By Walter Laqueur
Walter Laqueur strains Zionism from its beginnings - with the emancipation of eu Jewry from the ghettos within the wake of the French Revolution - to 1948, while the Zionist dream turned a truth. He describes the contributions of such impressive figures as Benjamin Disraeli, Moses Hess, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and Sir Herbert Samuel, and he analyzes the seminal achievements of Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weitzmann, and David Ben Gurion.
Laqueur outlines the variations among many of the Zionist philosophies of the early 20th century - socialist, Communist, revisionist, and cultural utopian - and he discusses either the non secular and secular Jewish critics of the circulate. He concludes with a dramatic account of the cataclysmic occasions of worldwide struggle II, the clandestine immigration of Holocaust survivors, the tragic ignored possibilities for co-existence with either the Arab citizens of Palestine and people within the surrounding nations, and the fight to forge a brand new country on an old land. Laqueur's new preface analyzes the present-day problems, and locations them right into a old context.
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Extra info for A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel
Hashomer (The Watchman) Jewish watchmen organisation before the First World War. Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Watchman) left-wing socialist movement, founded as a youth movement in 1913. Haskala enlightenment. Hassidim mystical-religious trend in east European Jewry. Hatiqva (hope) Zionist and Israeli national anthem. Heder primary religious school. Histadrut the Israeli General Federation of Trade Unions, established 1920. Hoveve Zion (The Lovers of Zion) pre-Herzlian Zionist organisation. Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL) national military organisation (Revisionist), 1931-48.
Even those who knew Palestine in 1948, the year the Jewish state actually came into being, would not recognize it today. The number of Jews living in Palestine in 1948 was about half a million; it has increased tenfold since. Palestine was a tiny community at that time; Israel today is more populous than half a dozen European countries, including Norway and Finland. It absorbed during its first years of statehood a population of immigrants three times larger than the population already living in the country, a feat unique in the annals of mankind.
Dead bones could not be exhumed and restored to life. Jewish spokesmen claimed full equality as German citizens; they were neither strangers nor recent arrivals; they had been born in the country and had no fatherland but Germany. The messianic and national elements in Jewish religion were dropped in this rapid and radical aggiornamento. Towards the middle of the nineteenth century Gabriel Riesser, the most eloquent and courageous advocate of emancipation, suggested that a Jew who preferred a nonexistent state and nation (Israel) to Germany ought to be put under police protection not because his views were dangerous but because he was obviously insane.
A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel by Walter Laqueur