brought the needs of certain parts of the Ottoman empire prominently before Europe. The historian Joseph Salvador as early as 1830 believed in the possibility that a congress of European powers might restore Palestine to the Jews; and the founders of the Alliance Israélite Universelle had a similar idea in their minds when, under Albert Cohn and Charles Netter, the work of colonizing Jews in Palestine was taken up, and the agricultural school Miḳweh Yisrael was founded near Jaffa.French Anticipations.
In 1852 Hollingsworth, an Englishman, urged the establishment of a Jewish state, because of the necessity of safeguarding the overland route to India; and in 1864 there appeared in Geneva a pamphlet entitled "Devoir des Nations de Rendre au Peuple Juif Sa Nationalité," which occasioned a lengthy discussion in the "Archives Israélites." It was ascribed to Abraham Pétavel, a Christian clergyman and professor in Neuchâtel. Pétavel was a member of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, although he was openly and honestly interested in the conversion of the Jews. Though he denied theauthorship of the pamphlet, it was generally believed to have been his work, especially as he published at the same time a long poem, "La Fille de Sion ou la Rétablissement d'Israël" (Paris, 1864). The "Archives" declared itself strongly opposed to the project; but Lazar Lévy-Bing, a banker of Nancy and later a member of the legislature (July 2, 1871), wrote warmly in favor of Jewish nationalism, with no thought of the economic condition of the Jews of his day. Jerusalem, he hoped, might become the ideal center of the world. Undoubtedly influenced by Pétavel, a Jew, J. Frankel, published in Strasburg in 1868 a pamphlet with the title "Du Rétablissement de la Nationalité Juive." The author, impressed on the one hand by the national movements of his time and on the other by the insecure conditions under which the Jews of eastern Europe lived, pleaded boldly and openly for the reconstitution of a Jewish state in Palestine by the purchase of the country from Turkey. "Should Palestine prove to be impossible," he adds, "we must seek elsewhere in any part of the globe some fixed home for the Jews; for the essential point is that they be at home and independent of other nations," thus approaching in a measure the modern territorialists (see below).In Austria.
Various schemes with a similar end in view were elaborated. Between 1835 and 1840 Moritz Steinschneider was among those who founded in Prague a student society for the purpose of propagating the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine; and in the latter year an anonymous writer in the "Orient" (No. xxvi., p. 200) published an appeal to his brethren to make an attempt to procure Syria for the Jews under Turkish sovereignty while the blood persecution in Damascus was still fresh in memory; and in 1847 Barthélémy published in "Le Siècle" a lengthy poem inviting the Rothschilds to restore the kingdom of Judah to its former glory. Judah ben Solomon Alkalai, rabbi in Semlin, Croatia, published his "Goral Ladonai," Vienna, 1857 (2d ed., Amsterdam, 1858), in which he advocated the formation of a joint-stock company for the purpose of inducing the sultan to cede Palestine to the Jews as a tributary state. In similar manner Luzzatto, in Padua, wrote in 1854 to Albert Cohn, "Palestine must be colonized and worked by the Jews in order that it may live again commercially and agriculturally." The journeys of Sir Moses Montefiore and Adolphe Crémieux to Palestine increased the interest of the Jews in their ancient home, and brought the matter prominently before the public. The founder of the Geneva Convention, Henry Dunant, worked incessantly with a similar object in view. He tried to interest in such projects the Alliance Israélite Universelle (1863), the Anglo-Jewish Association in London, and the Jews of Berlin (1866), even founding two societies for that purpose, the International Palestine Society and, in 1876, the Syrian and Palestine Colonization Society. All his efforts failed to evoke a response. A like fate befell both the project of Sir Moses Montefiore, who in 1840 laid before Mohammed Ali a plan to colonize Jews in Palestine, and that of Lord Shaftesbury, associated with the Society for the Relief of Persecuted Jews. In the year 1870 Benedetto Musolino, a Christian and a fervent Italian patriot, worked out a complete plan for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, demonstrating the advantage of such a state not only to the Jews, but also to the Ottoman empire and to England. In vain he tried to interest Lord Palmerston and the Rothschilds in the plan. Even his work "La Gerusalemme e il Popolo Ebreo" remained unpublished ("The Maccabæan," 1905, p. 225). Nor was Laurence Oliphant (1829-88), the English traveler and politician, more successful. In 1879, after having vainly attempted to procure from the Porte the concession of the Euphrates Valley Railway, on the sides of which he had proposed to settle Russian Jews, he conceived the idea of a Jewish settlement in Palestine, in the land of Gilead. A society was to be formed with a capital of 10,000,000 rubles. Upon 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 acres the Jewish proletariat of Poland, Lithuania, Rumania, and Asiatic Turkey were to be colonized, and an agrarian bank was to be founded. Oliphant failed both in 1879 and in 1882 to obtain the permission of the sultan to such a lan.Moses Hess.
Among the early writers who pleaded for the repatriation of Palestine by the Jews were David b. Dob Baer Gordon (1826-86), Ẓebi Hirsch Kalischer (1795-1874), Elijah Guttmacher, Moses Hess, and the historian Heinrich Graetz. This movement in course of time assumed the name of Chovevei Zion. Gordon and Hess were its intellectual leaders, the first publishing in the year 1871 in his paper "Ha-Maggid" a number of articles on the colonization of Palestine as the basis for the future regeneration of Judaism. Hess wrote his "Rom und Jerusalem" in 1862, which book has remained one of the foundation works in Zionist literature; though a later edition of the work was burned by his family, in order to rid the world of this "scandal" ("Die Welt," ii., No. 9, p. 16). He confidently hoped for the assistance of France in the founding of such colonies. Kalischer, who lived in Thorn, was perhaps the first practical Zionist. His "Derishat Ẓiyyon" (Lyck, 1862) deals with the religious and theological problems involved. He advocated the colonization of Palestine, the cultivation of land there, and the founding of an agricultural school and of a Jewish military guard. He held that the salvation promised by the Prophets could come only gradually and by self-help on the part of the Jews. He traveled extensively in aid of these ideas; caused the first colonization society to be established in Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1861; and had some influence in the work that Charles Netter did in Palestine. Many Orthodox rabbis joined in this movement, e.g., J. Schwarz, S. Schwarz, and Hildesheimer. Rabbi Goldschmidt of Leipsic, writing in the "Allg. Zeit. des Jud.," referred to the colonization of the Holy Land as a "tatsächlich heilige Sache"; and in such cities as Brody, Tarnopol, and Vienna societies were founded for the purpose of studying the Hebrew language.Heinrich Graetz.
Two years after the appearance of Hess's "Rom und Jerusalem," and undoubtedly influenced by it, Graetz published in the "Jahrbuch für Israeliten" (1863-64) an essay entitled "Die Verjüngung des Jüdischen Stammes," in which he tried to show historicallythat the Jewish nation was its own Messiah, and should bring about its own rejuvenescence and redemption, without waiting for the coming of a single person as redeemer. The violent conflict engendered by this essay reechoed even in the courts of law (see T. Zlocisti in "Jüdischer Volkskalender," pp. 9 et seq., Brünn, 1903-4, where Graetz's essay has been reproduced).George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda."
Toward the end of the seventies in the nineteenth century the national movement commenced to gain ground still further among the Jews. This was due to a recrudescence of national sentiment in Europe, as a result of which the Servians, the Bulgarians, and the Rumanians had gained complete liberty. Pinsker had not looked specifically to Palestine as a possible home for the Jews; but Jewish sentiment quickly led others in that direction. Ben Yehudah published in "Ha-Shaḥar" (1879) a series of articles proposing the colonization of the Holy Land and the gradual centralization of the Jews there as the only means to save both Jews and Judaism; and Isaac Rülf in 1883 wrote his standard work "Aruḥat Bat 'Ammi" on the same lines. Christian writers also became affected with the idea, which was thus brought prominently before the world. The rise of this national sentiment in Russia is closely connected with the names of Moses Löb Lilienblum and Perez Smolenskin. The riots of 1880 and 1881 turned the attention of these authors to the Jewish question. The first in his "Derek la-'Abor Golim" and the second in his "'Am 'Olam," and in his journal "Ha-Shaḥar" (even before 1880), gave literary expression to the national hopes. To these names must be added that of Lev Osipovitch Levanda. In England Disraeli had already declared that "race is the key of history," and George Eliot wrote her "Daniel Deronda" in 1876, and in 1879 her "Impressions of Theophrastus Such," the last chapter of which is entitled "The Modern Hep! Hep! Hep!" (republished by the Federation of American Zionists, 1899). In this she makes the Jew say, "The effect of our separateness will not be completed and have its highest transformation unless our race takes on again the character of a nationality. That is the fulfilment of the religious trust that molded them into a people." "Daniel Deronda" was enthusiastically reviewed in the "Monatsschrift"(1877, pp. 172 et seq.) by David Kaufmann, who added, "Who will dare to say what may not result from this rising flood of feelings in the heart of the Jews, who will dare to insist that the imponderable mass of indefinite feelings and vague impulses which in the march of centuries has rather increased than decreased in the soul of the Jewish people, will pass off without leaving any trace?" In like manner Joseph Jacobs reviewed the work, adding, "And Mordecai's views of the resumption of the soil of the Holy Land by the holy people are the only logical position of a Jew who desires that the long travail of the ages shall not end in the total disappearance of the race" ("Jewish Ideals," p. 80). Influenced by "Daniel Deronda," Gustav Cohen of Hamburg privately printed his "Die Judenfrage und die Zukunft" (1891, 1896), in which he developed the theory there expounded to its logical Zionistic conclusion. In the United States, a Jewess, Emma Lazarus, moved by the immigration of large numbers of Russian Jews to America, wrote a stirring series of articles in the "American Hebrew" (1882, 1883) pleading for an independent Jewish nationality and a Jewish home in Palestine ("An Epistle to the Hebrews"; republished by the Federation of American Zionists, 1900).The Chovevei Zion.
The result of all this agitation was the founding of various colonization societies, not only in Russia (under the leadership of S. P. Rabinowitz, Pinsker, H. Schapira, Lilienblum, Max Mandelstamm, and Kalonymus Wissotzky), but also in Germany, France, England, and America; e.g., the Central Committee at Galatz, the Esra at Berlin, the Chovevei Zion in London, the Shawe Zion in the United States, and the Yishshub Ereẓ Yisrael in Paris. The first Palestinian colony was founded in 1874; but the work did not commence in earnest till 1879. At the conference of the Chovevei Zion and of other societies, held at Kattowitz on Nov. 6, 1884, to regulate the help sent to the colonists, no less than fifty bodies were represented. A second conference was held in Drusgenik on June 15, 1887; and a third in Wilna, in 1889, at which thirty-five societies were represented and thirty-eight delegates were present. In 1891-92 Paul Friedmann made an unsuccessful attempt to establish a Jewish colony in Midian (see
The second influence working to produce the modern Zionist movement was the rise and extension of Anti-Semitism. The Jews had imagined that with their political emancipation, and, with the destruction of the walls of the ancient ghettos, their entrance into the comity of nations, the complete subsidence of the ancient "odium Judaicum" would result. In this they were sadly disappointed. Political liberty did not give them social equality; and the newly arisen nationalistic sentiment turned fiercely against them. At the very moment when their own dormant national feeling had been aroused, and when the work of colonization in Palestine had sent a thrill of fervor through the Jewish masses, the anti-Semitic movement grew in intensity. From 1881 it pursued its victorious march through Europe. The strength of the movement in eastern Europe was at first underrated in the hope that it would give way before the advance of culture and education in those countries.This hope was doomed to failure; and when states like Germany, Austria, and France joined in it actively, with the more or less overt cooperation of the governments of the day, a reaction among Jews was bound to take place. Most of the latter, it is true, continued to hope that the phenomenon was but a passing one; but a small band in western Europe and in America sought its cause in sources that were deeper than a passing whim. They thought to find it in the impossibility felt by various peoples to assimilate the Jews and at the same time to allow them that measure of individual and collective freedom which the Jews considered necessary for the preservation of their individual character. In addition, they had witnessed the results of the attempt made by many of their brethren to meet fully the demands of the outside world. The consequence had been the almost complete conversion to Christianity of many of the leading families in the Mendelssohn epoch, and the loosening of the bonds that held the Jews together, which meant, if continued, the absorption of the Jews in the general population and the disappearance of Judaism as a distinctive faith. To meet anti-Semitism the great Jewish communities, contenting themselves with an attempt to ward off the blows as they fell successively, offered in general a passive resistance, to which many noble-minded Christians contributed in the German and Austrian societies for repelling anti-Semitism (see Verein zur Abwehr des Anti-Semitismus). On the other hand, the small band referred to above took up a more positive attitude, and found the answer to militant anti-Semitism in a recurrence to what they considered the basis of Jewish life—the idea of the continued national existence of the Jews as a people. This current among the Jews of modern Western culture combined with the two other currents, that of the national Jewish revival and that of the philanthropic colonization of Palestine, to form the modern Zionist movement.Herzl's "Judenstaat."
It was at this time that Theodor Herzl, brooding over the strong rise of anti-Semitism in his own Austrian home and in Paris, in which city he was then living, wrote his "Judenstaat." According to his own statement, it was conceived and written during the last two months of his stay in Paris in the year 1895, as a private expression of his opinion, and to be shown only to a small circle of his friends. One of these friends, after reading the pamphlet, declared its author to be of unsound mind. Any active agitation or discussion of the principles laid down in the book was far from Herzl's purpose. It was only in the spring of 1896 that the "Judenstaat" was published in Vienna. Translations of it were soon made into French, English, and Hebrew; and the original German has now (1905) gone through five editions (see also "Theodor Herzl's Zionistische Schriften," Berlin, 1905). The theories here laid down and the propositions made for their realization may be summed up in the following statement:
Starting with the fact that anti-Semitism is a continually growing menace both to the Jews and to the world at large and is ineradicable, that the Jews are a people that are not permitted to merge into the social life around them, that true assimilation is possible only by means of intermarriage, he comes to the conclusion that it is necessary for the Jews, if they wish to preserve themselves, to have as their own some portion of the globe large enough for them to foregather therein and to build up a definite home. For the accomplishment of this object he suggests the formation of a "Society of Jews," which shall take up the preliminary scientific and political work, and of a "Jewish Company" similar to the great English and French trading companies, with a capital of £50,000,000 and having its center in London. The company was to develop the work prepared by the Society of Jews, and to organize the new community. As a possible territory for such an ingathering Herzl suggested either Argentina or Palestine; the incoming was to be brought about not by infiltration, but by organized immigration; and if Palestine was to be chosen, the sanctuaries of other religious faiths were to be made extraterritorial. It will be seen that the religious sanction, which had been the mainspring of the Orthodox Jewish hope in the restoration, was entirely wanting. The problem was attacked simply from its economic and political sides. In course of time, and as Herzl came into closer contact with his Jewish brethren than he had been before, he began to recognize the value of the religious sanction, as far as a large section of the Jewish people was concerned, and to see that the Jewish national consciousness was bound indissolubly to Palestine. The absolute separation, however, of church and state remained one of the fundamental ideas of his project; the arrangements between the Ottoman government and the Jews was to be in the form of a charter granted to the latter upon a purely political and mercantile basis.Herzl's Reception in London.
It was largely through the instrumentality of Israel Zangwill that Herzl was induced to present his project publicly to the Jewish world. He was received by the Maccabæans in London Nov. 24, 1895. In a preliminary letter to the "Jewish Chronicle" (London, Jan. 17, 1896) he laid down the principal features of his plan; and on July 6, 1896, he was able to present the project in person to the Maccabæans. Although his "Judenstaat" had been translated (by Sylvie d'Avigdor) into English, and despite the publicity given to it by his appearance in London, the Jews in England, and even the old Chovevei Zion, refused to approve the new expression given to the old hope. On the Continent, however, such men as Max Nordau and Alexander Marmorek in Paris, Dr. Max Bodenheimer in Cologne, Prof. M. Mandelstamm in Kiev, and a number of other intellectuals came to his support.
However much Herzl had wished to remain in his purely literary career as feuilletonist, dramatist, and journalist, circumstances proved too strong. He had touched the core of the Jewish question as many of his brethren saw it, and reached the heart of the Jewish people. The wave of enthusiasm gradually pushed him forward and bore him high upon its crest. The first to take up the "Judenstaat" as a realizable program was the Zion Society in Vienna. Several thousand names were subscribed to an address sent out by Drs. M. T.Schnirer and Oser Kokesch calling for the formation of a "Society of Jews" to be founded in July, 1896, in London; and a letter of adhesion to Herzl's principles was forwarded in the month of May to Herzl by the above-named as representing their society. According to Lucien Wolf ("Encyc. Brit." s.v. "Zionism") the Sultan of Turkey, having heard of Herzl's publication, sent a private messenger, the Chevalier de Newlinsky, in May, 1896, with the offer of a charter of Palestine for the Jews if they would use their influence to stop the agitation consequent upon the Armenian massacres. The offer was refused.
Herzl's call for the First Zionist Congress, which was to have been held in Munich in 1898, brought the whole subject prominently and forcibly before the Jewish public. In some quarters it was supposed that the gathering was to deal with general Jewish questions, and not specifically with Zionism (Bambus, in "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." April 23, 1897)—a misconception which could not possibly be due to those who had issued the call. But misconceptions were apt to occur, since feeling ran high on the part of both those who favored and those who opposed the Zionist proposition. It may be said at the outset that the Jewish people did not answer to the call of Dr. Herzl as he and his followers had expected. Only in certain quarters did there gather around him Jews who had been in a measure prepared for his coming. Those who had been affected by the Jewish national idea naturally looked to him as their standard-bearer. The Jewish masses, groaning under oppression in eastern Europe, saw in him their possible savior; and those of them who had escaped to western Europe and America were not slow to follow the lead of their brethren left behind. In addition to these a comparatively small number of intellectuals came to Herzl's aid. Some were moved thereto either by the results of the academic discussion of the questions involved, or by a reawakened feeling of attachment to old scenes and thoughts from which they had become estranged. Others in their own persons or in their immediate surroundings had felt the sting of anti-Semitism; while a large number were attracted to the new movement from a feeling of benevolent compassion for the sufferings of their more unfortunate brethren.Opposition.
Opposition to Zionism arose from many quarters; and even as the movement embraced within its fold Jews of various religious convictions, so did the opposition emanate from different points of the horizon. Orthodox Judaism in Europe at first held severely aloof, believing that because some of the leaders were non-observants of Jewish ceremonial, the whole movement set rather away from than toward positive Judaism. It was supposed to be forcing the hand of Providence and to be contrary to the positive teachings of Orthodox Judaism in regard to the coming of the Messiah and the providential work of God in bringing about the restoration. In Russia the extreme Orthodox synagogue, not content with a simple protest, organized an active opposition which had for its center the Poltava rabbi Akiba Rabinowitz and the magazine "HaPeles" in Wilna. A library opened there by the Zionists on April 14, 1902, had to be closed for a time. In common parlance this opposition was spoken of as the "Black Cabinet" (Lishkah ha-Sheḥorah).
A more theological aspect was given to the opposition by some of the European rabbis. Dr. Güdemann, chief rabbi of Vienna, in his "National-Judenthum" (Leipsic and Vienna, 1897) says that Israel has been since the Dispersion a purely religious community, a leader of peoples; that its historical task has consisted in opposing the idea of nationalism; and that if Judaism should reawaken in all its adherents the endeavor again to become a nation, it would be committing suicide. According to Güdemann, the vocation of Israel lies in the spiritual impress that it has been able to put upon humanity and in its endeavor to further the Messianic time which shall conciliate nations to one another. He holds that Judaism has acclimatized itself everywhere; that Zion is only a symbol of its own and mankind's future; that in this sense the word is used in the prayer-book of the Synagogue, and that true Zionism can not be separated from the future of humanity. In a similar spirit K. Kohler formulates his opposition to Zionism. He does not call himself an anti-Zionist; but believes that in a positive way Judaism has another future before it. For him Judaism is a religious truth entrusted to a nation destined to interlink all nations and sects, classes and races of men; its duty is to be a cosmopolitan factor of humanity, basing itself upon the Biblical passage, "Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." "The mission of the Jew is not only spiritual or religious in character; it is social and intellectual as well, and the true Zionism demands of the Jews to be martyrs in the cause of truth and justice and peace until the Lord is one and the world one." He repudiates the idea that Judea is the home of the Jew—an idea which "unhomes" the Jew all over the wide earth—and holds the entire propaganda a Utopian dream because even if Turkey were willing, none of the great powers of Christendom would concede the Holy Land to the Jew; that the high temperature of Palestine would no longer afford him a congenial and healthful soil; that Palestine has poor prospects of ever becoming a leading state and of attracting Jewish capital; that the incongruous elements of which a Jewish state would be composed would militate against a harmonious blending into one great commonwealth; and that so petty a commonwealth would be unable to cope successfully with the hostile forces arrayed against it. However, he looks with favor upon the colonization of Palestine by the Jews, and sees the "possibility of Zionism leading to a united Judaism and a pan-Judean congress" (see "The Judæans," pp. 68 et seq., New York, 1899). Claude Montefiore proclaimed himself a convinced and determined antagonist of the plan on the ground that Zionism is calculated to beget and foster anti-Semitic feelings, more especially when it is looked upon as a glorious ideal instead of a mournful necessity. The Jews, he thinks, are to fight the good fight, not to despair, but with self-purification and brave endurance to await the better time that civilization will shortly bring, when their fellow citizens will claim them as their own (ib. pp. 86 et seq.).Protest of German Rabbis.
Strong denunciations of Zionism were heard, especially in Germany. The appearance of the party organ "Die Welt" was declared to be a misfortune ("Allg. Zeit. des Jud." June 11, 1897); G. Karpeles maintaining even that Judaism was no religion, but a "sittliche Weltanschauung und geschichtliche Thatsache" ("Die Welt," 1905, No. viii.). In the name of the Association of Jewish Rabbis of Germany, S. Maybaum (Berlin) and H. Vogelstein (Stettin) issued a protest against the Zionists, who were declared to be "fanatics from Russia and youthful, hot-headed students." In a preliminary communication the protesters laid down the following principles: that the Jews are nothing more than a religious body, and those in Germany national Germans, though as such faithful to the divine religion of Sinai. They demanded a united protest of all the German congregations against political Zionism; anti-agitation to counteract that of the Zionists; and a public declaration of all societies composed of rabbis and teachers against the movement. Dr. Leimdörfer (Hamburg) associated himself with this protest (ib. June 11 and July 2, 1897). In Hanover the advocate Dr. Meyer proposed in addition an anti-Zionist meeting in Berlin at which the Jews should proclaim their German patriotic sentiments and in this way disarm the Zionists (ib.). No such action, however, seems to have been taken; though, in England, several rabbis were inhibited by the chief rabbi from preaching on Zionism, and the haham M. Gaster was prevented by the Mahamad of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation from touching on the subject in his official capacity (1899). The formal protest appeared in the "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums," July 16, 1897, signed by the Board of Ministers. It states, first, that the attempts of the Zionists to found a Jewish national state in Palestine are contrary to the Messianic promises of Judaism as laid down in Holy Writ and in the later religious authorities; secondly, that Judaism demands of its adherents to serve the state in which they live and in every way to further its national interests; thirdly, that no opposition thereto can be seen in the noble plan to colonize Palestine with Jewish agriculturists, because that plan has no connection with the founding of a national state. In the same spirit the Conference of American Rabbis, which met at Richmond, Va., on Dec. 31, 1898, declared itself as opposed to the whole Zionist movement on the ground (as one of the members stated) "that America was the Jews' Jerusalem and Washington their Zion."Lucien Wolf and Laurie Magnus.
A like uncompromising attitude against Zionism has been taken in England by Lucien Wolf. Starting with a bias not indistinctly favorable to the plan as formulated by Herzl, he has come to hold not only the impracticability of the scheme, but the untenableness of its premises. He believes that the Jews are of Aryan origin and that they are not anthropologically a separate race (a view held also by Solomon Reinach; see "R. E. J." xlvii. 1), and that at a later time only a centrietal anthropological movement set in; that there is peril in Zionism, in that it is the natural and abiding ally of anti-Semitism and its most powerful justification; that it is an attempt to turn back the course of modern Jewish history; that it is "an ignorant and narrow-minded view of a great problem—ignorant because it takes no account of the decisive element of progress in history; and narrow-minded because it confounds a political memory with a religious ideal." As a means of alleviating Jewish distress in eastern Europe, Wolf considers it inadequate and in a certain sense unnecessary. The chances of emancipation in Russia he holds to be by no means desperate; and the Rumanian Jewish question he thinks is greatly improved and "a manageable one." The mission of the Jew is the Mendelssohnian one: to show an example to the nations, to take its stand on lofty toleration and real universalism, and "its highest traditional ideal is undoubtedly national, but it is not the nation of a kept principality but the holy nation of a kingdom of priests" ("The Zionist Peril," in "J. Q. R." xvii. 1-25).
From the point of view of its effect upon the status of Jews in western Europe and America, Zionism has been strongly criticized by Laurie Magnus. This criticism may be summed up in the following extract:
"A flight which is no flight, an abandonment, and an evacuation—this is the modern rendering of the Messianic hope: instead of Gentiles coming to the light, Dr. Herzl offers the petty picture of Jews content, like foreign visitors, with a 'favorable welcome and treatment.' We have called this a travesty of Judaism. But it is more than satire—it is treason. Dr. Herzl and those who think with him are traitors to the history of the Jews, which they misread and misinterpret. They are themselves part authors of the anti-Semitism which they profess to slay. For how can the European countries which the Jews propose to 'abandon' justify their retention of the Jews? And why should civil equality have been won by the strenuous exertion of the Jews, if the Jews themselves be the first to 'evacuate' their position, and to claim the bare courtesy of 'foreign visitors'?"
This is also practically the position taken by Prof. Ludwig Geiger, the leader of the liberal Jews in Berlin, though with more special reference to the particular country in which he lives. He says
"Zionism is as dangerous to the German spirit ["Deutschthum"] as are social democracy and ultramontanism. It has something of each: of the one its radicalism, of the other its ultramontanism ["Jenseitige"], the desire for a fatherland other than that belonging to it by language and culture. . . . Zionism may be able to raise its army up to hundreds of thousands, if no hindrance is placed in its way. Just as we are warned against ultramontane works on history and Social-Democratic teachings, so must we be warned against Zionistic sophisms ["Afterweisheit"]. The German Jew who has a voice in German literature must, as he has been accustomed to for the last century and a half, look upon Germany alone as his fatherland, upon the German language as his mother tongue; and the future of that nation must remain the only one upon which he bases his hopes. Any desire to form together with his coreligionists a people outside of Germany is, not to speak of its impracticability, down-right thanklessness toward the nation in whose midst he lives—a chimera; for the German Jew is a German in his national peculiarities, and Zion is for him the land only of the past, not of the future."
No opponent of Zionism has dared to say what Geiger adds:
"The withdrawal of citizen's rights appears to be the necessary consequence of German legislation against Zionism, the only answer that the German national conscience can give"
While criticisms such as these touched upon the basal principles of Zionism, other criticisms dealt in charges which are evidence of the strong feeling raised on all sides in Jewry by the successive progress of the Zionist movement. The "Univers Israélite" summed up the matter in saying:
"The long and short of it is, Zionists and anti-Semites are one and the same." The "Reform Advocate" of Chicago spoke of the "Anti-Semites, his [Herzl's] friends" (March 12, 1898). A rabbi in Marburg classed Zionism as "Messiasschwärmerei"; and the traveler Edward Glaser believed that Zionism was put forward by the British government in order to break up Turkey and form a buffer state. The ḥakam bashi in Constantinople posted a notice in the synagogue putting the Hebrew paper "Ha-Ẓefirah" under the ban; and Dr. Bloch, editor of the Vienna "Wochenschrift," first endeavored to procure a subvention from the Zionists, offering to give up eight pages of his newspaper to the cause, if "Die Welt" ceased to appear ("Die Welt," ii., No. 48); failing which, he became a most determined opponent. S. Bernfeld's "Am Ende des Jahrhunderts" (1899) has a bare mention of Zionism and the congresses; while that portion of the year's review by Martin Philippsohn in the "Jahrbuch für Jüdische Geschichte," 1898, mentioning the Basel Congress of 1897, was stricken out by the editor, G. Karpeles. When the "Trust" was founded, the report was spread that each of the directors was to have a bonus of 100,000 marks for passing the statutes, and that the sole object of the corporation was to combat Orthodoxy. The London "Financial News" (April 28, 1899, p. 872) spoke of the "harebrained and irresponsible promoters of the ridiculous Trust."
In the United States, too, the opposition grew apace.
The "Reform Advocate" in Chicago suggested editorially that the real object of Herzl and Nordau was to possess themselves of the savings of their poorer brethren. Isaac M. Wise, president of the Hebrew Union College, thought that the Zionists were "traitors, hypocrites, or fantastic fools whose thoughts, sentiments, and actions are in constant contradiction to one another" ("Hebrew Union College Journal," Dec., 1899, p. 47); while Rabbi Samfield wrote in the "Jewish Spectator" that "Zionism is an abnormal eruption of perverted sentiment." Prof. Louis Grossman held that the "Zionistic agitation contradicts everything that is typical of Jews and Judaism," and that the "Zionistic movement is a mark of ingenuity, and does not come out of the heart of Judaism, either ancient or contemporary" ("Hebrew Union College Journal," Dec., 1899, p. 72).Christian Attitude.
On the other hand, the attitude of the Christian world toward Zionism has been in nearly every case one of cordial attention; in some quarters, even one of active furtherance. While those of the more important daily papers that were in Jewish hands either accorded the movement scanty attention or were absolutely silent (the Vienna "Neue Freie Presse," of which Herzl was feuilleton editor, never mentioned the word "Zionism" as long as Herzl lived), the other great dailies of the world freely opened their columns to news of the movement, as did also the great monthlies and quarterlies in England and the United States (e.g., "Contemporary Review," "Nineteenth Century," "Forum," "Fortnightly Review," "North American Review," "International Review," and "Century"). In Oct., 1897, the London "Daily Chronicle" and the "Pall Mall Gazette" publicly accepted the Zionist program and advocated the calling of a general European Congress. Many Christians, it is true, were led to such a course by religious hopes of a Messianic return of the Jews to Palestine and their possible conversion there; although the German "Allgemeine Missions Conferenz" declared that "Zionism will not hasten the conversion of Israel, but rather delay it" ("Nathaniel," 1901). Others, however, had a sincere desire to advance this attempt at Jewish self-help.
In addition to those mentioned above who had been actively engaged in one project or another, there are a large number who by their voice and otherwise have encouraged Zionism. As early as 1885 Prof. K. Furrer of Zurich University spurred on the Russian Jewish students to work for the colonization of Palestine by the Jews; and in 1904 Secretary John Hay of the United States declared in an interview that Zionism was in his opinion quite consistent with American patriotism. The Grand Duke of Baden on Aug. 4, 1899, uttered these words to Dr. A. Berliner: "The movement is an important one and deserves vigorous assistance." The Preraphaelite painter Holman Hunt was one of the first to greet Herzl's proposal in London (1896) with friendly assistance. He has done the same (1905) to Israel Zangwill and the Territorialists. The Rev. W. H. Hechler of Vienna has been a constant attendant at the congresses, and has been of actual assistance in other directions. Prof. F. Heman of Basel, the author of "Das Aufwachen der Jüdischen Nation" (Basel, 1899), also deserves mention, as he sees in Zionism a conciliatory force, bringing Jews and Christians nearer to each other. Among those who have publicly pronounced themselves in favor of Zionism may be mentioned Leon Bourgois, the Rumanian premier Stourdza, Baron Maxim Manteuffel, Bertha von Suttner, Felix Dahn, Karl Peters, Prof. T. A. Masaryk, Björnstjerne Björnsen, Rider Haggard, Hall Caine, Maxim Gorki, and Prof. Thomas Davidson. The philosopher Edward von Hartmann, however, is of opinion that Zionism plays into the hands of the anti-Semites, and August Rohling in his "Auf nach Zion" (1901) did indeed give color to this idea; but the conference of political anti-Semites in Hamburg in the year 1899 declared it necessary to oppose the movement, as it awakened sympathy for the Jews among the Christian population. The theological faculty of the University of Geneva set as the subject for the prize essay of the year 1905 the theme "Le Sionisme et Ses Aspirations Actuelles." A collection of opinions has been published by Emil Kronberger, "Zionisten und Christen," Leipsic, 1900, and by Hugo Hoppe, "Herrvorragende Nichtjuden über den Zionismus," Königsberg, 1904.The "Kultur-Frage."
Though the number of shekel-paying Zionists has increased largely year by year, the opposition sketched above has hardly diminished, except in the case of those whose spokesman has been Lucien Wolf (see below). A large section of Orthodox Jewry still sees in Zionism or rather in its promoters a danger to established custom and time-honored rites, despite the fact that a specific resolution of the Second Basel Congress declared that Zionism would do nothing to militate against such customs and such rites. The Orthodox rabbis at Grodno in 1903 declared themselves opposed to the movement, as did a number of Hungarian rabbis in 1904. On the other hand, the Ḥaside Ẓiyyon of Lodz is made up of Ḥasidim; and such men as Samuel Mohilewer, Chief Rabbi J. H. Dünner in Holland, the haham M. Gaster in England, and H. Pereira Mendes inNew York have joined the Zionist ranks. The stumbling-block has been the "Kultur-Frage," the question of the relation of Zionism to modern education and to the modern point of view. The use of the word "Kultur" in this connection was unfortunate, as the east-European Jew had been led to regard this term as connoting certain distinctive and anti-religious tendencies of modern society. The doubt has remained, despite all attempts to clear up the difficulty by definition. The question was mooted at the First Basel Congress (on the proposition of Birnbaum), but was really taken up at the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Congresses, at the last of which it was made part of the party's program. The advocacy of physical and mental advancement upon modern lines, has provoked the opposition of a large body of Orthodox Jews, who otherwise might have joined the Zionist body, as the idea of the restoration still forms a part of their theological equipment. The Jews connected with Reform synagogues, and those outside any distinctively Jewish organization, in most cases still look upon Zionism as a reaction, not only from a theological point of view, but from the standpoint of general culture as well; and this last, despite the reiterated pronouncements made at various congresses. In his opening address at the First Congress Herzl said: "We have no thought of giving up even one foot of the culture that we have acquired; on the contrary, we wish to broaden that culture," and at the Third Congress he added, "We desire to lift ourselves up to a higher moral plane, to open up new means of communication between nations and prepare the way for social justice. Just as the poet weaves songs out of his own pain, so shall we prepare from out of our own suffering the advancement of mankind in whose service we are." In fact, a formal resolution was adopted at the Second Congress to this effect: "Zionism seeks not only the economic and political but also the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people and must ever remain upon the stand of modern culture, whose achievements it highly values."
To a still larger number of Jews, who might perhaps sympathize with Zionism, the seeming impracticability of carrying out the platform and the supposed insuperable difficulties in finding a home for the Jews in and around Palestine, coupled with the peculiar political circumstances which render those countries the bone of contention among the European powers, stand in the way; though some of those who now stand aloof have shown a readiness to join the Zionist ranks if another, and to their eyes more practical, policy should be evolved—e.g., that connected with the offer of territory in East Africa (see below).The Basel Congress.
In spite of all opposition Herzl continued the elaboration of the policy set forth in the "Judenstaat." The first part of his program was the calling of a congress of such Jews and such Jewish organizations as sympathized with the new movement. This congress was to have been held in Munich; but the Kultusvorstand of the Munich Congregation memorialized the committee that had it in charge, asking them to change its venue. In face of this determined attitude on the part of the leaders of the community, the place of meeting was changed in July to Basel. At this congress there were 204 delegates. It is notable that the B'nai B'rith lodges in Rumania sent two delegates; while the English Chovevei Zion organizations were not represented, on the ground that the congress was "dangerous." Additional difficulties attended the holding of this congress. Part vii. of the first volume of "Die Welt" had been confiscated by the Austrian authorities. Most of the Jewish newspapers of Europe had been actively opposed to Zionism, while that part of the daily press which was in any way controlled by Jews pursued a consistent policy of silence. Among the delegates there were representatives of the various Jewish national bodies, though most of the members came in their private capacity. The great Jewish beneficiary organizations of Europe and America were entirely without representation; and, with one or two exceptions, they kept themselves entirely free from any connection with Zionism. However, a number of noted Christians, whose interest was either purely humanitarian or theological, testified by their attendance to the kindly interest which large sections of the non-Jewish world brought to the new movement. Among such were Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Society; the Rev. M. Mitchell; the Rev. Mr. Hechler, chaplain to the British embassy in Vienna; Baron Manteuffel; Col. Count Bentinck; and Dr. Johannes Lipsius, the editor of "Der Christliche Orient." This First Congress was in the main a manifestation; though the organization of the movement was commenced there and a number of propositions made which were carried out at a subsequent period; e.g., the promotion of the study of the Hebrew language and literature, in the discussion of which the plan for a proposed Jewish high school in Jaffa or Jerusalem was brought forward; the formation of a general Hebrew school organization and a special literature commission (Chief Rabbi Ehrenpreis of Bulgaria); the formation of a Jewish national fund (Professor Shapira of Heidelberg). At this congress the Basel Program was drawn up, which states the object of Zionism to be "the establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine" (see Th. Herzl in the "Contemporary Review," 1897, pp. 587-600; German translation, "Der Baseler Congress," Vienna, 1897).Propaganda After the First Congress.
Between the First and Second Congresses the Actions Committee elected at the former busied itself with furthering the propaganda by means of a number of pamphlets, such as the addresses of Herzl and Nordau at the First Congress; "Das Ende der Juden Noth," by York-Steiner, in German, Hebrew, and Yiddish; Nordau's "Ueber die Gegner des Zionismus"; and a pamphlet setting forth the aims of Zionism, printed in Hebrew, Arabic, and French for use in the East. It furthered also the organization of the various groups that had sprung up; and it took the first measures for the founding of the Jewish Colonial Trust. A prefatory conference of the Actions Committee, together with some of the leaders fromvarious countries, was held in Vienna in April, 1898; and the Second Congress met in Basel Aug. 28-31 of that year. The spread of the movement may be gaged by the number of Zionist societies and groups that had come into being since the First Congress:
|* New York, 26; Chicago, 8.|
A Russian preliminary conference had been held in Warsaw at which about 140 delegates took part, and a second one was held at Basel, those attending being Orthodox rabbis, presided over by Haham M. Gaster of London. More than forty telegrams of adhesion were received from Orthodox rabbis; and besides a number of crown rabbis of Russia, there were also present representatives of the Ḥasidim. A special colonization committee was appointed with a view to furthering colonization on the basis of the consent of the Turkish government; and an agreement was reached as to the formation of the Jewish Colonial Trust, a committee of nine being appointed for that purpose, with D. Wolfssohn of Cologne at the head. The founding of a general Hebrew-speaking nation was proposed by Chief Rabbi Ehrenpreis of Bulgaria; and the resolution on "Kultur," proposed by Haham Gaster, to which reference has been made above, was accepted.The Third and Fourth Congresses.
The Third Congress likewise met in Basel, Aug. 15-18, 1899. It was here that Herzl announced that his endeavors were centered upon receiving a charter from the sultan. The report of the Actions Committee showed that the number of societies in Russia (877) had increased by 30 per cent and in other countries by 25 per cent. The shekel-payers numbered more than 100,000, which meant that probably a quarter of a million Jews were actively identified with the Zionist movement. All the Chovevei Zionists in Rumania had become members of the congress. A new scheme of organization was submitted, which had for its object the building up of the inner structure of the movement. The "Kultur" question was further discussed, in the attempt to make it clear that "Kultur" in no way militated against Judaism in any form. The question of colonization in Cyprus was brought up by Davis Trietsch, who had held a preliminary conference to consider the proposal; but he was not allowed to proceed with the question in open congress, the great majority of the members being decidedly averse to even a consideration of the proposal.
The Fourth Congress was transferred to London, where it met in Queen's Hall Aug. 13-16, 1900. The transfer was made with a view to influencing British public opinion still further, as in no country had the Zionist propaganda been received by the general public with more understanding or with greater sympathy. During the year that had elapsed the Russian societies had increased to 1,034, those of England to 38, and those of the United States to 135; while in a small country like Bulgaria there were no less than 42 such societies.Herzl's Interview with the Sultan.
The hopes of the Zionist body in regard to Palestine and the good intentions of the sovereign power there were somewhat dampened by the instructions sent by the Porte in Nov., 1900, making it impossible for Jewish visitors to Palestine to remain there for a period longer than three months. The Italian government immediately protested that it made no difference between its Jewish and its Christian subjects; and the matter having been brought to the attention of Secretary Hay, the American ambassador in Constantinople was on Feb. 28, 1901, instructed to make a similar protest in the name of the United States government. This action by the Porte, which was merely the revival of a regulation that had been issued about fifteen or twenty years previously, was in many quarters said to have been due to the renewed Zionist activity; but on May 17, 1901, the sultan himself received Herzl in audience, the latter being accompanied by two other members of the Actions Committee, David Wolfssohn and Oscar Marmorek. Herzl was received on two further occasions; and upon leaving, the sultan conferred upon him the grand cordon of the Order of the Mejidie. From Constantinople Herzl went to London, where on June 11, 1901, he was again received by the Maccabæans, on which occasion he spoke with much confidence of the success of his mission to the sultan and asked the Jewish people for £1,500,000 in addition to the money in the bank for the purpose of obtaining the charter. But the Jewish people kept silent; and the negotiations which had proceeded so far were for the moment in abeyance.Zangwill at the Fourth Congress.
The Fifth Congress was held at Basel in 1901, this time during the winter, Dec. 26-30. The new organization statutes were here finally accepted. They called for a meeting of the congress once every two years; and in the interval between the congresses a meeting of the Larger Actions Committee and the leaders in the various countries was to be held. It was also decided that a new territorial organization could be founded in any land if 5,000 shekel-payers demanded the same. All arrangements for opening the bank had been made; resolutions were passed to give a subvention to the National Library in Jerusalem, and as to the necessity of a Hebrew encyclopedia and the founding of a statistical bureau. A severe criticism of the Baron de Hirsch Trust was made by I. Zangwill, but his motion was not put before the congress. There was again a long "Kultur" debate, which ended in the following pronouncement: "The congress declares spiritual amelioration ["kulturelle Hebung"], i.e., the education of the Jewish people along national lines, to be one of the chief elements of the Zionist program, and lays it as a duty upon every Zionist to work toward that end." During this congress thirty-seven delegates, comprising the Democratic Fraction,headed by Berthold Feiwel, being dissatisfied with the ruling of the president, left the congress in a body, but returned after the demonstration had been made.
On July 10, 1902, Herzl appeared before the Royal Immigration Commission, sitting in London, to determine what measures, if any, should be taken to prevent the large influx of a foreign proletariat into England. Herzl's plea was for a regulation of immigration, as far as the Jews were concerned, rather at its source in eastern Europe than at its outlet in western Europe and America. In the summer of the same year a deputation of the German Zionist body was received in audience at Carlsruhe by the Grand Duke of Baden, who has on several occasions testified to his deep interest in the movement.
In the autumn of 1898 and after preliminary audiences in Potsdam and Constantinople, Emperor William II. of Germany publicly received a Zionist deputation in Palestine. The delegation consisted of Dr. Theodor Herzl, Dr. M. T. Schnirer, D. Wolfssohn, Dr. M. Bodenheimer, and Engineer Seidener, president of the Zionist groups in Germany; and, after an introductory greeting on Oct. 28 at the Colony Miḳweh Yisrael near Jaffa, it was received on Nov. 2 in the imperial tent in Jerusalem, State Secretary von Bülow being present. In answer to the address presented, the emperor said that "all such endeavors, as aiming at the promotion of Palestinian agriculture to the weal of the Turkish empire, and having due respect to the sovereignty of the sultan, might be sure of his good-will and interest."
Both at this time and subsequently Herzl had interviews with the sultan. His original program meant an understanding with that ruler upon the basis of a regulation of the Turkish finances ("Die Welt," i., No. 1). He tried also to impress upon the sultan the perfect loyalty of the Zionist body, as shown in the public manner in which it dealt with the problem and in its opposition to any form of small colonization which meant the smuggling in of Jews to Palestine against the wishes of the sovereign power, as well as the value to Turkey of an industrious, law-abiding, and progressive element in the country. The concessions on the part of the sultan were to be in the form of a charter, the Turkish government affording the Jews a large amount of municipal self-government, the Jews on their part paying a certain sum upon the delivery of the concession and a yearly tribute after that. The status was to be similar to that of the Island of Samos, which, on account of the part it had taken in the liberation of Greece in 1821, was accorded on Dec. 11, 1832, through the intervention of England, France, and Russia, a Christian autonomous prince, having his own army, flag, and congress, and paying to the sultan a yearly tribute of 300,000 piasters (W. Miller, in "The Speaker," 1898, p. 579). Though upon several occasions Herzl believed himself near to the realization of his policy, it failed because of the lack of monetary support from the Jews. At a later period the sultan proposed a scattered colonization of the Jews in the Turkish empire, which Herzl was bound to refuse, as being incompatible with the Basel Program and the needs of the Jewish national movement ("Protokoll" of the Sixth Zionist Congress, p. 6).
In October of the same year (1898) negotiations were opened with some members of the English government for a land concession in the Sinai Peninsula. These negotiations were continued in Cairo by L. J. Greenberg with Lord Cromer and the Egyptian government. A commission, consisting of Engineer Kessler, Architect Marmorek, Captain Goldsmid, Engineer Stephens, Professor Laurant, Dr. S. Soskin,Dr. Hillel Joffe, and Mr. Humphreys, representing the Egyptian government, left Egypt at the beginning of 1903 to make an exhaustive study of the territory under consideration; and it returned toward the end of March. The Egyptian government, although in part agreeing to the demands for a Jewish administration and extended municipal powers in the proposed settlement at Al 'Arish, felt itself not warranted in agreeing to the concession on account of the lack of water, which would necessitate the use of a certain portion of the Nile. It may be added that the Jewish Colonization Association had shown itself not unwilling to lend its assistance, had the concession been granted ("Die Welt," 1904, No. 1).Zionism in Russia.
Russia having furnished the greatest number of Zionists, the trend of sentiment in that country may briefly be indicated. At the Minsk Congress held in Sept., 1902, 500 delegates attended, representing the Orthodox Party, the Democratic Fraction, a so-called Center Party, and the socialistic Bund. At this meeting the relation of orthodoxy to radicalism, the "Kultur" question, and especially colonization in Palestine were discussed. The congress was not indisposed to unite with non-Zionist colonization societies for the immediate purchase of land in Palestine, thus making the first break in the rigidity of the Basel Platform. Resolutions were passed to the effect that all moneys belonging to the National Fund should be used only for the purchasing of land in Palestine, and that the paragraphs of the National Fund statutes should be so changed as to preclude the collection of capital to which restrictions were attached (see M. Nurock, "Der i. Allrussische Zionisten-Congress in Minsk," Riga, 1902).Herzl's Interview with Von Plehve.
The year 1903 is memorable in the annals of Zionism. On June 24, Von Plehve, the Russian minister of the interior, issued a secret circular to the governors, city prefects, and chiefs of police, putting a ban upon all Zionist meetings and forbidding all collections for Zionist purposes. The moneys belonging to the Trust and to the Jewish National Fund, and the shekel collections were to be turned over to the Odessa society for assisting Jewish agriculturists in Palestine. The reason given for this action was the supposed impossibility of realizing the Zionist program except in the distant future; but the real motive was the fear that Jewish Socialists might make use of the Zionist platform for the propagation of their theories ("The Times," London, Sept. 2 and 11). This, together with the distressing condition of the Jews in general in that country, induced Herzl to visit Russia early in Aug., 1903. He there had interviews with Witte and Von Plehve, and was joyfully acclaimed by the Jewish proletariat of the cities through which he passed. The result of his interview with Von Plehve is given in a letter to Herzl dated Aug. 12, and published at the Sixth Zionist Congress. In it Von Plehve promises that if the Zionistic movement confines its agitation to the creation of an independent state in Palestine and to the organized emigration from Russia of a certain number of Jewish inhabitants, the Russian government will give its moral and material support to Zionist negotiations at Constantinople, and will facilitate the work of the emigration societies with certain moneys contributed by the Jews of Russia ("Die Welt," Aug. 25, 1903).
Ever since the negotiations in regard to Al 'Arish, Herzl and his agents had kept in contact with the English government. The project to effect a Jewish colonization in the East-African Protectorate seems not to have been an entire surprise. In the "Jewish Chronicle" of July, 1903, it was mooted by Robert T. Yates. It was, however, in no way sought by the Zionist leaders, but was spontaneously offered to Dr. Herzl by Joseph Chamberlain, after the latter's visit to South Africa upon the close of the Boer war. In an official letter dated from the Foreign Office, Aug. 14, 1903, Clement Hill wrote to L. J. Greenberg in regard to "the form of an agreement which Dr. Herzl proposes should be entered into between His Majesty's government and the Jewish Colonial Trust, Ltd., for the establishment of a Jewish settlement in East Africa." Hill was directed by the Marquis of Lansdowne to say:The East-African Project and the Sixth Congress.
"That he has studied the question with the interest which His Majesty's government must always take in any well considered scheme for the amelioration of the position of the Jewish race . . . If a site can be found which the Trust and His Majesty's Commissioner consider suitable and which commends itself to his government, Lord Lansdowne will be prepared to entertain favorably proposals for the establishment of a Jewish colony or settlement on conditions which will enable the members to observe their national customs . . . the details of the scheme comprising as its main features the grant of a considerable area of land, the appointment of a Jewish official as the chief of the local administration, and permission to the colony to have a free hand in regard to municipal legislation as to the management of religious and purely domestic matters, such local autonomy being conditional upon the right of His Majesty's government to exercise general control."
The Sixth Congress drew near without a shadow to presage the storms that were coming. It was held in Basel Aug. 23-28, 1903. It is true that on Aug. 22 a preliminary meeting was convened, in which the Government Party was severely criticized by Alfred Nossig, who pleaded for "national education" as being more important and of more immediate necessity than the acquisition of territory; but such criticism on the part of the opposition was expected. Although the basis of representation had been raised to 200 shekel-payers, no less than 592 delegates and more than 2,000 spectators were present. The announcement by Herzl of his interview with Von Plehve created a sensation among the Russian delegates, especially among those of Socialistic proclivitities; while the offer made by the British government was received with very varied feelings. In his address Herzl distinctly said: "East Africa is indeed not Zion and can never become it"; and in an eloquent oration Max Nordau spoke of such a possible settlement simply as a "Nachtasyl." The Democratic Fraction as a whole was against the proposition, as were the majority of the Russian delegates. Feeling ran very high, and at one time threatened even to disrupt the meeting. The proposition before the congress was that a commission should be sent out to examine the territory in East Africa, and that before a final vote was taken on the merits of thequestion a special congress should be called for that purpose. After several days of argument a vote was taken which showed 295 affirmative and 178 negative, 90 withholding their votes entirely. This vote represented the view of the congress not as to the advisability of accepting the offer of the British government, but merely as to the proper spirit in which so generous an offer ought to be received and upon the political necessities of the moment. Nevertheless, it was taken to have a much wider meaning; and although a rider was attached to the resolution prohibiting the use of any shekel moneys or any property of the Trust for the purpose of the expedition, the Russian members of the Actions Committee and a number of Russian delegates persisted in misunderstanding the purport of the vote and created a demonstration by publicly leaving the congress.The East-African Commission.
The East-African proposal acted like a firebrand in the Zionist camp. It threatened to divide the party into two opposed halves, and meetings of protest and discussion were everywhere held. The misunderstanding would not down. On the one hand, some groups in Rumania went so far as to commence preparations to leave for East Africa; and a special warning had to be issued by the Actions Committee. On the other hand, the inhibition placed upon Zionist moneys for the purposes of the commission caused a long delay in the formation and despatch of that body. In Sept., 1903, the Jewish Colonization Association was asked to bear one-half of the expense of the commission; and it consented to do so on the understanding that any settlement made in East Africa should be only in the way of simple colonization, and should have no political character whatsoever. This necessitated the withdrawal of the request, the greater part of the expense of the commission being at a later time borne by Christian friends of the movement. It was also noted that a strong opposition manifested itself in East Africa. Lord Delamere, the high commissioner, sent a cable protest ("Times," London, Aug. 28), which protest was endorsed by Lord Hindlip and Sir Harry H. Johnston (ib. Sept. 2); the latter, however, changed his position later on ("Die Welt," 1904, p. 42). Popular feeling had been so roused among the Jews that on Dec. 19, 1903, a Russian student of unsound mind, Haim Selik Loubau, made an attempt upon the life of Max Nordau at the Zionist ball given in the Salle Charras in Paris.
Simultaneously with the Sixth General Congress the first Jewish congress was held in Palestine. It was organized and led by Usishkin. Seventy delegates and sixty teachers met in the colony Zikron Ya'aḲob. It was intended to be a Basel congress in miniature.
An organization was founded, to which all Jews in Palestine were to belong who were above eighteen years of age and who paid one franc a year. The delegates were to meet once a year, chosen by groups of fifty, for which purpose Palestine was divided into six sections:
- 1. Jerusalem, Hebron, Moẓah, and Artuf.
- 2. The colonies around Ramleh.
- 3. Jaffa and Petaḥ Tiḳwah.
- 4. Nazareth, Tiberias, and the colonies in the neighborhood.
- 5. Ḥudairiyah, Zikron Ya'aḳob, and Haifa.
- 6. Safed and the Galilean colonies.
There was to be an actions committee of twenty-three members and an extra-Palestinian committee containing representatives of the Odessa body, the Jewish Colonization Association, the Alliance Israélite, the Esra, and Baron Edmond Rothschild. It is not known that the organization was perfected or that either it or its committees ever held further meetings.Rise of Territorialism.
The Russian members of the Actions Committee when they returned home were not inactive. In Oct., 1903, most of them held a secret conference at Kharkof, at which they resolved to send a committee to Vienna to demand of Herzl a written promise to relinquish the East-African project before the convening of the Seventh Congress, and in his capacity as a leader of the Zionists to engage in no further territorial projects. He was formally to promise also to take up the work in Palestine and the acquisition of land there and in Syria with the moneys of the National Fund. An organization of the Russian Actions Committee was determined upon in order to give it greater weight in the Zionist deliberations. If Herzl should refuse to give the promises demanded, the Russians were to refrain from sending further contributions to Vienna and to commence an active propaganda against the Government Party. It was this conference that invented the name "Territorialism." This undoubted revolutionary action on the part of many members of the Larger Actions Committee living in Russia was received with an outburst of protests from Zionist organizations throughout the world, some of which came from St. Petersburg, Odessa, Warsaw, and Baku. The delegation of the Kharkof Conference, consisting of A. A. Belkowsky, S. J. Rosenbaum, and W. J. Temkin, went to Vienna and met a session of the Larger Actions Committee on April 11, 1904. Everything was done to convince the Russian members not only of the illegality of the position they had taken, but also of the groundlessness of their fears that either Herzl or the Actions Committee had swerved one iota from the Basel Platform; and the resolutions of the Kharkof Conference were allowed to pass without action.Death of Herzl.
They were, however, to leave an indelible mark upon the Zionist movement as a whole. The opposition to the proposed offer of the English government in many quarters turned into opposition against the president of the congress. He was bitterly attacked, notably by Haham M. Gaster of London; and he felt deeply the exposed position in which he had been placed. For some time past the cares of the great Zionist movement had weighed too heavily upon him. At the Sixth Congress he had complained that his physical powers were unequal to the task, and that an affection of the heart made the great work more difficult than it otherwise would have been. Still he was unremitting in his labors. On Oct. 11, 1903, the King of Italy received Rabbi S. Margulies of Florence in the interests of Zionism, and on Jan. 25 following Herzl had audience both of the king and of Tittoni, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. On this occasion he saw also the pope and Cardinal Merry del Val. On July 3, 1904, Herzl breathed his last, a martyr to the Jewish cause. There is no doubt that the discussionsand misrepresentations consequent upon the East-African proposal aggravated the disease that was slowly mastering his body. Perhaps the only Jewish statesman of modern times who had devoted himself to the service of his people, he had done more than any single person or group of persons to give the cause dignity and standing. He had been able to unite upon a common ground factors of varying opinions and divergent interests. His fascinating personality and his diplomatic tact had made him the spokesman of his brethren. He had found the Jewish question a philanthropic and at best an agricultural one. He left it an economic and diplomatic one. Whatever his merit as a German litterateur may have been (and this was testified to most bountifully at his death), as an upholder of Jewish ideals and a liberator of his people from mental and moral serfdom he stands almost unique in Jewish annals.
The death of Herzl naturally created consternation within the Zionist body. He had united so much in his own person that he took upon himself alone many of the burdens that others should have borne with him. The question of his successor as chairman of the Actions Committee and as president of the congress naturally preoccupied all minds. On Aug. 16, 1904, a meeting of the Larger Actions Committee was called to take over the affairs of the organization, and on the 17th the annual conference was held. An additional commission to the Smaller Actions Committee was elected, consisting of Nordau, Wolfssohn, Katzenelensohn, Warburg, Tschlenow, Usishkin, Alexander Marmorek, Bodenheimer, and Greenberg, although no provision for such a commission was contained in the constitution. On Nov. 18, 1904, a Zionist deputation, consisting of N. Katzenelensohn, J. Jasinowsky, Tschlenow, and Belkowsky, had an interview with Sviatopolk-Mirsky, the new Russian Minister of the Interior; and on Dec. 4 and 5 Dr. N. Bodenheimer and others, representing the Actions Committee, attended a meeting in Frankfort-on-the-Main for the purpose of regulating the emigration of Jews from Russia. In Jan., 1905, the Larger Actions Committee again sat in Vienna, and it was resolved to legalize the National Fund in London under the control of the Jewish Colonial Trust. The Russian Zionists meanwhile commenced to arm themselves for the struggle which it was foreseen would arise at the Seventh Congress. On Jan. 14, 1905, a conference of forty-seven persons was held in Wilna, at which it was resolved that "as regards the view which considers it possible to realize the ultimate aim of Zionism in a country other than Palestine, it is agreed that such a view is opposed to both the historic ideal of Zionism and the Basel Platform."Question of the Guas Ngishu Plateau.
The East-African Commission of Inquiry which had been sent out on Dec. 25, 1902, after the committee of nine members appointed by the congress of that year had examined the project in Europe, was composed of Major A. St. H. Gibbons, Prof. Alfred Kaiser, and Engineer M. Wilbusch. The British government had proposed to leave the delimitation of the proposed Jewish settlement to the commission and to the authorities in British East Africa. Herzl, however, preferred that the government should offer a definite territory, which it did after communicating with the high commissioner. This territory is known as the Guas Ngishu Plateau, covering "an area of about 6,000 square miles, bounded in the north by a line running parallel to the equator, and the starting-point of which is the Keremkie, a western tributary of the Kerio River, which flows into Lake Rudolf. In the west it is bounded by the line of the meridian, which is to be counted from the Kissimchanga Mountain to the equator, and which terminates at the Maragolia Hills. In the south the boundary-line as far as the main slope of the so-called Rift Valley, the great East-African depression, is formed by the equator, from which point the eastern boundary-line is drawn almost due north along the Elgeyo escarpment as far as the above-mentioned Keremkie River." The report of the commission was presented to the Actions Committee May 16, 1903, and has been printed as a Zionist Blue Book in English and German (London, 1905). The opinions of the members of the commission were divided; but in general the territory offered was found to be insufficient for a large number of Jewish settlers, and to be fit rather for grazing than for agriculture.The Seventh Congress.
The Seventh Congress met in Basel on July 27, 1905, the first anniversary of the funeral of Theodor Herzl. Over 800 delegates had been elected, of whom more than 600 attended. As had been anticipated, the sessions were particularly exciting; indeed, at times they became turbulent. The various parties had previously made preparations, the Ẓiyyone Zionists having held a preliminary conference in Freiburg. Dr. Max Nordau was elected president. Perhaps the most interesting report presented to the congress was that of the Palestine Commission. It told of the publication of its organ "Altneuland," of a geological expedition, of meteorological observation stations established, of the mission of Dr. S. Soskin to Palestine and Syria in the interests of the culture of cotton there, and of the lecture courses on colonization held at Köthen (March 27-April 8, 1905) in connection with the local technical institute. The real interest of the congress lay, however, in the vote that was to be taken on the report of the East-African Commission. Several days were spent in its discussion, and on July 30 the special congress was held provided for in the resolution of the Sixth Congress. The conclusion was foregone. The Actions Committee had, upon receipt of the commission's report, given its opinion that the proffered land was not sufficient in extent and resources for colonization on a large scale; and the Government Party, together with the Ẓiyyone Zionists and the Mizraḥi faction, was known to be largely in the majority. Various resolutions dealing with the subject were offered; and the following compromise was finally proposed by Alexander Marmorek in the name of the Actions Committee:
"The Seventh Zionist Congress declares: The Zionist organization stands firmly by the fundamental principle of the Basel Program, namely, 'The establishment of a legally secured,publicly recognized home for the Jewish people in Palestine,' and it rejects, either as an end or as a means of colonizing, activity outside Palestine and its adjacent lands. The Congress resolves to thank the British government for its offer of a territory in British East Africa, for the purpose of establishing there a Jewish settlement with autonomous rights. A commission having been sent out to examine the territory, and having reported thereon, the Congress resolves that the Zionist organization shall not engage itself further with the proposal. The Congress records with satisfaction the recognition accorded by the British government to the Zionist organization in its desire to bring about a solution of the Jewish problem, and expresses a sincere hope that it may be accorded the further good offices of the British government where available in any matter it may undertake in accordance with the Basel Program. The Seventh Zionist Congress recalls and emphasizes the fact that, according to article I. of the statutes of the Zionist organization, the Zionist organization includes those Jews who declare themselves to be in agreement with the Basel Program."
In the final trial of strength on this motion the Territorialists abstained from voting, while Dr. Syrkin, in the name of twenty-eight delegates belonging to the Poale Zion, presented a protest against the decision, and together with his party left the hall, refusing to take further part in the congress.
The future work of the Zionist body in Palestine was also the subject of long discussion between the Government Party and the Ẓiyyone Zionists. A compromise resolution was likewise effected in this regard, to wit:Proposed Work in Palestine.
"The Seventh Zionist Congress resolves that, concurrently with political and diplomatic activity, and with the object of strengthening it, the systematic promotion of the aims of the movement in Palestine shall be accomplished by the following methods: 1. Exploration. 2. Promotion of agriculture, industry, etc., on the most democratic principle possible. 3. Cultural and economic improvement and organization of Palestine Jews through the acquisition of new intellectual forces. 4. Acquisition of concessions. The Seventh Zionist Congress rejects every aimless, unsympathetic, and philanthropic colonization on a small scale which does not conform to the first point in the Basel Program."
It was further voted that no land in Palestine was to be bought with the moneys of the National Fund until this could be done in a judicial way.Present Condition of the Movement.
It is difficult to estimate the number of Zionist societies at present (1905) in existence. They run up into many thousands, and the work they do is of varying complexions according to the needs of Jews living under different conditions. Some are purely national Jewish gatherings, others are literary, while others again are devoted to a development of social intercourse among their members. Many have libraries attached to their places of meeting, and do a certain amount of settlement work. All have one object in view: to foster the national Jewish sentiment, and to band their members together in the further development of Jewish character. The payment of the shekel (25 cents) confers the right to vote for delegates to the congress. Yearly or half-yearly meetings are held by all the societies within a certain district, and federations are gradually being formed in the various countries. The first such organization was the Federation of American Zionists, founded in 1898 for the purpose of gathering into one body the societies in and around New York, but gradually including within its scope all the societies in the United States and the Philippine Islands. In 1905 this federation comprised 238 societies, with eighty societies in a second organization, the Knights of Zion (Chicago), only loosely connected with the federation. The English Zionist Federation, into which most of the older Chovevei Zion societies were merged after a conference held at Clerkenwell Town Hall, March 6, 1898, was founded in Feb., 1899, and to it were soon added the Canadian and South-African federations, the Societati Sion Istilor diu Rominia, the Zionistische Vereinigung für Deutschland, the Niederlandsch Zionistenbund, and the Dansk Zionistisk Forening. Russia is divided into thirteen "rayons," each one of which is presided over by a member of the Larger Actions Committee.Constitution.
The constitution of the whole Zionist organization is democratic in its very foundations. Full authority resides only in the congresses, in whose hands lie the direction of all Zionist affairs and the election of all officers. While Theodor Herzl was alive the chairman of the Smaller Actions Committee was at the same time president of the congress. At the Seventh Congress the two offices were separated, and it was made impossible for a member of the Actions Committee to be an executive officer of a congress. The congress has its own manual of procedure, which has been modified from time to time. Representation at the congress is upon the basis of one delegate for every 200 shekel-paying Zionists. Up to the Seventh Congress the president carried on the affairs of the organization with six other members living in the same city, who with him formed the Smaller Actions Committee. By the side of this there was a Larger Actions Committee, composed of the leaders of the various orgadizations in different countries, proposed by their own territorial organizations and elected by the congress. The number of members in this larger committee has continually grown; in 1898 it was 37, in 1900 it was 42, and in 1905 it reached 53. In this last year the Larger Actions Committee was made the executive body of the congress, while the Smaller Actions Committee, consisting of David Wolfssohn, Professor Warburg, Jacobus Kann, Kohen-Bernstein, M. Usishkin, L. J. Greenberg, and Alexander Marmorek, was simply a committee of the larger body. Wolfssohn is at present (1905) chairman of the Smaller Actions Committee, which has its seat in Cologne. The annual budgets of this committee from 1898 to the present time are given in the following table:
|Year.||Value in Francs.|
The founding of the Jewish Colonial Trust has been described elsewhere (
At the First Congress, in 1897, the idea of a Jewish National Fund (Territorial Fund) was mooted by Prof. Herman Shapira. At the Fourth (1900) it was accepted in principle. The purpose of the Fund is to produce a permanent capital which shall be the property of the Jewish people for the exclusive purpose of buying land in Palestine. It is not to be touched until it reaches $1,000,000, half of which sum is always to remain on hand. The statutes as laid down by the National Fund Commission were accepted by the Fifth Congress (1901); and in 1904 the Fund ("Ḳeren Ḳayyemet") was legally domiciled in London, its moneys being placed in possession of the Jewish Colonial Trust. The Fund is derived from the use of stamps placed on Zionist letters, invitations, and the like, from free-will offerings, and from payments made to inscribe persons and societies in the "Golden Book" ("Sefer ha-Zahab"). Since June 1, 1902, these collections have produced a little over $205,000. The resolution to refrain from using the Fund until it has reached a certain point was violently opposed by the Ẓiyyone Zionists, and a resolution against the statute was adopted by the Minsk Convention; but the Jews in Palestine themselves pleaded (1903) for the original form.Educational Work.
In its intellectual and spiritual influence upon the Jewish people Zionism has specifically and in many various ways influenced Jewish life. Education has been one of the principal objects in view. Thus, in the district around Yelisavetgrad it has founded about forty-eight model ḥadarim; and it has established reading-rooms, evening courses, and the like. In 1903 Zionists founded a school in Temir Khan Shusa in Daghestan, and the national school for girls (Bet ha-Sefer) in Jaffa receives an annual subvention from the society. The same is true of the Jewish Central Library (Abarbanel Library; see
In attempting to estimate the effect of the Zionist upheaval it must not be forgotten that, though it tended to consolidate previous efforts in various directions, and to create new efforts along similar lines, the movement itself was merely the culminating point of a previous development. It brought to a head the Jewish Renaissance and provided a channel into which the various activities of this renaissance might flow and find a concerted expression. This is seen, for instance, in the student organizations in Austria and partly in Germany.Jewish Students' Societies.
Even before the rise of anti-Semitism in the former country, as early as 1882, Jewish students in Vienna, from Russia, Galicia, and Rumania, had banded together for the purpose of conserving Jewish feeling and of cherishing Jewish literature. Perez Smolenskin gave this society its name, "Ḳadimah," which, meaning both "Forward" and "Eastward," indicated the direction of its activity. Pinsker's "Autoemancipation" became its Bible, and its practicalinterest was enlisted in the colonization of Palestine. Its first announcement in Hebrew and German upon the blackboard of the university created consternation. It was strongly opposed by the great mass of Vienna Jews, but in spite of this it continued to further the physical and mental advance of its members. The ordinary "Burschenschaften," "Corps," and "Landsmanschaften" gradually became "Judenrein," under strong pressure from without, even going so far as to declare the Jewish students unworthy of satisfaction by duel. The answer on the part of the Jewish students was the formation of further societies: in 1892 the "Unitas" for students coming from Moravia, and the "Ivria" for students from northern Moravia and Silesia (reorganized 1894); in 1895 the "Libanonia," at first for veterinary students, and later on for students at large; in 1897 the "Bar Kochba" for those coming from Galicia, in which Hebrew courses of instruction were established; and in 1898 the "Maccabaea" for technical students, and the "Bar Giora" for students from the south-Slavic countries. The "Rede- und Lesehalle Jüdischer Hochschüler" and the "Vereinigung der Zionistischen Finkenschaft an der Wiener Universität" are open to all comers. At other universities and high schools similar societies were founded, e.g., the "Ferialverbindungen": the "Emunah" in Bielitz, the "Astra" in Kanitz, the "Massada" in Vienna, the "Severitas" in Loschitz. To these must also be added the "Veritas" in Brünn, the "Charitas" in Graz, the "Kolko Akademickie" in Kolomea, the "Hasmonea" and "Zephirah" in Czernowitz, the "Bar Kochba" in Prague, the "Przedsnt" ("Ha-Shaḥar") in Cracow, the "Akademische Verbindung" in Yaroslaw, the "Makkabaea" in Breslau, the "Hasmonae" in Berlin, the "Herzl" in Königsberg, the "Zionist Society" at Columbia University, New York, and the "Jüdische Studentenverbindung Zionah" at Giessen. At various times general meetings of delegates of these societies have been held, e.g., the "Zionistischen Studententag" in Lemberg on July 25, 1899, and the "Studententag" in Vienna, June 30, 1903, and in June, 1905. In general, see "Ost und West," 1901, p. 415; Albert M. Friedenberg, "Zionist Studies," p. 23, New York, 1904.Gymnastic Societies.
Along similar lines were founded a large number of "Turnvereine" (gymnastic societies), which had as their object the development of Jewish muscle and the strengthening of Jewish conscience in the rising generation. The movement in this direction commenced even before the First Zionist Congress, such a society having been founded in Constantinople in the year 1894. It received a great moral support from the national spirit engendered by the Zionist propaganda, and the outward impulse to the formation of such separate societies was given by the exclusion of Jewish students from the "Bundesgenossenschaft" of gymnasts in Austria and from the academic "Turnvereine" in Germany. It was in the latter country that these Jewish societies were most sharply attacked, notably by a Jew, Rathenau, and by the "Kölnische Zeitung." The governing body of the "Jüdische Turnerschaft" in Germany answered the attack (Sept. 2, 1903) in order to assure the public that there was nothing anti-German in their action. Whereupon the "Kölnische Zeitung" and the "Frankfurter Zeitung" changed in a measure their attitude; but the "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums" hoped that such "extravagances" could not be laid at the door of German Jews; while the "Mittheilungen zur Abwehr des Anti-Semitismus" fought the movement tooth and nail, looking upon it only as a means of Zionistic propaganda. On the other hand, such Jewish weeklies as the "General Anzeiger" of Berlin, the "Israelitisches Familienblatt" of Hamburg, and the "Israelitisches Gemeindeblatt" reflected the sentiments of a part of the Jewish community by heartily welcoming the new movement. As the foregoing table will show, the work of the "Turnvereine" has grown apace, and at the Third Basel Congress, in 1899, a public exhibition was given by societies from Berlin, Cologne, Freiburg, Mannheim, Mährisch-Ostrau, Prossnitz, Ungarisch-Hradisch, and Vienna, and a second Jewish "Turnertag" was held in Berlin April 23 and 24, 1905. The "Bar Kochba" of Berlin has printed a collection of songs ("Vereins Liederbuch"), and since 1902 it has published the monthly "Jüdische Turnzeitung."
|Date of Foundation.||Place.||Name of Society.|
|1898||Berlin (Oct. 22)||Bar Kochba.|
|1899||Vienna||Wiener Jüd. Turnverein.|
|Biala||Bialäer Jüd. Turnverein.|
|1900||Halberstadt||Turnklub Junger Jüd. Kaufleute.|
|Posen||Neuen Posener Turnverein.|
|Breslau||Jüd. Turn-und Sport-Verein.|
In addition there are societies (the dates of whose foundation are not known) at Hanover, Frankfort-on-the-Main ("Jung-Juda"), Brünn, Bern, Samokoff, Bazardjik, Dubnitza, Cracow, and Lemberg.
In accord with the democratic basis of the Zionist organization, women have from the first been admitted to a voice and a vote in the congress. This has occasioned the formation of a large number of women's societies, which bear such names as "Benoth Zion" (Jassy, Sofia, New York), "Hadassa" (Vienna, Braila, New York), "Jehudith" (Brünn), "Moria" (Vienna), "Zion" (Lemberg), "Jüdisch Nationale Frauen Vereinigung" (Frankfort-on-the-Main). The work of these societies is of a literary, educational, and social character.Influence on Literature and Art.
The inspiration that Zionism has given to the furtherance of modern Jewish Renaissance is seen in various directions. From its ranks have come most of those sturdy students, writers, poets, painters, and sculptors who have done so much to make the modern artistic development available for Jewish life (see Buber in the "Protocol of the Fifth Congress," pp. 151 et seq.). Not only has the cultivation of the Hebrew language been foremost in their program, but especially the furtherance of art with a distinctive Jewish bent. Ephraim Moses Lilien, Lesser Ury, Judah Epstein, and Herman Struck have worked in line and color; Frederic Beer, Henryk Glitzenstein, Alfred Nossig, and Boris Schatz in marble and bronze. In 1901 Alfred Nossig, Davis Trietsch, Buber, Feiwel, and Lilien started the Jüdische Verlag in Berlin, which has attempted to substitute artistic book-making for the inelegant presswork of former times. Besides publishing a "Jüdischer Almanach" and the "Jüdische Statistik," it has printed a number of highly artistic volumes dealing with modern Jewish literature and art. The Jüdischer Künstler Verlag Phoenix (1902) in Berlin owes its origin to the same circle, as does also the Jüdischer Künstler Aesthetik in Warsaw.Zionistic Press.
One of the most potent factors of Zionist propaganda has been its press. Only a few of the older Jewish papers were inclined toward the new movement, e.g., "Ha-Meliẓ" and "Ha-Ẓefirah" in Russia, the "Jewish World" in England, the "CorriereIsraelitico" in Italy, the "Jewish Exponent" in Philadelphia, and the "Jewish Comment" in Baltimore. The "Jewish Chronicle" of London, though editorially unfavorable, has always given the widest publicity to Zionist news and to correspondence anent the movement.
On the other hand, the majority of Jewish weeklies have shown themselves more or less violently inimical, especially the "Voskhod" in St. Petersburg, the "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums" in Berlin, "Bloch's Wochenschrift" in Vienna, and "The American Israelite" in Cincinnati. It therefore became necessary for the society to create a press of its own. In 1898 Theodor Herzl founded "Die Welt," which he carried on at his own expense until the Fifth Basel Congress officially accepted it as the organ of the party. Simultaneously there grew up a great number of Zionist periodicals in Hebrew, Yiddish, Judæo-Spanish, German, French, English, Italian, Russian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Arabic, etc. Many of these are official publications of Zionist Territorial and other organizations, e.g., the "Maccabæan," of the Federation of American Zionists; "L'Echo Sioniste," of the French Federation; "Israelitische Rundschau" (Berlin), of the German Zionist Union; "Israel's Messenger," of the Shanghai Zionists. Of the others only a few can be mentioned: "Der Jüdische Arbeiter" (Vienna); "Jüdische Zukunft" (London); "Zionistische Monatshefte" (Geneva); "Jüdische Post" (Pittsburg); "Ha-Mizpah" (Cracow); "Ha-Shaḥar" (Sofla); "Ha-Shiloaḥ" (Berlin); "Degel Maḥaneh Yehudah" (Jassy); "Buduschnost" (St. Petersburg); "El Dia" (Philippopolis); "Idea Sionista" (Ferrara); "El-Miṣrayim" (Cairo). "Ost und West" (Jüdischer Verlag, Berlin) is the first attempt at an artistic Jewish journal; and in the "Schlemiel" the Jew—perhaps for the first time—refuses to take himself seriously. "Unsere Hoffnung" (Vienna) is a Zionist juvenile publication.Wide Spread of Zionism.
The extent to which the Zionist idea has spread among the Jewish people may be seen not only in the number of Jews affiliated with the Zionist organization and congress, but also in the fact that there is hardly a nook or corner of the Jewish world in which Zionistic societies are not to be found. Even where no such organizations exist expressions of approval and adhesion have come from bodies of Jews who have lived practically cut off from all connection with the course of Jewish life. Notable were communications, together with subscriptions for the fund, from a band of descendants of Portuguese Jews in Manecoré in Amazonas, Brazil (March 12, 1901), from Jews settled in Chile, and from the Jadid al-Islam in Khorasan (1901); while societies exist in Tshita (Siberia, on the Manchurian border), Tashkent, Bokhara, Rangoon (Burma), Nagasaki, Tokyo, Hongkong, Singapore, and among the American soldiers in the Philippines. The Shanghai Zionist Association was founded in 1903; the Dr. Herzl East Africa Zionist Association in Nairobi (East-African Protectorate) in 1904. In Australia there are four Zionist federations: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and West Australia. Queensland has its own federation with its center in Brisbane, and New Zealand has several societies. Even among the Russian Jews settled by the Jewish Colonization Association in Argentina, there is a federation comprising four societies. A Zionist congress was held there May 16, 1904, comprising delegates of 1,150 shekel-paying members. In every country of Europe, in the United States, along the North-African coast, and in Palestine similar societies are to be found. At the St. Louis Exposition, 1904, the Zionist flag (blue and white stripes, with a "Magen Dawid" in the center) floated from one of the buildings together with those of other nationalities.Parties in Zionism.
This topographical diversity runs parallel with the variety of Jews to whom the Zionist movement has appealed; and it is therefore natural that a great divergence of opinion is manifest within its own ranks. This could not be otherwise, considering that the movement is a national one. Several parties and factions have accordingly grown up within the body, and have made themselves felt during some of the congresses. In fact, the discussions, very violent at times because they are based on radical differences of principle both in the congress and outside, are the natural concomitants of this as of all world-movements. Of the parties or groups within the Zionist body the following may be specifically enumerated:
The group composed of the immediate followers of Theodor Herzl and of those that stood by him during his seven years of work may be called the Government Party. Their program is that enunciated by the president of the congress at its various sittings. They desire a legally assured home for the Jewish people in Palestine and neighboring countries, and take their stand upon the Basel Platform pure and simple. They are politico-diplomatic Zionists, though not opposed to strengthening the position of the Jews in Palestine by bettering their condition and by conducting experiments in farming and industrial enterprises.
The second group is that of the Mizraḥi, an alliance of the Orthodox Jews within the Zionist body. The Mizraḥi was formed at the time of the Fifth Congress as an offset to the Radical Fraction. Its head is Rabbi Isaac Jacob Reines of Lida, Russia, where its first yearly meeting was held Feb. 23, 1903. It claimed then a membership of 11,000, but has largely gained since that time. In 1903 it had founded 125 societies, not only in Russia, but in Germany, England, Galicia, and Palestine. A world conference of Mizraḥists was held in Presburg Aug. 21-24, 1904, and a special conference of the English societies in London July 19, 1904. The group has spread also to the United States, where it has held two meetings, Jan. 5-7, 1905, in New York, and June 17, 1905, in Philadelphia. The American branch maintains an organ, "The Sabbath Journal." The Mizraḥists, forming the Jewish Center Party, were stanch adherents of Theodor Herzl, and since his death have remained true to his principles. To these they have added, as a special feature, the conservation of Orthodox Jewish practises. At the congress they usually vote with the Government Party. According to their program, they are "an organization of Orthodox Zionists who, on the basis of the Basel Program, believe a faithful adherence to the Torah and the tradition in all matters pertaining to Jewish life, and a longing for the land of the fathers, to constitute the task of the Jewish people and the conditions favorable to its preservation."
The Po'ale Zion, or the Democratic "Fraction," represents the Jewish Left. Its members claim to speak for the proletariat in eastern Europe, and have a number of pronounced Socialists in their ranks. Thoughcomparatively a small body, they made themselves felt at the Second Congress, when the motion of Professor Mandelstamm to exclude them was lost. They are organized in Austria and in Switzerland; and one faction calls itself openly "The Zionistic Socialist Workingmen's Party, London-Paris." They organized in America in 1903, and held their first convention April 29, 1904, twelve societies being represented and maintaining an organ, "Die Neue Stimme." In the United States they are affiliated with the Federation of American Zionists. The Po'ale Zion holds that the Jewish proletariat will be driven into its ranks as the pressing, practical need for emigration from eastern Europe becomes greater. The members are therefore largely Territorialists, and claim to be forced in a measure to be opposed to Palestinian colonization on whatever scale, because of its apparent impossibility. On the other hand, they are believed in some quarters to have their Socialist propaganda more at heart than their Zionist work, and to threaten to compromise the movement with certain European governments. The Bund in Russia was at first opposed to Zionism, accusing the latter society of refusing to aid the Rumanian Jews in 1897. Since then it has made sensible approaches to Zionism, its members becoming Nationalist Jews and working for national Jewish autonomy.Ẓiyyone Zionists.
A very large party within the general body consists of the so-called Ẓiyyone Zionists, a product of the discussions raised by the Sixth Congress. They are practically led by Usishkin of Yekaterinoslav. At the time of the Sixth Congress he was presiding over a congress in Palestine, and declared himself not only against the East-African project, but also against the binding character of the vote taken at the congress. In a pamphlet, "Unser Programm" (Vienna, 1905), he has laid down the principles of the new group. Holding that the diplomatic actions of Herzl have proven a failure, it demands immediate work in Palestine, without waiting for the granting of a charter. Land there should be bought at once with a certain portion of the National Fund; and whatever diplomatic actions are to accompany Zionist work should be carried out by a collegium. For the purposes of colonization a special society, Geullah, has been formed; and the assistance of the ICA and other colonization societies is to be sought. A Palestine Zionist Association was founded in London in May, 1905, with Haham M. Gaster as its president, to work along similar lines. Since the Sixth Congress, Usishkin has been ceaselessly active in gathering his forces together. Before the Seventh Congress a preliminary conference was held in Freiburg, and at the congress itself the Ẓiyyone Zionists polled a vote of 360, practically controlling the voting power. There can be no doubt that the Ẓiyyone Zionists are made up largely of the old Chovevei Zion groups; and though they have protested strongly against the imputation, the Political Zionists see in their rise a danger of the movement falling back into the rut of the old beneficent colonization.Territorialists; Israel Zangwill.
Diametrically opposed to the Ẓiyyone Zionists are the Territorialists. The new organization was formed largely of those who wished the congress to accept the offer of the English government; but in a very short while it developed into a body seeking a territory upon an autonomous basis in any part of the world where such territory might be available. The Zionistische Territoriale Verbindung in Bern issued a call in "Die Welt" (1905, No. 12), but the new group was really formed as the Jewish Territorial Organization during the Seventh Congress. Israel Zangwill has been its leader and is its president. Despite his protest that the minority at the congress must always bow to the majority (speech in London, 1900), he felt that the need of the wandering mass of Jews, and consequent emigration called for a more rapid solution than political Zionism was able to afford. According to Zangwill, the majority at the Sixth Congress was for Territorialism; but this is a misstatement, inasmuch as a large majority of those who voted in the affirmative on that occasion voted merely for the sending of the commission, and not upon the merits of the proposition as a whole. Ignoring completely the vote taken at the Seventh Congress, he put himself at the head of the Jewish Territorial Organization, and, joined by the radical element which cut itself off from the Zionist body, and by a number who, like himself, remained Zionists although they believed it inopportune to refuse the offer of the English government, he fashioned the new organization in Basel. In the "Jewish Chronicle," London, Aug. 25, 1905, he issued a manifesto in which he stated that the Jewish Territorial Organization
"makes as a body no opposition toward Zionism, its members being left free to determine their individual relations to that movement. Naturally no land whatever is excluded from our operations, provided it be reasonably good and obtainable."
The object of the organization was said to be:
"1. To procure a territory upon an autonomous basis for those Jews who cannot or will not remain in the lands in which they at present live. 2. To achieve this end the organization proposes: to unite all Jews who are in agreement with this object; to enter into relations with governments and public and private institutions; and to create financial institutions, labor bureaus, and other instruments that may be found necessary."
The large mass of Zionists saw in this new organization a breaking away from the larger body, and, practically, Zionism minus Zion.
Israel Zangwill has (Sept., 1905) joined hands with Lucien Wolf, who now seems more willing to accept the idea of a British colony with Jewish autonomous rights—the very proposition made to Theodor Herzl by the British government—though he still proclaims himself as far from the Zionist position as he ever was. In furtherance of these plans Zangwill in the name of the Jewish Territorial Organization memorialized the Hon. Alfred Littleton (Sept. 8, 1905), asking that the original concession in British East Africa remain open for a while longer. However, on Sept. 16 Littleton replied in the negative, stating that the territory in question had already been thrown open to colonization, but renewing the assurance contained in the letter of Clement Hill (see above) that his government follows with the same interest any attempt to ameliorate the condition of the Jewish people.Other Groups.
Several less clearly defined groupings have sprungup of late years. The so-called Political Zionists held their own conference at Warsaw in June, 1905, Prof. M. Mandelstamm presiding. These are on some points opposed to the Territorialists, who are in a sense anti-Palestinian; but they are willing to make certain concessions in their desire to conserve the large mass of Jews emigrating out of eastern Europe from complete assimilation and demoralization. They are willing to cooperate with other bodies in concentrating this emigration in an autonomous national territory other than Palestine. They desire, however, that the work in and for Palestine shall continue; and they agree that no Zionist moneys are to be employed for other than Palestinian purposes. They claim to have had forty-five delegates at the Fifth Congress, and at the Seventh they formed a special group, their spokesman being Prof. N. Slouschz of Paris. They are opponents of the Ẓiyyone Zionists and gravitate naturally toward the Territorialists.
A second minor group is that of the Practical Political Party ("Real Politische Partei"), led by Nossig and Trietsch, with some of whose views Professor Warburg, Dr. Franz Oppenheimer, and others of the Palestine Commission coincide. They are opposed to both the Ẓiyyone Zionists and the Territorialists. They hold that the importance of autonomy in a Jewish ingathering is exaggerated; and they demand that the Zionists further a legal colonization in Palestine and the neighboring countries, a systematic economic advance in the near East, the purchase of land in and around Palestine, the investigation of both its agricultural and commercial possibilities, the founding of experimental farming and other stations, and diplomatic measures only in so far as their ends are attainable. They also lay great stress upon the organization of the Jews and upon Jewish culture (see Nossig in "Die Stimme der Wahrheit," pp. 11 et seq.). The leaders of this small group have been severe critics of the diplomatic activity of Theodor Herzl. They favor colonization in Cyprus and have done successful work in furthering the intellectual side of the Jewish Renaissance.Moral Zionism of Aḥad ha-'Am (Asher Ginsberg).
Very different from those above mentioned are the followers of Aḥad ha-'Am (Asher Ginsberg). This leader of what is called "Moral Zionism," though now opposed both to Chovevei Zionism and to Political Zionism, was one of the moving forces in the early days of the former. In 1889 he formed in Odessa the Bene Mosheh, a secret organization, lodges of which are to be found in many Russian cities, and which has ramifications in Palestine, Great Britain, Paris, and Berlin. For three or four years this society supplied the material and the enthusiasm that established the colony Reḥobot, the Carmel Wine Company, the Aḥiasaf Publication Society, the monthly "Ha-Shiloaḥ," and the Bet ha-Sefer in Jaffa. According to Aḥad ha-'Am, Judaism is in greater need than are the Jews, and a national spiritual center is necessary in Palestine to act as a centrifugal force against the disintegrating tendencies within the Jewish ranks. A "Renaissance of the heart" must come, and gradually, through a process of development. Only when the spirit of the people has been centralized can the work of centralizing the people themselves be begun. Aḥad ha-'Am is the philosopher of the Jewish Renaissance; and as he has severely attacked Political Zionists, he has been as severely attacked by them in return. Many Zionist leaders and workers subscribe to Aḥad ha-'Am's principle as a theory, while furthering the practical works of the organization; and many theoretic Zionists look to him as their leader, as such adhesion leaves them uncompromised in their affiliations. Nor must it be forgotten that much of his program is that of all Zionists. At the opening of the Second Congress, Herzl proclaimed that Zionism meant "a return to Judaism as preparatory to a return to a Jewish land" (see Henrietta Szold in "Jewish Comment," May 12, 1905; Matthias Acher, "Aḥad ha-'Am," Berlin, 1903).
It can not be denied that these various currents have had an effect upon the general trend of Zionism as officially expressed in the discussions and resolutions of succeeding congresses. While any violation of the fundamental principles of the Basel Platform is sternly rejected, there has been manifest a greater readiness to undertake work in Palestine upon a practical basis without first waiting for the final results of diplomatic and political action, the while carefully pursuing these actions and preventing a recurrence of the older and worthless Chovevei Zionism.
- The bibliography on Zionism, which is extremely large, has been collected in a Russian publication, Ukazatel Literatury o Sionizmě, St. Petersburg, 1903. Only a few works can be mentioned here. A history of Zionism has been attempted by Sapir, Der Zionismus, Brünner Jüdischer Verlag, 1903. The files of Die Welt and the stenographic Protokoll of the seven congresses furnish the most reliable material;
- an index to them has been drawn up by Hugo Schachtel, Register zu den Protokollen der Zionistenkongresse, i.-vi., Berlin, 1905.
- See also R. Gottheil, The Aims of Zionism, in Publ. Am. Fed. of Zionists, New York, 1899;
- C. Levias, The Justification of Zionism, in Hebrew Union College Journal, Cincinnati, April, 1899;
- R. Gottheil, The Zionist Movement, in North American Review, 1902;
- J. de Haas, Zionism, London, 1901;
- Max Nordau, in the International Quarterly, 1902, No. 1;
- Israel Zangwill, in Lippincott's Magazine, Oct., 1899;
- Theodor Herzl's Zionistische Schriften, ed. Leon Kellner, Berlin, 1905;
- Heinrich Sachse (Löwe), Zionistenkongress und Zionismus, Eine Gefahr? Berlin, 1897;
- Ephraim Deinard, Dibre ha-Yamim le-Ẓiyyon be-Russia, Kearny, N. J., 1904;
- F. Heman, Das Erwachen der Jüdischen Nation, Basel, 1897;
- Max Jaffé, Die Nationale Wiedergeburt der Juden, Berlin, 1897;
- D. Farbstein, Der Zionismus und die Judenfrage, Bern, 1898;
- Ben Eliezer, Die Judenfrage und der Socialer Judenstaat, Bern, 1898;
- Aron Sandler, Anthropologie und Zionismus, Brünn, 1904;
- Was Will der Zionismus? Berlin (Zion. Verein. f. Deutschland), 1903.
- A collection of essays will be found in Die Stimme der Wahrheit, ed. E. Nossig, Berlin, 1905, and in the Publications of the Federation of American Zionists.