PART ONE ZIONISM
I. THE BALFOUR DECLARATION
The world war had entered its fourth year in the latter part of 1917, with no indication of a rapid settlement in sight. The complexity and variety of events, increasing with the years, had emphasized its universal character. Every country engaged-whether America, Germany, Russia, Greece, France, Italy, or England found its entire interests, political, economic, and ethnic, involved in the issue. All these nations seemed gripped in a deadlock, and at the same time felt the pressing need of deliverance.
Before 1917, it had been thought that if the allies continued to hold the western front, the Russian " steam roller " would crash the central powers by sheer force of numbers. But the "steam roller" had itself exploded: there had been a revolution, and, by the end of July, Russian troops had withdrawn from Bessarabia and Moldavia, and between the Dniester and the Pruth, leaving the eastern front undefended. If this loss was somewhat offset by the fact that America, in spite of the President's reluctance, had finally joined the allies, it was still doubtful whether her forces would arrive in time and in sufficient numbers to be of real military value.
The scale on which the war was waged made all usual methods of reaching a settlement out of the question: no outside Power could be invoked as mediator; the Pope had issued a peace proposal on August 1, but the allies regarded it as inspired by Germany and turned a deaf ear.
Allied statesmen had cast about for some principle on which an honourable peace could be proposed, if a crushing defeat could not be inflicted on the enemy. The principle of nationalities, viz., the right of small nations to form their own government, had been advanced, and had met with general acceptance.
Thus America's object in entering the war, according to President Wilson, was to deliver the peoples of the world from autocracy," " to make the world safe for democracy," and the like. But the application of this principle presented difficulties. That Germany and Austria should be broken up into Poland, Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary, Jugo-Slavia, etc., in the way that afterward occurred, was one matter; but the example of Russia, and the possibility of the principle being applied to England, then troubled by Irish agitators, and the other allies, led many to dread a completely dismembered Europe.
Nevertheless, the idea had acquired a large measure of popularity in cities where reaction against over-organization had created an intense desire for freedom.
In rough, this was the situation when the British government issued a note favouring a national home for the Jews: it took the form of a letter addressed to Lord Rothschild and signed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Arthur (later Lord) Balfour, and read:
Foreign Office, November 2, 1917.
" DEAR LORD ROTHSCHILD,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you on behalf of His Majesty's Government the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to and approved by the Cabinet:
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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 existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR."
Thus it was that the Jews, the " Chosen People," after centuries of ispersion, were to be established in a home land. Here was poetic justice; it seemed as though nineteen centuries of wrongs were to be righted.
Six weeks later, the newspapers were full of the triumphal entry of General Allenby into Jerusalem, and the conquest of the Holy Land by the British army which included Jewish units: to the religious-minded, it was as though Providence had set the seal of approval on the Balfour declaration. Sceptics, on the other hand, remarked callously that Allenby's army had been loitering about Palestine inactive for the last four months; that Jerusalem offered no resistance and one week ought to have sufficed for staging his entry. His forces undoubtedly counted some Jews in the commissary department, as there are in all armies; but the credit for the conquest was almost wholly due to the assistance of the Arabs, over a hundred thousand strong, to whom the promise of autonomy had been made by England in 1915. The Balfour declaration was a direct violation of this promise. But for every miracle there are unbelievers!
More than a decade has passed, and, looking back, one is inclined to ask a few questions: Why was it that the British cabinet with a war on its hands resolved to set aside a national home for the Jews ? Had the cabinet proposed a home in the Near East to the Armenians first, and on the latter's refusal turned to the Jews ? Was it to be an asylum for cripples and orphans; or a religious centre; or a sort of Liberia, like African Liberia founded in 1822 for freed negroes? Or were all the Jews in the world supposed to migrate back to Palestine ? This last idea, though excellent in theory, would hardly be feasible.
Reading the declaration carefully, it becomes clear that certain Jews (the Zionist group), and not all the Jews, wanted a " national home ": they may even have intimated their desire to some member of the cabinet. Sir Arthur was dining one evening at Lord Rothschild's country place and admiring his beautiful home, when, at the mention of that word, Lord Rothschild, turning away to hide a tear, said sadly that some of his friends " had no home [that is, no national home] where they could lay their heads." Sir Arthur was touched and said he would mention it to His Majesty and to his colleagues, and knew that they would express their sympathy for Lord Rothschild's friends in distress. Accordingly, the declaration of sympathy followed a few days later.
For those who are satisfied with the above explanation there is no need to read further; those, however, w î desire a fuller account of things may be willing to discard popular fallacies and study things afresh. As a background, a general idea of the history and character of the Jews and their institutions is essential.
The longest path may be the shortest in the end.
II. THE JEWISH COMMUNITY: ITS SPIRIT AND ORGANISATION
In studying the Jewish people, special attention must be given to the Jewish community. This peculiar social order has for twenty centuries impressed its indelible mark on every one of its members in every quarter of the globe; uncrushed by pressure from without, it has administered its affairs according to its own arbitrary laws, often in defiance and to the detriment of the government of the land. The authority of the Jewish leaders, originally derived from the ten commandments delivered to Moses,l had already in the time of Augustus been widely extended2 by a learned but unscrupulous priesthood 3 over an ignorant, superstitious people. In that age, while a struggle was going on between two rival sects, Pharisees4 and Sadducees,5 certain political clubs 6 were formed which concealed under a religious mask the grasping aims of a clique.7
These clubs were not slow to take advantage of their country's misfortunes. A few years later, during the siege of Jerusalem by Vespasian, they won, by the betrayal of the Jewish cause, the favour of the Roman conqueror,8 and were subsequently entrusted by the imperial government with the administration of Palestine.' Moreover, with the sack of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, and the death of the patriotic leaders, the common people found themselves utterly dependent, in spiritual as well as civil matters, upon these same self-styled societies of the learned, who alone possessed the secrets of the priesthood and copies of the sacred texts. By interpreting, altering, and augmenting the rules and ritual these texts contained, and by a system of espionage and assassination,10 the new rulers established a strict control over the daily life of their co-religionists. Thus having taken hold of the Jewish people through the medium of the Roman authority, this clique easily placed its laws above the ten commandments, and formed a government whose control over its subjects was absolute.11 This government became henceforth known as the Kahal.12
The dispersion of the Jews which followed in 135 A.D., instead of destroying the Kahal, served on the contrary to set it on a new and firmer basis, on which it has continued ever since. Wherever Jewish emigrants settled,13 they founded communities apart under the direction of the fraternities, and held to the precepts of the Talmud.(tm) Each community had its representative, its rabbi, its synagogue: it was a miniature Kahal. The different aims of these communities always found themselves intimately related with those of the central body upon which their existence depended.
For if the ruling clique or caste had begun by grinding down its own race," it now saw that, by drafting them into its organization, it could exploit the gentiles on a far grander scale." The number of fraternities was increased by the addition of trade unions, every trade in which the Jews engaged being represented. To strengthen its control and to advance the interests of the Jews as a whole, it developed and perfected that system of espionage which it still maintains.
It sent agents17 to watch over Jewish affairs at police stations, and, when opportunity offered, distribute gifts to the employees. Other agents were posted at the doors of shops, hotels, business houses, lawcourts, and even in the private households of government officials. These trained agents had each a special field to cover: police, export, import, exchange, government supplies, lawsuits, etc.
The duty of an agents assigned to lawcourts was to keep constantly in touch with the proceedings, or with the official, meet the petitioners and, when practicable,18 fix the sum they must pay for a favourable judgment. This concluded, the agent took all necessary steps, and often succeeded in obtaining a decision contrary to justice. But in every case, the first duty of the agent was to note all errors and irregularities committed by the court, and all scandals brought out in the course of trial: these, reported and carefully recorded in the files of the Kahal, could be used as weapons against any person involved, who might later wish to act contrary to Jewish interests. Thus the order derived strength from three sources: advance information on trade conditions, bribery, and blackmail.
It is quite easy to understand the reasons of the concentration of trade in the hands of the Jews, wherever they have settled in sufficient numbers. For if on the one hand the individual Jew is the slave of the Kahal, his submission on the other hand is rewarded by its support in his struggle with non-Jewish competitors. He can count on the immediate help of his fraternity, and where necessary of the whole organization, and thus is assured of the victory over any single gentile.
The teaching in the synagogue incited its following to a thorough exploitation of their gentile neighbours, care only being taken not to excite hostility to the extent of endangering the whole community. This doctrine, popular from the start, was eventually embodied in its most concrete form in a book of the Talmud, called the Shulchan Aruk. A few quotations will suffice to show its character:19
"When a Jew has a gentile in his clutches, another Jew may go to the same gentile, lend him money and in his turn deceive him, so that the gentile shall be ruined. For the property of a gentile (according to our law) belongs to no one, and the first Jew that passes has the full right to seize it."20
"When a Jew makes a deal with a gentile, and another Jew comes up and deceives the gentile no matter in what manner, whether he give him false measure or overcharge him, then both Jews must share between them the profits thus sent by Jehovah."21
"Although it is not a direct obligation for a Jew to kill a gentile with whom he lives in peace, yet, in no case, is he allowed to save a gentile's life."22
"It is always a meritorious deed to get hold of a gentile's possessions."23
"Marriages taking place among gentiles have no binding strength, i.e. their cohabitation is just as the coupling of horses, therefore their children do not stand as humanly related to their parents."24
Of the spirit which taught that all non-Jews were animals 25 to be stripped of their property for the benefit of Jewry, and which united the community in a common aim and a common hatred; of the Shulchan Aruk which transmitted this aim and this hatred from generation to generation, Jewish leaders of the last fifty years have written :26
" The Shulchan Aruk is not the book that we have chosen for our guide, but the book that has been made our guide, whether we would or not, by force of historical development: because this book, just as it is in its present form, with all its most uncouth sections, was the book that best suited the spirit of our people, their condition and their needs, in those generations in which they accepted it as binding on themselves and their descendants. If we proclaim that this is not our law, we shall be proclaiming a falsehood; this is our law, couched in the only form which was possible in the middle ages, just as the Talmud is our law in the form which it took in the last days of the ancient world, just as the Bible is our law in the form which it took while the Jews still lived as a nation on their own land. The three books are but three milestones on the road of a single development, that of the spirit of the Jewish nation."
A Jewish community, in the midst of a gentile population on which it preyed, depended for its success on two things: the absolute subordination of its members and the secrecy of its proceedings. The Kahal concealed its activities from the outside world under the guise of religion. " The Jews were loyal subjects like their neighbours, but to them faith was life, and they were constantly preoccupied with the observance of their ritual ", it told the world. But this was not a sufficient screen. As in all secret organizations there are traitors and renegades whatever the penalty. The Kahal was obliged to shroud itself in mystery and mysticism,27 even from its members. The multiplicity of the ritual laws, the voluminous civil code, the secret instructions of the fraternities, the continuance of obsolete forms, all served to create such a confusion that no non-Jew confronted with the documents could distinguish what was fundamental from what was prolix ritual or irrelevant.28 The general scheme of the Kahal, which has been in operation since the second century A. D., remains in force to this day. Its essential characteristics may be outlined as follows:
a) The council of elders or geronsia,"(r) presided over by à patriarch or exilarch. Its functions were purely formal; it represented the Jews in official relations with foreign governments, acted as their spokesman when they wished to arouse public sentiment in their favour, but had no direct
responsibility in the secret government whose existence it served to conceal. Composed of leading members of the fraternities, it could discuss at secret meetings questions of general interest, leaving their practical solution to the
b) The tribunal or beth-din.30
c) The fraternities.
The beth-din decided all lawsuits and differences arising between individual Jews, and between members and the Kahal itself. It existed in all localities where there were Jews, catered to their commercial needs, and had final jurisdiction in both civil and religious matters. It alone was competent to interpret the spiritual laws of the Talmud. To illustrate the character of this court, the following paragraphs from the Talmudic code31 may be given:
" No Jew may appeal for justice to any court or judiciary other than the Jewish tribunal. This holds even when the laws of the country bearing on the question at issue agree with the Jewish laws, and when the two parties are willing to submit their differences to the former. Whoever breaks this injunction shall be outlawed;32 his offence is equivalent to contempt and violation of the law of Moses.
" The beth-din judges cases involving loans, debts, marriages, legacies, gifts, damages, interest, etc.
" Although the beth-din has no right to fine a thief or looter, it may inflict the indoui on him until he makes full restitution. It may inflict fines for the infraction of rules as prescribed in the Talmud.
" When the beth-din notices that the nation is given to disorders,33 it may, without confirmation by the Jewish authorities, impose fines, death-sentences, and other penalties; and in this connection it may waive the production of testimony to prove the guilt of the accused. Where the latter is a person of influence in the country, the beth-din may use the legal machinery of the country to punish him. His property may be declared outside the protection of the law (guefker), and he himself may be done away with as circumstances require."
It would be erroneous to suppose that all suits between Jews are tried by the beth-din. In many circumstances, and especially in thorny cases where the Jewish law is contrary to common sense, because the form and the terms do not agree with justice and conscience, the case is tried not by the judges of the beth-din, called dayans, but by a special court composed of persons chosen for their knowledge of business practice or other special reasons.
The explanation of the mass of lawsuits between Jews before non-Jewish courts is as follows. For the most part, these have to do with drafts presented for payment and drawn on Jews who have incurred penalties at the hands of the beth-din. The laws of the country are thus used to execute the decisions of the Jewish tribunal. The beth-din makes a practice of binding the two parties in a suit submitted for its decision, by having them sign blanks before the trial. If, afterward, the party who has lost the case refuses to abide by the decision, the blank bearing his signature is converted into a draft and put into circulation.
Turning to the fraternities which are the sinews of the organization, one finds their outward form strictly innocuous. The rules are nearly all on the same model, and fix the annual dues, the place and date for the regular meetings, the duties and obligations of members, and the penalties if disregarded; the latter range from small fines to expulsion from the fraternity. A member expelled from a fraternity found himself cut off from the community and generally died an outcast. Each fraternity has a religious or charitable purpose, connected with such worthy objects as the following:
a) Reading from the sacred texts,34
b) Burial of the dead,
c) Ransoming of prisoners,
d) Free loans, help for poor girls, aid for the sick, clothing for the poor, etc.
It should be noted that these objects were not entirely disinterested: the fraternity charged with reading the texts, distorted them; those who buried the dead received fees, not only for that care, but also for plots in the Jewish cemetery, for the purification bath prescribed for Jewish women, for seats in the synagogue.35 The fraternity for ransoming prisoners was composed of the most influential members of the community; as its chief concern was the freeing of delinquent Jews from gentile courts, it had to bring pressure to bear on police and government officials.36
An excellent illustration of a Jewish community in the twentieth century is found in the account of the organizing of the KehillaW in New York City in 1909 and of its subsequent operation, - published in the Jewish Communal Register.38
The purpose of the Kehillah is to " weld Jewish interests and develop community conscientiousness "; the immediate cause of its creation was " the statement of the police commissioner, General Bingham, that the Jews contributed fifty per cent, of the criminals of New York City."39
The first step taken by the constitutive convention was the election of an executive committee and an advisory council of seventy members; the latter is the council of elders or gerousia, and its duty is to " make its voice heard and its opinions felt (sic) in all questions affecting the Jews the world over."
The next thing of importance is the creation of a beth-din or court of arbitration, by the board of authoritative rabbis (vaad harabbonim) already charged with the regulations of marriage, divorce, circumcision, and ritual bath.40 The beth-din will undertake to settle all disputes between labour and capital.41
Further on, the purpose of the Kehillah is made clearer: it is for the " coordination of the existing communal agencies42 to save the synagogue from impending ruin," to which end all the material and moral resources of the entire community are to be drafted.43 In other words, the hierarchy of fraternities for which Judaism serves as a cloak and the synagogues as a lodge-room, is endeavoring to strengthen its hold on its members, among whom there is a tendency towards emancipation.
Finally, mention is made of some of the fraternities, under the title of benevolent societies: the burial clubs and the visitors of the sick. It is particularly interesting to note that these orders assess their beneficiaries: that is, they operate as life insurance companies.44
So well is the question of ritual meat (kosher) regulated by the Kehillah, that " all the meat slaughtered in New York city and vicinity, whether for Jewish consumption or not, is slaughtered by schochetim under the supervision of
authoritative rabbis.'45 Of New York's sixty per cent gentile population, none can buy meat not prepared according to Jewish ritual. But this paternal interest of the Kehillah for its members and for the whole gentile population is not entirely unmotivated; for the Register goes on to explain that meat so killed brings " prices far in excess of those paid for ordinary meat." It pays the slaughter-houses to employ schochetim and contribute to the welfare of the authoritative rabbis.
Thus the Jewish fraternities through the ages have kept their typical character of a secret government, disguised under the form of synagogues and schools.
The life of the people, too, has changed little from generation to generation, and from one country to another: they are always and everywhere the tools of the ruling clique; to it they pay heavy, indirect taxes, and in return receive help in exploiting the land which harbours them. They have a heavy heritage, a Jewish conscientiousness, a hatred of non-Jews, a love of deceiving; all this they
cannot easily shake off, and with it the yoke of the Kahal.
1. Exodus xx.
2. The Gospels themselves bear witness to the distortions of the divine law of Moses by the human additions of the rabbis. Cf. Matthew xv. 2: " Thus you have destroyed the ommandment of God by your traditions."
3. Compare Matt. xxm. 14-36.
4. Lit. the " separated ".
5. From Sadoc, Greek form of Zadok (lit. " the just "), founder of the sect.
6. Known as Imburah from habor, " join together ".
7. Graetz, iv. History of the Jews, p. 85.
8. Vespasian appointed Rabbi John Ben Zakkai, chief of the haburah, ruler of Jamnia: Jost, i. History of the Jem, p. 210.
9. Brafmann, Jewish Brotherhoods, (Vilna, 1868) par. 18.
10. The clubs were secret fraternities, each member binding himself by an oath; the penalty for disobedience was exclusion or death: Jost., op. cit.
11. "Every day, and every hour of the day, and every act of every hour, had its appointed regulations, grounded on distorted texts of scripture, or the sentences of the wise men, and artfully moulded up with their national reminiscences of the past or their distinctive hopes of the future,-the divine origin of the law, the privileges of God's
chosen people, the restoration to the holy city, the corning of the Messiah." Milman, n, History of the Jews (Everyman Library, 1923 edition p. 165).
12. Literally, "community" or "commonwealth".
13. Nearly every province of the Roman empire had at least one colony of Jews at the end of the second century A.D.
14. Talmud Torah, lit. "study of the law", name for the agglomera tion of rabbinical works.
15. Contemptuously termed am-ha-aretz, lit. "people of the soil", and debarred from bearing witness, etc.: Talmud Pessashim 98. They had to^'submit to the haburah or perish". Talmud Tainot 23.
16. "The hatred of the am-ha-aretz towards the learned societies was so great, that, if we patricians had not obtained for them some material advantages, they would have killed us." Talmud Pessashim 49.
17. Called factors: Brafmann, Book of the Kahal, ch I.
18. Depending on the character of the suit, judges, etc.
19. The Shulchan Aruk is a manual of Jewish laws, drawn from the Talmud, and compiled by Rabbi Joseph Caro (1488-1575).
20. Loc. cit., Law 24.
21. Ibid., Law 27.
22. Ibid., Law 50.
23. Ibid., Law 55.
24. Ibid., Law 88.
25. Goyim, lit. "animals".
26. Quoted from Asher Ginzberg's reply to Rabbi Lolli, in 1897.
27. The part played by the Jews in the founding and spreading of gnostic sects is not treated here.
28. " The Mosaic law, intricate enough, is woven into an inextricable network of decrees (in the Mischna).. The Mischna fully admits polygamy... Capital punishment is of four kinds: stoning, burning, slaying by the sword, strangling... The sixth book is on the subject of uncleanness and ablution: it is rigid and particular to the utmost
repulsiveness.. The object of this work was to fix on undoubted authority the whole unwritten law. But the multiplication of written statutes enlarges rather than contracts the province of the lawyer; a new field was opened for ingenuity, and comment was speedily heaped upon the Mischna, till it was buried under the weight, as the Mosaic law had been before by the Mischna... Those ponderous tomes, at once religious and
civil institutes, swayed the Jews with uncontested authority." Milman, op. cit., pp. 174, 175.
29. A revival of the old Sanhedrin which governed Palestine.
30. Lit. " house of religion ": see Brafmann, Bk. of the Kahal, ch. 8.
31. Hocher-Hamichot. " The synagogue with its appendant school or law court, became the great bond of national union." Milman, pp. 160, 161.
32. Viz., the indoui or the herein, corresponding to excommunication and expulsion from the community.
33. The meaning seems to be, " rebelling against the Kahal ".
34. There were four fraternities or learned societies having this as their object: they were composed exclusively from the upper caste. For this and the following, see Brafmann, Jewish Brotherhoods, p. 21.
35. Ibid., p. 38.
36. Ibid., p. 33.
37. Diminutive of kahal.
38. New York, 1919.
39. Jewish Communal Register (New York, 1919) n. If Bingham's statement were without foundation, would it have aroused so much indignation?
40. Ibid., p. 50.
41. Ibid., p. 52.
42. Ibid., p. 55.
43. Ibid., p. 120.
44. Ibid., p. 732.
45. Ibid., p. 312.
III. NEW LINKS BETWEEN COMMUNITIES
The Jews, disseminated in all lands and claiming the same rights as other nationals, jealously guarded the secret of their hierarchy. Prior to the eighteenth century various nations had from time to time granted equality of rights to the Jews within their borders,1 but in every case had retracted them.
About 1770, Moses Mendelssohn2 and others began preaching emancipation for all Jews everywhere, as the ultimate goal of the race. This suited the Kahal: if its members enjoyed the privileges of other nationals, they would eventually occupy important posts in gentile governments and thus extend its own power and influence. The aim was to a large extent realized a few years later. With the French revolution in 1789, the status of the Jews in that country was completely changed.3 Not only did they obtain the franchise, but, profiting by the sale of confiscated property, they soon acquired great wealth. Napoleon remarked in 1806: " By what miracle did whole provinces of France become heavily mortgaged to the Jews, when there are only sixty thousand of them in the country? ".4
Jews in Austria and Germany as in France and England, obtained about the same time political freedom and soon rose to high social and administrative rank in the land of their adoption: the names of Rothschild,5 Cremieux,6 and Disraeli,7 at once suggest themselves.
But, freed from the restricting influence of the ghetto, the Jews tended to become assimilated not only in appearance, but in reality. The yoke of the Kahal seemed more irksome to those who had acquired wealth which they wished to enjoy undisturbed. As it could add nothing to their success in life, they longed to be rid of its ritual, indirect taxes, demands of personal services, and its threats.
Jewish leaders, observing this tendency, felt the need of new links between communities, the more so, as the new facilities of communication of the nineteenth century- telegraph, railways, steamships-rendered intercourse between distant bodies much easier. A group of so-called " universal brotherhoods " was accordingly organized in only five years, 1864-1869; they were:
a) Brotherhood for the awakening of the slumbering
Jews,8 at St. Petersburg;
b) Alliance Israelite Universelle9 at Paris;
c) Jewish Emigration Society,10 at London;
d) Brotherhood for the enlightenment of the Jews,11 at St. Petersburg;
e) Brotherhood for the repopulation of Palestine.12 The first of these societies was founded in 1864: in 1866, it already numbered twelve hundred members among the wealthiest and most influential Jews, at whose head stood:
Sir Moses Montefiore D. L. Loewe France Russia Prussia Prussia
Rabbi Albert Cohn M. Strahun M. S. Magnus L. Silberman
In 1864 was also founded the Brotherhood for the enlightenment of the Jews (fourth in the above list) with its centre at St. Petersburg; within a year it numbered 227 wealthy Jews, including Dr. Bernstein, the bankers Ginzberg, Dr. Kalisher, Dr. Schwabacher,13 and men prominent in science. It is therefore not surprising that their efforts should have met with sympathy among Christians.
On closer examination, the enlightenment these societies sought appears not to be of the kind to raise the people above the racial prejudices fostered in the ghetto. On the contrary, the literature which the society for the awakening of the slumbering Jews published, with the exception of a book of travels, was strictly a course of studies in Talmudic laws,14 and calculated to revive the sentiment of a common aim and common hatred found in the Shulchan Aruk.
The book of travels, Even Saphir, is more stimulating: it points out in subtle language the power of the Kahal and Jewish solidarity. A passage may be quoted as illustration:15
" Here in Cairo, Jewish business is exchange, banking, and usury... The Jews derive great benefit from these three operations, thanks to the different foreign currencies and the fact that there are two rates of exchange, one fixed by the government, the other by merchants.
" These two rates constantly vary, rising and falling, and people who do not deal in money matters are easily misled. These operations are for the most part in the hands of the Jews, wise and clever people who, among capitalists, rank as high as the wealthiest in Europe. They occupy important positions in the pasha's palaces and government offices. In fact the Jews at the present moment enjoy full freedom in every way: their word counts for much, and in trials and lawsuits with non-Jews their side always wins."
The Kahal resorted to another device to keep its flock within the fold. Whenever opportunity offered, it made a cause celebre of some Jew brought to trial in a gentile court, and then, when the case had become the common talk of the day, it had him released. In what better way could it show its power?
The murder of a French missionary by three or four Jews in Damascus in 1840 furnished one such occasion, and the Dreyfus case in 1896 another.
It found, too, little difficulty in organizing pogroms in Poland and in Russia. The peasants in these countries, though of a trusting, friendly nature, could be provoked by fraud and extortion at length to retaliate. A few Jews were killed, and millions of their race rallied around the synagogue. The privileges granted the Jews by the Tsar Alexander II necessitated the pogroms of 1882; and these were followed by a cry of " anti-semitism," which, as Herzl used to say, always gathered the sheep into the fold "-the time at the conference at Kattowitz in 1884.
Here eastern Jews16 met their more assimilated brethren from the West, but little was accomplished. The latter, whose views had been modified by long contact with Frenchmen, Englishmen, and Germans, failed to understand the violent nationalism of the eastern ghettoes, where the aim was a return to Palestine, the creation of a Jewish state, and eventual world domination.
The eastern group was known as "The Friends of Zion"17 and was led by Leo Pinsker and Moses Lilienblum. Pinsker had already set forth his programme in a book, Auto-emancipation (1882), in which he had been inspired by the Rome and Jerusalem (1862) of Moses Hess. Fear of the Russian authorities preventing a full exposition of his aim, he had limited himself to claiming Palestine for the Jews as a refuge against persecution.
One of his colleagues, Asher Ginzberg, was destined to carry his work much further. The latter, a fanatic, fanned Jewish national aspirations in the East, and from the date of the founding of the " Sons of Moses " in Odessa in 1889, the movement spread rapidly. Meantime in Germany and Austria, another active nationalist, Nathan Birnbaum18 of Vienna, organized the Jewish students into a body called the kadimah. Its aim was to establish a Jewish centre in Palestine which should rule the world in the three spheres of politics, economics, and religion, through the medium of Jews at the control of affairs in every nation.
If the western group, on the other hand, did not respond readily to a nationalist appeal, they yet were intrigued by the idea of world domination. International and clannish at heart, in spite of their outward assimilation, they were to prove by the sequel that they could be won to the eastern point of view: if they rejected it at first, it was largely because they thought they could obtain all they wanted without the help of their retrograde brethren. They were, moreover, divided into two camps: the Rothschilds and the German Jews in Germany and America. The second camp had invested a large part of their capital in German industry, which proved very productive in the years 1884 to 1896; they also shared, or pretended to share, in the plans of pan-German ambition.
But when, in 1896, Germany obtained from the Sultan the concession for the Bagdad railway and reached out over Palestine towards India, some leading western Jews were alarmed and felt the need of uniting Jewry. The only basis of union was the eastern programme, for the eastern group, being fanatics, would accept no other.
To win over the western group to the new aim, an assimilated Jewish writer, Theodore Herzl, was called on to paraphrase Leo Pinsker's Auto-emancipation.19 This paraphrase, published in 1896, bore the title, The Jewish State. There was little that was original about the book, but the character and influence of the author carried much weight.
Theodore Herzl was a typical assimilated Jew.20 Born in Hungary in 1860, after finishing school in Budapest and studying law at the university of Vienna, he devoted himself to journalism and literature. As reporter for the Viennese paper, Die neuefreie Presse, he worked in Spain and later in France. While in Paris, he reported the Dreyfus case, under the influence of another Jew, the famous Dr. Blowitz, correspondent of the London Times.
It is said that the Dreyfus case " made a Jew of Herzl." He did not know Hebrew, and had never been taught the fanatical books of the Talmud, such as the Shukhan Aruk and the Abodah Zarah. He was opposed to violent methods, and in one of his novels, Altneuland, has left a picture of a civilized Jewish state, patterned on those of Western Europe.
In any case, after the publication of The Jewish State, the Friends of Zion in Odessa, and the body of students (Kadimah) under Nathan Birnbaum, adopted Herzl. The first Zionist congress was called at Basle the following year (1897). Herzl was elected president, a position which he held till his death (1904).
At the congress, as the eastern group was the more numerous, the name " Zionism", coined by Nathan Birnbaum in 1886, was adopted, and its aim declared essentially democratic. But the western group was not wholly won. Some of them, mostly from England and France, responded coldly to Herzl's appeal, fearing to compromise the rights and positions already acquired in those countries. The desired union could not yet be effected, and the two groups rallied around their respective leaders, Herzl and Ginzberg.
Herzl nevertheless remained faithful to the task he had undertaken.21 He entered into negotiations with the rulers of several nations to obtain some suitable home for the Jews. He failed to get Palestine from the Sultan, and later, the El Arish peninsula from the Khedive of Egypt; but he received, and virtually accepted, the offer of Uganda from Great Britain. In 1903, he laid this proposal before the sixth Zionist congress: it was thrown out by the Zionists who would have no land but Palestine. Herzl died the following year, and with him the leadership of the moderate party was soon to pass into the hands of the violent nationalists.22
* * *
An article in the Judisk Tidskrift (No. 6, Aug.-Sept., 1929), written by Dr. Ehrenpreis, Chief Rabbi of Sweden, contained, according to the Swedish paper Nationen, the following passage:-
" I participated with Herzl in the first Zionist Congress which was held in Basle in 1897. Herzl was the most prominent figure at that first Jewish World Congress. He worked to achieve an object which had been fixed beforehand. Just as Isaiah foresaw, decades before the event occurred, the victorious power of Cyrus before anyone else, so did Herzl foresee twenty years, before we experienced them, the revolutions brought about by the Great War, and he prepared us for that which was going to happen. He foresaw the splitting up of Turkey, and he foresaw that England would obtain control over Palestine. " We may expect important developments in the world." These were the words spoken by Herzl twenty years before the Great War. He added that the events would offer the Jewish people fresh opportunities."
1. For example, in Spain, before the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella; in England, under Cromwell; in Russia, under the Tsar Alexis in th" seventeenth century.
2. Grandfather of the composer (1729-1786).
3. J. Darmstadter, in his essay, Histoire du peuple juif (Paris, 1886) says that, from this date, the Jews looked on France as their own possession.
4. Letter of Nov. 29, 1806, to Champagny, quoted in article " MSS of Napoleon ", Synhedrian Allgemeine Zeitung des Jud. (Leipzig 1811), p. 33.
5. Cf. Corti, House of Rothschild (New York, 1928).
6. Cabinet minister in 1846 and 1871 ; one of the most active men in the coup d'etat of Louis-Napoleon in 1851 (1796-1880).
7. First Jewish M.P. The leading source for the life of Disraeli is W. F. Moneypenny and G. E. Buckle, Life of Disraeli (London, 1923) ; see also the admirable sketch, entitled Vie de Disraeli, by the Jew A. Maurois (Paris, 1927).
8. Haburah mekidze nirdamim. See Brafmann, Jewish Brother hoods, pp. 96-98.
9. Haburah kol Israel haberim.
10. Haburah shiluhe plakiloth.
11. Haburah marbe.
12. Haburah yishub Israel. To the foregoing list might be added the Jewish immigration society of New York, and also the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith (Sons of the Covenant) founded in 1843.
13. Op. cit., p. 100.
14. Including Pachad Ishak, " fear of Isaac ", an index to Talmudic literature; Teschubat ha-gaonim " decisions of the illustrious " viz., of the ancient authorities on religious and legal matters, etc. Op. cit., p. 101.
15. Even Saphir, p. 18.
16. The two principal branches of the Jews are the Sephardim, settled mostly in the Spanish peninsula, and the Ashkenazim of Alsace- Lorraine, Germany, Poland and Russia. The former are the more cultivated.
17. Hoveve Zion.
18. His pen-name was Mathias Asher.
19. Whose direct orders Herzl was obeying is not clear: probably those of David Wolfsohn, acknowledged leader of western Jewry.
20. His enemies in the Zionist camp later hurled the epithet" assimi lated " at him to express their scorn for his moderation.
21. Osiah Tonn mentions several letters of Herzl, expressing the wish to retire from the Zionist movement as soon as possible.
22. David Wolfsohn succeeded Herzl as president for a short time.
IV. GINZBERG THE INTERPRETER OF JEWISH AIMS
If Herzl strove to modify and conciliate Jewish ambition with its gentile surroundings, it was the task of Ginzberg to give it a new form and the strength of mass fanaticism.
Asher Ginzberg1 was born at Skvira, in the province of Kiev, in 1856, of well-to-do parents belonging to the Jewish sect of Hassidim. He received a strictly rabbinical education and, at seventeen, married the grand-daughter of a prominent rabbi, Menachem Mendel. Five years later (1878), he moved to Odessa, where he continued his studies, with special attention to the works of Spinoza, Moses Mendelssohn, and Nietzsche. Not long after,2 he visited Berlin, Breslau, and Vienna where he met Charles Netter, a French Jew and one of the founders of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, who introduced him into that body.
It was thus that, in 1884, on his return to Odessa, Ginzberg joined the Friends of Zion3 under Leo Pinsker and Moses Lilienblum, and attended the conference at Katto-witz. His shrewd, restless mind and command of Hebrew soon raised him to prominence: a letter in Hebrew to the scientist S. Finn on his seventieth birthday, attracted the notice of Alexander Zederbaum. Zederbaum was the editor of the Hebrew paper Ha-melitz, and immediately invited Ginzberg to contribute.
Although he had constantly criticized the methods of the Friends of Zidh privately, he hesitated to do so in print; but finally overcoming his scruples, he sent in a radical article, entitled Not the Way,4 which appeared the same year (1889). In it, Ginzberg attacked Pinsker's plan of sending Russian Jews to Palestine for the material advantages they might derive.5 All attempts to improve the condition of Russian ghettoes were futile, he insisted; the Jews must first become consciously, aggressively national. The article with its direct appeal to fanaticism was read by Jews all over Europe; other articles by the same pen followed.
He now broke with the Friends of Zion, and with him went a group of young men who had come to share his advanced views. These men he formed (1889) into a secret organization called the Sons of Moses.6 It met in his house in Yamskaya Street, Odessa, and numbered among its first members, Ben Avigdor, Zalman Epstein, Louis Epstein, and Jacob Eisenstaat. It was to this small group that Ginzberg read what is to-day known as " the protocols ",7 in which the national aim is set forth in such direct, forceful language, -in strange contrast to the confused, pedantic style of the Talmud.
The opening words give the tone of the whole.
" Let us put aside phraseology and discuss the inner meaning of every thought: by comparison and deduction let us illuminate the situation. In this way I will describe our system, both from our own point of view and that of the goyim.s
" It must be remembered that people with base instincts," he continues, " are more numerous than those with noble ones; therefore, the best results in governing are achieved through violence and intimidation, and not through academic discussion. Every man seeks power; every one would like to become a dictator if he possibly could; and rare indeed are those who would not sacrifice the common good in order to attain personal advantage."
The argument is then developed with conciseness and lucidity: all objections are anticipated and met in a few terse phrases. No rhetorical effect is sought; expression is natural and vivid: e.g. of the mob at the time of a revolution,9 the author says:
" These beasts fall asleep when they have drunk enough blood; it is then easy to shackle them."
The Protocols are sometimes criticized as containing nothing that had not been said previously by philosophers or statesmen; but even if that were true, it would detract little from their interest. For their importance does not lie in the aim, world domination, nor in the theory by which it is attained, exploitation of man's baser instincts, but in the extraordinary astuteness with which the practical application of the plan has been suited to existing conditions.
The very fact that the language is forceful and incisive, that all the allusions are striking, and the thesis so to speak irrefutable, is to some an obstacle to belief: nor is this surprising.
If, at Waterloo, Napoleon had had a battalion of tanks and a few batteries of modern eight-inch guns, the forces of England and Prussia would have been driven from the field: with the improved methods of warfare of the last century at his command, he could have defied the armies of the world in 1814.
For the past century the Jews have been making rapid progress in the theory and practice of politics, while the rest of the world thought them merely emerging from the ghetto; and, as it cannot understand the intricate new machinery of government they have devised and set up, it says, " Such a thing is impossible." Yet, like a great engine of war, the organization of the Kahal advances on the course determined, crashing all resistance.
That course is succinctly stated in the twenty-four protocols of Ginzberg: they are an epitome of Jewish thought from Rabbi Akiba10 and Maimonides11 down to Marx12 and Engels. At the same time the reader is reminded constantly of some familiar event of recent years which bears out the thesis. For example the passage:13 " To show that all the gentile governments of Europe are enslaved by us, we will manifest our power by subjecting one of them to a reign of terror, violence and crime."
Can anyone, recalling the Russian revolution of 1918, read this, knowing it was written before 1897,14 and not be impressed by the correspondence between the prophecy and its fulfilment two decades later?
But Ginzberg was no visionary: he knew of what he wrote, and the course of the revolutionary movement already on foot in Russia had been too carefully calculated to leave any doubt as to its eventual success.
The Second International was formed in 1889, and the theories of Marx and Engels adopted. The labour movement was no longer represented by a small group of workingmen led by theorists, but by powerful national organizations of workers. Therefore the aim of the Second International to secure the transfer of power to the proletariat was to be pursued under conditions more favourable than those which had prevailed at the time of the First International. The dominant industrial and financial interests served to further the objectives of the socialists through a callous disregard for labour.15
In 1900, on Lenin's return from exile, appeared the first number of the revolutionary paper Iskra (" The Spark ") edited in London by Trotski (Braunstein) a Jew, and supported by another Jew, Blumenfeld.16 Organizations directed by Iskra spread throughout Russia: it was the source from which the ideas of local leaders were derived. In March 1903, there emerged at its first meeting in Minsk, a completely formed Russian communist party; it represented six organizations and was headed by nine men, of whom at least five were of Jewish descent.17 It was known as the " Russian social democratic party " (until 1918), and its methods as well as its motto " Proletarians of all countries, unite ", were those of Marx and Engels. A second congress of the party met at Brussels and then at London, in July and August, of the same year. Here the doctrine that " the necessary condition of the social revolution is the dictatorship of the proletariat ", was expressed for the first time.18
Then came the split between bolsheviks and mensheviks, and the movement faced its first real test in 1905. Weakened by defeat in the war with Japan, the Tsarist government could not forestall strikes and disorders. The shooting down of workmen who had assembled before the winter palace encouraged the bolsheviks to attempt an armed uprising. A congress of the party met in London on April 25, 1905, and formulated the programme which was to be put in practice twelve years later.19
The outbreak in Russia was immediately hailed by a Zionist paper as the work of Jews.
" The revolution in Russia is a Jewish revolution, a crisis in Jewish history. It is a Jewish revolution because Russia is the home of about half the Jews of the world, and an overturning of its despotic government must have a very important influence on the destinies of the millions living there and on the many thousands who have recently emigrated to other countries. But the revolution in Russia is a Jewish revolution also because Jews are the most active revolutionists in the Tsar's empire ".20
Unsupported by the peasants and the army, the revolts of 1905 failed. A period of reaction set in, bringing with it the arrest and exile of many of the revolutionary leaders. From that time, in fact, plans for a revolution in Russia had to be entirely directed from abroad. How the old leaders usually managed to escape their prison sentences;21 how they secured funds to travel about and participate in congresses in Stockholm, Paris, Prague, Berne and other cities; and how they managed to keep alive a central organization is not explained in published documents; but the connection between these subversive activities and Zionism will become clearer further on.22
Meantime the protocols, secretly circulated in Hebrew among the Sons of Moses, had helped the expansion of that order throughout Russia and Poland and contributed to its victory at the Basle congress in 1897,23 when Zionism became an official movement.
But when Ginzberg saw that Herzl's conception of Zionism was " an economic one first and foremost ",24 excluding as it seemed the spirit of Jewish nationalism, he gathered his old adherents into a new secret order, the Sons of Zipn (B'nai Zion) to propagate the true faith. While affecting himself to keep outside of the official movement, he edited a Hebrew paper, Hashiloah (" The Way "), thanks to financial aid from a Moscow tea merchant, a Jew, Kalonymous Wissotzkii, and became head of a great Hebrew publishing firm called Ahiasaf. With these powerful organs, he could attack Herzl with impunity. One of the latter's friends complains :25
" Ahad-ha-am (Ginzberg) reproaches Herzl with wanting to imitate Europe. He (Ginzberg) cannot admit that we should borrow from Europe its academies, operas, white gloves. The only thing he would transfer from Europe into Altneuland (i.e. Palestine) would be the principles of the inquisition, the way of acting of the anti-semites, the restrictions of the Rumanian laws... He understands freedom as practised in the ghetto, only in his conception the parts are reversed: persecutions are to continue, but this time, of the gentiles by the Jews... He is one of the worst enemies of Zionism, and it is our duty to protest against its name being used by him. His conception is the exact opposite of Zionism, and he would mislead us by speaking (slightingly) of ' political' Zionism, in contrast to ' this secret Zionism>26 which is his very own."
Fourteen years of labour at last began to show fruit. In 1911, Ginzberg's representatives, Chaim Weizmann and others, scored a victory at the tenth Zionist Congress. Two years later (1913), " when he visited the congress for the second time," writes a disciple,27 " he was happy. He could see how some of his ideas, some of the truths that he had fought so bitterly to advance, were already working within. He was happy, as a practical philosopher should feel when he realizes that his life has not been in vain, that he has been one link in the long chain that pulls Israel to a glorious future, that he has served Israel, and, through Israel, mankind ".
From this point, Zionism, as Ginzberg understood it, became a reality which his disciples28 have since carried from victory to victory under the eye of the master. He himself remained aloof, at least from public view, until his death in 1927 in a Judaized Palestine.
1. His pen-name was Ahad-ha-am, lit. " one of the people "; his father was a tax-collector.
2. Between 1882 and 1884.
3. Hoveve Zion: supra, ch. III.
4. Lo ha-shiloah.
5. Certainly in this he showed great shrewdness.
6. B'nai Moshe.
7. Infra Part í: The Protocols. From internal evidence the date of the protocols may be placed between 1880-1890.
8. The text itself should be studied: to paraphrase or quote a few passages from it is to give a very defective notion of this important work.
9. Protocol II.
10. Compiler of the Mischna (from shanah " to repeat ") or oral tradition of the Jews in the second century A. D. See Preface to Mischna by Maimonides; also, Milman ï. History of the Jews, p. 133.
11. Spanish Jew, author of commentaries on Mischna and other works, in the twelfth century.
12. Karl Marx, author of Das Kapital, founder of first international, (1818-1883); joint author with Engels of communist manifesto. Marx's real name was Mordecai.
13. Protocol VII, last paragraph.
14. A copy of the Protocols has been in the records of the British Museum since 1906: infra Part n, Chapter I.
15. W. R. Batsell, Soviet Rule in Russia (Published under the auspices of the Bureau of International Research of Harvard University New York, 1929), p. 756.
16. Batsell, op. cit., pp. 49, 691, 692.
17. Ibid., pp. 689, 690.
18. Ibid., p. 692. Compare, " It suffices even for an instant to give the masses self-government, and they will become a disorganized mob... Capital which is entirely in our hands, will hold out to this state a straw, to which it will inevitably be forced to cling." Protocol I, par. 6.
19. The central committee in 1905 was composed of the well known revolutionaries: Lenin (Ulianov), Rykov, Krassin (Vinter), Bogdanov, and Postalovskii; Batsell, op. cit., p. 694.
20. The Maccabean (New York, Nov., 1905), p. 250, under the title " A Jewish Revolution ".
21. Thanks to the fraternity for the freeing of delinquent Jews: supra ch. II.
22. Infra, ch. V.
23. The Sons of Moses (B'nai Moshe) having achieved its object, was dissolved after the congress; for the latter, see supra, ch. III.
24. In the words of Richard Gottheil, Chief Rabbi of New York City.
25. Pamphlet entitled Audiatur et Altera Pars by Dr. Max Nordau, 1903, at the time of the publication of Herzl's novel Altneuland, which Ginzberg attacked.
26. That set forth in the protocols.
27. Jesse Sampler, in his Guide to Zionism.
28. Among these should be mentioned Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolov, Leon Simon, Jabotinskii, Ussitchin, Schmaryar Levin.
V. ZIONISTS AND ANTI-ZIONISTS DURING WORLD WAR I
It has frequently been observed that Europe, whether considered as a whole or as so many separate countries, lost rather than benefited by the world war: the victorious allies, with a huge burden of debt, came off hardly better than the vanquished. But to Zionism, the war brought untold wealth and the complete realization of an immediate aim.
" The present war ", wrote Sokolov at the time,1 " has not affected the unity of the Zionist organization. As the latter was established on the federal principle, it was found possible to continue the essential work of the movement by utilizing the separate organizations of the different countries. The work of propaganda and the collection of funds... actually made great progress."
It may therefore be interesting to trace its activities in four capitals, Berlin, Petrograd, London and New York, during this period.
At the outbreak of the war, Zionism had its headquarters in Berlin.2 There also were the headquarters of the moderate party, represented by the society, Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden. This society had built in the Holy Land a number of schools, seminaries, and other institutions, superior to those of the Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Zionists. On this account, Germany had promised the society control over Palestine, as soon as she had completed the Berlin-Bagdad railway. But as such an eventuality would not have suited Zionist plans, they looked to a different solution.3 "The inner actions committee," we learn,1 "which met regularly in Berlin and transacted all international business between congresses, was composed of members dispersed in various countries. Dr. Schmaryar Levin had come to America to attend the Zionist Convention in June (1914). His presence in America during the war was valuable both for American Zionism and the international cause. Warburg and Hantke, two Gentfan members, were in Berlin where they remained practically throughout the war; Jacobson, another German member, was then in Constantinople."
The strength of this Zionist international chain of communication did not escape the notice of the German government, which sought its support in addition to that of the Hilfsverein. In June 1915, an appeal was sent out from Berlin to all Zionists "asking for sympathy with Germany".* The Zionists, however, were too shrewd to commit themselves while the issue of the war was still doubtful; at the same time, they wished to keep Germany's confidence, which they subsequently exploited in connection with Russia. They therefore refused the request with the ironical explanation that "the Zionist movement could not be involved in world politics".
The following year, they secretly transferred their support from the central powers to the allies, and their headquarters from Berlin to London.6 From then on, their influence was felt more and more in political circles in Europe and America. In particular the Zionist Transfer Department, as it was called, was in a position to transmit funds and information to subversive elements in enemy countries. In this connection, Jacobson, seeing that "Constantinople could no longer be the centre of Zionist politics, left for Copenhagen, where, in a neutral country, he could be of practical use to the Zionists by transmitting information and funds. There he established a Zionist bureau. Chlenov, one of the Russian members, went back and forth between Russia and Denmark, and eventually went to England. Another Russian member, Nahum Sokolov, moved about freely in the allied countries ".7 Rudolf Steiner, occult adviser to the Kaiser, passed freely between Germany and England during the whole period of hostilities, in spite of police regulations. " By its dependable financial methods, it established what was practically a Zionist credit throughout the world. This had no small share in bringing about that attitude on the part of the allied governments which later resulted in their recognition of the Zionist organization as the official representative of the Jewish people."8
The chief task which engaged the Zionists at this time (1916) was the revolutionary movement in Russia. The body of professional revolutionaries which had prepared and directed the outbreak of 1905, had continued its subversive work through congresses held in the different capitals of Europe with undiminished zeal.9 Lenin had become the acknowledged leader of the bolsheviks: with him on the central committee (elected in 1912) and later prominent among those who took over the control of Russia were: Zinoviev (Jew), Ordzhonikidze (Georgian), Schwarzmann (Jew), Spandarian (Armenian), and later Stalin (Georgian), and Belostolskii (Jew).io Outside of it, Trotski (Jew) was active both in New York and London.
Since 1914, these and other professional agitators had been carrying on, principally in Switzerland, a campaign against the war, which they hoped to turn into a class struggle.11 Under wartime conditions, however, a well organized revolutionary movement was difficult to effect. In 1905 the party in Russia had counted three million adherents, in 1906 one million, in 1907 three-quarters of a million, in 1908 only 174,000, and in 1910 just 46,000. In April 1917, a congress of the party claimed to represent 76,000 organized workers. It would be idle to fancy that this minute body was in any sense representative of the 'proletariat', or that it could become a welcome ruler, seven months later, over millions of people.12 But the Zionist task was facilitated by a clever exploitation of the German general staff in the beginning of 1917. The latter, in order to render Russia impotent and thus free troops for use on the western front, staked more on the use of subversives and thus played the Zionist game. " Some man in Germany ", writes General von Hoffmann, then chief of the German staff on the Russian front, 13 " who had connections with the Russian revolutionaries exiled in Switzerland, came upon the idea of employing some of them in order to hasten the undermining and poisoning of the morale of the Russian army. He applied to the deputy Erzberger and the deputy of the foreign office. And thus it came about that Lenin was conveyed through Germany to Petersburg in the manner that afterward transpired ". On May 10, 1917, shortly after his arrival in Russia from the sealed German railway car, Lenin spoke at the Petrograd conference of his party against the provisional government.14 He wanted to destroy at the roots every reminder of Russia's Slavic past. He feared that a " bourgeois government would make the Soviets unnecessary ",15
How, in the course of the ten months following, the bolsheviks replaced the provisional government, and, by preventing the constituent assembly from meeting, remained the absolute masters of Russia; how, faithful to their Zionist patrons, they manifested the strength of Zionism by subjecting the Tsar's empire to a " reign of terror, violence, and crime ",16 is common knowledge and cannot be treated here. Suffice it to say that they justified the judgment of the Austrian foreign minister, Count Czernin, who wrote (Nov. 17, 1917):"
" This Russian bolshevism is a peril to Europe, and if we had the power, beside securing a tolerable peace for ourselves, to force other countries into a state of law and order, then it would be better to have nothing to do with such people as these, but to march on Petersburg and arrange matters there. Their leaders are almost all of them Jews, with altogether fantastic ideas, and I do not envy the country that is governed by them. The way they begin is this: everything in the least reminiscent of work, wealth, and culture, must be destroyed, and the bourgeoisie exterminated. Freedom and equality seem no longer to have any place on their programme: only a bestial suppression of all but the proletariat itself."1"
Zionism gained immeasurably by this success in both money and influence. Crown jewels and possessions, millions of paper rubles put into circulation, art treasures in museums, churches, and private houses, all have been turned to its account. Besides, the dramatic triumph of the ruthless methods advocated by Ginzberg did much to overawe the opposition to Zionism among the Jews. As a leading Zionist said:19
" The downfall of the tsardom of Russia was undoubtedly one of the greatest events in the world's history. Russia entered into a period of revolution which seemed to bring with it all the blessings of right and liberty. The restrictions affecting nationalities and creeds were removed. But far from destroying Zionism, the new liberty gave it an immense stimulus." (The blessings mentioned, it appears, are reserved exclusively for Zionists.)
While these events were taking place in Petrograd, Zionists in London were not idle. " London from the beginning was the financial centre of the Zionist organization ";20 for, while the rival banking firm of Bleichroeder Mendelssohn in Berlin continued their support of the moderates, Rothschild had been won to the new movement. Nahum Sokolov had, during his frequent visits as member of the inner actions committee, been impressed with the opportunities offered for establishing a centre there:21 since 1914, he and Chaim Weizmann had been actively working to bring its political problems to the fore in England. To this end, Weizmann had entered into intimate " relations with the house of Rothschild and done much to make this family more closely acquainted with Zionism."22
Among the non-Jews, an invaluable friend was found in Sir Mark Sykes. How he was won to the cause is not clear:23 before the war he disliked it as " bad cosmopolitanism and finance," but, in the middle of the war, came to the decision which he announced in Hull, that " It would mean that every Jew throughout the world would be made more valuable to the state which he had chosen for himself."24 However that may be, from the beginning of 1917, Sykes devoted himself heart and soul to the movement, and his house at No. 9 Buckingham Gate, " equipped with all such materials as correspondence files and telegraphic communications, became a Zionist centre."25 Collaborating with Sykes was another gentile, Georges Picot.
The first official meeting of what was known as the " Political Committee " took place on February 7, 1917, at the house of Dr. Moses Gaster. There were present (besides Gaster) Lord Rothschild, James de Rothschild, Sir Mark Sykes, Sir Herbert Samuel, Herbert Bentwich, Harry Sacker, Joseph Cowen, Chaim Weizmann, and Nahum Sokolov.26
The Zionist programme to serve as a basis for official negotiations, covering the future mandates of Palestine, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and a kingdom of the Hedjaz, was discussed in detail.27 On the following day (Feb. 8) there was a second, smaller conference, with Georges Picot, at Sykes' house: the result was a plan known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, which was then put into execution.
Sokolov left for Paris to negotiate with the French government. On March 22, 1917, he was received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he " outlined the principles of the Zionist programme. He received the assurance that the French government regarded the programme very favorably and was authorized to inform the Zionist organizations of Russia and America of this result by telegraph."28 Sykes left for Rome, and thence for Port Said and Cairo; then to Jeddah to negotiate with King Hussein, returning on June 14 to London, where he was occupied until November 1917, arranging the preliminaries for the Balfour declaration.29
One must not suppose that this was all done on the sole initiative of the London group; on the contrary," every idea born in London was tested by the Zionist organization in America, and every suggestion from America received the most careful attention in London."çî
The details of the diplomatic conversations in London which led to the declaration have not yet been made public; but, of the British cabinet besides Sir Herbert Samuel, Lloyd George, if not already a Zionist, was easily won to the cause;31 while Sir Arthur Balfour and other members who had the good of the nation at heart, were yet inclined to view it favourably from the following considerations:
a) The financial support of the Rothschilds, at a time when the country had to float loan after loan, would be lost, if the Zionist request were refused.
b) If granted, it would ensure Jewish co-operation throughout the empire and in other countries, both during the war and in the future.
c) The Palestine mandate, coupled with that of Mesopo tamia, was the gateway to India: by calling it " a national home for the Jews", England would lull French and Italian jealousy.
As against these, the mandate constituted a breach of England's promise made to the Arabs in 1915 in return for their support in fighting Turkey. To offset this objection, the Zionists generously proposed to give the Arabs what they already owned, but with the new title of " Kingdom of the Hedjaz ".
Moreover the cabinet could count on a number of Zionist votes in the House, notably Sir Alfred Mond (the late Lord Melchett)32 and Sir Philip Sassoon among the Conservatives, and more among Lloyd George's following. The shrewder members of the cabinet realized that they would eventually have to reckon with the British taxpayer, and the commercial advantages33 of Palestine lost nothing in Zionist exposition. But the great plea was that the English and the Jews, the two great trading races of the world, should unite forces and take over the trade routes between Europe and Asia.34
Although the Zionists had made all preliminary arrangements with the allied governments and the cabinet as a whole was desirous of complying with every point, yet some over-scrupulous member,35 with (the Zionists thought) undue regard for the actual inhabitants of Palestine, altered the text Weizmann's committee had prepared.36 Instead of the words, " The reconstitution of Palestine as the national home of the Jewish people ", at the last minute were substituted the words, " The establishment of a national home in Palestine ".
" It can scarcely be necessary to explain at length," wrote Asher Ginzberg indignantly three years later,37 " the difference between the two versions. Had the British government accepted the version suggested to it, its promise might have been interpreted as meaning that Palestine, inhabited as it now is, was restored to the Jewish people on the ground of its historic right; that the Jewish people was to rebuild its waste places and was destined to rule over it and manage all its affairs in its own way, without regard to the consent or non-consent of its present inhabitants. For this rebuilding (it might have been understood) is only a renewal of the ancient right of the Jews, which overrides the right of the present inhabitants who have wrongly established their national home on a land not their own."
It does not seem, however, that Ginzberg advocated the Jews withdrawing from the rich lands of Europe and America, on the ground that they have there " wrongly established their national home on a land not their own."
The Balfour declaration was issued on November 2, 1917, and transmitted to Lord Rothschild on behalf of the Zionist federation.38 Its endorsement by the other allies was a small matter between Nahum Sokolov and the two representatives, Pichon for France, Imperial! for Italy. From the debates in the French senate, April 5, 6, 1921, following the interpellation of Senator Dominique Delahaye, it subsequently appeared that neither the Chamber of Deputies nor the Senate had ever had the question of ratification put to them.
To those active in Zionist circles, the declaration was no surprise: among the leaders it had been expected for many months. It was, however, made the occasion for public rejoicing in the Jewish and Jew-controlled gentile press,39 and mass meetings were held in London and addressed by Sir Mark Sykes,40 Sir Herbert Samuel,41 and others prominent in politics. But the Jewish moderates, headed by Claude G. Montefiore and David L. Alexander, raised a dissentient voice: they feared, as at the Basle congress,42 that the new nationalism would injure their social rights as Englishmen. Even more they disliked being eclipsed by Ginzberg's satellites from the ghetto. They made, therefore, common cause with the anti-Zionists in America; and when anti-Zionism died out there, it disappeared in England.
Meantime, in New York, changes were taking place of much importance to Jewry. When the Kehillah was organized in 1909,43 the control rested with a group of German Jews, including Jacob Schiff, president of Kuhn, Loeb & Co, a branch of the Bleichroeder Mendelssohn bank,44 Isidor Strauss, Julius Sachs, David Philipson, who, through their affiliations in Germany, were anti-Zionists and favoured the international Jewish policy. They maintained a ministry for foreign affairs, at first composed of appointees of the union of American-Hebrew congregations. The latter, through its delegates, established an ambassadorship at Washington to act for the Jewish people on immigration and other political matters. Subsequently the union was given the support of the B'nai B'rith,45 whose leading member had been appointed ambassador. " For thirty years ", wrote an American Zionist,46 " our ambassador at Washington was the Hon. Simon Wolf. He informed the United States government what the Jews of this country wanted and what they were opposed to. In Simon Wolf's opinion, the Jews were not a nationality but a religious sect; they insisted upon being regarded solely as Americans. Mr. Wolf spoke in the name of assimilation on behalf of the Jews in America."
Later another more powerful group of Jews organized under the name of the American Jewish committee and took over the ministry of foreign affairs.47 During the Wilson administration certain Jews appointed to the highest posts exerted so much influence on the chief executive and members of congress as almost to control the national policy: in particular the Zionist Louis Brandeis of the supreme court, Bernard Baruch, chairman of the war industries board,48 Felix and Paul Warburg of the federal reserve, Julius Klein of the department of commerce, and Eugene F. Meyer.49
Under Zionist influence, the Yiddish newspapers, edited by radicals, started a campaign against the American Jewish committee on the grounds that it was autocratic, and demanded an American Jewish congress, elected by and responsible to the people. " As Zionism moved forward," continues the article quoted above, " the opposition had to recede. When the congress is not in session, the affairs of the Jewish nation are regulated  by the inner actions committee50 and the greater actions committee, two executive bodies the members of which are elected by the Zionist congress."
Thus Zionism, by clever propaganda, gained the masses. But it did not neglect to win over certain leaders of American Jewry, by what means may be guessed. Jacob Schiff had long been interested in the revolutionary movement in Russia and had transferred large sums to support it through his bank, as far back as 1905. The success therefore of the revolution in 1917, engineered by the Zionists, could not fail to change his views. " I believe, " he wrote Rabbi Philipson in 1918,51 " I have heretofore explained to you the reasons which, soon after the outbreak of the Russian revolution, have induced me to change my former attitude towards the Zionist movement, and I have since become more and more convinced that it was in the best interests of our people that I did this."
Schiff had evidently shared the " blessings "52 of the Russian revolution and quite properly gave credit where it was due. The letter continues. " There can be no doubt that the success of these [Zionist] endeavours will have the
most healthy and refreshing effect upon entire Israel, wherever in the world its members may be located, and the proposition you bring forward, to oppose these efforts, is, in my opinion, nothing less than preposterous."
When the opposition to Zionism came to a head in America, it found all the leading Jews on whose support it had counted either only nominally anti-Zionist, or frankly favourable. Rabbi David Philipson and Max Senior, who with others were attempting to call a conference to combat it in the autumn of 1918, met with little encouragement in New York. Oscar S. Strauss wrote:53 " I regard the holding of a conference to counteract the activities of Zionists as distinctly unwise and harmful. I do hope that your committee will recall its proposed action. I make this suggestion, yea request, not as a Zionist, as I am not affiliated with that organization, but as an American and as a lover of our people."
An exchange of letters between Max Senior and Louis Marshall54 is more instructive. " The reasons," wrote the latter, " which I then urged [in declining Rabbi Philip-son's invitation] have been emphasized by the rapid march of events. The allied armies have now swept the Turks and the Germans out of Palestine. It is significant that Jewish units constitute a part of the victorious army.
" President Wilson expressed his personal views in support of the principles laid down in the Balfour declaration. France, Italy, and Greece have formally adopted it: there is therefore an unanimity of sentiment on the part of the allied powers.
" The American Jewish committee, although its members are in the main non-Zionists, recognised the political importance of the declaration as a factor in the effort to defeat the central powers. Major Lionel de Rothschild, president of the league for British Jews, informs me that that organization is in agreement with the American Jewish committee."55
But, if Marshall pretended that the Jews should accept Zionism in order to comply with the " unanimous sentiment of the allied powers " who had determined to build a home for the Jews in Palestine, he was not blind to the real reason for Zionism. His letter continues:
" The Balfour declaration with its acceptance by the powers, is an act of the highest diplomacy. It means both more and less than appears on the surface. Zionism is but an incident of a far-reaching plan: it is merely a convenient peg on which to hang a powerful weapon."56 The letter ends with a threat to non-Zionists: " All the protests they may make would be futile. It would subject them individually to hateful and concrete examples of a most impressive nature. Even if I were disposed to combat Zionism, I would shrink from the possibilities which might result ".
Senior's reply is direct and fearless:57
" I repudiate any connection on national, religious, racial, or cultural grounds, with a ' national home-land for the Jews in Palestine'. We have seen how demoralizing a divided allegiance was to the Germans in this country. I do not pretend to know the inside political history and intricacies of policy of which you hint... I am not to be intimidated into silence by either of the threats you mention... I regard the real danger to the Jew to lie in silent acquiescence to the Zionist claims. You recognize that the non-Zionists did not precipitate the rupture. The break was bound to come, but the recent Tammany-like circular to congressmen was certainly the breaking point... I refuse to accept the Zionist coup d'etat as an accomplished and sacred fact... Finally, you and I and the Zionists know that Palestine offers no solution for the Jewish question in Russia, Galicia, and Rumania. Six million Jews in these lands cannot be removed to Palestine. I certainly have no objection to Jews moving to Palestine, or Persia, or Patagonia, if they can secure freedom in those lands. But emigration is only a palliative. The Jewish question must ultimately be worked out in Russia, Galicia, and Rumania."
Senior's fear that the " real danger to the Jews (in America) lay in silent acquiescence to Zionist claims" has proved justified. The tasks since set by the Zionists for American Jewry have been heavier by far than those set by the Egyptians.58 But the Zionists cleverly lulled any lurking suspicions in the minds of all but a very few (including Senior) by a fanatical appeal to nationalism and a romantic picture of the " land overflowing with milk and honey ". Anti-Zionism disappeared.
Then came the peace conference; the formation of the League of Nations at Geneva;59 and the British mandate for the holy land, over which the Jews exercised complete control in practice, leaving to the English taxpayer the expense of civil administration.60
Thus Zionism gained its ends: in Berlin and Petrograd by subversive activities, in London and New York mainly by diplomacy. Without the influence of Zionism in America during the Wilson administration, and American money, the Balfour declaration, obtained by the efforts of Weizmann and Sokolov, would have remained a dead letter.
1. Sokolov, History of Zionism, p. 21.
2. Jesse Sampler, Guide to Zionsm, p. 63.
3. Oscar S. Straus, in a letter to Rabbi Philipson, dated New York, Sept. 2,1918, alluding to this deal and writing in favour of Zionism asks, "Doyouwish Palestine to be under the tyranny of Germans, or of their brutalized tools, the Turks? ".
4. Sampter, op, cit., p. 63.
5. Ibid., p. 239.
6. Ibid., p. 63.
7. Ibid., p. 63.
8. Ibid., p. 63.
9. Supra, eh. IV.
10. Batsell, op. cit., p. 655.
11. In 1915 a conference of socialists opposed to war was held at Zimmerwald. Exponents of the programme of international revolution and class warfare were present in force. Ibid., p. 757. It was this year that Rosika Schwimmer (Jewess) induced Henry Ford to sail to Europe in the famous peace ship.
12. Ibid., p. 695. The population of Russia in 1917 was one hundred and thirty million.
13. The War of Lost Opportunities (New York, 1925), pp. 180-181.
14. Batsell, op. cit., p. 27.
15. 8 Speeches of Lenin (New York, 1928), pp. 19-26.
16. Protocol VII last par.
17. In the World War (London, 1919), pp. 216-217.
18. Cf. supra, ch. IV. Nordau's criticism: " He understands freedom as practised in the ghetto."
19. Sokolov, History of Zionism, p. 38.
20. Ibid., p. 43.
21. Ibid., p. 44.
22. Ibid., p. 8.
23. His biographer, Shane Leslie, says " it was his Catholicism that assisted Mark to understand the Jewish tragedy." Mark Sykes (London, 1923), p. 269.
24. Loc. cit.
25. Sokolov II, History of Zionism, p. 29.
26. Ibid., p. 52.
27. This programme had been drafted by Gaster, Weizmann, Bentwich, Cowen and Sokolov at the end of 1916: he. cit.
28. Ibid., p. 52.
29. Shane Leslie, p. 270.
30. Sokolov, p. 82.
31. Lloyd George's connection with the Jew Sir Basil Zaharoff (real name Zaccharia), large shareholder in Vickers, Maxim Ltd., munition works, should be kept in mind. For a statement on Zaharoff at this time see Boucard, Les dessous de I'espionnage anglais (Paris, 1929), pp. 228-234.
32. Vice-president (subsequently president) of one of the largest chemical firms, Brunner Mond & Co, in which Chaim Weizmann was also associated. Sassoon, another Jew, was closely connected with Mond in British politics.
33. The mineral deposits of the Jordan valley, for which Alfred Mond (the late Lord Melchett) obtained the monopoly in 1929.
34. " The geographical position of Palestine, as the connecting link between three continents, if held by the English and the Jews, both shopkeepers, offers the opportunity of making the land of Israel the great emporium of "East and West": Bernard Rosenblatt, Social Zionism, pp. 145, 146.
35. Presumably Sir Arthur J. Balfour himself.
36. The text was drafted under Ginzberg's directions by the Jewish political committee composed of: Sokolov (chairman), Weizmann, Leopold Kessler, Cowen, Bentwich, Albert M. Hyamson, Simon Marks (secretary), Sacher, Israel Sieff, Leon Simon, Ettinger and Folkpvskii.
37. Ahad-ha-am, Essays on Judaism and Zionism, tr. by Leon Simon, p. 15.
38. Supra, ch. I.
39. " But we all know how the declaration was interpreted at the time of its publication, and how much exaggeration many of our workers and writers have tried to introduce into it." Ahad-ha-am, loc. cit.
40. Shane Leslie, p. 270.
41. In his speech at the demonstration of Dec. 2,1917, at the London opera-house, Samuel said that he " had stood for Zionism not only in the cabinet, but outside it". Sokolov, p. 47.
42. Supra, ch. III. "
43. Supra, ch. II.
44. Affiliated with the big " D " banks in Germany: Deutsche Bank, Disconto Gesellschaft, Dresdener Bank, Darmstadter Bank.
45. Supra, ch. III.
46. Louis Lipsky: The Maccabean (New York, June, July, 1917), p. 276.
47. Loc. cit., Presumably at the beginning of the Wilson administra tion.
48. Baruch stated publicly that during the war in his official capacity he " probably exercised more power than any other man in the country ".
49. Present head of the Federal Reserve Board.
50. Supra, ch. V.
51. Letter of the late Jacob H. Schiff to Rabbi David Philipson, dated: Bar Harbor, Sept. 5,1918.
52. Supra, ch. V.
53. Letter of Oscar S. Strauss to Rabbi David Philipson, Beechwood, Avenue Avondale, Cincinnati, Ohio, dated New York, Sept. 2, 1918.
54. Born in Syracuse, N. Y., 1856; graduated from Columbia law school; became partner in law firm of Guggenheimer, Untermeyer & Marshall; appointed, in 1908, chairman of N. Y. state immigration commission; acted as counsel for Gov. Sulzer in his impeachment. For twenty years, chairman of the commission on amendment, N. Y. Bar Association. Brought influence to bear on President Taft and Senate to abrogate treaty with Russia, on account of treatment of Jews in Russia. President of Jewish delegation at the peace conference. Served on the board of arbitration (or beth-din) which settled the cloth
ing strike of 1919, in New York. Took a prominent part in Zionist movement; headed many Jewish charities, including the American Jewish relief commission which raised seventy-five million dollars " for Jewish war sufferers ". Trustee of Syracuse university; president of N. Y. state college of forestry. Died in Zurich, Sept. 11, 1929. (Extract from press obituary notices on day following his death).
55. Letter of Louis Marshall to Max Senior, dated New York, Sept. 26, 1918.
56. Italics are ours.
57. Letter of Max Senior to Louis Marshall, dated Washington, Sept. 30, 1918.
58. The taxes and "-contributions " for " rebuilding Palestine " have amounted to $100,000,000. Infra, ch. VI.
59. " The League of Nations is an old Jewish idea." Sampler, Guide to Zionism, p. 21. Leon Simon, in a draft for the Palestine mandate written in March 1918, said: " It is fitting that one of the powers should act for the League as sovereign of Palestine during the period that must elapse before the Jewish nation can grow to full maturity."
60. The construction of roads and the maintainance of an adequate police have been the two largest items.
VI. TEN YEARS OF ZIONISM
Sionism is a convenient peg on which to hang a powerful weapon," wrote Louis Marshall,1 meaning that the project of a national home in Palestine would serve as an excuse for building up a powerful, international organization to supplant eventually the present national governments.
From whatever angle one considers it, the project is an experiment on a vast scale. Decades have passed since the experiment was begun, and it is time to ask:
a) Is the experiment a success or a failure ?
b) Have the promoters of the experiment proved that they have throughout always acted in good faith, or not?
To answer these questions properly would require a careful study of onditions, not only in Palestine, but in the world at large: such a study is beyond the present scope. It is, however, possible to examine certain points which bear directly on the above, namely:
1. Did the promoters of the national home for the Jews use undue political influence on the European powers, England in particular, in obtaining control of Palestine?
2. Did the promoters (the Zionist organization) benefit by the realization of the project?
3. Was their administration of funds scrupulous and competent ?
4. Have the inhabitants of Palestine benefited by the mandate; has Great Britain benefited by it; and have the Jews as a whole benefited by it ?
In connection with the first point, the origin of the Sykes-Picot agreement and of the Balfour declaration has already been traced.2 Both of these were in direct violation of the agreement made by the British government in 1915 through Sir Henry MacMahon with the Sherif of Mecca, Hussein. Then the Sherif had agreed to aid the British cause against the Turks, in return for a promise that Great Britain would recognize and support the independence of the Arabs, south of the prospective Turkish boundary. The British government has withheld from publication part of the official correspondence containing this agreement, in spite of requests made in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.3 It is affirmed by a writer to whom Hussein showed Sir Henry's letters that, when the Arab leader flatly refused to accept territorial reservations proposed by the British authorities, the latter finally conceded the point and in January 1917 definitely undertook to support Arab claims in the whole territory south of the Turkish boundary, except in the protectorate of Aden and in the region of Basra in southern Iraq. In March 1916, Sir Henry wrote again to the Sherif confirming the agreement.4
But, as Chaim Weizmann once said,5 in this connection: " Negotiating with a government is easy: one must demand things from a government; a government does not do things by itself; you must know what to demand, how to demand, and when to demand. If you know that, you know all the secret: that is essential for Zionists to understand."
The Balfour declaration was endorsed in February, 1918, by the French government; in May, by the Italian government through its ambassador in London; in August, 1918, by a published letter from President Wilson; and, later, by a joint resolution of the United States Congress in its 1922 session.6
To allay Arab fears, just before the armistice (Nov. 7, 1918), the British and French governments issued a joint declaration which was posted throughout Syria and Palestine and ran :7 " The end aimed at by France and England in the East is the complete and final enfranchisement of the peoples so long oppressed by the Turks, and the establishment of national governments and administrations, drawing their authority from the initiative and free choice of the native populations.
"To fulfil these purposes, France and Great Britain have agreed to encourage and help the establishment of native governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia, which have been freed by the allies, and in the territories whose liberation they are now pursuing, and to recognize these as soon as they are effectively established. Far from wishing to impose upon the populations of these regions any particular institutions, the allies have no other desire than to assure, by their support and by an effective assistance, the normal functioning of the governments and administrations which the populations have freely given themselves. To assure an impartial and equal justice for all, to facilitate the economic development of the country by helping and encouraging local initiative, to favour the spread of education, to bring to an end Turkish political divisions, too long exploited, such is the role which the two allied governments assume in the liberated territories."
Early in 1919 there also gained currency in Palestine the twelfth of Wilson's fourteen points, to the effect that nationalities under Turkish rule " should be assured an undoubted security of life and an unmolested opportunity of autonomous development".8 In May of the same year a purely American commission went to the Near East to ascertain the wishes of the communities as to a mandatory; the commission reported that Great Britain received second choice in 57.49 per cent, of the petitions; that there was a general agreement in favour of retaining the unity of Syria and Palestine, as well as a strong sentiment against France as a mandatory for Syria; less than one per cent, of the petitions supported the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, while 72.3 per cent, expressed opposition to it.9
Yet, without reference to these findings, the allied supreme council, at its meeting in San Remo on April 24, 1920, awarded the mandate for Syria and the Lebanon to France, and the mandates for Palestine and Iraq to Great Britain. This in itself was an act of bad faith on the part of the council; but the terms of the Palestine mandate were still less in keeping " with the wishes of the native populations ". The mandate provided for carrying out the Jewish national home policy on the one hand, and for guaranteeing the rights of the existing population on the other. Throughout the confusion of the two aims, and the duplicity of both the British government and the Zionists behind it, are striking. In article 2 the mandatory made itself responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative, and economic conditions as would secure the establishment of the Jewish national home; for the development of self-governing institutions, and for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion. In article 4 the Palestine administration was to receive special advice from a so-called Jewish agency; under article 6 the British government undertook to facilitate Jewish immigration and encourage close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands: other sections provided that local autonomy should be encouraged, that there should be free access to the holy places, etc.
At the time when the mandate was awarded,10 Palestine bad a population of 757,182, of whom 590,890 were Moslems, 73,024 Christians, and 83,794 Jews; the remaining 9,474 were principally Druzes.11 The Jewish fraction, eleven per cent, of the population, was roughly divided into four groups:
Descendants of Jews who had never left Palestine
(negligible in number);
1. Descendants of Jews who had returned to Palestine in the middle ages (few in number);
2. Those who had come in during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, under non-Zionist auspices;
3. Those who had come in under Zionist auspices.
The mandate, however, recognized the Zionist organization as the Jewish agency with special public functions in Palestine, because Zionists were thoroughly organized both there and abroad and were the promoters of the whole experiment; and the Zionist, Sir Herbert Samuel, was appointed first British High Commissioner, taking office on July 1, 1920, superseding the military administration.12
The next point, whether the Zionist organization has gained by the venture, is easily elucidated by noting the enormous expansion of that body in the last decade and the millions of dollars that have passed through its hands.
The world Zionist organization today includes forty-seven territorial Zionist federations, a few smaller Zionist societies, and certain special unions.13 all represented at the world Zionist congresses. There are seven members of the Zionist executive committee in Palestine (four general Zionists, two labourites and one Mizrachi Zionist). Their duty is to watch over the work of the Zionist organization in Palestine, and to keep in touch with their colleagues abroad. Of the latter, there are three in England, one in Germany, and one in the United States.14
To make its activities more effective, the world Zionist organization has delegated a considerable part of its practical work to certain corporations and companies, of which the more important are:15
1. The Jewish Colonial Trust, Ltd., with a balance sheet for the year 1928 of more than ?10,000,000.
2. The Anglo-Palestine Co. Ltd., subsidiary of the above, also showing a balance sheet of more than ?10,000,000.
3. The Jewish National Fund, which by 1929 had acquired about 71,500 acres of rural, and 450 acres of urban land. The annual receipts between 1924 and 1928
averaged $1,384,000, making over $5,500,000 for the four years.
4. The Palestine Land Development Co, Ltd., which acquired about 38,400 acres, of which it sold to Jewish settlers about 14,300 acres. Its trial balance sheet in Dec. 1928 showed a balance of over $2,100,000.
5. The Palestine Foundation Fund, Ltd. (Keren Hayesod), which received for Zionist projects during the eight years 1921-1929 a total of approximately $18,000,000.
It maintains a complete educational system, including the Hebrew university at Jerusalem, a technical institute at Haifa, four technical and one music school, four normal schools, six secondary schools, and ninety-seven elementary schools.
Under Zionist auspices there has been organized also:
1. The Women's International Zionist Organization;
2. The Sick Benefit Fund17 with a membership of 15,000.
Of the fifteen million Jews in the world today, 1,200,000 are enrolled as members of the Zionist organization. To secure the co-operation of all Jews and thus broaden its base of support, the organization entered into long negotiations with non-Zionists in America.18 In these, Samuel Untermeyer, Zionist, law partner of Louis Marshall (ostensibly anti-Zionist) in New York, took a leading part. The Zionist body altered its name to " World Zionist Organization "; then in 1923, as money was not coming in fast enough, Chaim Weizmann at the Carlsbad congress suggested that the latter should be transformed into the " Jewish Agency under the Mandate ", and should admit all non-Zionist Jews. Alfred Mond, the late Lord Melchett President of the English Zionist federation, was requested to go to America to promote the new Jewish agency and welcome Louis Marshall and his non-Zionist following into it. While in America, Mond said:19
" The Jewish Agency under the mandate is the broadest possible basis for all those who wish to help. It will be an immense aid to Palestine and a great strength to the Zionist organization, and I am glad to think the negotiations which had been carried on in London, favoring a committee to include the Zionist executive and representatives of the most important Jewish bodies have been brought to a successful result. I told Chaim Weizmann that it will be one of the greatect honours that can be conferred on me to serve on a board of that kind."20
After long negotiations, a basis of agreement was finally reached in August 1929. Zionists and non-Zionists are now merged in a new body known as the Jewish Agency: its council includes an equal number of Zionists and non-Zionists : the executive committee of the council, consisting of twenty Zionists and twenty non-Zionists, is henceforth to occupy the privileged position described under article 4 of the mandate.
Such, in brief, are the visible organs established by Zionists for realizing their aim. What the sums collected by these and other organs would total is not easy to estimate. The Zionist organization is said to have spent seven million pounds ($34,000,000),2i and Baron Edmond de Rothschild an additional $50,000,000 in Palestine. 22 The first sum, however, represents but a fraction of the sums collected. The Keren hayesod alone brought in $18,000,000; and, in the single month of September 1929, the Jews of the United States raised more than ?1,500,000.23 A conservative estimate of the funds that have passed through Zionist hands since the Balfour declaration would be $100,000,000, irrespective of the large sums spent annually by the British government. Had such a large capital been placed in competent hands, there would be no need for further appeals or loans. Yet in May 1931, Alfred Mond made personal efforts to float a projected Zionist International loan and endeavoured to get the Italian government to join with the governments of Great Britain, France and Germany in guaranteeing it.24
But the Zionist administration of funds has been not only incompetent but irregular. A single instance may suffice.
It concerns the opposition made by American Zionists to the administration of Louis Lipsky, President of the American Zionist organization, and the resignation from that body of Rabbi Stephen Wise, Samuel Rosensohn and Lawrence Berenson.
At the Atlantic City (U. S. A.) Zionist convention the previous year, the disclosure had been made of the mismanagement of funds, and Berenson and Rosensohn were appointed to enquire into the affairs of the organization and restore the confidence of the Zionists in the country.
Berenson said later:25
" One of the first things we did was to create a thing heretofore unknown to the organization: namely a balanced budget—whereby the organization could never spend or invent a necessity for sums in excess of the budget. We found a deficit of $175,000, exclusive of guarantees, which had been created under the leadership of Mr. Louis Lipsky in the year or two prior to the Atlantic City convention. In the creation of a balanced budget, it became necessary to eliminate a lot of expenditures such as subsidies and compensation to favoured individuals.26
" A note on the Mercantile Bank (New York) was endorsed by the organization for the American Zion Commonwealth for $285,000. A petition of bankruptcy has been filed against the American Zion Commonwealth in Palestine. An attempt is now being made to save the Commonwealth and to raise $200,000. That is futile. The liabilities are $1,068,000. The assets consist of approximately $400,000 of accounts receivable, money owed by American purchasers of the lands in Palestine, and which will not be paid until the deeds are produced; but those deeds can not be produced. The remaining asset is land in Palestine, purchased in the land boom a few years ago. In part, the moneys received, instead of being applied to acquire the deeds, were used to purchase additional lands. The American Zion Commonwealth attempted to build an hotel, but the project had to be abandoned. The Commonwealth has other contingent liabilities, and the Arabs threaten to foreclose.
" One of the obligations of the Zionist Organization of America was the endorsement of this note on the Central Mercantile Bank of New York for $285,000. President Weinstein and Rosenblatt had a hand in that work, and were the two prime movers in the land speculation. When the speculation was rife and it looked as though the America Zion Commonwealth would make money, Mr. Lipsky, a man without any business experience, endorsed the American Zion Commonwealth as an American Zionist institution, ran editorials in the New Palestine and other Zionist publications, and was largely responsible for inducing the American purchasers to make deposits for the acquisition of lands through the American Zion Commonwealth. Thus the United Palestine Appeal felt compelled to advance in cash to the American Zion Commonwealth a sum of $320,000; and about $125,000 more of the United Palestine Appeal money had to be used to pull the American Zion Commonwealth out of its difficulties.
" The endorsement was placed upon that note by Mr. Lipsky without the knowledge, consent or approval of anybody in the Zionist organization.
" The United Palestine Appeal found it necessary to advance these sums of money, because the indignation of the land purchasers was injuring the United Palestine Appeal campaign, and even affecting the confidence in the Zionist organization."
There remains to consider whether the native population of Palestine has benefited by the mandate. It is recalled that 79 per cent, of the population at the time of the St. Remo award was Moslem and it is therefore fitting to weigh the complaints of the Palestine Arabs. These may be grouped as follows:
1. Prior to the British occupation, Jews and Arabs lived together in tranquillity; since, there have been four serious breaks, of which three occurred in 1920 and 1921 and totalled 104 killed and 400 wounded; the
last was still more serious. In view of the fact that each break has inspired a fruitful campaign of Zionist appeals, there would seem to be a deeper connection
between the former and the latter.
2. The purpose of article 22 of the League covenant was to promote " the well-being and development of the people" of the mandated territories. Alien Jews,
living outside Palestine, did not come within the scope of this aim. The Balfour declaration prevented Pales tine from creating those self-governing institutions described in article 2 of the mandate. Article 20 of the League covenant provided that all states members of the League must take immediate steps to procure their release from any undertakings inconsistent with the terms of the covenant: the Balfour declaration fell under this category.
3. Because of the Balfour declaration, the British authorities set up in Palestine a Jewish agency whose function was to advance Jewish interests above all others; Jews should be represented in a Palestinian legislature only in proportion to their numbers.
4. The Jewish national home policy cannot be accepted by the Arabs. If it constituted a reason for letting the
Jews outside Palestine enter the country " as of right and not on sufferance," it was the more reason that the Arabs themselves should be confirmed in their national home as against all intruders, and immigration placed in their control. The Jews already in Palestine were there by right and should enjoy the same status as the Arabs. But to argue (as the British did) that the right of the present Jewish community in Palestine should be extended to all the Jews of the world, was to adopt a line of reasoning " which no people, let alone the Arabs, would accept if applied to itself."27 5. The Arab-speaking inhabitants, to whom Palestine is Falastin (Philistia) resent its being referred to in all official documents as Eretz-Israel (land of Israel). They do not see why a country which they are accustomed to think of as their own should suddenly become Eretz Israel without their consent, simply because it has pleased other nations to set up in it a Jewish national home. They point out that their own possession of the country since the seventh century gives them rights to-day which the Jews scattered abroad do not possess. The next question is, have the Jews as a whole benefited by the national home policy ? The native Jewish population of Palestine is in much the same position as the Arab population: it has suffered from a large influx of immigrants causing acute unemployment. Nor have the immigrants benefited greatly. Although their future depended largely on agricultural development, the majority of Jewish immigrants, as shown by official figures and estimates, settled in the towns: in 1922 there were found to be 68,000 Jews in urban areas and only 15,000 in rural areas; in 1925, 85,000 in urban against 23,000 in rural.28 In 1926 and 1927 unemployment grew so acute that the Zionist organization had to resort to doles in the chief centres of Jewish population.29 For the seven years 1922-1928 the total number of Jewish immigrants was 79,894, nearly as many as the Jews in the country at the time of the British occupation; the total number of Jewish emigrants (mostly disappointed immigrants) for that same period was 23,761.
The huge sums raised on the pretext of a national home, and the new taxes devised and levied by the Zionist organization have been a heavy drain on Jewry as a whole, without any palpable compensation.30 What of Great Britain? She has long desired to control the Palestine-Transjordan-Iraq route; by the Balfour declaration she was led to the belief that a friendly Jewish population in Palestine would be the best possible guarantee of continued British control of this route which flanks the Suez canal and guards the approach to India. Apparently it is her intention to continue to seek some means of reconciling conflicting interests in Palestine. But her prestige has already suffered: Arab discontent in Palestine has spread to Iraq and India; the Jews have been the first to go back on her and make her responsible for all their difficulties. Moreover Palestine is a heavy drain on her treasury: to it she has had to advance several loans, of which the first in 1927 was for ?4,475,000. The Palestine administration has a public debt, guaranteed by the British treasury; it also has a yearly deficit, which in 1928 amounted to approximately ?800,000.
In conclusion, it is seen that the Zionists, through undue political influence, engaged England in carrying out a Jewish national home policy. This policy, contrary to England's prior engagements and against her own best interests, has resulted in a costly and futile experiment.
It has created a new politico-racial problem in the near east, and has been disastrous to the native population of Palestine, and even to Jewry taken as a whole. But to its Zionist promoters, it has brought vast influence through the expansion of their own powerful, international organization, and millions and millions in revenue.
World Zionist organization, or Jewish agency, or Alliance Israelite Universelle—whatever name it takes, it is at bottom always the Kahal with its eighteen centuries of accumulated experience. Its aims and principles, whether shrouded in the mysticism of the Talmud or bluntly stated in the Protocols, are the same to-day as under the Roman empire. But in recent years the technical improvements in its methods of operating3! and the debility of national governments32 have advanced its cause with singular rapidity. Just fifty years ago, a German wrote:33 " Russia is the last defence against the Jews, and its surrender is only a matter of time. The elastic spirit of Jewish intrigue will crush Russia in a revolution, such as the world has never seen the like. When it has overthrown Russia, it will have nothing to fear from any quarter; when it has seized in Russia all the offices of state as it has done with us, then the Jews will openly undertake the destruction of western civilization, and this " last hour " of condemned Europe will strike within a hundred or a hundred and fifty years at the latest, since the march of events moves more rapidly in our era than in preceding centuries."
1. Supra, ch. V. * 1922-1932
2. Supra, ch. V.
3. J. de V. Loder, The Truth about Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Syria, p. 19. See also, Colonial Office, Correspondence with Palestine Arab Delegation andihe Zionist Organization, Cmd. 1700, pp. 20, 26; H. W. V. Temperley, VI, History of the Peace Conference of Paris, p. 126.
4. A. Rihani, Around the Coasts of Arabia, ch. IX.
5. At a meeting at the metropolitan opera house, Philadelphia: Jewish Chronicle (May 25, 1928), p. 18.
6. The Balfour declaration was never submitted to either the French or British Parliament. On June 21, 1922, the House of Lords passed a resolution expressing its dissatisfaction with the terms of the mandate. Current History (Sept. 1922), p. 1008.
7. K. de V. Loder, The Truth about Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Syria, p. 32.
8. H. W. V. Temperley, I, A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, p. 434.
9. Ibid., p. 145. If Palestine belongs to the Jews by historic right, then Spain by the same right should be handed over to the Moors.
10. The mandate was approved by the council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.
11. Colonial Office, Report of the High Commissioner on the Adminis tration of Palestine (1920-1925), p. 48.
12. Allenby's troops had a song in which the chorus ran : " And they gave the holy city To the Zionist committee."
13. Fraternities such as the Order of Ancient Maccabeans, the Mizrachi, the Poale Zion, and Hitachduth.
14. Foreign Policy Association, Information Service (New York, Oct. 16, 1929), vol. V, no. 16, p. 279.
15. Ibid., p. 280.
16. Zionist Executive Report (1929), pp. 278, 283.
17. Cf. supra, ch. II.
18. Supra, ch. V.
19. Speech at the Town Hall, New York, Sept. 26, 1923.
20. The part played by Alfred Mond, now Lord Melchett, is some what mystifying. Very closely connected with Chaim Weizmann in the chemical company of Brunner, Mond and Co., he was a Zionist and favoured the Balfpur declaration, then he favoured the Jewish Agency. In June 1928, at his country house in England, a secret conference of the
Jewish Agency took place, with Weizmann, Felix Warburg, Louis Marshall and Otto Wasserman. Yet on October 26,1928, there appeared a singular interview given by Lord Melchett deprecating the Jewish Agency, with such exclamations as: " Oh, what is it? What does it want to be? Who needs it? " Jewish Chronicle (October 26,1928). In
April 1929, he is once more praising and advocating the Agency: Jewish Daily Bulletin (April 24, 1929).
21. Report of the Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan (1928) p. 117.
22. Reports of the Experts submitted to the Joint Palestine Survey Commission (1928), p. 34.
23. Foreign Policy Assoc., op. cit., p. 273.
24. Jewish Chronicle (May 18, 1928), p. 28.
25. Address on April 29, 1928, in Washington, D. C. Jewish Daily Bulletin, May 3, 1928.
26. Our italics.
27. Colonial Office, Correspondence with the Palestine Arab Delega tion and the Zionist Organization (1922), pp. 18, 19.
28. Foreign Policy Assoc., op. cit., p. 287.
29. Report on the administration of Palestine and Transjordan (1927), p. 29.
30. The financial activities of Zionism before and after its transformation into the ewish world agency have a wide scope. They range from shekel gathering from every member of the Jewish community, innumerable appeals for funds for Palestine, direct taxation " a'aser " of every Zionist Jew, equally innumerable appeals for various relief funds, for government loans, etc. The money thus gathered represents huge yearly revolving funds hich constantly replenish the coffers of Jewish international financiers. How little such funds really benefit the Jewish needy masses can be judged from the constant ppeals for relief and the yearly deficits in every department. The Keren hayesod, the Keren hayemeth, the United Palestine Appeal, the Ort, the Russian colonization Fund, the Agro Joint for Jewish Farm settlements in Russia, the Joint Distributing Committee are a few of the outstanding fund-collecting-Jewish organizations.
31. In organizing revolutions, founding pseudo-religious fraternities like the Freemasons, Theosophists, etc.
32. Partly due to the increased facility of communication and con sequent breakdown of national feeling, partly to the spread of dema gogic ideals, sentimentalism, etc.
33. Wilhelm Marr, who took an active part in the revolution of 1848, in Der Sieg des Judentums fiber das Christentum (1879).