THE Zionist movement dates from A.D. 70, the year of the destruction of the Temple and the Jewish State. The Zionist Organization dates from 1897, the year of the first Zionist Congress. The Zionist movement is a longing and striving to restore to the Jewish people normal national life. The Zionist Organization is a particular instrumentality for achieving that end. The Zionist movement will continue until the Jewish people are once more living a normal national life, when it will be transformed into the active expression of that normal national life. The Zionist Organization, when the particular phase of Jewish national life which called into being this special instrumentality has passed, will merge into some other instrumentality.
There are some who deny that there is such a thing as the Jewish people, but the denial is a modern innovation. Very rare is the non-Jew who thinks of Jews as merely a sect without national quality; and it is doubtful whether among the Jews themselves there could be found a single instance of such a denial much earlier than the second decade of the nineteenth century. The negation of Jewish nationality was first presented by German Jews as part of what is called the 'reform ' movement in German Jewry, which itself was hardly separable from the movement for Jewish political emancipation in that country. From Germany it spread to other lands, but it has never had much respect among any save a small minority of Jews, and it has never had any respect at all from non-Jews, except when political expediency made it convenient for a Gentile statesman or diplomat to invoke this strange dogma.
Let us try to clear the ground by attempting, not so much a definition as a characterization of Judaism. Judaism is not a religion in the Western sense of the word. Judaism is the precipitated spiritual experience of the Jewish people. The idea of Judaism is inseparable from the idea of the Jewish people, and the idea of the Jewish people is inseparable from the idea of the Jewish land. You may see this in every form and expression of Jewish religious life. Individual prayer, prayer for the individual Jew alone, is exceedingly rare. When the Jew prays, he prays not simply for himself, but for all Israel; and this national conception permeates prayer even in what might be considered to be the most personal and individual incidents of life: birth, marriage, death.
The welding of the idea of the Jewish people with the idea of the Jewish land is manifest in every page of the Jewish Liturgy. When the lad is confirmed and assumes the full burden of the law, he prays that 'God may have mercy upon Zion, for it is the hope of our life,' and that 'He may save her who is broken in spirit speedily even in our days.' He thanks God for having planted eternal life in the Jewish people. 'Gladden us, O Lord our God, with Elijah thy servant, and with the Kingdom of the House of David thy anointed. Soon may he come and rejoice our hearts. Suffer not a stranger to sit upon his throne nor let others inherit his glory.'
Let it not be supposed that this passionate identification of the Jewish people with the Jewish land is an aspiration for some allegorical spiritual Zion that never was on sea or land. The Jewish people preserve to this day the calendar of a land from which they have been exiled for two thousand years. The seasons which they mark with observance, the times of sowing and of planting, of harvest and of vintage, are the seasons and the times, not of the lands in which they dwell, but of the land in which their fathers lived and from which they have been exiled. The name in the everyday speech of the Jew for the lands of the Diaspora is Galuth, exile. The Jewish sages celebrated the bitterness of exile in many a poignant phrase: 'The Galuth atones for all the sins of the Jews.' 'With him who dwells outside Palestine it is as though God were not with him.' 'Those Jews who dwell outside Palestine do not enjoy eternal life.' Such sayings of the rabbis bring out their conception of the meaning of exile.
Rabbinical literature is full of apophthegms that express the positive passion of the teachers of Israel for the soil, the air, the water, the physical being of the national land. 'Whosoever walks four cubits in Palestine is assured of the world to come.' 'It is better to dwell in a Palestine desert than to live in a land of plenty abroad.' 'To live in the land of Israel outweighs all the commands of the Torah.' 'The air of Palestine makes men wise.' 'Even the chatter of Palestine is worthy of study.' 'Palestine is the microcosm of the world.' 'Rabbi Abah used to kiss the rocks of Palestine. Rabbi Chazah used to roll in the dust of Palestine.' The whole doctrine of the rabbis in regard to the national home is summed up in the sentence: 'God said to Moses, "the Land is me and Israel is dear to me. I will bring Israel who is dear to me to Land that is dear to me.' Here is the triple thread which is Judaism -- God, the Jewish people, the Jewish land. What the rabbis taught and felt, the Jewish people believed and felt.
THE determination of the Jewish people to recover a normal national life never limited itself to faith in a miraculous restoration independent of the effort of the Jews themselves, although the conviction that the restoration was certain to come one day was part of the faith of every Jew. A continuous series of efforts to restore the Jewish national life in Palestine marks the centuries of exile. The rising of Bar Kochba against Hadrian threatened for a time the fabric of Roman dominion. The great outburst in the early years of the seventh century, in conjunction with the Parthians, expelled the Romans for a few years. The coming of Moslem rule diverted Jewish effort for a long time from the political to the quasi-miraculous. From the thirteenth to the eighteenth century was the period of the pseudo-Messiahs, of whom the two best known are that David Alroy around whom Disraeli wove a novel, and Sabatai-Zevi, of whom Zangwill has given marvelously penetrating study.
With the nineteenth century we come to efforts which are neither strictly political nor yet miraculous. The Jew begins to return to Palestine, but to return as an individual. It is probable that there never was a period when there was no Jewish settlement of any kind in Palestine. Mediaeval Jewish travelers have left records of Jewish communities, and there is evidence of the existence of Jewish agricultural communities, perhaps from the days of the Temple. In the seventeenth century, the illustrious Don Joseph Nasi and his mother conceived the idea of planting Jews on the soil of Palestine. Early in the nineteenth century, Jews from Eastern Europe began to drift in, brought thither mainly by the profound emotion of the bliss of dying and being buried in the dust of the Holy Land. Every Jew who settled in Palestine was a link between the Diaspora and the land of Israel, for it was the duty and the pleasure of his brethren to maintain in Palestine men given up to meditation and study and dedicated to the spiritual life.
With Sir Moses Montefiore, whose journeys to Palestine began in the eighteen-thirties, Western Jewry began to occupy itself constructively with the Jewish restoration. There was established a fund for the cultivation of land in Palestine by the Jews. Sir Moses had the idea of obtaining extensive concessions, and so bringing about 'the return of thousands of our brethren to the lands of Israel.' Many years afterward he summed up the goal of his striving in the following words: 'I do not expect that all Israelites will quit their abodes in those territories in which they feel happy, even as there are Englishmen in Hungary, Germany, America, and Japan; but Palestine must belong to the Jews, and Jerusalem is destined to become the city of a Jewish commonwealth.'
Many public men in Great Britain were deeply interested in these efforts to restore the Jewish people to the Jewish land. Lord Shaftesbury was the foremost of them. 'The inherent vitality,' he wrote, 'of the Hebrew race reasserts itself with amazing persistence. Its genius, to tell the truth, adapts itself more or less to all the currents of civilization all over the world, nevertheless always emerging with distinctive features and a gallant recovery of vigor. There is unbroken identity of Jewish race and Jewish mind down to our times; but the great revival can take place only in the Holy Land.' He believed that the hour had struck for the Jewish restoration, and he labored to persuade English statesmen to take up the holy task. Another distinguished Englishman of those days who was penetrated with the same conviction was Colonel Churchill, the British Resident at Damascus, who urged upon the Jews the return to Palestine as the solution of the Eastern question.
The interest of Englishmen in the Jewish people and a Jewish Palestine dates back to the Commonwealth. The same school of thought which permitted the Jews to return to England speculated further upon the Jewish restoration to Palestine; and this religious interest, fed upon the Bible and upon Protestantism, has survived in great strength down to our own day, as is evidenced by a whole literature, including a book conceived in this spirit recently published by Sir Andrew Wingate, a distinguished ex-Indian civil servant. The religious element of English interest in Jewish nationalism was fortified by political considerations. The genius of Napoleon revived the statesmanship of Caesar and Alexander, and conceived, as they did, of the Jewish people in Palestine as a pillar of empire in the East. When Napoleon started upon his expedition to Syria, he issued a proclamation announcing his wish to restore the scattered hosts of Jewry to their ancient land. There can be little doubt that this seed planted by Napoleon found lodgment in English minds. From Colonel Churchill to Laurence Oliphant can be seen sprouting the idea of serving both God and Great Britain, as well as the Jewish people, by re-creating a Jewish Palestine. It was an alternative solution of the Eastern question, to the maintenance of the decrepit Ottoman Empire. This latter solution may be said to have been the orthodox one in the nineteenth century, and to have held the field in official England until the middle of the Great War; but the conflict of the two political conceptions persisted, although in a dormant condition, throughout the century, and in the end it was the larger and nobler which triumphed.
The big political schemes for a Jewish Palestine in the eighteen-forties, whether conceived by Gentile or conceived by Jew, were based upon the rule of Mehemet Ali over Syria and Palestine. The great Powers, in bringing about the fall of Mehemet Ali, sterilized all these projects. The foundations of a Jewish Palestine were to be laid slowly, arduously, with infinite toil, by the sacrifices of individual Jews. In the eighteen-sixties Jews from Russia and Roumania began to buy land to start colonies. In 1870 the agricultural school of Mikveh Israel was founded, to be followed by several other agricultural settlements. The pogroms of the eighteen-eighties lessened the great Jewish passion for Palestine by shattering some of the illusions of emancipation. That decade saw the establishment of numerous colonies. It also saw the intervention in this task of reconstituting a Jewish Palestine of Baron Edmund de Rothschild of Paris.
There is no chapter in the colonizing history of any people finer than the story of these Jewish pioneers. They came to Palestine ignorant of agriculture, ignorant of the land, ignorant of the people, miserably equipped. The government laid its dead hand on all development. It was only by stealth, and with the assistance of baksheesh, that a house or a shelter could be erected. There was no security for land property or life, and fever and pestilence raged. The settlers had to compete with native labor accustomed to a very low standard of life. They had to make their own roads, furnish their own police, their own schools, their own sanitary apparatus; and while the government of Palestine offered them nothing but the privilege of paying taxes, the governors of the countries from which colonists came extended them no protection. On top of these troubles there came a severe crisis in the agricultural industry on which the colonists were mainly dependent. In the end, all these difficulties were conquered, and Jewish colonies of today in Palestine, numbering over forty, are so firmly founded that they could resist the ravages of the war and of the blockade. These Jewish settlements are perhaps the only vital communities in the country.
Most of the Jewish colonies are given up to plantations of oranges, almonds, olives and vines, though there is a certain amount of cattle-raising and of corn-growing The wines of Palestine are famous throughout the Jewish world, and they are established in the neighboring markets of Egypt and Syria. The Jewish colonists have demonstrated that they have a real talent for special work, grafting and the like, in plantations, and have shown that the process of reconverting the Jew into a husbandman is natural and not difficult. The Jewish colonists have introduced the motor-pump in place of the blinded camel or mule. They have cleared the stagnant pools by planting eucalyptus. They have worked out at the Agricultural Experiment Station (which is an American foundation) many devices for combatting the enemies of their crops and for improving species. They have improved the breeds of cattle and of poultry, and have sent students all over the world, notably to California, whence they have brought back to the ancient East the latest developments in Western dry-farming. They have introduced irrigation and cooperation. They have founded at Jerusalem a school of arts and crafts which is to be the mother of a revived Jewish art.
These Jewish colonies, just because they are the children of an ideal and a passion, much more than of the pursuit of material gain, have a unique atmosphere and quality. The farmer and the laborer are scholars as well as sons of the soil. The school and the public hall are as indispensable as the shed. The cultivation of the Hebrew tongue is as natural as the cultivation of the land, and the children of the colonists speak and sing and play and jest in Hebrew, their mother-tongue. A considerable Hebrew literature of great range has sprung up, from the masterly dictionary of Ben Jehudah to the daily newspaper. There are reviews specializing in education and in agriculture; there are medical reports and a considerable variety of monographs on every aspect of the life of the colonist. This pulsating Jewish life, small in scale though it still is, is the microcosm of the Jewish Palestine that is to be. Perhaps the political charter of the New Jewish Palestine never would have come but for those few score thousands of Jewish settlers.
MEN searching for a single phrase have found it hard to express precisely the function of the Zionist Organization in the building up of the Jewish Palestine in the period before the war. Perhaps we can say that it wedded Eastern and Western Jewry for the common task, that it Hebraized Western Jewry and infused into European Jewry the technical knowledge and intelligence and the organizing gifts of Western Jews. It reintroduced into the making of a Jewish Palestine political action. Under the stimulus of the Zionist Organization there was no Jewish community, of any size, in the world which did not have a group of men who linked their own personal as well as their national hopes with Palestine, and who labored to achieve a Jewish Palestine.
The Zionist Organization called into being financial instruments such as the Jewish Colonial Trust and the Anglo-Palestine Company, which strengthened and sustained the Jewish settlements in Palestine, notably under the trials of the war. The congresses summoned by the Organization are memorable for the influence they exerted in bringing together the scattered hosts of Jewry, and in educating Jewry as to the Jewish present, the Jewish past, and the Jewish destiny. Nobody who has ever attended a Zionist Congress but has felt that here was something unique; that here, in this gathering of Jews from the remotest parts of the earth, all assembled to deliberate solely upon Jewish questions, there was a living demonstration of the ancient saying that all Israel are brethren. To be present at a congress was to have what was most Jewish in Jewry brought under one's eyes.
Again, the Zionist Organization has educated the Gentile world as to the true character of the Jewish question. The artificial status of the Jewish people had evoked self-constituted interpreters and representatives of the Jews to the outside world. These worthy and well-meaning men had, in fact, lost touch with those in whose name they spoke. The Organization ultimately overthrew this curious dynasty, and offered the world in its place Jewish representation at once democratic and faithful.
The Zionist Organization reintroduced the political element into the creation of a Jewish Palestine. It was not concerned with parties or factions inside the various countries; but its aim was to give the Jewish people in Palestine a secure home under the guaranty of the Great Powers. It is possible that Dr. Herzl, the father of the Zionist Organization, was too optimistic in his expectations that either Turkey or the Powers would recognize the value to themselves and to the world of a Jewish Palestine. Nevertheless, his efforts were not wholly sterile. He fixed the identity of the Jews and of Palestine in the political vision of modern statesmen, and he secured from Great Britain two offers which were the first recognition in modern times, by any government, that the Jews constituted a nation, and that they had a right to remake a Jewish national home; that, in the words of the old and pregnant dictum of the rabbis, Israel was not a. widower. These offers were of an autonomous Jewish settlement in East Africa, and of a Jewish settlement in the Sinai Peninsula. For a variety of reasons they came to nothing, but they sustained British interest in the Jewish national restoration, and they were a milestone on that road which was to lead to a Jewish Palestine under a British trusteeship.
Pessimists might well have argued that the war, which shattered Jewry and divided the Zionist Organization, meant the indefinite deferring of the day of Israel's redemption. Perhaps to no people did the war come at first as so enormous and so unqualified a disaster. Eastern Europe, the greatest of all Jewish centres, became the battlefield of peculiarly ferocious war, in which millions of Jewish existences were brought to naught, and ancient seats of Jewish culture went up in ruin. For practical purposes Eastern was sundered from Western Jewry, and the whole of Jewry, save the Jewish communities of the Central Powers, was separated from Palestine. That major portion of the Jewish population of Palestine which dependent on support from its brethren without, was threatened with starvation. The colonies found themselves deprived of their markets, subjected to the plunder attendant upon Oriental warfare, and exposed to persecution by the Turkish authorities. The directing heads of the Zionist Organization were scattered in half a dozen countries. The prospect was very dark, but the trial demonstrated the tenacious purpose of the Jewish national will.
On the material side, the debt of Palestine and the whole Jewish people during the years of war to American Jewry is incalculable. When the United States was neutral, and the American Jews had access to the East, they promptly assumed the responsibility which had fallen upon them. If the centre of gravity of the commonwealth of Jewry has passed from Russia to the United States, that is due, not simply to wealth and numerical strength, but to the fact that, when the call came, American Jews answered it. Justice requires that the services of German Zionists in the preservation of the nucleus of the Jewish Palestine should be noted. Alone of the Great Powers during the war, Germany could bring political influence to bear upon the Turkish authorities and on more than one critical occasion the German Zionists induced the German Government to a check on the fury of Djemal Pasha. But not the least remarkable of Zionist manifestations during this trying time was the political insight of the Zionist leaders.
During the early years of the war British alliance with Russia did not make for sympathy with Jewish sufferings and Jewish aspirations. The dominant school in British military and political thought still built upon the Turk, and showed little appreciation of nationality as the heir of the Turk in the Near and Middle East. This is manifest in the secret treaty of 1916 for the division among the Great Powers of the Turk's estate. Under that treaty France obtained 'the coastal strip of Syria,' except the ports of Haifa and Acre. There was to be an Arab zone between the French and British territories, and 'with a view to securing the religious interests of the Entente Powers, Palestine with the Holy Places was to be separated from Turkish territory and subjected to a special regime, to be determined by agreement between Russia, France, and England.' This secret treaty contains no mention of Jewish national rights. It prescribes the partition of the Jewish motherland, it sets up a condominium over that fragment of Palestine which was not otherwise distributed. Every one of the deadly sins against Jewish nationalism was embodied in this unhappy agreement. To recall it is to indicate the magnitude of the political task with which the Jewish statesmen grappled and which they overcame.
The Zionist leaders pinned their faith, a faith which never wavered in the darkest hours, to the Allied cause. The Zionist leader in England, Dr. Weizmann, a distinguished scientist attached to the Manchester University, got into touch with British statesmen in the earliest days of the war. The first of these to grasp the importance of the Jewish national claim was Mr. Balfour, whose interest has been steadily sustained, and whose merit it was to sign the famous Declaration of the British Government recognizing the Jewish rights to Palestine. Such of the leaders of the Zionist Organization as war conditions permitted assembled in England, and it was his ceaseless labors which brought about the death in London of Dr. Dchlenow, a leader of the Russian Zionists. The chief part in this diplomatic work was carried on by Mr. Sokolow, who represented the Russian Jews, and Dr. Weizmann. Dr. Weizmann was chiefly concerned with the British authorities, and Mr. Sokolow went on missions to Paris, Rome, and the Vatican.
The Zionist cause gained a valuable ally in the foundation in Manchester, in 1916, of the British Palestine Committee, which, early in 1917, commenced the issue of its weekly organ, Palestine. The British Palestine Committee presented the case for a Jewish Palestine from the British point of view. Its policy was 'to reset the ancient glories of the Jewish nation in the freedom of a new British dominion in Palestine.' It advocated a Jewish Palestine under British sovereignty, and it is a matter of historical interest that it was from the British Palestine Committee that the demand was first launched for a British mandate under the League of Nations for a Jewish Palestine. Indeed, this committee was one of the first, if not the first, to put forward the conception of the mandatory system in general, a conception which was promptly adopted by the Zionist leaders, who thus consistently associated the idea of a Jewish Palestine with the idea of the League of Nations. The British Palestine Committee early laid it down that any satisfactory solution of the Palestine question must embrace an integral Palestine, under a single sovereignty. Its slogan was 'neither partition nor condominium.' Every conceivable argument, political, economic, strategic, and moral, was brought to bear in Palestine, which became immediately a recognized authority with regard to all Palestinian questions. Without question the propaganda of the British Palestine Committee did much to convert public opinion to the idea of a Jewish Palestine.
All these efforts were ultimately dependent on the fortunes of the British military campaign in Palestine. The Eastern and Western schools fought one another over Palestine almost as hard as the Turk was fought. The Western school held that the expedition should never have been undertaken, and even as late as the spring of 1918 there was serious talk of evacuating Jerusalem and falling back on Gaza. In the en the East won, and the genius of General Allenby carried British arms the Taurus and shattered the Ottoman Empire.
But even while the military fortunes were in the balance, a great political victory had been won for a Jewish Palestine. On November 2, 1917, on the eve of the capture of Gaza and Beersheba, Mr. Balfour issued the memorable pronouncement: 'His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use its best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.'
The declaration of the British Government was speedily adopted by the French and Italian governments, and it has since been approved in terms or in substance by all the powers associated in the war against Germany.
It is not invidious to inquire what were the motives which brought the British Government to this momentous decision. As has been pointed out, it was in line with a long British tradition of interest, religious and political, in the Jewish restoration to Palestine, and it met with unanimous approval among the British people. The idealistic motive weighed heavily with British statesmen, as those Jews who came in contact with them during the war can testify. Another consideration was the necessity for recasting British policy in the East, now that Turkey had become an irreconcilable enemy to Great Britain. British statesmanship instinctively realized the necessity of substituting for the Ottoman Empire a new East, constituted by the revived and restored subject nations. The part which a Jewish Palestine could claim as an interpreter and a bridge and a reconciler between East and West appealed to the British imagination. These ideas weighed much with the late Sir Mark Sykes, who throughout was the chief channel of communication between Zionism and British statesmanship. A third argument was the political influence, immediate and future, of the Jewish people. America was a new recruit to the war, and England appreciated the value of Jewish friendship. A people of fourteen millions spread throughout the world was, again, a political fact not to be depreciated.
By more roads than one, therefore, Great Britain came to identify herself with a Jewish Palestine, and once having taken the decision, followed out its logic. A Zionist Commission was sent to Palestine in 1918, to prepare the way for the future. Its most inspiring act was to lay the foundation of a Hebrew University at Jerusalem. At Paris, the Zionists had 'their day in court,' as President Wilson called it, and they have submitted their demands. The British Government has accepted the Zionist idea of a British mandate under the League of Nations for a Jewish Palestine. The British Government has further cleansed itself of its original sins of partition and condominium. The Jewish Palestine is to be an integral Palestine, and it is not to be cursed by a divided rule. Zionist statesmanship has succeeded in reversing the whole policy of the secret treaty of 1916, and it has succeeded at the same time in rallying to itself the support of the American and the Italian and, finally, even of the French government. The Zionist leaders have been able to do this because they have never allowed themselves to become the instruments of British or any other imperialism, but have pursued steadily and with a single eye the interests of the Jewish nation, which are the interests of humanity.
WHAT do the Jews want in Palestine? what do they hope? what do they intend? In the proposals laid before the Peace Conference by the Zionist Organization, the following demands are submitted. (1) For the recognition of the historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine, and the right of the Jews to reconstitute Palestine as their national home. (2) That the boundaries of Palestine shall extend on the west to the Mediterranean, on the north to the Lebanon, on the east to the Hedjaz railway and the Gulf of Akabah. (3) That the sovereign title to Palestine shall be vested in the League of Nations, and the government be intrusted to Great Britain as mandatory of the League. (4) That Palestine shall be placed under such political administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment there of the Jewish national home, and ultimately render possible the creation of an autonomous commonwealth, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. (5) For these purposes the mandatory power is to promote Jewish immigration and close settlement on the land; to accept the cooperation of a Council representing the Jews of Palestine and the world, and to give this Council (which is to be precluded from making a private profit) priority in any concession for public works or the development of the natural resources of Palestine. (6) Hebrew shall be one of the official languages of Palestine, and the Jewish Sabbath and Holy Days shall be recognized as legal days of rest.
Such in brief outline are the proposals which the Zionist leaders are making to the Peace Conference, and which have already commended themselves to most of the peace delegations by their moderation and good sense. The Jews are not asking that they shall govern Palestine. They constitute at present, numerically, but a small minority in the country, although qualitatively that minority is the most important element, and represents the fourteen millions of the Jewish people. What Jews are asking for is the right to make Palestine a Jewish country once again -- Jewish in the sense that the majority of the people shall be Jews; Jewish in the sense that the predominant culture shall be Hebrew culture. For this purpose a mere bare permission to emigrate into the country will not suffice. He who wills the end must also will the means. The land must be made accessible to the Jews. At present, from sixty to eighty per cent of the soil of Palestine is held in great estates, by absentee landowners, who rack-rent a miserable peasantry. The Jewish people had no intention of allowing their passion for the country, their enterprise, and their genius to be converted into unearned increment for the benefit of these absentee landlords. They are, however, anxious that the rights of the cultivating fellaheen shall be conserved, and there is plenty of room for the fellaheen and for the Jewish immigrants. Palestine to-day has not one tenth of the population it once had. The Jewish people again demand that the development of the natural resources of the country shall not pass to alien capitalists, but shall be entrusted to the Jewish Council, representing and working on behalf of the Jewish people. These economic instrumentalities are indispensable if the Peace Conference is to make real its design of calling into being a Jewish Palestine. As and when Palestine becomes Jewish once again, the Jewish people will ask that its political institutions shall express that Jewish social reality.
The Jewish people do not expect that all the Jews of the world will ever be gathered into Palestine. The country is too small to hold them all, and there is no universal desire to go there. In the fullness of time there will be several million Jews in Palestine, but in all human probability the majority of Jews will still live outside its borders. Skepticism is sometimes expressed as to the likelihood of Jewish emigration into Palestine; as to whether the comfortable or the indifferent of the new and the old worlds will turn their steps toward Zion. The anxiety of the Zionist leaders, as it happens, is lest, in the early years, the flood of immigration may be so great as to threaten the stability of a Jewish Palestine -- threaten it as an economic entity, threaten it as a Hebraic entity. During the early years the need will certainly be for selection among the immigrants, rather than for stimulation of immigration.
What kind of men will come? Palestine will get many of the best in Jewry, for, beyond a doubt, Zionism is the one vital Jewish thing in Jewry. It appeals to the idealism of the Jew, be he student, professor, craftsman, or businessman. Zionism has saved the soul of Jewry in every country of the Diaspora. Many, far more than the non-Jew even dreams, are girding themselves for the great adventure. The desolation that has swept over the European world has set free hosts of the pick of Jewry, and a Jewish Palestine will have at its disposal talents of every variety and of rare quality. Those who do not go themselves, and with their own hands and brains share in the building of the Palestine, will be happy to assist from a distance by material help and encouragement. Even those who have resisted the march of Zionism will rally the positive work of reconstruction, once the conflict of theories and politics over and done with. In the new Palestine there will be a task attractive to every man of fine spirit. Though not every Jew will ever be there physically the whole Jewish people will assuredly collaborate in making the new Jewish Palestine.
Sociologically, the Jewish Palestine will be the home of many experiments. It will set the common weal above private appetite. It will blend public ownership and private enterprise. It will make education, in accordance with Jewish tradition, the possession of every citizen. It will do justice between all the nationalities within its borders. It will establish the equality of men and men, and work toward democracy, political and economic. It will be one the pillars of the League of Nations, and by its relationship to all the scattered communities of Israel, it will forge powerful links for the brotherhood of the peoples. In the Near East and the Middle East it will strive to replace the broken tyranny of the Turk by a harmonious cooperation between Jew, Arab, and Armenian. It will read the riddle of the West to the East, and the riddle of the East to the West. For the Jews throughout the world, the new Jewish Palestine will be once again a Zion from which the Law and the word of God shall go forth. No Jew outside Palestine will have any political tie with, or obligation to, a Jewish Palestine; but every Jew who feels in himself the Jewish soul and the Jewish consciousness will see in the Jewish Palestine the example of a pure Jewish society. There he will see the Jewish faith developing freely, according to the law of its being, distracted neither by opposition, nor by surrender to an alien environment. There he will see the Jewish national spirit expressing itself in a society modeled on the Jewish idea of justice, in a Hebrew literature, in a Hebrew art, in the myriad activities which make the life of a people on its own soil, under its own sky. There he will see the Jewish nation once again making its contribution to the common task of humanity, and he will see himself the better citizen of the land in which he dwells for the spiritual ties which link him with a Jewish Palestine.
Such is the goal toward which the Jewish people are striving, and such is the fabric for which the ground is now being cleared by the labor of the Peace Conference at Paris. The Zionist ideal is the twofold ideal, national and human, of the Rabbis. 'Jerusalem is the city that made all Israel brothers. Jerusalem is destined to be the mother-city of all the lands.'
This article available online at: