Date: 07/17/2002 3:23:48 AM Central Daylight Time
1. Theodor Herzl
2. Bronze Age Factory Discovered in Jordan
1. Theodor Herzl
There follows a downloaded article about Theoror Herzl the founder of
Herzl once said “If you will, it is no fairytale.”
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about things that now exist or will come to pass regardless of ourselves.
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“Jewish Virtual Library”
Theodor (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl
“In Basle I founded the Jewish state . . . Maybe in five years, certainly
in fifty, everyone will realize it.”
eodor (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl, the visionary of Zionism, was born in
Budapest in 1860. He was educated in the spirit of the GermanJewish
Enlightenment of the period, learning to appreciate secular culture. In
1878 the family moved to Vienna, and in 1884 Herzl was awarded a doctorate
of law from the University of Vienna. He became a writer, a playwright and
a journalist. The Paris correspondent of the influential liberal Vienna
newspaper Neue Freie Presse was none other than Theodor Herzl.
Herzl first encountered the anti-Semitism that would shape his life and the
fate of the Jews in the twentieth century while studying at the University
of Vienna (1882). Later, during his stay in Paris as a journalist, he was
brought face-to-face with the problem. At the time, he regarded the Jewish
problem as a social issue and wrote a drama, The Ghetto (1894), in which
assimilation and conversion are rejected as solutions. He hoped that The
Ghetto would lead to debate and ultimately to a solution, based on mutual
tolerance and respect between Christians and Jews.
The Dreyfus Affair
In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was
unjustly accused of treason, mainly because of the prevailing anti-Semitic
atmosphere. Herzl witnessed mobs shouting “Death to the Jews” in France,
the home of the French Revolution, and resolved that there was only one
solution: the mass immigration of Jews to a land that they could call their
own. Thus, the Dreyfus Case became one of the determinants in the genesis
of Political Zionism.
Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor in
human society, which assimilation did not solve. He mulled over the idea of
Jewish sovereignty, and, despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, published
Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896). Herzl argued that the essence of
the Jewish problem was not individual but national. He declared that the
Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they ceased being a
national anomaly. The Jews are one people, he said, and their plight could
be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state
with the consent of the great powers. He saw the Jewish question as an
international political question to be dealt with in the arena of
Herzl proposed a practical program for collecting funds from Jews around
the world by a company to be owned by stockholders, which would work toward
the practical realization of this goal. (This organization, when it was
eventually formed, was called the Zionist Organization.) He saw the future
state as a model social state, basing his ideas on the European model of
the time, of a modern enlightened society. It would be neutral and
peace-seeking, and of a secular nature.
In his Zionist novel, Altneuland (Old New Land, 1902), Herzl pictured the
future Jewish state as a socialist utopia. He envisioned a new society that
was to rise in the Land of Israel on a cooperative basis utilizing science
and technology in the development of the Land.
He included detailed ideas about how he saw the future state's political
structure, immigration, fundraising, diplomatic relations, social laws and
relations between religion and the state. In Altneuland, the Jewish state
was foreseen as a pluralist, advanced society, a “light unto the nations.”
This book had a great impact on the Jews of the time and became a symbol of
the Zionist vision in the Land of Israel.
A Movement Is Started
Herzl's ideas were met with enthusiasm by the Jewish masses in Eastern
Europe, although Jewish leaders were less ardent. Herzl appealed to wealthy
Jews such as Baron Hirsch and Baron Rothschild, to join the national
Zionist movement, but in vain. He then appealed to the people, and the
result was the convening of the First Zionist Congress in Basle,
Switzerland, on August 2931, 1897.
The Congress was the first interterritorial gathering of Jews on a national
and secular basis. Here the delegates adopted the Basle Program, the
program of the Zionist movement, and declared “Zionism seeks to establish a
home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.” At the
Congress the World Zionist Organization was established as the political
arm of the Jewish people, and Herzl was elected its first president.
Herzl convened six Zionist Congresses between 1897 and 1902. It was here
that the tools for Zionist activism were forged: Otzar Hityashvut
Hayehudim; the Jewish National Fund and the movement's newspaper Die Welt.
After the First Zionist Congress, the movement met yearly at an
international Zionist Congress. In 1936 the center of the Zionist movement
was transferred to Jerusalem.
Uganda Isn't Zion
Herzl saw the need for encouragement by the great powers of the aims of the
Jewish people in the Land. Thus, he traveled to the Land of Israel and
Istanbul in 1898 to meet with Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and the Sultan
of the Ottoman Empire. When these efforts proved fruitless, he turned to
Great Britain, and met with Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial
secretary and others. The only concrete offer he received from the British
was the proposal of a Jewish autonomous region in east Africa, in Uganda.
The 1903 Kishinev pogrom and the difficult state of Russian Jewry,
witnessed firsthand by Herzl during a visit to Russia, had a profound
effect on him. He requested that the Russian government assist the Zionist
Movement to transfer Jews from Russia to Eretz Yisrael.
At the Sixth Zionist Congress (1903), Herzl proposed the British Uganda
Program as a temporary refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. While
Herzl made it clear that this program would not affect the ultimate aim of
Zionism, a Jewish entity in the Land of Israel, the proposal aroused a
storm at the Congress and nearly led to a split in the Zionist movement.
The Uganda Program was finally rejected by the Zionist movement at the
Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905.
Herzl died in Vienna in 1904, of pneumonia and a weak heart overworked by
his incessant efforts on behalf of Zionism. By then the movement had found
its place on the world political map. In 1949, Herzl's remains were brought
to Israel and reinterred on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Herzl's books Der Judenstaat (“The Jewish State”) and Altneuland (“Old New
Land”), his plays and articles have been published frequently and
translated into many languages. His name has been commemorated in the Herzl
Forests at Ben Shemen and Hulda, the world's first Hebrew
gymnasium “Herzlia” which was established in Tel Aviv, the town of
Herzliya in the Sharon and neighborhoods and streets in many Israeli towns
Herzl coined the phrase “If you will, it is no fairytale,” which became the
motto of the Zionist movement. Although at the time no one could have
imagined it, Zionism led, only fifty years later, to the establishment of
the independent State of Israel. 
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Bronze Age Factory Discovered in Jordan
for National Geographic News
June 25, 2002
Archaeologists working at a desert site
in Jordan have excavated a large
and very well-preserved copper factory from the Early Bronze Age.