novembre 15, 2012

La questione sionista e il Vicino Oriente. – Documentazione tratta da “The Sun” di New York: Cronache dell’anno 1919.

The Sun, edito a New York, fa parte del progetto Chronicling America. Historical Newspapers, interno alla Library of Congress, che ha come suo obiettivo la digitalizzazione di tutti i giornali storici americani dal 1836 al 1922. Notizie su The New York Sun si trovano cliccando sul link del titolo. Le annate indicate come disponibili per The Sun vanno dal 1916 al 1920. Valgono per le fonti americane gli stessi criteri di raccolta e sistemazione che abbiamo chiamato “a papiro” contenente in un solo post tutti gli articoli dell’annata senza interventi redazionali e quindi concepita per il più ampio numero possibile di fruitori. Nella redazione “a libro” con un post per ogni singolo articolo svilupperemo invece un nostro commentario. I metodi via via seguiti e modificati alla bisogna vengono discussi in queste annotazioni introduttive con istruzioni per l’uso.


tratta dal quotidiano di NY  “The Sun


Anno di inizio spoglio: 1919.
The Sun:  1916 - 1917 - 1918 - 1919 - 1920.

Sommario;  Anno 1919 → 1.  Il prof. Jastrow critica una “Storia del Sionismo”.  –   2.  –

Cap. 1

Top ↑ 3.8.1919 ↓  c. 2 →  plus

Prof. Jastrow Critices a “History of Zionism” 

The Sun, p. 2-3
New York,
3 agosto 1919, Sunday

By MORRIS JASTROW, Jr. Author of “Zionism and the Future of Palestine”. -  ZIONISM is a topic of present day interest. The movement is of interest to Jews and Christians alike; and Mr. Sokolow’s work, of which the first volume has been issued, is therefore a timely one. Those, however, who take up this first volume of over 300 pages in the hope of getting a “History of Zionism” will be disappointed, whereas those who wish to read a fairly well written propagandist work, setting forth the claims and aspirations of the particular brand of Zionism to which the author is attached, will have
their expectations fully realized.
Mr. Sokolow hai written a big book,
but not a good one. He has with great
industry compiled a vast mass of facts,
most of which do not bear on Zionism
proper, but which are brought forward
to create the impression that modern
Zionism is the culmination of a movement
extending over centuries. The book fairly
teems with this spirit It is full of propa
ganda pleas and propaganda arguments
and propaganda interpretations of events
that in reality have nothing to do with
The propaganda begins with the inser
tion of an introduction by the Right Hon.
A. J. Balfour, evidently requested by
the author with a view of securing wider
attention to' his work, but in which Mr.
Balfour is curiously non-committal on the
crucial point, whether he favors the reor
ganization of Palestine as a Jewish state.
Even more non-committal is a letter from
Lord Bryce to the author, in which he
contents himself with some general obser
vations on the interesting history of the
Jews and on the possibilities of Zionism.
The one important statement in Lord
Bryee's letter is the expression of his
opinion that attachment to the Zionistic
cause will not affect the loyalty of Jews
to the countries in which they dwell. Yet
such is the zeal of Zionists "encompassing
land and sea" for converts that oa the
basis of non-committal statements which
happen to be embedded in a work on
Zionism, Lord Bryce and Mr. Balfour will
probably be claimed as Zionists.
The author himself contributes a lengthy
introduction in which he sets forth his
views on Zionism, and It may be said with
duo recognition of liis earnestness and
enthusiasm that the fifty-three chapters
into which he divides his first volume are
merely a commentary tothe introduction
vith illustrations of his theme drawn from
events in the history of I'us Jews during
the past three centuries. It may be that
in the second volurr- lie will get down to
a "History of Zioiuin," but certainly in
the first one there is little to suggest a
historical treatment of his theme hardly
even a logical treatment He might at
least have arranged his loosely connected
chapters in a chronological order instead
of moving forward and backward like a
weaver's shuttle.
Everything that comes to Mr. Sokolow's
mill is grist for him to be ground up into
Zionistic propaganda. Because a distin
guished Amsterdam Rabbi. Manasseh ben
Israel, tl ough whose efforts the Jews
were j admitted into England under
Cromwell s regime, believed as every one
did in the seventeenth century in the
orthodox doctrine of the restoration of the
Jews to Palestine, several chapters are de
voted to an analysis of Manasseh's writ
ings to prove what nobody denies.
But what has, the restoration of the
Jews to England to do with the modern
Zionistic movement T Still less obvious is
the connection between Zionism and the
influence exerted by the Bible upon Eng
lish literature (which surely did not re
quire demonstration) and Zionism. Yet
the first two chapters are devoted to this
theme. Because Lord Byron wrote some
beautiful poems based on Biblical themes
.and models, a chapter is devoted to him,
apparently with the intent to suggest that
he too was a Zionist. Because Lord Bea
consfield in his novels tonches upon Jew
ish themes and the aspirations of Jewish
dreamers, he becomes a link in the chain
which the author forges to show that mod
em Zionism represents the terminus of a
process extending over centuries.
Six chapters are devoted to Napoleon's
relations to Palestine and the Jews, but
except for the fact which is not new
that Napoleon was actuated by the current
belief in a restoration of the Jewish na
tion in his Palestinian campaign, there is
not the slightest bearing of these chapters
on modem Zionism, which is the only as
pect of the theme of interest to the
world. Again, three chapters are devoted
to the late Baron de Hirsch and his munifi
cent philanthropic efforts to rescue Rus
sian Jews from the thraldom under which
they were living by establishing Jewish
colonies in Argentina, but surely all this
has nothing to do with Zionism, particu
larly as the author is forced to admit
(page 252) that the Baron was not a
The propaganda is carried out in most
subtle fashion. The author has filled his
work with some seventy portraits of dis
tinguished men from the seventeenth cen
tury to our own days Hugo Grotius,
Joseph Priestley, President John Adams,
Beaconsfield, Joseph Salvador, Lord
Kitchener, Edward Robinson, Baron de
Hirsch, Sir Moses Montefiore to mention
only a few in this promiscuous group;
and naturally, finding thtse in a "History
of Zionism" one concludes that these men
were Zionists or had something' to do
with Zionism, but Robinson and Kitch
ener are merely introduced because they
condacted archaeological work in Pales
tine, and Hugo Grotius because he was the
friend of a scholar who wrote a bookn
the "Restoration of the Jews" to Pales
tine. The chapter on 'Sir Moses Monte
fiore, who devoted his life to philanthropic
undertakings, would be in place in a his
tory of the Jews or in a history of Pal
estine, but the mere fact that as an ortho
dox Jew he naturally believed in the
restoration dogma docs not warrant Mr.
Sokolow in including a sketch of Monte
Gore's life and deeds in a history of Zion
ism. In view of the fact that really orthodox
Jews are not, with the exception of a small
minority, at present affiliated with mod
ern Zionism, which is distinctly political
rather than religious, it is quite possible
that Sir Moses if he were living might
have joined the "League of British Jews,"
organized since the outbreak of the war
to protest against the political aim of the
Zionists to convert Palestine into a Jewish
state. Montefiore believed in a religious
and not in a political restoration.
Mr. Sokolow is either so subtle as to
di feat the very end he has in view or he
is laboring under a strange delusion that
every utterance- of an English, French
or American writer litterateur, clergy
man or statesman, bearing on the Jews,
or on the Bible or on the Hebrew lan
guage, forms part and parcel of a his
tory of Zionism. He carefully excludes
German testimony of this, character or he
might have swelled his book to a thousand
pages. Of the fifty-three chapters in tho
book there are about twelve that belong to
a "History of Zionism." The balance,
forming three-fourths of the volume, have
either the loosest kind of connection with
the theme or none at all. It would have"
been in order if Mr. Sokolow had summar
ized in one or two chapters earlier move
ments that might be regarded as fore
runners of modern Zionism, but to devoto
chapter after chapter to such themes as
"England and the Bible," "The Hebrew
By E. F. Benson
Author of "David BIslae," "An Auturnn Sowing," etc.
"It is really a very wonderfully vrroujHt out tory of psychic phe
nomcna." St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
"The psychic novel, the up-to-date spiritistic tale."
N. Y. Evening San,
"He has introduced a psychic problem which has a singular interest:
It is an artistic novel: even as it becomes a convincing one."
Philadelphia Press.
"Mr. Benson has never written with greater charm." The Outlook.
Language," "The Palmers ton Period,"
"The Earl of Shaftesbury," "The Crimean
War," "British Interest and Work in Pal
estine," "The Lebanon Question," &&, in
addition to the irrelevant chapters already
instanced, is merely calculated to obsraro
the issue involved in the modern Zioiistio
The fact is, as clearly set forth in an
earlier work on "Zionism," by Prof. Rich
ard Gottheil of Columbia University
(1914), which is a gamine history of the
movement, that an entirely new turn, to
Zionistic aspirations in the past was given
by the appearance in 1896 of a mono
graph of the late Dr. Theodor Herzl under
the title of The Jewish State. In that
monograph Dr. Herzl proposed as the so
lution of what he called. "The Jewish Prob
lem" the reorganization of the Jews as a
national and political unit with a visible
political centre. Through the influence of
Dr. Herzl, a man of magnetic qualities
and of extraordinary energy, a Jewish
congress was convened in Basel in 1897,
and, Palestine having been selected as the
visible political centre, the modem Zion
istie movement which is distinctly polit
'cal in character was launched.
Political Zionism, of which Dr. Herzl
thus became the founder, arose as a re
action against nnti-semitism, which was
rampant in various parts of Europe
chiefly in Germany, Austria and Russia
during the closing decades of the last cen
tury. Dr. Herzl interpreted the wide
spread prejudice against the Jews as due
to the circumstance that they represent a
separate nationality and that as such they
form a foreign element in the countries
in which they had settled. His conclusion,
therefore, was that the Jews should recog
nize this fact and seek to become a
genuine nationality by reorganizing them
selves as a nation. While he realized that
only a small proportion of Jewsi could
ever become in the full sense part and
parcel of such a nationality settled in
some centre, yet the existence of a "Jew
ish State" would serve to keep alive tho
feeling of a nationalistic solidarity among
Jews and that such a state could also ex
ercise pressure through diplomatic chan
nels to protect Jews in Russia, Poland and
Rumania and elsewhere against aets of re
pression and cruel persecution.
The plan aroused widespread interest
and the Zionistic movement grew by leaps
and bounds during the two decades fol
lowing upon the Basel congress. It ap
pealed to the romantic sentiment with
which Palestine was invested for both
Jews and Christians. It at first stirred
the orthodox Jews to a feeling that the
religious hopes to which they had clung
for 2,000 years for a restoration of ancient
Israel, with its priesthood and temple rit
ual including animal sacrifices, were about
to be realized, but when it became evident
that Herzl's "Jewish State" had little in
common with the purely religious doctrine
of orthodox Judaism, the orthodox ele
ment to a large extent withdrew. Those
in control of political Zionism are not
orthodox or even believing Jews.
The leader himself, Dr. Herzl, had
thrown off all allegiance to the rites and
ceremonies of the ancestral faith. Dr.
Max Nordau, the distinguished litterateur
and one of the leaders .by the side of Dr.
Herzl, is an agnostic (or is at least re
garded as such) and the bulk of the fol
lowers were not religious Jews but claimed
to be stirred by the nationalistic appeal
of the movement. Many boasted that they
had no particular sympathy with the Jew
ish religion. The leaders of the move
ment in this country are not what is or
dinarily called observant Jews; md even
those who are yet loot upon political
Zionism as a nationalistic rather than as
a religious movement The position taken
by Dr. Herzl has been modified somewhat
by the unfolding of the movement, hut
essentially the platform of modern Zion
csm remains as first formulated, having as
its ultimate aim the establishment in Pal
estine of a political centre which shall be
the restored national homeland of the
How in the face of this Mr. Sokolow
can say in his introduction (p. xxv.) that
it is "fallacious" to assume that Zionism
aims at the creation of an independent
Jewish State and that the "Jewish State
was never a part of the Zionist pro
gramme" it is hard to understand. Why
then all this agitation of the Zionists for
the past years to obtain political control
of Palestine T Why the shout of triumph
(when Mr. Balfour issued his declaration
in November, 1917, that the, British Gov
ernment "views with favor the creation of
a national homeland for the Jewish people
in Palestine") that the aim of Zionism had
been accomplished?
It i3 characteristic of the political Zion
ist whom .Mr. Sokolow represents to in
dulge in verbal quibbles. Because it has
been shown that the creation of a "Jewish
State" in Palestine would be an anachro
nism and besides in contradiction to the
democratic basis of modern States which
rejects any connection between Church
and State necessarily involved in a
"Jewish State" Zionists are now inclined
to drop the term, while 'retaining the es
sence. But no matter what one may call
it, political Zionism aims at the creation
of a Stato that is to be distinctly Jewish.
Otherwise political Zionism has no ration
d'etre. The movement stands or falls with,
this aim; and if the aim be abandoned
then the colonization of Jews in Palestine
becomes a mere economic measure and is
no longer a nationalistic measure.
V. "
Mr. Sokolow carefully conceals from
the reader that political Zionism has en
countered most serious opposition both
from Jews and non-Jews. In England,
in Prance and in this country many voices
have been raised in protests and organiza
tions formed, against the attempt to or
ganize the Jews as a political unit, aye,
in protest against the basis on which po
litical Zionism rests, that the Jew3 repre
sent a separate nationality. This is denied
in no uncertain terms. The factor uniting
Jews, as has been pointed out by non
Zionists and anti-Zionists, is a common re
ligion and the possession of common tra
ditions, born of common experiences, with
the factor of tradition surviving after the
religious bond is no longer felt Political
Zionism has been condemned as a mis
reading of the trend of the history of tho
Jews. The dangers and fallacies inherent
in the attempt of political Zionism to
unite Jews on the basis of a common na
tionality have been pointed out with the
result that a strong current against the
aims of political Zionism, has Ret in which
showed itself when the Zionists appeared
before the Peace Conference in March of
this year with their plea to- reorganize
Palestine as the national homeland of tho
Jews if not now, nt all events in the
It is 'in order to counteract this strong
opposition that Mr. Sokolow has written
his propagandist work, under the title of
History of Zionism, which was to be im
pressive by its very bulk. In order to dis
arm criticism, he indulges in such verbal
camouflage as his extraordinary statement
that political Zionism does not aim at tho
creation of a Jewish State, nis big book
is intended also to conceal the significant
fact that of Jews settled in Western Eu
rope and in the United Slates, where Jews
enjoy the same political privileges and
duties as their fellow citizens and where
they have become thoroughly assimilated
to the conditions about them, not fire per
cent, want Palestine to be organized as a
Jewish State. Tlicy do not believe in a
"national homeland" for the Jews; they
decline to become hyphenates, citizens of
one land with affiliations toward another.
Many realize also the serious danger to
the position of the Jews scattered through
out the world involved in this anachronis
tic endeavor to reunite them as a separate
nationality, and have raised their voices in
warning against the endeavor. It is recog
nized also to be a grave injustice to the
Mohammedans and Christians constituting
over 80 per cent of the present population
of Palestine to formulate a policy which
involves wresting the political control of
Palestine put of the hands of those who
havebeen settled there for many centuries.
This opposition crystallized at the time
of the presentation of the Zionists' claims
before the Peace Conference and while no
official announcement has as yet been
made, enough has leaked out of the secret
deliberations to make it quite certain that
the conference will proceed cautiously in
Continued on Following Page.
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ddn K. B. DAVISON, l'LULISIUOi. 17
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Prof; Jastrow's Critique.
(Continued from rtceiing Page.)
encouraging Zionist aspirations. Reports
of protests from the Mohammedan na
tives of Palestine and from the Christians
of Syria against any plans for the organi
zation of their country as a "Jewish State,"
together with rumors of the rise of a wave
of more active opposition on the part of
the natives to the endeavors of political
Zionists to buy up large domains, justify
the belief that the Peace Conference will
place Palestine under a mandatory
Power probably Great Brtain and pos
sibly the United States and so far as
Zionism is concerned will content itself
with some innocuous resolutions favoring
the establishment of Jewish agricultural
and industrial colonies and promising
protection to those colonies, with perhaps
local autonomy.
Political Zionists imbued with the opti
mism and the propagandist zeal of Mr.
Sokolow will no doubt look upon such
action as the triumph of the Zionist cause
and will probably organize jubilee cele
brations, but the more sober spirits
among them will recognize as will the
world in general that political Zionism
after two and a half decades will have
run its natural course. The political as
' pects of Zionism, "which are -now in the
ascendent, will recede into the background
and will give way to purely economic ef
forts to promote the welfare of the Jew
ish colonies in. Palestine and thereby ad
vance also the general prosperity of that
Despite big volumes on the "History of
Zionism" -the .phantasy of a "Jewish
State" will become a phantom, ibe ghastly
outlines of which y dwdly fafle ixm
our vision. Political Zionism, which,
through the fortuitous dreumstanee
that the future of Palestine is involved in
the problems arising out of the war, looms
up at present as one ol the questions of
the day, will hardly be a question of to
morrow. There win remain, however, the
incrustated doctrine of orthodox Judaism
looking to a restoration of Israel as a re
ligions nation, "a kingdom of priests and
a holy people," through Divine Interven
tion: nofT through a Peace Conference
just as orthodox Christians will look for
ward to such a miraculous restoration as
the precursor of the second coming of
Christ whom the Jews once rejected
and whom they will then accept.. Such
dreams -will not be affected by the collapse
of political Zionism.
HISTORY OP ZIONISM (1600-1918). Br
Nahum Sokolow. "With an introduction
by the Bight Hon. A. J. Balfour. Volume
I. Longmans, Green & O
Albert Paysom Tebhhe's
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The best do bosk of azes."
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Boston Eitninf Retard.
-No asfenl ttaoo "Black Beastf has
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BuftSa Ooriav

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