Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/59

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remove some of these narrow-minded notions; and whoever is willing to fall in behind our white flag with its seven golden stars must assist in this campaign of enlightenment. Perhaps we shall have to fight first of all against many an evil-disposed, narrow-hearted, short-sighted member of our own race.

Again, people will say that I am furnishing the Anti-Semites with weapons. Why so? Because I admit the truth? Because I do not maintain that there are none but excellent men amongst us?

Again, people will say that I am showing our enemies the way to injure us. This I absolutely dispute. My proposal could only be carried out with the free consent of a majority of Jews. Individuals or even powerful bodies of Jews might be attacked, but Governments will take no action against the collective nation. The equal rights of Jews before the law cannot be withdrawn where they have once been conceded; for the first attempt at withdrawal would immediately drive all Jews, rich and poor alike, into the ranks of the revolutionary party. The first official violation of Jewish liberties invariably brings about an economic crisis. Therefore no weapons can be effectually used against us, because these cut the hands that wield them. Meantime hatred grows apace. The rich do not feel it much, but our poor do. Let us ask our poor, who have been more severely persecuted since the last renewal of Anti-Semitism than ever before.

Our prosperous men may say that the pressure is not yet severe enough to justify emigration, and that every forcible expulsion shows how unwilling our people are to depart. True, because they do not know where to go; because they only pass from one trouble into another. But we are showing them the way to the Promised Land; and the splendid force of enthusiasm must fight against the terrible force of habit.

Persecutions are no longer so malignant as they were in the Middle Ages. True, but our sensitiveness has increased, so that we feel no diminution in our sufferings; endless persecution has overstrained our nerves.

Will people say, again, that our enterprise is hopeless, because even if we obtained the land with supremacy over it, the poor only would go with us? It is precisely the poorest whom we need at first. Only desperadoes make good conquerors.

Will some one say. Were it feasible, it would have been done long ago?

It has never yet been possible; now it is possible. A hundred, or even fifty years ago, it would have been nothing more than a dream. Today it may become a reality. Our rich, who have a pleasurable acquaintance with all our technical acquisitions, know full well how much money can do. And thus it will be: just the poor and simple, who do not know what power man already exercises over the forces of nature, just these will have firmest faith in the new message; for these have never lost their hope of the Promised Land.

Here it is, fellow-Jews! Neither fable nor fraud! Every man may test its reality for himself, for every man will carry with him a portion of the Promised Land—one in his head, another in his arms, another in his acquired possessions.

Now all this may appear to be an interminably long affair. Even under favorable circumstances many years might elapse before the commencement of the foundation of the State. Meantime, Jews in a hundred different places would suffer insults, mortification, abuse, blows, depredation and death. Not so, the initial steps towards the execution of the plan would stop Anti-Semitism at once and for ever. Ours is a treaty of peace.

The news of the formation of our Jewish Company will be