Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/20

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4
A JEWISH STATE

it break out. The infiltration of immigrating Jews, attracted to a land by apparent security, and the ascent in the social scale of rising Jews, combine powerfully to bring about a revolution. Nothing is plainer than this rational conclusion.

Because I have drawn this conclusion with complete indifference to everything but the quest of truth, I shall probably be contradicted and opposed by Jews who are in easy circumstances. In so far as private interests alone are held by their anxious possessors to be in danger, they can safely be ignored, for the concerns of the poor and oppressed are of greater importance than theirs. But I wish from the outset to prevent any misconception from arising, particularly the mistaken notion that my project, if realized, would in the least degree injure property now held by Jews. I shall therefore. explain everything connected with rights of property, very fully. Whereas, if my plan never becomes anything more than a piece of literature, things will merely remain as they were.

It might more reasonably be objected that I am giving a handle to Anti-Semitism when I say we are a people—One people; that I am hindering the assimilation of Jews, where it is about to be consummated, and endangering it where it is an accomplished fact, in so far as it is possible for a solitary writer to hinder or endanger anything.

This objection will be especially brought forward in France. It will probably also be made in other countries, but I shall answer only the French Jews beforehand, because these afford the most striking example of my point.

However much I may worship individuality—powerful personal individuality in statesmen, inventors, artists, philosophers, or commanders, as well as conjoint individuality in a historic group of human beings, which we call a nation—however much I may worship individuality, I do not regret its disappearance. Whatever is unfit to survive can, will, and must be destroyed. But the distinctive nationality of Jews neither can, will, nor must be destroyed. It cannot be destroyed, because external enemies consolidate it.[1] It will not be destroyed: this it has shown during 2000 years of appalling suffering. It must not be destroyed, and that, as successor to numberless Jews who refused to despair, I am trying once more to prove in this pamphlet. Whole branches of Judaism may wither and fall, but the trunk remains.

Hence, if all or any of the French Jews protest against this scheme on account of their own "assimilation," my answer is simple: The whole thing does not concern them at all. They are Jewish Frenchmen, well and good! This is a private affair for the Jews alone.

The movement towards the organization of the State I am proposing would, of course, harm Jewish Frenchmen no more than it would harm the "assimilated" of other countries. It would, on the contrary, be distinctly to their advantage. For they would no longer be disturbed in their "chromatic function," as Darwin puts it, but would be able to assimilate in peace, because Anti-Semitism, now active, would have been stopped for ever. They would certainly be credited with being assimilated to the very depths of their souls, if they stayed where they were after the Jewish State, with its superior organization, had become a reality.

"Assimilated" would profit even more than Christian citizens

  1. Answering Major Evans Gordon, before the British Royal Commission on Alien Immigration in August, 1902, Dr. Herzl said: "I will give you my definition of a nation, and you can add the adjective 'Jewish.' A nation is, in my mind, a historical group of men of a recognizable cohesion held together by a common enemy. That is in my view a nation. Then if you add to that the word 'Jewish' you have what I understand to be the Jewish nation.