THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION
If mere chance, ever and again, produces men like Karl Marx and Dr. Theodor Herzl at moments when their acts can lead to destructive consequences out of proportion to their own importance, then chance in the past century has been enlisted in the conspiracy against the West. The likelier explanation is that a higher command was already in charge of these events and that it chose, or at all events used Herzl for the part he played. The brevity of his course across the firmament (like that of a shooting star), the disdainful way in which when his task was done he was cast aside, and his unhappy end would all support that explanation.
Those who have known Vienna and its atmosphere in our century will understand Herzl and his effect. A declining monarchy and a tottering nobility: a class of Jews rising suddenly and swiftly to the highest places; these things made great impression among the Jewish masses. Dr. Herzl, rather than the Neue Freie Presse, now told them how went the world and instructed politicians what to do. Obsequious Obers in the chattering cafés hastened to serve "Herr Doktor!" It was all new, exciting. Self-importance filled the Herzl's and de Blowitz's of that time and when Dr. Herzl emerged as the self-proclaimed herald of Zion the Western Jews were left awed and uncertain. If Dr. Herzl could talk like this to the Great Powers, perhaps he was right and the Napoleonic Sanhedrin had been wrong!
Could it be true that policy was made in Dr. Herzl's office, not in the Ballhausplatz? Had a Jew from Russia written The Jewish State, or attempted to set up a World Zionist Organization, the Western Jews would have ignored him, for they feared the conspiracy from the East and at least suspected its implications. But if Dr. Herzl, a fully emancipated Western Jew, thought that Jews must re-segregate themselves, the matter was becoming serious.
Herzl asserted that the Dreyfus case had convinced him of the reality of "antisemitism". The term was then of fairly recent coinage, though Dr. Kastein seeks to show that the state of mind denoted by it is immemorial by saying "it has existed from the time that Judaism came into contact with other peoples in something more than neighbourly hostility". (By this definition resistance in war is "antisemitism", and the "neighbours" in the tribal warfare of antique times, to which he refers, were themselves Semites. However, the words "contact exceeding neighbourly hostility" offer a good example of Zionist pilpulism.)
Anyway, Dr. Herzl stated that "the Dreyfus process made me a Zionist", and the words are as empty as Mr. Lloyd George's later ones, "Acetone converted me to Zionism" (which were demonstrably untrue). The Dreyfus case gave the Jews complete proof of the validity of emancipation and of the impartiality of justice under it. Never was one man defended so publicly by so many or so fully vindicated. Today whole nations, east of Berlin, have no right to any process of
law and the West, which signed the deed of their outlawry, is indifferent to their plight; they may be imprisoned or killed without charge or trial. Yet in the West today the Dreyfus case, the classic example of justice, continues to be cited by the propagandists as the horrid example of injustice. If the case for or against Zionism stood or fell by the Dreyfus case, the word should have disappeared from history at that point.
Nevertheless Dr. Herzl demanded that "the sovereignty be granted us over a portion of the globe large enough to satisfy the rightful requirements of a nation" (he specified no particular territory and did not especially lean towards Palestine). For the first time the idea of resurrecting a Jewish state came under lively discussion among Western Jews.* The London Jewish Chronicle described the book as "one of the most astounding pronouncements which have ever been put forward". Herzl, thus encouraged, went to London, then the focus of power, to canvass his idea. After successful meetings in London's East End he decided to call a Congress of Jews in support of it.
Consequently, in March 1897, Jews "all over the world" were invited to send delegates to a "Zionist congress", a counter-Sanhedrin, at Munich in August. The Western Jews were adamantly opposed. The rabbis of Germany, and then the Jews of Munich, protested, and the place of meeting was changed to Basel, in Switzerland. The Reform Jews of America two years earlier had announced that they expected "neither a return to Palestine. . . nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish State". (Most curious to relate today, when Rabbi Stephen Wise in 1899 suggested a book about Zionism to the Jewish Publication Society of America its secretary replied, "The Society cannot risk a book on Zionism").
When Herzl's congress met most of the 197 delegates came from Eastern Europe. This group of men then set up a "World Zionist Organization", which proclaimed Jewish nationhood and "a publicly secured, legally assured home" to be its aims, and Herzl declared "The Jewish State exists". In fact, a few Jews, claiming to speak for all Jews but vehemently repudiated by many representative bodies of Western Jewry, had held a meeting in Basel, and that was all.
Nevertheless, the proposal, for what it was worth in those circumstances, was at last on the table of international affairs. The congress was in fact a Sanhedrin summoned to cancel the avowals made by the Napoleonic Sanhedrin eighty years before. That Sanhedrin repudiated separate nationhood and any ambition to form a Jewish state; this one proclaimed separate nationhood and the ambition of statehood. Looking back fifty years later, Rabbi Elmer Berger observed, "Here was the wedge of Jewish nationalism, to be driven between Jews and other human beings. Here was the permanent mould of ghettoism into which Jewish
* At that time it hardly reached the mind of the Gentile multitude. In 1841 a Colonel Churchill, English Consul at Smyrna, at the conference of Central European States called to determine the future of Syria had put forward a proposal to set up a Jewish state in Palestine, but apparently it was dismissed with little or no consideration.
life in the unemancipated nations was to remain compressed so that the self-generating processes of emancipation and integration could not come into play".
The Napoleonic Sanhedrin had a basic flaw, now revealed, of which Napoleon may well have been unaware. It represented the Western Jews, and Napoleon cannot reasonably be expected to have known of the strength of the compact, Talmudic-ruled mass of Jews in Russia, for Dr. Herzl, who surely should have known of this, was ignorant of it! He made the discovery at that first World Zionist Congress, called by him in such confident expectation of mass-support: "and then. . . there rose before our eyes a Russian Jewry, the strength of which we had not even suspected. Seventy of our delegates came from Russia, and it was patent to all of us that they represented the views and sentiments of the five million Jews of that country. What a humiliation for us, who had taken our superiority for granted! "
Dr. Herzl found himself face to face with his masters and with the conspiracy, which through him was about to enter the West. He had declared war on emancipation and, like many successors, was unaware of the nature of the force he had released. He was soon left behind, a bugler whose task was done, while the real "managers" took over.
He had forged the instrument which they were to use in their onslaught on the West. Dr. Weizmann, who became the real leader, clearly sees that: "It was Dr. Herzl's enduring contribution to Zionism to have created one central parliamentary authority for Zionism . . . This was the first time in the exilic history of Jewry that a great government had officially negotiated with the elected representatives of the Jewish people. The identity, the legal personality of the Jewish people, had been re-established".
Dr. Weizmann presumably smiled to himself when he included the words "parliamentary" and "elected". The middle sentence contains the great fact. The Jews who met at Basel, shunned by the majority of Western Jews, and its declarations, could only be lent authority by one event, which at that time seemed unimaginable; namely, their recognition by a Great Power. This inconceivable thing happened a few years later when the British Government offered Dr. Herzl Uganda, and that is the event to which Dr. Weizmann refers. From that moment all the Great Powers of the West in effect accepted the Talmudists from Russia as representing all Jews, and from that moment the Zionist-revolution also entered the West.
Thus ended the century of emancipation, which began with such bright prospect of common involvement, and the prescient words of Mr. Houston Stewart Chamberlain (written just before Dr. Herzl's congress met at Basel) at once became truth and living reality. Looking back on Gottfried von Herder's words of a hundred years before, "The ruder nations of Europe are willing slaves of Jewish usury", Chamberlain wrote that during the 19th Century "a great change has taken place. . . today Herder could say the same of by far the greatest
part of our civilized world . . . The direct influence of Judaism on the 19th Century thus becomes one of the burning subjects of the day. We have to deal here with a question affecting not only the present, but also the future of the world".
With the formation of the World Zionist Organization, which the great governments of the West were to treat, in effect, as an authority superior to themselves, the burning subject began to mould the entire shape of events. That it affected "the future of the world" is plainly seen in 1956, when this book is concluded; from the start of that year the political leaders of the remaining great powers of the West, Britain and America, observed in tones of sad surprise that the next world war might at any time break out in the place where they had set up "the Jewish State", and they hastened to and fro across the ocean in the effort to concert some way of preventing that consummation.