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PLSI 430

Politics and Society in Modern Israel

Prof. Nitzhia Shaked

Spring 2000


Term Paper







Theodor Herzl

And his Zionism




by Matthias Fuchs




I.                    Introduction

Theodor Herzl is regarded as the most prominent figure of modern Zionism. In this paper I will try to trace the steps that made an assimilated Jew, who was totally removed from his ethnic and religious background, even ashamed of it, turn into the man who formulated the basic ideas that should serve as a blueprint for the return of the Jews to their homeland and ultimately the establishment of the state of Israel. I will examine Herzl’s special brand of Zionism, his political, functional approach as opposed to romantic or practical versions of the movement. He may not have been the greatest theorist of Zionism, but he surely was the man who pulled the at that time obscure movement into the limelight of public attention, especially with the publication of his book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). To conclude, I will take a look at his unsuccessful efforts to win the German Kaiser and the Turkish Sultan for the establishment of a sovereign state in Palestine, efforts that can be seen as the climax of his political Zionism.


II.                 The assimilated Jew: Budapest and Vienna

Theodor Herzl was born on May 2, 1860 in the city of Budapest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His ancestors had been assimilated Jews from the town of Semlin. His grandfather Simon Loeb Herzl had been fascinated by the work of Rabbi Alkalai, who is seen as one of the first Zionists, and it is not unlikely that he conveyed some of the interest to his grandson.[1] Young Theodor once got thrashed in school when he could not answer the teacher’s questions about the Exodus in the Bible. Thirty years later he said “today there are scores of teachers who would like to thrash me because I remember the Exodus from Egypt only too well.”[2] After the death of his sister the family moved to Vienna, where Theodor started to study law at the university. Roman law profoundly influenced him, and the notion that a small minority can represent the legal interests of a whole people when those can’t express themselves was later to appear in Der Judenstaat. His literary talent, the ability to present his thoughts in a compelling and crystal clear manner, was already observable at an early stage. He led a literary club in school and wrote many articles and satires at university.

At this time already the ambivalence of Herzl’s character can be observed. He is a Jew himself, but he sought assimilation, he tries to distance himself from what he saw as Jewish materialism, from the “stock exchange Jews”, by striving to become a playwright. He internalizes all the anti-Semitic stereotypes of his time. That is why he joined a dueling fraternity in Vienna, the Albia, because he did not want to be seen as a physical coward, a Jewish coward.[3] He derided Jewish ghetto principles like the ban of intermarriage and spoke in favor of complete assimilation.

At that time in the early 1880s there were the first anti-Semitic sentiments in Austrian public opinion. Herzl comes upon Eugen Duehring’s The Jewish Problem as a problem of Race, Morals and Culture, a strongly racist book that attempts to present a scientific basis for anti-Semitism. Herzl was shocked by what he has read, but still his confidence seemed not shaken: “But even these nursery tales of the Jewish people will disappear, and a new age will follow in which a passionless and clear-headed humanity will look back upon our errors even as the enlightened men of our time look back upon the middle ages.”[4]

At a memorial for Richard Wagner in 1883, anti-Semitic tendencies broke out even in Herzl’s own fraternity. Herzl had become more and more of an outsider in the Albia, and the new anti-Semitism made it impossible to participate any longer. A year later he was admitted to the bar in Vienna. He started writing for the Neue Freie Presse, which was at that time Austria’s leading newspaper, becoming an acclaimed feuilletonist. The theater pieces he wrote at that time were less successful; many were not performed or harshly criticized. Herzl traveled around Europe, was impressed by the metropolis of London. The suicide of his closest friend Heinrich Kana dealt him a serious blow, however. He became more thinking, interested in Jewish topics. The bitter sigh of an ailing old man in Lourdes who tried to heal himself with the supposedly holy water was interpreted by Herzl as the sigh of all Jew. He saw the miserable destiny of the Jews before his eyes and pondered the idea of writing a Jewish novel.[5]


III.               Herzl in Paris

Herzl accepted the offer to become Paris correspondent for the Neue Freie Presse and moved there in March 1892. Some years earlier Edouard Drumont’s book La France Juive had appeared and had become a national bestseller. Drumont’s opinion was that the Jews were parasites and their emancipation had to be withdrawn. The public was receptive of these ideas, partly due to economic problems of the Third Republic. At a trial against Drumont in 1892, Herzl heard for the first time “A bas les Juifs!” from Drumont’s followers. But he still believed that French anti-Semitism was a transient phenomenon. This can be seen in an ironic remark he made, that the Jews have always been the scapegoats for the problems of the masses. “And so every genuinely conservative statesman will extend a certain moderate measure of protection to the Jews in order that they may survive.”[6]

With rising anti-Semitism in the following years, Herzl made numerous attempts to come up with a solution for the problem. He dreamed of dueling leading Anti-Semites to decapitate the movement, he thought that Jews should lay their hopes on socialism, as this was a universal, egalitarian movement, he called for universal baptism of all Jews, and he still believed that complete assimilation would solve all the problems.[7] In 1892 the so-called Panama trial took place, uncovering corruption in the French government. It gives Herzl an insight into the “faulty workings” of a parliamentary democracy, an experience that explains why he later favored an autocratic government for the Jewish state.

But his attitude gradually changes. He makes the ghetto-situation responsible for the appearance of many Jewish anti-social qualities and concludes that “our original character cannot have been other than magnificent and proud; we were men who knew how to face war and how to defend the state; had we not started out with such gifts, how could we have survived two thousand years of relentless persecution?”[8] This shows that he started to accept his Jewish roots.

He also believed that the emancipation of Jews after the French Revolution was a mistake, that it takes more for assimilation than the guarantee of rights on paper, but he was not yet ready to draw the ultimate conclusions.

In 1894 he writes the New Ghetto, a play in which a young Jew stands loyal to his family even though they try to betray their business partners. With this play Herzl completed the “inner return to his people.”[9] And that same year the Dreyfus trial took place, the single event to which many of his biographers and Herzl himself attributed his conversion to Zionism.


IV.              Ambivalence and transition to Zionism

Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, had been accused of spying for Germany, and although it later turned out that he was innocent and had been framed, the public had already made up its mind that he was guilty. Herzl had to cover the trial for his paper. Dreyfus was convicted and degraded of his military rank in a public ceremony. That ceremony saw anti-Semitic riots that Herzl had never witnessed before. When the crowd called “A mort les Juifs!” it became clear to him that the French public wanted to condemn all Jews, not only this one.[10] And if the French, the civilized French, were capable of such feelings, what about the other peoples of Europe? The conclusion came to him as inevitable, that the hatred of the Jews was too deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. The only solution for Herzl seemed to be emigration of the Jews from Europe.

Herzl biographer Alex Bein and Herzl himself say that the Dreyfus trial made him a Zionist.[11]

Jacques Kornberg however believes that Herzl’s Zionism is rooted in his own ambivalence between Jewish self-disdain and pride and had developed already before the Dreyfus trial. Herzl had not converted to Zionism because of external threats to the Jews or because he prophetically envisioned the catastrophe of the holocaust, but because of his inner, psychological reasons. [12]

Max Nordau had pointed out that assimilated Jews had burnt their bridges to their own cultural heritage in anticipation of integration into the Christian societies. But when the backlash of anti-Semitism occurred, they found themselves defenseless, they could not return to their refuge in the ghetto.[13] That was why Herzl was in a deep conflict with himself, too. At the outset, he hated everything Jewish, but when anti-Semitism rose in Austria in the 1880s and even the Liberals betrayed their Jewish allies, he found himself powerless and rejected. That is why he needed to establish the Jews as one nation, as one people with their own national pride, in their own country, because then they would be regarded as equals among the European peoples. ”Zionism served as an unservile mode of assimilation, through Jews would no longer seek to be embraced by gentiles as compatriots. Jews, transformed, would now win – even command – gentile recognition as equals in the European state-system.”[14] So Herzl rather wanted to restore personal honor, and not just create a refuge for the Jewish people. And by recreating this mythical image of the physically strong, courageous and self-sufficient Jew he found a way to embrace his own Jewishness and finally resolve the nagging ambivalence he had felt for so long. In Kornberg’s opinion, his Zionism thus did not appear full blown and suddenly as Bein suggests, but developed gradually to that point.[15]

The next step for Herzl was to enter the political arena. He met Baron de Hirsch, one of the wealthiest Jewish financiers. De Hirsch had spent enormous sums to settle Jews in Argentine, with rather minor success. Herzl tried to win him for his emerging Zionism. He wanted to settle Jews in Palestine, but the movement was not to be conducted in the “philanthropic” fashion of de Hirsch. Herzl thought that the philanthropic approach, the settlement of poor Eastern Jews on land purchased by rich “stock exchange” Jews and their continuous support by those, would debase the character of the people. The Jews had to be made strong first, they had to settle and farm the land without being dependent on outside support. To this end, the people had to be educated and transformed.[16] He outlined his plan for the movement in his diary: the need for a loan of 10 Million Reichsmark, the need for propaganda to win the masses and for symbols of unity, like a flag. And he expressed his dream for the Jewish homeland for the first time: “The Promised Land where we can have hooked noses black or red beards, and bow legs without being despised for it. Where we can live at last as free men on our own soil and where we can die peacefully in our own fatherland […] So that the offensive cry of ‘Jew!’ may become an honorable appellation, like German, Englishman, Frenchman – in brief,  like all civilized people.”[17]

But his first attempts in the field of politics were rather discouraging. He failed to win de Hirsch and the Rothschilds for the plan. In his despair, he even wrote to the retired Bismarck in the hope of support, but he did not even answer. Frustrated by his lack of support, he wrote to de Hirsch: “For the Jews I will still try to do something – but not with them.”[18] He also expressed his anger in a letter to the chief Rabbi of Vienna, Guedemann: “These wretched or cowardly men […] are enough to make one give up the work in disgust; but we must think, all the same, of the poor and decent Jews. They are the majority.”[19] But Guedemann supported him, and so did the famous Max Nordau, who he met in Paris. He also convinced Rabbi Singer and Sir Samuel Montagu, but he soon realized that he had to stir the masses in order for the success of his idea. Thus, he wrote a pamphlet that he calls Der Judenstaat (the Jewish State), which instantly made him famous and spread his idea of Zionism.



V.                 Der Judenstaat

At the beginning of his pamphlet, Herzl stressed that the Jews are one people, that they cannot disappear into the community of others. The emancipation of Jews came too late, the ghetto had made them too different, and their attempts of assimilation and competition with the gentile middle class had only spurred anti-Semitism.[20] So a Jewish state was needed and this is the plan, in short: “Political principle will provide the basis, technology will provide the means, the driving force of the great machine will be the Jewish tragedy, the guiding idea will be the Jewish state.”[21]   

The two main means that had to be created in order to enable the success of the plan are the Jewish

Society as a legal representative for all the Jews in the world, formed after the “gestor”-principle of Roman law, and the Jewish Company, a stock company that is to provide the financial backing for the operation. It was to be based in London, England, a country that was not anti-Semitic. Herzl wanted to make use of the immense Jewish wealth for his purpose, wanted to give it a direction.[22]

As for the proceeding of the immigration, poor, eager Jews should make the first step. As soon as they had built up an infrastructure and created a market, the richer Jews would be attracted as well and would follow. The movement should be promoted by Rabbis and with local organizations be brought into every corner of Europe.[23]

The state that was to be created should be sovereign. If it were controlled by another power that power would surely ban immigration as soon as the native population would feel threatened by Jewish immigration. It is interesting to note from today’s point of view that Herzl at that point did not give a lot consideration to possible problems with the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. Herzl did not want the system of a parliamentary republic for the new state, rather that of an aristocratic Republic. He had covered the parliamentary proceedings in France long enough and thought that that system was seriously flawed, a breeding ground for mediocrity and empty words.[24] He favored a government of experts, experienced, aristocratic statesmen. Here we can see the influence of the Prussian autocratic system, which Herzl admired, in spite of all the German anti-Semitism. The new state should be a social and technological model state, with a semi-socialist character (no extreme wealth/poverty, but also individualism). His naïve belief in the blessings of technology led him to think that all problems that the territory in Palestine presented to the settlers could be overcome with giant projects for irrigation and production of hydro-electricity. He did not consider the language question as important although there had already been attempts to revive Hebrew. He envisioned a Switzerland-like language commonwealth, with German as the dominant language.[25]

Herzl also thought that the more Jews leave Europe, the faster anti-Semitism would vanish, thus alleviating the situation for the Jews who stayed. 


VI.              Herzl’s Zionism

Let us take a closer look at the history of Zionism so far and at Herzl’s special rendition of it. The underlying axiom is that all Jews are a single entity with national and not only religious attributes. This idea sets Zionists apart from advocates of assimilation.[26] All kinds of Zionism share several common denominations: 1. the present situation is defective, 2. the solution is a territorial ingathering and autonomy/sovereignty, 3. the means by which to achieve these goals were to be achieved are political activism, settlement and a revival of the Jewish culture and national spirit.

There has always been the dream among many of the scattered Jews, to return one day to Eretz Israel and there had been many false Messiahs (Reubens, Zevi) who promised to lead the people back to their land.[27] Early Zionists were the Rabbis Alkalai and Kalischer. In the 19th century people like Moses Montefiore, Benjamin Disraeli, Ferdinand Lasalle and even Napolean supported the idea of the return of the Jews to Palestine. After the pogroms in Russia in 1881 intellectuals in Russia formed numerous “Haveve Zion” groups to start small-scale settlements in Palestine.[28]

But it was not until Leo Pinsker’s book Auto-Emancipation that there was a clear theoretical foundation for the modern idea of Zionism. Pinsker said that the world saw the Jews as an “eerie figure of a corpse wandering among the living.”[29] The solution could only be self-help, the establishment of an own state and a national consciousness. Pinsker was like Herzl writing out of a feeling of wounded honor. He was the first political Zionist, but not a leader like Herzl and could not express his thoughts in a compelling way.[30]

There are different opinions how to classify the main schools of Zionism. One definition describes the coexistence of political (top-to-bottom approach to influence world leaders to grant the Jews a state in Palestine), practical (bottom-to-top approach to establish facts by settling in Palestine without legal guarantees) and cultural/romantic Zionism (revival of Hebrew language and Jewish national spirit as the first steps). Zionism is also differentiated between functional and organic Zionism. Herzl and Leo Pinsker would be exponents of the first direction, which takes an external view, saying that the “problems of the Jews” have been brought about by the ghetto-status and calls for negotiations with the outside world to achieve its goals. The organic approach on the other hand concentrates on the internal dimension of the problem, the “problem of Judaism”. It calls for the preservation and regeneration of the Jewish national identity. The main exponent was the Russian Asher Ginzberg, known as Ahad Ha’am, one of Herzl’s most influential rivals. He believed that the Jews could actually survive in the diaspora, all they needed was some kind of cultural center. Ginzberg also rejects the Haveve Zion idea and calls instead for a solution of the “spiritual crisis”.

Although no one had formulated the idea of the Jewish state as clearly as Herzl before, his ideological contribution to the movement is overshadowed by what he did to publicize it.[31] His Zionism was an original thought, however, as he did not know the work of Pinsker or Hess’s Rome and Jerusalem.

In his views laid down in Der Judenstaat, he sees assimilation as an illusion, because the Jews lost their “assimilability” in the middle ages and their emancipation brought about the fear of the gentiles. Herzl “understood” Anti-Semitism, because he himself had internalized all the stereotypes.[32] Zionism was for him a way of self-improvement. He thought his idea could be feasible as it was in the self-interest of the Anti-Semites to get rid of the Jews and negotiate a solution. He wanted to get a charter for a sovereign state first, and then start a mass migration. Small-scale immigration à la Hoveve Zion was seen by him as detrimental.[33]

The Jewish quest for a homeland was to be established as an international political problem, as Herzl believed that oppression had turned the scattered Jews into one people again. But he also chose nationalism out of functional reasons, because it seemed the only way to unite the Jews for a common goal. Herzl’s Zionism is also free from religious connotations and does not address the “redemption” ideas of the Bible. It is purely founded on rational reasons.

His liberalism also influenced his idea of Zionism. Although he rejected the emancipation, the new state in Palestine was to be founded on precisely the same ideals that were at the base of the emancipation ideology, and the people who would live there should be like enlightened European Jews – so the new state was like a copy of an idealized European state for Jews.[34]

Herzl’s other main Zionist work was the novel Altneuland (old new land) that was published in 1902. Here he described the Jewish state through the eyes of a visitor some 25 years after its establishment. And this state is exactly like Herzl imagined it in Der Judenstaat. A politically modern state with enlightened citizens ruled by an aristocratic leadership, with socialist elements (farm cooperatives, free schooling). It is rather a state for Jews than a Jewish state, as religion is not playing a dominant role. It is a technologically advanced society with canals and elevated trains – and all these benefits are enjoyed by Jews and Arabs alike. Herzl made it clear that this was not a utopian novel, but that it could well become reality.[35]


VII.            The Zionist Congress – the movement starts

Herzl’s Judenstaat had the effect of a bomb on the Jewish societies of Europe. While many of the assimilationists and many liberal German newspapers harshly criticized him, it caused overwhelming enthusiasm in many Jewish communities, especially in the east. Some already started to see him as a new Moses, to lead them into the Promised Land. With new energy, Herzl went to work on the most important tasks that lay before him: the establishment of the Jewish Society and the Jewish Company, diplomatic efforts in the European capitals and in Turkey and the creation of publicity organs. The Jewish Society is established in 1897, with Herzl as its president, the Jewish Colonial Trust (as a stock company) one year later, and in 1901 the Jewish National Fund, whose purpose it is to purchase land in Palestine. In 1897 Herzl also founded Die Welt as an organ for the Zionist movement.

Herzl met two important men. One is Reverend Hechler, who got him into contact with the Grand Duke of Baden, the uncle of the German Kaiser Wilhelm. In 1896 he had an audience with the Grand Duke, who seemed very receptive for Herzl’s ideas.[36] The other is Philipp Michael von Nevlinski, a former Polish diplomat and rather colorful figure. He claimed to have excellent contacts with the Sultan of Turkey. But when Herzl went with him to Constantinople, he could only talk to some Turkish politicians, not to the Sultan himself.[37]

Herzl also tried to get financial support from the Rothschild family again, but they favored the Haveve Zion idea of small-scale immigration. The only way left to go is to ensure the financial support of the masses and to achieve this end, Herzl and his followers set out to organize a Zionist congress in 1897. The main purpose was to unite the different Zionist movements to achieve one common goal and also to take the “Jewish problem” out of the hands of the philanthropists, as Herzl calls them. But the idea of the Congress faced resistance from everywhere. Many feared that the Congress would provoke a sharp reaction from the Anti-Semites. It was to be held in Munich, but because of protests of Munich Jews it had to be moved to Basel. 

On August 29, 1897, 197 delegates convened in Basel. There was a great diversity in viewpoints and countries of origin. Delegates from Russia, England, France, even America came. There were orthodox Jews, free-thinkers, assimilationists and followers of Herzl. Wolffsohn had created a flag for the event: a white flag with two blue lines and a blue Star of David. In his opening speech, Herzl stressed the importance of a legal basis before an actual immigration could take place. He also emphasized that he wanted to make the Congress a permanent institution. Max Nordau’s speech received even more attention. He talked about the need of a Jewish homeland for a humanistic world order, and he also promoted that image of the “muscle Jew”, who could farm the land himself and defend himself against external threats.

This Congress was the first open political demonstration of Jews for almost 2000 years.[38] The delegates agreed on a program, including settlement, the organization of the movement, a revival of national consciousness and to seek the support of the powers. This was quite vague, but for Herzl unity was the prime goal.

Some future trends in the movement were already visible at that point of time, the question of settlement without legal basis, language and especially religious concerns.

The effect of the Congress was profound especially on the delegates and on the isolated Eastern European Jews, as they saw that the Jewish people actually existed. It strengthened Herzl’s role as the leader (although he would have preferred and “unpersonal” movement).[39] And Herzl felt he had ultimately returned to his people.[40]

There were other problems, however: no real progress with Turkey and lack of funds to undertake political action. Ahad Ha’am clearly challenged Herzl and said that “the salvation will come by prophets, not by diplomats.”[41] 400 delegates attended the second Congress, as the movement gained momentum. Although Herzl tried to reconcile, there were still a lot of differences, and he severely attacked the Rabbis “who pray for Zion and attack it at the same time.”[42]


VIII.         Herzl and the Kaiser

In 1898 an episode took place that made Herzl believe he was about to see his great dream fulfilled, and yet it once again his expectations were utterly disappointed. Herzl, who admired the autocratic German Empire and its Prussian traditions, had always hoped for German support for his plan.

The Grand Duke of Baden told Herzl that the Sultan of Turkey seemed to be favorably inclined towards the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. The Duke introduced Herzl to Count Eulenburg, a close friend of the Kaiser and one of the most influential men in Germany at that time. Herzl managed to win Eulenburg for his cause as well, and Eulenburg agreed to discuss Herzl’s plans with Wilhelm. Herzl proposed a Jewish state under German protection.

Wilhelm was surprisingly enthusiastic about the proposal, as Eulenburg confirmed in a letter to Herzl. “His Majesty has stated his readiness to intervene with great vigor and – as far as practicable – urgently to present your cause to the Sultan.”[43] A happy Herzl wrote to Wolffsohn: “A dream suddenly comes to realization.”[44] A meeting with Reich Chancellor Hohenlohe and Foreign Minister Buelow in Potsdam on the other hand, was not so convincing. They remained skeptical.

Kaiser Wilhelm went for a visit to Turkey and Palestine in 1898, mainly to substantiate the German influence in the disintegrating Ottoman Empire and also to visit the Holy Land. The visit was called a pilgrimage. He agreed to grant Herzl a secret audience on the trip. On October 17, the two men met in Constantinople. Herzl soon learned that the driving force behind Wilhelm’s enthusiasm was his anti-Semitism and the prospect to get rid of the German Jews. Herzl nevertheless felt deeply moved by Wilhelm’s personality, just as Wilhelm was impressed by Herzl.[45] He made the point that Zionism would dissolve the revolutionary parties in the Jewish people.[46] Wilhelm said he would definitely ask the Sultan for a chartered company under German protection. They agreed to meet again in Jerusalem.

This is the first time that Herzl actually traveled to Palestine, and the bad living conditions of the Jews who settled there made him depressed. On November 2 he met the Kaiser in his tent outside Jerusalem, this time the conversation was a little cooler. In his many conversations with Wilhelm, Sultan Abdulhamid obviously had rejected the idea brusquely, so that Wilhelm could not pursue the matter any further. The Sultan’s government had long since taken the position not to make concessions to Zionism, despite indications to the contrary. The Sultan said: “I cannot sell even a foot of land for it does not belong to me but to my people. The Jews may spare their millions. When my empire is divided, perhaps they will get Palestine for nothing. But only our corpse can be divided. I will not agree to vivisection.”[47]

Wilhelm had also changed his mind about Zionism. Realizing that the other European Powers would not accept a German satellite state in the Middle East and being far from the influence of Count Eulenburg he abandoned the idea as quickly as he had picked it up.

Based from the beginning on wishful thinking, and faced with insurmountable objective and subjective obstacles, Herzl’s dream of a Jewish state under the Kaiser’s protection never had a chance of coming true.[48]



IX.              The Uganda idea and Herzl’s early death

 Although Herzl’s one-man-diplomacy had not been successful, Zionism had become a mass movement. In 1902 Chamberlain offered Uganda to Herzl as a homeland for the Jews. Herzl had always been strongly in favor of Palestine and had used other options only to improve his negotiating power. But he thought it inappropriate to reject it, because the fact that a great power negotiated with him equaled a recognition of his movement.[49]

He brought the idea before the sixth Zionist Congress in 1903, where it met with great opposition and almost split the Zionist movement. Herzl was seen by many as a traitor who had abandoned the idea of settling in Palestine for a piece of Africa without any meaning to the Jewish nation whatsoever.[50] It was said of Herzl that it was his good fortune not to have known the Jewish people, that this gave him the courage to act. But in this case it was to his misfortune.[51] A delegation was sent to Uganda to investigate, but their report was unfavorable. Plus, the British had already retreated from the idea again.

The plan was declared dead in December and in the following months Herzl tried to consolidate his position among the powers again to win them for a concerted measure against Turkey. His prospects looked better this time, but he was not to reap the fruits of his efforts. Theodor Herzl died on July 3, 1904 at the age of 44. He did not live to see the Balfour Declaration of 1917 or the eventual establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.



X.                 Conclusion

Theodor Herzl was a statesman without a state. He had undergone a painful transformation from an assimilated Jew to a Zionist. Thanks to his own qualities he impressed monarchs and intellectuals. He aroused admiration and opposition at the same time, but nobody could ignore his magnetic personality, his intelligence and sincerity, and his never ceasing idealism.[52] He was the founder of political Zionism, but he died, before the effects of his work took place. Had he lived longer, we can only speculate what might have happened in the history of European Jewry.








Bein, Alex: Theodore Herzl. A Biography, New York, Atheneum 1970


Kornberg, Jacques: Theodor Herzl. From Assimilation to Zionism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1993


Shimoni, Gideon: The Zionist Ideology, Hanover: Brandeis University Press 1995


Roehl, John C.G.: Herzl and Kaiser Wilhelm II: A German Protectorate in Palestine?, in Robertson, Ritchie and Edward Timms (eds.): Theodor Herzl and the Origins of Zionism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 1997


Friedman, Isaiah: Herzl and the Uganda Controversy, in: Robertson, Ritchie and Edward Timms (eds.) Theodor Herzl and the Origins of Zionism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 1997


[1] Bein, Alex: Theodore Herzl. A Biography, New York, Atheneum 1970, p. 5

[2] ibid., p. 12

[3] Kornberg, Jacques: Theodor Herzl. From Assimilation to Zionism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1993, p. 6

[4] Bein, Alexander, p. 38

[5] ibid., p. 70

[6] ibid., p. 87

[7] ibid., p. 91

[8] ibid., p. 100

[9] ibid., p. 104

[10] ibid., p. 115

[11] ibid., p. 116

[12] Kornberg, Jacques, p. 2 ; Kornberg also critcizes Bein’s « glorification » of Herzl.

[13] ibid., p. 4

[14] ibid., p. 8

[15] ibid., p. 9

[16] Bein, Alex, p. 128

[17] ibid., p. 137

[18] ibid., p. 145

[19] ibid., p. 148

[20] ibid., p. 163

[21] ibid., p. 164

[22] ibid., p. 167

[23] ibid., p. 68

[24] ibid., p. 146

[25] ibid., p. 169

[26] Shimoni, Gideon: The Zionist Ideology, Hanover: Brandeis University Press 1995, p. 85

[27] This was another concern of Herzl: He was afraid to be seen as a false Messiah.

[28] Bein, Alex, p. 173

[29] ibid., p. 175

[30] That is why his work did not receive a lot of attention. Even Herzl heard about Pinsker only after the publication of Der Judenstaat.

[31] Shimoni, Gideon, p. 89

[32] ibid., p. 92

[33] ibid., p. 96

[34] ibid., p. 93

[35] ibid., p. 94

[36] Bein, Alex, p. 197

[37] ibid., p. 199

[38] ibid., p. 237

[39] ibid., p. 246

[40] ibid., p. 249

[41] ibid., p. 259

[42] ibid., p. 271

[43] ibid., Appendix

[44] ibid., p. 286

[45] ibid., p. 294

[46] The Kaiser was at that time concerned about the rising influence of the Social Democrats. Herzl had himself always discouraged revolutionary or socialist tendencies of the Zionists, as hev saw them as dangerous and counterproductive. All strength was to be directed to their one goal: “Zionism needs the whole man, not half.”

[47] Roehl, John C.G.: Herzl and Kaiser Wilhelm II: A German Protectorate in Palestine?, in Robertson, Ritchie and Edward Timms (eds.): Theodor Herzl and the Origins of Zionism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 1997, p. 35

[48] ibid., p. 37

[49] Friedman, Isaiah: Herzl and the Uganda Controversy, in: Robertson, Ritchie and Edward Timms (eds.), p. 40

[50] ibid., p. 39

[51] Bein, Alex, p. 516

[52] Friedmann, Isaiah, p. 51