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Chapter 24

 

The Coming of Zionism

In the second half of the last century when Communism and Zionism began their simultaneous assault on the West, Europe was a place of strong and confident states well able to withstand the effects of inner troubles and foreign wars. The revolutionary outbreaks of 1848 had been overcome without great exertion. Austria-Hungary and France were not much weakened by their Prussian defeats in 1866 and 1871; they resumed their national existences, as defeated countries for centuries had done, side by side with yesterday's victor, and soon were tranquil again. The Balkan people, emerging from five centuries of Turkish rule also were moving towards prosperity, in the kindlier air of national freedom. On the eastern borders of Europe Russia, under the flag of Christendom, appeared to be joining in this process of national and individual improvement.

The appearance was deceptive, for the two maggots were in the apple, and today's scene shows the result. The eighteen Christian centuries which, despite ups and downs showed a total sum of human betterment greater than that of any earlier time known to man, were coming either to an end or an interregnum; which, we still do not know, though believers have no doubt about the good resumption, somewhen. However, one eminent man of that period, from whom confidence in the outcome might have been expected, foresaw what was to come in our century and thought it would be the end, not a transient Dark Age.

This was Henry Edward Manning, the English clergyman who was converted to Rome, became Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and, had he accepted nomination by his fellow cardinals, might have become Pope. Edmund Burke, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton had all perceived the worldwide aims of the revolution and foretold its spreading eruptions. Disraeli, Bakunin and others, a half-century later, had testified to, and warned against, the Jewish usurpation of the revolutionary leadership. Manning joined in these warnings but also foresaw the coming of Zionism and the part it would play in the dual process.

Of the revolution he said, “The secret societies of the world, the existence of which men laugh at and deny in the plenitude of their self-confidence; the secret societies are forcing their existence and their reality upon the consciousness of those who, until the other day, would not believe that they existed” (1861). He expected the full success of Weishaupt's original plan and thought the time in which he lived was “the prelude of the anti-Christian period of the final dethronement of Christendom, and of the restoration of society without God in the world.” Today the anti-Christian revolution holds temporal power in half of Europe, the Christian cross has been expunged from the flags of all great European nations save the British and from those of many small ones, and a “society without God” has been set up as a potential world-government, so that these words of ninety years ago are seen as an impressive forecast part-fulfilled.

Then (and in this he rose above the other seers) he depicted the part which Zionism would play in this process: “Those who have lost faith in the Incarnation, such as humanitarians, rationalists and pantheists, may well be deceived by any person of great political power and success, who should restore the Jews to their own land … and there is nothing in the political aspect of the world which renders such a combination impossible.”

Finally, he said that he expected the personal coming of Antichrist in the form of a Jew. (In these words he moved from the ground of political calculation, where as events have shown he was expert, to that of interpreting prophecy; he related Saint Paul's message to the Thessalonians, 2.1.iii-xi, to the coming time, saying, “It is a law of Holy Scripture that when persons are prophesied of, persons appear.”)

Thus, while Europe outwardly appeared to be slowly moving towards an improving future on the path which for eighteen centuries had served it well, in the Talmudic areas of Russia Zionism joined Communism as the second of the two forces which were to intercept that process. Communism was designed to subvert the masses; it was the “great popular movement” foreseen by Disraeli, by means of which “the secret societies” were to work in unison for the disruption of Europe. Zionism set out to subvert rulers at the top. Neither force could have moved forward without the other, for rulers of unimpaired authority would have checked the revolution as it had been checked in 1848.

Zionism was essentially the rejoinder of the Talmudic centre in Russia to the emancipation of Jews in the West. It was the intimation that they must not involve themselves in mankind but must remain apart.

Never since Babylon had the ruling sect ventured to play this card. It can never be played again, if the present attempt ultimately ends in fiasco. For that reason the Talmudists ever refrained from playing it, and only did this when emancipation confronted them with a vital emergency, the loss of their power over Jewry. Indeed, they had always denounced as “false Messiahs” those who clamoured that the day of fulfilment was come. ‘Had Sabbatai Zevi, or for that matter Cromwell or Napoleon, been able to deliver Palestine to them, they might have proclaimed one of these to be the Messiah. On this occasion they proclaimed themselves to be the Messiah, and that bold enterprise can hardly be repeated. Historically therefore, we are probably moving towards the end of the destructive plan, because it obviously cannot be fulfilled, but the present generation, and possibly some generations to come, by all the signs have yet a heavy price to pay for having encouraged the attempt.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann's book is the best single fount of information about the twin roots of Communism and Zionism and their convergent purpose. He was present at the birth of Zionism, he became its roving plenipotentiary, he was for forty years the darling of Western courts, presidential offices and cabinet rooms, he became the first president of the Zionist state, and he told the entire tale with astonishing candour. He shows how, in those remote Talmudic communities nearly a hundred years ago, the strategy took shape which in its consequences was to catch up, as in a vortex, all peoples of the West. Americans and Britons, Germans and Frenchmen, Italians, Poles, Scandinavians, Balts, the Balkanic peoples and all others were to be implicated. The lifeblood and treasure of the West were to be spent on the promotion of these two complementary purposes like water from a running tap.

Millions, living and dead, were during two wars involved in their furtherance. Men now being born inherit a share in the final upheavals to which they must inexorably lead. The Jews shared in all that tribulation, in their small proportion to the masses affected. Dr. Weizmann's account enables today's student to see the beginnings of all this; and now this narrative reaches our own time, which receives daily shape from what then occurred.

He explains that the Jews in Russia were divided into three groups. The first group was that of the Jews who, seeking “the peace of the city,” simply wanted to become peaceable Russian citizens, as the Jews of the West, in the majority, at that time were loyal German, French or other citizens. Emancipation was for this group the final aim, and it chiefly contained those Jews who, by talent, diligence and fear of Talmudic rule, had escaped from the ghettoes.

Dr. Weizmann dismisses it as small, unrepresentative and “renegade,” and as it was swept away it must also disappear from this narrative, which belongs to the two other groups. By the edict of the Talmudists it has “disappeared from the face of the earth,” or been excommunicated.

The remaining mass of Jews in Russia, (that is, those that lived in the ghettoes under Talmudic rule) were divided into two groups by a vertical line which split households and families, including Dr. Weizmann's own house and family. Both groups were revolutionary; that is to say, they agreed in working for the destruction of Russia. The dissension was solely on the point of Zionism. The “Communist-revolutionary” group held that full “emancipation” would be achieved when the world-revolution supplanted the nation-states everywhere. The “Zionist-revolutionary” group, while agreeing that the world-revolution was indispensable to the process, held that full “emancipation” would only be achieved when a Jewish nation was established in a Jewish state.

Of these two groups, the Zionist one was clearly the superior in Talmudic orthodoxy, as destruction, under the Law is but a means to the end of domination, and the dominant nation is that ordained to be set up in Jerusalem. In the households, dispute was fierce. The Communists maintained that Zionism would weaken the revolution, which professed to deny “race and creed”; the Zionists contended that revolution must lead to the restoration of the chosen people, of whom race was the creed. Individual members of these households probably believed that the point in dispute was valid, but in fact it was not. Neither of these groups could have taken shape, in those sternly ruled communities, against the will of the rabbinate. If the rabbis had given out the word that Communism was “transgression” and Zionism “observance” of “the statutes and judgments,” there would have been no Communists in the ghettoes, only Zionists.

The ruling sect, looking into the future above the heads of the regimented mass, evidently saw that both groups were essential to the end in view; and Disraeli, in one of the passages earlier quoted, named the motive. From the middle of the last century the story of the revolution is that of Communism and Zionism, directed from one source and working to a convergent aim.

Dr. Weizmann gives an illuminating glimpse of this apparent dissension among the members of a conspiratorial, but divided, Jewish household where the ultimate shape of the high strategy was not seen and the issue between “revolutionary-Communism” and “revolutionary-Zionism” was fiercely argued. He quotes his mother, the Jewish matriarch, as saying contentedly that if the Communist-revolutionary son were proved right she would be happy in Russia, and if the Zionist-revolutionary one were correct, then she would be happy in Palestine. In the outcome both were by their lights proved right; after spending some years in Bolshevized Moscow she went to end her days in Zionized Palestine. That was after the two conspiracies, having grown in secrecy side by side, triumphed in the same week of 1917.

Communism was already an organized, though still a secret and conspiratorial party in the ghettoes when Zionism first took organized (though equally secret) form in the Chibath Zion (Love of Zion) movement. This was founded at Pinsk, where Dr. Weizmann went to school, so that as a boy his path led him into the Zionist-revolutionary wing of the anti-Russian conspiracy. In his childhood (1881) something happened which threatened to destroy the entire legend of “persecution in Russia” on which Talmudic propaganda in the outer world was based.

In 1861 Czar Alexander II, the famous Liberator, had liberated 23,000,000 Russian serfs. From that moment the prospect of liberty and improvement on the Western model opened out for Russian citizens of all nationalities (Russia contained about 160 nationalities and the Jews formed about 4 percent of the total population). Then, during the twenty years following the liberation of the serfs, the Jews began, under Talmudic direction, to offer “bitter passive resistance to all ‘attempts at improvements'” (Dr. Kastein). In March 1881, Alexander II moved to complete his life's work by proclaiming a parliamentary constitution. Dr. Kastein's comment speaks for itself: “It is not surprising to find a Jewess taking part in the conspiracy which led to the assassination of Alexander II.”

This event, the first of a similar series, was the first major success of the revolutionaries in preventing emancipation. It restored the ideal condition depicted by Moses Hess (one of the earliest Zionist propagandists) in the year following the liberation of the serfs: “We Jews shall always remain strangers among the nations; these, it is true, will grant us rights from feelings of humanity and justice, but they will never respect us so long as we place our great memories in the second rank and accept as our first principle, ‘Where I flourish, there is my country.'”

During this period Leon Pinsker, another herald of Zionism, published his book Auto-Emancipation. The title was a threat (to the initiated); it meant, “We will not accept any kind of emancipation bestowed on us by others; we will emancipate ourselves and will give ‘emancipation' our own interpretation.” He said, “There is an inexorable and inescapable conflict between humans known as Jews and other humans,” and he described the master-method to be used to bring about this “self-emancipation” and to “restore the Jewish nation”: the struggle to achieve “these ends, he said, “must be entered upon in such a spirit as to exert an irresistible pressure upon the international politics of the present.

These words of 1882 are some of the most significant in this entire story. They show foreknowledge of the highest order, as the reader may discern if he try to picture, say, some Polish or Ukrainian patriot-in-exile talking, then or now, of “exerting irresistible pressure upon international politics.” The political emitter is a sad man of hope deferred, an habitué of the Café des Exiles who is usually thankful if the second secretary of an Under Secretary of State deigns to spare him half an hour. Pinsker was an obscure Jewish emigré in Berlin, little known outside revolutionary circles, when he wrote these words, which would seem to be of the most foolish pretension if the events of the next seventy years had not proved that he knew exactly what he meant. He knew how Zionism would prevail. Clearly the conspiracy, long before its nature was even suspected in the outer world, had powerful support far outside Russia and this unknown Pinsker was aware of the methods by which the affairs of the world were to be rearranged.

Such was the state of the two-headed conspiracy in Russia when Dr. Weizmann grew to manhood and began to play his part. The word “conspiracy,” frequently used here, is not the author's; Dr. Weizmann candidly employs it. Loathing Russia, he went (without hindrance) to Germany. The sight of “emancipated” Jews there so repelled him that he longed for the ghettoes of Russia and returned to them during his holidays, then resuming his part in “the conspiracy,” as he says. Then, at various universities in the emancipated West he continued his “open fight” to de-emancipate the Jews of Europe. They recognized the danger and turned faces of fear and enmity to these Ostjuden.

Thus in Germany Gabriel Rieser told the Zionist-revolutionaries from Russia “We did not immigrate here, we were born here, and because we were born here, we lay no claim to a home anywhere else; we are either Germans or else we are homeless.” Similarly, the rabbis of Reform Judaism resolved that “the idea of the Messiah deserves every consideration in our prayers, but all requests that we may be led back to the land of our fathers and the Jewish State be restored must be dropped out of them.”

These Jews struggled to keep faith with the Sanhedrin's pledges. They had made peace with mankind, and it appeared impossible that the Talmudists could ever lead them back into a new Nehemiahan captivity. Dr. Kastein records with horror that towards the end of the 19th century “one Jew in five married a Gentile” and, with greater horror, that in war “on all fronts Jew stood opposed to Jew; this was a tragedy … which will be repeated … as long as Jews are compelled to fulfil their duties as citizens of the lands of their adoption.”

The shadow of the new Talmudic captivity was much nearer to the Jews of the West than even they could suspect. The elders in Russia had been organizing during all these decades and as the end of the century approached were ready to “exert irresistible pressure upon the international politics of the present.” The most successful specialist in this exertion of pressure; a roving Zionist prime minister, was young Chaim Weizmann, who during the last years of Monk's life moved about the European cities and universities, from Darmstadt to Berlin, and later from Berlin to Geneva, planting therein the time-bombs of the future and preparing for his 20th Century task.

As the century closed came a sudden acceleration in this process, as if a machine long in construction were completed and began to run at high power, and its throbbing pulsations were at once felt throughout all Jewry, though the Gentile masses, less sensitive to such vibrations, remarked them not at all. In the succession to Moses Hess another Jew from Russia, Asher Ginsburg (Ahad Ha'am) proclaimed that the Jews not only formed a nation but must have a Jewish state in Palestine. However, this was but one more voice from remote Russia, and the weakness of the Jews in the West was that they did not realize the power and strength of the compact, organized mass in the Eastern ghettoes, or at any rate, they could not see how it could make itself felt in Europe.

The warning to them came in 1896, the year of Prophet Monk's death, when Theodor Herzl published The Jewish State. With that, the cat was in their dovecot, and not very long afterwards the doves were in the cat. Their ranks were split, for this Theodor Herzl was not one of the Eastern Jews, not a Jew from Russia. He was one of themselves, or at all events they held him to be one. He appeared to be the very model of an emancipated Western Jew, yet he was on the side of the Zionists. A premonitory tremor ran through Jewry. Christendom, which had as much cause to be perturbed, remained blissfully unaware for another sixty years.


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Biografi af Douglas Reed