Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/21

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5
INTRODUCTION

by the departure of faithful Jews; for they would be rid of the disquieting, incalculable, and unavoidable rivalry of a Jewish proletariat, driven by poverty and political pressure from place to place, from land to land. This floating proletariat would become stationary. Many Christian citizens—whom we call Anti-Semites—can now offer determined resistance to the immigration of foreign Jews. Jewish citizens cannot do this, although it affects them far more nearly; for on them tells first of all the keen competition of individuals carrying on similar branches of industry, who, in addition, either introduce Anti-Semitism where it does not exist, or intensify it where it does. The "assimilated" give expression to this secret grievance in "philanthropic undertakings." They found emigration societies for wandering Jews. There is a reverse to the picture which were comic, if it did not deal with human beings. For these charitable institutions are created not for, but against, persecuted Jews—are created to despatch these poor creatures just as fast and as far as possible. And thus, many an apparent friend of the Jews turns out, on careful inspection, to be nothing more than an Anti-Semite of Jewish origin disguised in the garb of a philanthropist.

But the attempts at colonization made even by really benevolent men, interesting attempts though they were, have so far been unsuccessful. I do not think that one man or another took up the matter merely as an amusement; that they allowed poor Jews to migrate, as a herd of cattle might have been let go. The matter was too grave and tragic for such treatment. These attempts were interesting, in that they represented on a small scale the practical forerunners of the idea of a Jewish State. They were useful, in that out of their mistakes may be gathered experience for carrying them out successfully on a larger scale. They have, of course, done harm also. The transportation of Anti-Semitism to new districts, which is the inevitable consequence of such artificial infiltration, seems to me to be the least of these evils. Far worse is the circumstance that unsatisfactory results tend to cast doubts on the efficacy of Jewish labor. But the following simple argument will remove this doubt from the minds of intelligent men. What is inefficacious, and impossible to accomplish on a small scale, need not necessarily be so on a larger one. A small enterprise may result in loss under the same conditions which would make a large one pay. A rivulet cannot even be navigated by boats, the river into which it flows carries fine iron vessels.

No human being is wealthy or powerful enough to transplant a nation from one habitation to another. An idea alone can compass that; and this idea of a State may have the requisite power to do so. The Jews have dreamed this kingly dream all through the long nights of their history. "Next year in Jerusalem" is their old phrase. Now comes the opportunity to prove that the dream may be converted into a living reality.

For this, many old, outgrown, confused and limited notions must first be entirely erased from the minds of men. Dull brains might, for instance, imagine that this exodus would be from civilized regions into the desert. That is not the case. It will be carried out in the midst of civilization. We shall not revert to a lower stage; we shall rise to a higher one. We shall not dwell in mud huts; we shall build newer and more beautiful houses, and possess them in safety. We shall not lose our acquired possessions; we shall realize them. We shall surrender our well-earned rights only for greater privileges. We shall not sacrifice our beloved customs; we shall find them again. We shall not leave our old home before the new is prepared for us. Those only will depart who are sure thereby to improve their position; those who are now desperate