By Walter Laqueur
Walter Laqueur strains Zionism from its beginnings - with the emancipation of eu Jewry from the ghettos within the wake of the French Revolution - to 1948, while the Zionist dream turned a fact. He describes the contributions of such outstanding figures as Benjamin Disraeli, Moses Hess, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and Sir Herbert Samuel, and he analyzes the seminal achievements of Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weitzmann, and David Ben Gurion.
Laqueur outlines the diversities among some of the Zionist philosophies of the early 20th century - socialist, Communist, revisionist, and cultural utopian - and he discusses either the non secular and secular Jewish critics of the stream. He concludes with a dramatic account of the cataclysmic occasions of global battle II, the clandestine immigration of Holocaust survivors, the tragic overlooked possibilities for co-existence with either the Arab citizens of Palestine and people within the surrounding international locations, and the fight to forge a brand new kingdom on an historical land. Laqueur's new preface analyzes the present-day problems, and areas them right into a old context.
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Extra resources for A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel
It may be possible to write the story of Palestine in the Mandatory era without constant reference to the Zionist movement, but it is quite impossible to do the reverse. Within Zionism, too, the situation became more complicated with each year after 1917, as new parties and factions appeared, and some of them broke away from the world movement. Up to the Balfour Declaration the most useful approach is the chronological; after that date this becomes difficult, sometimes impossible. I have tried to deal with these difficulties in my own way.
Between 1808 and 1812 the groundwork was laid for their full legal emancipation in Prussia, the leading German state. They had waited for the day with impatience and they responded with enthusiasm. ’ Until a few years before they had been treated like pariahs. Ludwig Börne, the greatest publicist of the age, has given a graphic description of their position in his native Frankfurt when he was young. They enjoyed, as he put it, the loving care of the authorities: they were forbidden to leave their street on Sundays, so that the drunks should not molest them; they were not permitted to marry before the age of twenty-five, so that their offspring should be strong and healthy; on holidays they could leave their homes only at six in the evening, so that the great heat should not cause them any harm; the public gardens and promenades outside the city were closed to them and they had to walk in the fields - to awaken their interest in agriculture; if a Jew crossed the street and a Christian citizen shouted, ‘Pay your respects, Jud’, the Jew had to remove his hat, no doubt the intention of this wise measure being to strengthen the feelings of love and respect between Christians and Jews.
Many Jews moved from the villages into larger towns, where they could find better living quarters; they sent their children to non-Jewish schools and modernised their religious service. Among the intellectuals there was a growing conviction that the new Judaism, purged of medieval obscurantism, was an intermediate stage towards enlightened Christianity. They argued that the Jews were not a people; Jewish nationhood had ceased to exist two thousand years before, and now lived on only in memories.
A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel by Walter Laqueur