The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader
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A classic since its initial publication in 1959, The Zionist Idea is an anthology of writings by the leading thinkers of the Zionist movement, including Theodor Herzl, Ahad Ha-Am, Martin Buber, Louis Brandeis, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Judah Magnes, Max Nordau, Mordecai Kaplan, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Chaim Weizmann, and David Ben-Gurion.
stand at the threshold of the ultimate paradox in the relationship between the Jew and modernity. His defensive schools of thought have found themselves coming to terms with ideas and social structures which were outrunning them, and the more messianic doctrines soon acquired a certain shrillness, for they inevitably assumed the unwanted role of keepers of the conscience of the main modern movements. The last doctrinaires of the Enlightenment and what followed after, the epigones of the true
between the two. Nonetheless, Bialik did not yet dream of making literature his career. He married the daughter of a lumber merchant and settled down in a small town for four years to work in his father-in-law’s business. It was among the poet’s foibles all his life that he imagined himself to possess a talent for business, but he lost his money in this first venture and by 1897 he turned to the traditional occupation of Hebrew writers, teaching that language to the young. His experiences as
they will not recognize it but merely “hire it out to work for others.” Whatever regard the Jew can get for himself will come only for the bearer of his great and unique past—i.e., whatever future there is for the Jew in a gentile world can come only from the respect power will sometimes, out of bad conscience, pay to spirit. Therefore, in his responses to the unfolding course of the Zionist movement in his lifetime, Ahad Ha-Am consistently maintained that individual opportunities must be
Weizmann pleaded for consideration of the Peel Commission’s plan to partition Palestine, Silver was vehemently opposed. He was increasingly identified with a policy of Zionist political activism, both in international affairs and on the American scene. At the height of the Second World War, in 1943, Silver was asked by Weizmann to assume the political leadership of Zionism in America. His first major act was to lead in carrying the American Jewish Conference of that year (it was the first
one accord in steering toward the common destination; This institute would aim chiefly and especially at creating a secure and inviolable home for the surplus of those Jews who live as proletarians in the various countries and are a burden to the native citizens. There can, of course, be no question whatever of a united emigration of the entire people. The comparatively small number of Jews in the Occident, who constitute an insignificant percentage of the population, and for this reason,