I want to answer the 3 questions on the last page of the article in one page length. Also, I want to have at least 2 quotes (prefer 3) from the article to support the answers.
A tumult ensued in the cemetery; too many had suddenly stormed to his coffin, crying, sobbing, screaming in a wild explosion of despair. It was almost a riot, a fury. All order was overturned through a sort of elemental ecstatic mourning such as I have never seen before or since at a funeral.
And it was this gigantic outpouring of grief from the depths of millions of souls that caused me to realize for the first time how much passion and hope this lone and lonesome man had borne into the world through the power or a single idea.
So wrote an observer about the funeral of Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism. Born in Budapest, Hungary, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Herzl had a talent for writing and became the Paris correspondent for an Austrian newspaper. Already concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism in Austria, Herzl reported on the Dreyfus Affair, which began in 1894.
2 Captain Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish officer in the French army who was unjustly accused and convicted of giving military secrets to Germany. The verbal and physical assaults on Jews that occurred during the affair intensified Herzl’s search for a solution to the prejudice and persecution Jews faced in Europe.
Influenced by the nationalism of the age. he proposed that Jews migrate to establish their own state outside of Europe in his 1896 The Jewish State. The state would provide them with a safe haven. Herzl envisaged the creation of a Society of Jews that would raise funds and gain the diplomatic support of the Great Powers for the creation of the Jewish state.
Herzl’s ideas were greeted with skepticism in some quarters and with opposition in others such as among Jews who favored assimilation. On the other hand, other groups such as the Lovers of Zion in Russia and millenarian Christian evangelicals supported political Zionism.
The latter offered hope to Russian Jews who endured pogroms that destroyed Jewish lives and property and who faced job and residential discrimination. Herzl helped to organize and presided over the First Zionist Congress. It met in Basle, Switzerland, in January 1897.
The delegates endorsed the Basle Program, which contained Herzl’s ideas; and the congress established the Zionist Organization. Herzl, therefore, also played an important role in the organization of the Zionist movement.
He, moreover, helped to establish contacts within the British government that would eventually lead to Britain’s formal support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine after his death. After the failure of his diplomatic overtures to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Palestine, and to Germany, Herzl focused his efforts on Britain in 1902.
He was somewhat flexible as to the location of a Jewish state, though he preferred Palestine because of its historical and religious significance to the Jewish people. When, however, Joseph Chamberlain suggested the possibility of Egypt as an area for Jewish settlement, Herzl smiled and replied: No, we will not go to Egypt. We have been there.”
On the other hand, the Zionist leader was willing to entertain the possibility of British Kenya as an area for Jewish colonization, but only as a stepping stone to Palestine. The British Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976), pp. 63-64.
Jacques Kornberg points out that it was rising anti-Semitism in Austria that first led Herzl to seek a solution to the Jewish plight. See his Theodor Herzl: From Assimilation to Zionism (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1993), p. 2., 3 Sachar, A History of Israel, p. 54. themselves grew cooler towards this idea. Russian Jews in particular insisted that there could be no Zionism without Zion and that Palestine should be the Jewish homeland.
Herzl died from a heart attack in 1904, but the British gave formal diplomatic support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration of November 1917.
Britain gained control over Palestine as a mandate under League of Nations supervision after WWI and so was able to give effect to its promise. The following selection is taken from Herzl’s The Jewish State.
The Jewish Question still exists. It would be foolish to deny it. It is a remnant of the Middle Ages, which civilized nations do not even yet seem able to shake off, try as they will. They certainly showed a generous desire to do so when they emancipated us. The
Jewish Question exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized countries for instance, France until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis.
The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America. We are a people one people. We have honestly endeavored everywhere to merge ourselves in the social life of surrounding and to preserve the faith of our fathers. We are not permitted to do so.
In vain are we loyal patriots, our loyalty in some places running to extremes; in vain do we make the same sacrifices of life and property as our fellow-citizens; in vain do we strive to increase the fame of our native land in science and art, or her wealth by trade and commerce.
In countries where we have lived for centuries we are still cried down as strangers, and often by those whose ancestors were not yet domiciled in the land where Jews had already had experience of suffering. The majority may decide which are the strangers; for this, as indeed every point which arises in the relations between nations, is a question of might.
I do not here surrender any portion of our prescriptive right, when I make this statement merely in my own name as an individual. In the world as it now is and for an indefinite period will probably remain, might precedes right. It is useless, therefore, for us to be loyal patriots, as were the Huguenots, who were forced to emigrate.
If we were left in peace. But I think we shall not be left in peace. 4 Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State (American Zionist Emergency Council, 1946 ed.), translated from the German by Sylvie D’Avigdor, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/herzl/2d.html
No one can deny the gravity of the situation of the Jews. Wherever they live in perceptible numbers, they are more or less persecuted. Their equality before the law, granted by statute, has become practically a dead letter. They are debarred from filling even moderately high positions, either in the army, or in any public or private capacity.
And attempts are made to thrust them out of business also: “Don’t buy from Jews!” Attacks in Parliaments, in assemblies, in the press, in the pulpit, in the street, on journeys for example, their exclusion from certain hotels even in places of recreation, become daily more numerous.
The forms of persecution varying according to the countries and social circles in which they occur. In Russia, imposts are levied on Jewish villages; in Rumania, a few persons are put to death; in Germany, they get a good beating occasionally; in Austria, Anti-Semites exercise terrorism over all public life; in Algeria, there are traveling agitators; in Paris, the Jews are shut out of the so-called best social circles and excluded from clubs. Shades of anti-Jewish feeling are innumerable.
But this is not to be an attempt to make out a doleful category of Jewish hardships. I do not intend to arouse sympathetic emotions on our behalf. That would be foolish, futile, and undignified proceeding. I shall content myself with putting the following questions to the Jews:
Is it not true that, in countries where we live in perceptible numbers, the position of Jewish lawyers, doctors, technicians, teachers, and employees of all descriptions becomes daily more intolerable? Is it not true, that the Jewish middle classes are seriously threatened?
Is it not true, that our poor endure greater sufferings than any other proletariat? I think that this external pressure makes itself felt everywhere. In our economically upper classes it causes discomfort, in our middle classes continual and grave anxieties, in our lower classes absolute despair.
Everything tends, in fact, to one and the same conclusion, which is clearly enunciated in the classic Berlin phrase: “Juden Raus” (Out with the Jews!)
The whole plan is in its essence perfectly simple, as it must necessarily be if it is to come within the comprehension of all. Let the sovereignty be granted us over a portion of the globe large enough to satisfy the rightful requirements of a nation; the rest we shall manage for ourselves.
The creation of a new State is neither ridiculous nor impossible. We shall have in our day witnessed the process in connection with nations which were not largely members of the middle class, but poorer, less educated, and consequently weaker than ourselves. The Governments of all countries scourged by Anti-Semitism will be keenly interested in assisting us to obtain the sovereignty we want.
The plan, simple in design, but complicated in execution, will be carried out by two agencies: The Society of Jews and the Jewish Company. 5
The Society of Jews will do the preparatory work in the domain of science and politics, which the Jewish Company will afterwards apply practically. The Jewish Company will be the liquidating agent of the business interests of departing Jews, and will organize commerce and trade in the new country.
We must not imagine the departure of the Jews to be a sudden one. It will be gradual, continuous, and will cover many decades. The poorest will go first to cultivate the soil. In accordance with a preconceived plan, they will construct roads, bridges, railways and telegraph installations; regulate rivers; and build their own dwellings;
their labor will create trade, trade will create markets and markets will attract new settlers, for every man will go voluntarily, at his own expense and his own risk. The labor expended on the land will enhance its value, and Jews will soon perceive that a new and permanent sphere of operation is opening here for that spirit of enterprise which has heretofore met only with hatred and obloquy.
Palestine Or Argentine?
Shall we choose Palestine or Argentine? We shall take what is given us, and what is selected by Jewish public opinion. The Society will determine both these points.
Argentine is one of the most fertile countries in the world, extends over a vast area, has a sparse population and a mild climate. The Argentine Republic would derive considerable profit from the cession of a portion of its territory to us. The present infiltration of Jews has certainly produced some discontent, and it would be necessary to enlighten the
Republic on the intrinsic difference of our new movement.
Palestine is our ever-memorable historic home. The very name of Palestine would attract our people with a force of marvelous potency. If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return undertake the whole finances of Turkey. We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.
We should as a neutral State remain in contact with Europe, which would have to guarantee our existence. The sanctuaries of Christendom would be safeguarded by assigning to them an extra-territorial status such as is well-known to the law of nations. We should form a guard of honor about these sanctuaries, answering for the fulfillment of this duty with our existence.
This guard of honor would be the great symbol of the solution of the Jewish question after eighteen centuries of Jewish suffering.
These became known as the Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund respectively. The Jewish Company is partly modeled on the lines of a great land-acquisition company.
It might be called a Jewish Chartered Company, though it cannot exercise sovereign power, and has other than purely colonial tasks. The Jewish Company is an organization with a transitional character. It is strictly a business undertaking, and must be carefully distinguished from the Society of Jews.
The Jewish Company will first of all convert into cash all vested interests left by departing Jews. The method adopted will prevent the occurrences of crises, secure every man’s property, and facilitate that inner migration of Christian citizens which has already been indicated.
Purchase Of Land
The land which the Society of Jews will have secured by international law must, of course, be privately acquired. Provisions made by individuals for their own settlement do not come within the province of this general account. But the Company will require large areas for its own needs and ours, and these it must secure by centralized purchase.
It will negotiate principally for the acquisition of fiscal domains, with the great object of taking possession of this land “over there” without paying a price too high, in the same way as it sells here without accepting one too low. A forcing of prices is not to be considered, because the value of the land will be created by the Company through its organizing the settlement in conjunction with the supervising Society of Jews.
The latter will see to it that the enterprise does not become a Panama, but a Suez. 6
The Phenomenon of Multitudes
I do not want to hurt anyone’s religious sensibility by words which might be wrongly interpreted. I shall merely refer quite briefly to the Mohammedan pilgrimages to Mecca, the Catholic pilgrimages to Lourdes, and to many other spots whence men return comforted by their faith, and to the holy Hock at Trier.
Thus, we shall also create a center for the deep religious needs of our people. Our ministers will understand us first, and will be with us in this.
We shall let every man find salvation “over there” in his own peculiar way. Above and before all we shall make room for the immortal band of our Freethinkers, who are continually making new conquests for humanity.
6 The French entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps had been successful in building the Suez Canal, but failed in the attempt to build a canal through Panama.
The Gestor of The Jews
Externally, the Society will attempt, as I explained before in the general part, to be acknowledged as a State-forming power. The free assent of many Jews will confer on it the requisite authority in its relations with Governments.
Internally, that is to say, in its relations with the Jewish people, the Society will create all the first indispensable institutions; it will be the nucleus out of which the public institutions of the Jewish state will later be developed.
Politics must take shape in the upper strata and work downwards. But no member of the Jewish State will be oppressed, every man will be able and will wish to rise in it. Thus, a great upward tendency will pass through our people; every individual by trying to raise himself, raising also the whole body of citizens.
The ascent will take a normal form, useful to the State and serviceable to the National idea. Here I incline to an aristocratic republic. This would satisfy the ambitious spirit of our people, which has now degenerated into petty vanity. Many of the institutions of Venice pass through my mind; but all that which caused the ruin of Venice must be carefully avoided.
We shall learn from the historic mistakes of others, in the same way as we learn from our own; for we are a modern nation, and wish to be the most modern in the world.
Our people, who are receiving the new country from the Society, will also accept the new constitution it offers them. Should any opposition manifest itself, the Society will suppress it. The Society cannot permit the exercise of its functions to be interpreted by short-sighted or ill-disposed individuals.
It might be suggested that our want of a common language would present difficulties. We cannot converse with one another in Hebrew. Who amongst us has sufficient acquaintance with Hebrew to ask for a railway ticket in that language! Such a thing cannot be done.
Yet the difficulty is very easily circumvented. Every man can preserve the language in which his thoughts are at home. Switzerland affords a conclusive proof of the possibility of a federation of tongues. We shall remain in the new country what we are here, and we shall never cease to cherish with sadness the memory of the native land out of which we have been driven.
We shall give up using those miserable stunted jargons, those Ghetto languages which we still employ, for these were the stealthy tongues of prisoners. Our national teachers will give due attention to this matter; and the language which proves itself to be of greatest utility for general intercourse will be adopted without compulsion as our national tongue.
Our community of race is peculiar and unique, for we are bound together only by the faith of our fathers.