The Jewish State – Theodor Herzl’s Program for Zionism. Theodore Herzl’s pamphlet Der Judenstaat, The Jewish State, was published in It heralded. Project Gutenberg · 58, free ebooks · 3 by Theodor Herzl. The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl. No cover available. Download; Bibrec. The Herzl text was originally published under the title Der Judenstaat in Vienna, Theodore Herzl was the first Jew who projected the Jewish question as an.
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It heralded the coming of age of Zionism. Herzl’s plan for creating a Jewish State, arrived at after contemplating other solutions as well, provided the practical program of Zionism, and led judenstaaat the first Zionist congress in Basle, Switzerland, in August, He became a doctor of law in and worked for a short while in courts in Vienna and Salzburg.
However, he soon left law and devoted himself to writing.
The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl
Herzl was in Paris when a wave of anti-Semitism broke out over the court martial of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer. Dreyfus, falsely accused of espionage and banished to an island prison, was divested of his rank in a humiliating public ceremony in Januaryas a mob shouted “Death to the Jews.
The Dreyfus case motivated Herzl to devote thought and effort to the Jewish problem. He contacted Baron Hirsch for the first time with his ideas in the spring ofbut Hirsch and others turned him down. Herzl began to keep a diary, in which his father made the entries for some reason.
The diary, as it progressed, shows the evolution of his ideas and political understanding. Herzl formalized the concept of emergence from the Diaspora the dispersion of the Jews and return to Zion in The Jewish State. In The Jewish Statehe proposed, for the first time, a program for immediate political action. From the preface he wrote for the Jewish State, it appears that he was inspired in part by a socialist Utopia written by Theodor Hertzka, another Vienna visionary. Though Herzl claimed Hertzka’s scheme was utopian, Hertzka did try to carry it out in Africa.
Remarkably, Herzl had not read any early Zionist writings when he conceived of his idea for a Jewish State. He believed that attempts at assimilation of Jews into European society were in vain, as the majority in each country decided who was a native and who an alien.
The persistence of anti-Semitism determined that the Jew would always be an outsider and only the creation of a Jewish state, a matter of interest to both Jews and non-Jews, would put an end to the Jewish problem. The Jewish State proposed that diplomacy would be the primary way of attaining the Jewish State.
Herzl called for the organized transfer of Jewish communities to the new state. Of the location of the state, Herzl said, “We shall take what is given us, and what is selected by public opinion.
Herzl’s The Jewish State included social innovations such as the seven-hour working day. He was interested in an economy where free enterprise and state involvement went hand-in-hand.
It was to be a modern, sophisticated and technologically advanced and Europeanized society. The book became required reading for all Zionists and was taken as the basic platform of political Zionism.
In the Jewish State, Herzl anticipated some of the antagonism that the Zionist idea would provoke, especially among those who believed in the abolition of nationalism:. Here I would reply that we may as well begin by removing a little of this misery, even if it should at first be no more than our own.
It might further be said that we ought not to create new distinctions between people; we ought not to raise fresh barriers, we should rather make the old disappear. But men who think in this way are amiable visionaries; and the idea of a native land will still flourish when the dust of their bones will have vanished tracelessly in the winds. Universal brotherhood is not even a beautiful dream. Quite accurately, Herzl foresaw the sort of objections that some in the Jewish community would raise to the idea of Zionism:.
It might more reasonably be objected that I am giving a handle to anti-Semitism when I say we are a people–one people; that I am hindering the assimilation of Jews where it is about to be consummated, and endangering it where it is an accomplished fact, insofar as it is possible for a solitary writer to hinder, or endanger anything. This objection will be especially brought forward in France. It will probably also be made in other countries, but I shall answer only the French Jews beforehand, because these afford the most striking example of my point.
Precisely these objections were raised to the Balfour declaration in Britain, by some British Jews. Along with objections to nationalism, they echo in the arguments of Jewish anti-Zionists today.
If however, Herzl foresaw the tremendous antagonism of ultra-orthodox rabbis to the “heretical” doctrine of Zionism, which would supplant religious governance of the Jews by a political and ideological framework, he was careful not to mention this issue, perhaps because he understood the need to cultivate the allegiance of the rabbis and the religious camp.
Without apparently having read modern Zionist writings, Herzl nonetheless understood the paradoxical basis of modern anti-Semitism:. Modern anti-Semitism is not to be confused with the religious persecution of the Jews of former times.
It does occasionally take a religious bias in some countries, but the main current of the aggressive movement has now changed.
In the principal countries where anti-Semitism prevails, it does so as a result of the emancipation of the Jews. Therefore I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a Judsnstaat will have it.
We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity. In the Jewish Stateat least, Iudenstaat largely ignored the presence of Arabs or other minorities in the prospective Jewish State. The book was not necessarily about colonization of any particular country. Though he mentions Argentina judennstaat Palestine as choices, he generally refers to the location of the state as “over there.
Herzl was not a racist, and did not base his conception jucenstaat the Jewish people on racist ideas of nationalism current at the time, but rather on cultural and historical development. He described himself as judeenstaat “Spinozist” – a follower of Baruch de Espinoza, the Portuguese Jew who rejected literal interpretations of the Bible and formal religion.
Spinoza, who had been excommunicated by the Jewish community, inspired many 19th century Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers, including Zionists, from Heine and Marx and Hegel to Hess and Herzl.
Nonetheless, Herzl had a great respect for the formal manifestations of religion, perhaps in part because he understood that he could only mobilize support for Zionism through the rabbis, who were the leaders of Jewish society, especially in Eastern Europe.
Our rabbis, on whom we especially call, will devote their energies to the service of our idea, and will inspire their congregations by preaching it from the pulpit.
They will not need to address special meetings for the purpose; an appeal such as this may be uttered in the synagogue. Thus it must be done.
“The Jewish State” (Theodor Herzl)
For we feel our historic affinity only through the faith of our fathers as we have long ago absorbed the languages of different nations to an ineradicable degree. Herzl completely rejected the race judensatat of Israel Zangwill. He became increasingly aware of the existence of Sephardic Jewry, but he envisioned the Jewish State as a state of Europeans, who might speak German.
In his jurenstaat he wrote:. I nerzl this conclusion from our most widespread jargon, ‘Judeo-German. Our teachers will see to that. In The Jewish State, Herzl envisioned the government of the new state to be an “Aristocratic Republic,” apparently modeled on contemporary Judenstawt or Germany.
Altneuland envisioned a multipluralistic democracy in which Arabs and Jews had equal rights. The novel concludes, “If you will, it is no legend. Herzl himself was no doubt aware of Zionist yearnings among Sephardic Jews. His grandfather was a friend of Rabbi Yehudah Alkalaia Zionist precursor.
But Herzl addressed his vision to the Jews of Europe. The Jewish State would not have been important if Herzl had not taken active steps to implement its program.
Herzl did not invent either practical or ‘political’ Zionism. Political Zionismthe attempt to secure a “charter” for a Jewish state from Turkey, Egypt or another country, had been around for hundreds of years. It was the program of the false Messiah Shabetai Tzvi in the seventeenth century. Herzl’s contribution was to establish a unified Zionist movement that made a public statement of its political ambitions and settlement program.
Nonetheless, Herzl’s vision dominated many aspects of the Zionist program for better or worse. Like Herzl, Zionists ignored the presence of Arabs in Palestine. Like Herzl, they became committed to the premise that Jews must return to performing productive work, and like Herzl, they were committed to a democratic society. As in Herzl’s utopian vision, Israel evolved, through conscious effort, to an advanced technological society. Herzl’s vision of a secular, liberal democracy inspired the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
Herzl appealed in vain to wealthy Jews such as Baron Hirsch and Baron Rothschild, to join the national Zionist movement. He found allies however, in impoverished Eastern European socialists and Zionists who had already formed Zionist groups. The result was the First Zionist Congress in Basle, which established the World Zionist Organization and adopted the program of attaining a Jewish State to be provided by “public law.
After the first Basle Congress, Herzl wrote in his diary, “Were I to sum up the Basle Congress in a word- which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly- it would be this: If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter.
If not in 5 years, certainly in 50, everyone will know it. Herzl attempted to gain a charter from the Sultan of Turkey for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, then ruled by the Ottoman Empire.
To this end he met in with the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, in Istanbul and Palestine, as well as the Sultan, but these meetings did not bear fruit. Herzl then negotiated with the British regarding the possibility of settling the Jews on the island of Cyprus, the Sinai Peninsula, the El Arish region and Uganda.
After the Kishinev pogroms, Herzl visited Russia in July He tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Russian government to help the Zionist Movement transfer Jews from Russia to Palestine. At the Sixth Zionist Congress Herzl proposed settlement in Uganda, on offer from the British, as a temporary “night refuge.
Though the Congress passed the plan as a gesture of esteem for Herzl, it was not pursued seriously, and the initiative died after the plan was withdrawn. Herzl met with the king of Italy, who was encouraging, and with the Pope, who expressed opposition. Herzl quarreled with the Zionist movement over the Uganda project, which had proposed only as a “night refuge” and at one point he resigned from the chairmanship briefly. However, he never thought of Uganda as a preferred solution. In Septemberhe wrote in his diary of a visit to the Duke of Baden:.
At one point the good old Duke seemed moved: I would particularly regard it as a vindication for us avaricious Jews, if we gave up a rich country for the sake of a poor one.
Frustrated by quarrels in the Zionist movement, Herzl wrote in his diary what may be a fitting epitaph:.
One day, when the Jewish state will be in existence, everything will appear petty and self-evident.