The Zionist Vision Into Zion
“You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life . You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time , in any place , and at any cost . And ever after , until our purpose shall be accomplished , you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life — dearer than that of family , of school , of nation.”
(Parushin initiation ceremony for new members)
The “Dreyfus Affair” was the turning point for Hungarian born, Theodor Herzl. He saw the rampant anti-semitic accusations against Jews in France. The “Dreyfus Affair” was in regards to French artillery officer, Alfred Dreyfus whom was suspected of treason, which was based on “falsified” documents.Dreyfus was arrested, but adamantly exclaimed his innocence, the evidence against him? Nothing but speculation. The French public however saw Dreyfus, who was Jewish himself, were not composed. Herzl heard the crowds chant “death to Jews” as they made their rounds. It was at this point in 1895, that Herzl became a Zionist, even thou Dreyfus would be exonerated from the transparent accusations, Herzl was not moved, he saw what the non-jewish public would do to one of its own citizens whose religious preference was foreign to theirs. Herzl, whose initial beliefs were based on “Jewish-German” liberalism, absconded from these ideals based on assimilation, and instead insisted that Jews remove themselves from Europe. Herzl wished for a Jewish nation for themselves.
By 1895, Herzl had penned his first book, Der Judenstaat (The State Of The Jews) it was published in 1896 and immediately received accreditation from Jews in Europe while receiving criticism elsewhere. The book argued that the Jewish people should leave Europe for Palestine, their historic homeland. The Jews possessed a nationality; all they were missing was a nation and a state of their own.
From Der Judenstaat, page 53)
“The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries — see, for instance, France — so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level.”
By March 1896, Herzel was visited by members of British Parliament. But the most important individual in Herzel’s life would be William Henry Hechler, an Anglican theologian, who was left impressed by the work in the book. Herzel saw the land of Palestine as the revert back to the Holy Land, for the Jews of Europe. But it had to remain a nation unto the Jews, the Palestinians would have to compromise, even if they rejected the ideas proposed by Herzl. It would need the backing of powerful neighbors, influence by Jews who wanted to propagate nationalist ideals based on Jewish culture and politics. A major step in that direction came in 1897, where Herzel conducted a formal delegation based on the goals of a nation for the European Jews. The First Zionist Congress was attended by 200 delegates from 17 various countries in which 69 of them from various Zionist societies. Over half the delegates were from Eastern Europe, with nearly a quarter coming from Russia, there were 10 Christian attendees mainly from the British Empire. The Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland over a 3 day affair. After formal introductions, Herzl outlined the plans for the affair, the establishment of the Zionist Organization and the declaration of Zionism’s goals and a homeland for Zionist Jews.
Herzel would be appointed as the organizations presidential chair, Max Nordau, it’s first vice president, Abraham Salz its second vice president and Samuel Pineles its third vice president. When the 3 day meeting was finished, Herzel would remark in his dairy:
“Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word — which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly — it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it.”
The Zionist Congress would meet every year between 1897 and 1901. The delegate committee and attendees would grow with each passing year as well (The Congress is now held in Jerusalem annually). By 1898 Herzl would visit Jerusalem for the first time in his life assisted by the aid of his Anglican confidant, William Hechler, who was at this point devoted to Jewish Zionism. He would go on to have close meetings with British Parliament in 1901, and then a meeting with, then, Pope Pius X to obtain more confidence in having a homeland for the Jews. By 1904 Herzl would have complications from Cardiac Sclerosis, and at age 44 expire from it. After Herzl’s death, a “second aliyah” would commence, with mainly a large number of them Orthodox Jews settling in Palestine, over 40,000.
The World Zionist Organization, founded by Herzl’s Zionist Congress in 1897, became a vicious force pushing the declarations of Herzl’s work unto the British Empire thru political influence from Jews in Parliament. In 1904, Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) had relocated from Switzerland to the United Kingdom, there he would meet with Arthur Balfour, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Meetings would take place between the two, where discussion began about promoting a Jewish homeland.
Over in the United States, Zionists would number over 20,000 total. But they would have influential public and private positions within many facets of government which included lawyers, professors, and businessmen. One of the impacting influences of Zionism in the United States would come from an American lawyer & justice of the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis. He would become a major financial backer of the WZO and also help raise millions for Jews during the second world war. Brandies would also become a part of a secret Jewish organization, called the Perushim, in which the organization would be sought out to separate themselves from what they saw as the impurities of the society around them in Europe. The definition or name of the Perushim comes from Hebrew verb “parash” which means “separate”. The vision (prophecy) of the Perushim, comes from its founder, Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, in which 3 dedicated factors in motivating those within this secret organization would compose of:
- Rebuild Jerusalem as the acknowledged Torah center of the world,
- Aid and speed the in gathering of the Jewish exile.
- Expand the currently settled areas of the Land of Israel.
Based on Alison Weir’s book “Against Our Better Judgement” new members would be required to repeat a declaration (posted above).
“Members of the Parushim were quite clear about the necessity of keeping their activities secret . An early recruiter to the Parushim explained: “An organization which has the aims we have must be anonymous , must work silently, and through education and infection rather than through force and noise. He wrote that to work openly would be “suicidal” for their objective.”
January 1914, Chaim Weizmann would begin holding meetings with Baron Edmond de Rothschild who would become a leading influence in the Zionist movement. By 1917, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs from England, would start proposing for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. By June, Balfour asked Lord Rothschild and Weizmann to submit a formula for a declaration. That declaration would become known as the “Balfour Declaration”. Once it was completed, the document was then forwarded to the British Cabinet for a formal consideration. Sir Mark Sykes and Chaim Weizmann, were to send a secret message to Justice Brandeis that the British Cabinet would help the Jews to gain Palestine in return for active Jewish sympathy and for support in the USA for the Allied cause during the war. This would make the United States the main and unequivocal ally for the Jewish state of Israel. The Balfour Declaration was pushed favorably, due to the fact that saw leading Zionists in England and by Brandeis in the United States who intervened with President Woodrow Wilson. On November 2nd 1917, the Balfour Declaration was finalized.
Almost immediately Israeli lobbying began inside the United States, which immediately began to gain favor mainly within the Evangelical South. By 1948, small massacres would transpire in rural Palestinian towns. There would be resentment within the Pentagon however against the many variable problems with Zionist Jewish organizations, and they were met with agreeable members within the State Department as well. These Zionist groups would become a factor to influence American support for an Israeli only homeland, while the massacres were transpiring in Palestine. According to Israeli professor and author, Judith Baumel would later write that the Stern and Irgun Zionist gangs were becoming a force in which is causing most of the heinous acts against the expulsion happening in Palestine. She write that the Irgun-Stern organization immediately integrated into the media scene to suppress the news about what was taking place from Zionist mobs in Palestine:
“The Irgun began integrating themselves into the social and political culture of their temporary home. They quickly grasped that “public mood, molded to a large extent by propaganda and public relations was a dominant force in the American system of direct representation, and they soon became masters of media manipulation”
The Irgun organization would also promote their agendas in American discourse. They immediately lobbied the White House and it’s Congressional districts, while organizing marches in Washington D.C and run media ads. All thus while also being financially supported by the Evangelical community. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations would adopt Resolution 181, otherwise known as United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. The Partition Plan, a four-part document attached to the resolution, provided for the termination of the British Mandate, the progressive withdrawal of British armed forces and the delineation of boundaries between the two States and Jerusalem. The plan was resoundingly rejected by almost every single Arab state. According to Israeli historian, Benny Morris, the Partition Plan also included the following:
“The proposed Arab State would include the central and part of western Galilee, with the town of Acre, the hill country of Samaria and Judea, an enclave at Jaffa, and the southern coast stretching from north of Isdud (now Ashdod) and encompassing what is now the Gaza Strip, with a section of desert along the Egyptian border.”
Zionists pushed the White House to resolve the issue and push forward the Plan as outlined after a vote to pass was delayed. U.S President Harry Truman scoffed at the idea initially. They began imploring Truman what it would mean in the future of the Jewish vote if it was not resolved. Then on November 29, 1947 the United Nations General Assembly finally voted… 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and 1 absent, in favor of the modified Partition Plan.
The beginning of the end for Palestine, a “prophetic” vision for the future of the Zionist state of Israel, initially described by Theodore Herzl, was now beginning, with the help of it’s “tentative” ally in the United States. The State of Israel was born, out of bloodshed and at the cost of the Palestinian people, which continues on to the present day.