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THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY,

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JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

APRIL, 1905

MR. LUCIEN WOLF ON “THE ZIONIST PERIL.”

And upon them that are left of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies ; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them ; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth (Lev. xxvi. 36).

Only be strong and of a good cowrage (Josh. i. 6).

I,

In an article on Zionism published in the Contemporary Review in 1899—before Mr. Lucien Wolf had abandoned his benevolent neutrality towards the movement—I wrote: “While the Western Christian is generally not unsym- pathetic towards Zionism, the Western Jew is generally in bitter or contemptuous opposition.... It is contended that Zionism is dangerous, plays into the hand: of the anti-Semites with their cry of unpatriotism .. . tat it is spiritually a misconception of the true future and mission of Israel ; intellectually, a mere caricature of the exaggerated nationalism which has temporarily replaced the eighteenth- century cosmopolitanism ; and politically, an undoing of all the constitutional rights Israel has won so painfully from civilized communities.”

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Thus, despite Mr. Wolf’s oracular air of discovering deep truths and hidden perils, he has merely repeated the commonplaces of the controversy, and his elaboration of the above summary held nothing that I had not fully perpended before enrolling myself in the political move- ment for the establishment of a Jewish State. A vital necessity of the day could not, I decided, be dismissed as a “romantic anachronism,” nor the effort to get a soil under the feet of the homeless and persecuted be fairly likened to the exaggerated nationalisms which would take the soil from under them. It is not even as if the apartness of the Jew was first meditated by Zionism—the apartness exists, a universal aloofness from that human brotherhood which Zionism is supposed to disturb. Apartness concen- trated in a territory is far less against human brotherhood than apartness accentuated in every country on earth. The separateness of nations is a factor, not a foe, of the human brotherhood. As I have pointed out elsewhere, it takes two to make one brother. Geography without and psychology within are always fashioning different peoples, in whose development, with their respective con- tributions to civilization, we may impartially and fraternally delight.

The title of Mr. Wolf’s paper, ‘‘The Zionist Peril,” reveals rather the journalist than the historian. Mr. Wolf has not approached the study of modern Jewish history with the same scientific spirit that he brought to the study of Crypto-Judaism. Nay, it is somewhat significant that he has treated so largely of Crypto-Judaism without ever a flash of moral judgment upon this discreditable phe- nomenon, while his first outburst of righteous indignation is reserved for the efforts of Judaism to shake off the last vestiges of the Marrano period. If Zionism be a peril, so is the absence of Zionism. so is Judaism itself, and in any case the question for a race is not the lesser peril, but the truer ideal.

“The characteristic peril of Zionism” Mr. Wolf finds to

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be that “Zionism is the natural and abiding ally of anti- Semitism and its most powerful justification!” This from the author of the luminous and voluminous article on “Anti-Semitism” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica! Anti- Semitism has made a pretty protracted battle without either allies or justification. The wolf in Aesop had always a pretext for eating the lamb, whatever the lamb did, and a wise lamb, in such circumstances, will at least do whatever pleases itself most. This charge of justifica- tion of anti-Semitism accompanied the beginnings of the Alliance Israélite itself, for the Alliance, like the Anglo- Jewish Association, unifies Jewry politically, however embryonic its structure. As a matter of fact, the effect of Zionism upon the non-Jew is precisely the opposite to what the Jew, his nerves ruined by hereditary Marranoism, shiveringly apprehends. Zionism has uplifted the position of the Jews. It has already deposed the mediaeval tradition of money-lending and “jewing,” and the successful estab- lishment of a Jewish State would make the same change in public opinion as has taken place towards the Japanese. It is Mr. Wolf who is the pessimist, not I Humanity sympathizes with a strenuous aspiration. England has gone so far as to endorse our aims; in America Secretary Hay permitted me to publish his view that Zionist work would in no way impugn the patriotism of the American Jew. The press throughout the world has been sympathetic, in some quarters enthusiastic. “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Jew,” writes a Christian journalist. Mr. Wolf’s pessimistic dictum should be rewritten: “Zionism is the natural and abiding antidote to Anti-Semitism and its most powerful refutation.” Even, however, if he is right it remains a pity that he has mixed up the spiritual perils of what he considers a reactionary ideal with considerations of a lower order. They throw doubt even on his higher argumentation by suggesting it is fear masquerading as philosophy.

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IL

Mr. Wolf explains his conversion from a benevolent neutrality to violent anti-Zionism. It is I, alas, who am responsible—my “attempted raid” on the Hirsch millions roused the sleeping philosopher. In styling me “the irresponsible and irrepressible Dr. Jim of Herzlian politics,’ Mr. Wolf is quite a Balaam. “Dr. Jim” is Prime Minister of Cape Colony. The process by which Mr. Wolf made up his mind that my charges against the trustees of the treasure were baseless is worth following. I accused the Jewish Colonization Association of incom- petence and dubious legality. Mr. Wolf thereupon took the reports of this Association, and took the reports of the Zionist organizations, and finding that the Association recorded beneficent activity, and Zionism recorded barren debating, he concluded that my allegations were false. What delicious logic! In the first place, the charges against the Association had absolutely nothing to do with Zionism: they would have been as true or as false if Dr. Herz] had never lived, though my attention might in that case never have been called to the Association’s incompetence. Secondly, the achievements of the Asso- ciation with ten million pounds at its back are contrasted with the achievements of Zionism which started without a farthing, and which the self-sacrifice of myriads of poor Jews has never been able to subvention beyond a quarter of a million or so. Thirdly, Zionism was still organizing its followers, building its institutions, and preparing its plans, and particularly forebore to imitate the ubiquitous pettiness of the Association. Finally, even admitting the legitimacy of a comparison which only the starting of the two asso- ciations with equal millions could have warranted, the record of Zionism without the millions is certainly not more sterile than that of the millions without Zionism. Works of charity are but a small factor in the life of a people. My sug- gestion that the miliions be fructified by Zionism follows

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naturally from my conviction that they are fruitless at present. This suggestion constitutes “the raid.” Mr. Wolf stoutly defends the treasure against my contention that Baron de Hirsch, had he lived to know Dr. Herzl’s scheme and to witness its progress, would have unhesitatingly given his millions to the Zionist exchequer.” But Baron de Hirsch did know of the Zionist scheme, Mr. Wolf exultantly tells us. Herzl even consulted the Baron in 1895, and solicited his support. Mr. Wolf has seen the documents! This is Mr. Wolf’s notion of a crushing refutation. Of my argu- ment, even as stated by himself, he omits to consider a full half. Baron de Hirsch, though he may have known of the Zionist project, certainly did not live “to witness its progress.” Dr. Herzl consulted him in 1895. In 1895! Before Herzl had proved even to himself that Jewry in congress would rally to his idea, and that myriads would volunteer for the work which the Baron—as he lamented to Mr. Lucien Wolf—was left to grapple with single-handed ! In 1895 many an ardent Zionist of to-day said “No” to Herzl. And if Mr. Wolf forgets half of my argument, even as stated by himself, he likewise forgets half of it as stated by me. I said, had the Baron lived to witness not only the progress of Zionism but the failure of his own scheme. In 1895 the Baron’s brain was occupied by a rival scheme of salvation. What would he have said to-day when, despite the Association’s silence and Mr. Wolf’s speech, Jewish public opinion is everywhere convinced of the futility of the Hirsch solution, viewed as a solution of the Russo- Jewish question? Even in his original deed Baron de Hirsch did not exclude Palestine. If he did, how is it that his trustees are pottering there to-day? And if he was not a Zionist, he certainly dreamed of a Judenstaat, though he saw it arising in the Argentine. The very articles of the Association provide for charters, fortifications, and other things not easily reconcilable with mere philanthropy, though, in its repudiation of the East African scheme, the Association flies from politics as from the plague. I will

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not, however, seize the opportunity Mr. Wolf has given me to repeat my case against the Association, since it is infinitely more important to consider his case against Zionism.

II.

Mr. Wolf starts with the “Allgemeine Verwilderung”’ which followed the failure of Sabbethai Zevi to lead the Jews to Palestine, and would have us draw the moral not to be naughty nationalists. But the moral is only not to rely on miracle. Sabbethai Zevi’s movement was not a rational political movement; it was a fantastic adventure which the Sultan crudely terminated. And yet Mr. Wolf gravely writes: Re-nationalization had been shown to be impossible, not only for political reasons, but because the Jews themselves had ceased to possess the elements of a revival of their national life.’ ‘Not only for political reasons!” This is like saying the man died, not only because he was decapitated, but because he could not get a living. What chance did Sabbethai Zevi’s followers get of showing whether they possessed the elements of a national life? As a matter of fact, the religious and poli- tical unity of the Jews was far greater in the seventeenth century than it is now— political Zionism is all but too late. But even now, so far from being “scattered, divided, and polyglot,” the Jews are mostly clustered in Russia and Austro-Hungary (the “providential dispersion,” of which Mr. Wolf tells us, having left strange clots and clumps), wherein they manifest a strongly-marked national existence and possess, whether through Hebrew or Yiddish, a unifying language. Whether these characteristic traits of theirs are agreeable to Mr. Wolf or not, is beside the question. When a people, even at the present day, produces a prolific litera- ture both in Hebrew and Yiddish, and is found developing a national drama and initiating a national art, it requires some boldness to maintain that the Jews could not, at the

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Mendelssohnian period, have evolved a worthy national life of their own, had Mendelssohn hit on the alternative policy of acquiring a soil for them, instead of depriving them of their dream of one. In any case, why were the Jews “at the turning-point of a road which led direct to re-barbarization”? The traditional form of Jewish life, even at its most superstitious, is no such terrible thing: contrasted with the general life of the European masses, with their various manners, morals, and Churches, it cer- tainly is not peculiarly barbarous. It is even peculiarly literate, after its mediaeval fashion. It is in fact a civiliza- tion far antedating that of Europe. I do not even find that Graetz, whom Mr. Wolf professes to follow, ascribes the general demoralization to the failure of the Nationalist movement: he connects it with the breakdown of the Jewish democratic ideal under a new worship of wealthy ignoramuses. But so far from rescuing Jewry from the effects of this disintegration, Mendelssohn precipitated the final smash—the impingement of the Western world on the opened Ghetto. For to the specifically Jewish disin- tegration is now added the general disintegration which the Jews share with the post-Darwinian world, and they are not, like the other races, conserved by a territory which may become the unchanging background for a succession of beliefs.

IV.

The remedies employed by the Mendelssohnian move- ment were “in the domain of religion, a new steadfastness founded in reasonable theology and historical study, and in the domain of politics local assimilation and emancipa- tion.” The political remedy is at least intelligible. But what is “reasonable theology,’ and why should it be limited to twelve millions out of twelve hundred millions, or one per cent. of mankind? The fatal weakness of all Jewish religious reform lies in the attempt to maintain

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a national church on a religion which has been carefully denationalized. Or if the twelve millions must still keep themselves separate to preach this “reasonable theology,” why should they be so anxious to assimilate to their environment in every other respect? You have more chance of attracting attention by deviation from the normal. All religious sects in history have been founded by people already like their neighbours, but only anxious to become differentiated. For a differentiated sect to be anxious to become assimilated is indeed a suspicious re- versal. When Mr. Wolf asks in horror whether “once more we must perforce turn Jewish history topsy-turvy, if we are to save Judaism and the Jewish people from extinction,” he admits in his very question that we have already once turned Jewish history topsy-turvy. Turning it topsy-turvy “once more” is therefore only restoring it to its natural position. If Mendelssohn had no scruple in reversing the historical policy of some thirty centuries, why should we pay such respect to the policy of a single century? A people may well have several generations of aberration: here in England we have Mr. Chamberlain calling upon his countrymen to reverse the financial policy of half a century. Mr. Wolf himself reverses his views every few years, for, in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, he declares roundly: “The idea that Zionism is a set-back of Jewish history, an unnatural galvanization of hopes long since abandoned for a spiritual and cosmopolitan conception of the mission of Israel, is a controversial fiction.”

Mr. Wolf gives as “the new Zionist postulate” that Judaism is decaying, that emancipation is a fraud, and that assimilation is an ethnical impossibility. Judaism is indeed decaying, and emancipation is, if not a fraud, not wholly genuine; but as for assimilation being an ethnical impossibility, it is only too possible. Its fatal facility is one of the greatest arguments for Zionism. Mr. Wolf actually includes in his brief against Zionism one of the

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main arguments on which the other side relies to win its case, and the vigour with which he presses the point, his triumphant demonstration of the Jew’s ready adapt- ability to his European environment, make him a valuable ally. He reminds one of the K.C. whom his junior kept nudging to try to convey to him that he was not for the defendant, but for the plaintiff. No sane Zionist dreams of likening the Jewish problem to “the Negro and Chinese problems of the United States.” We know that Jewish blood has intermingled in equal marriage with that of every white people. Long before “the Mendelssohnian solution” the Jews had lived in proud equality with the grandees of Spain at its proudest period.

No, “the Zionist postulate’ embraces, not rejects, the assimilability of the Jew. As regards its two other items, if Mr. Wolf really thinks that Judaism is not decaying, and that emancipation is wholly genuine, I can only say that it shows how little a historian may see of the period in which he lives. He actually quotes Boerne’s prediction that the Jew would, under the sunshine of freedom, cast off the cloak of orthodoxy he hugged around him in storm, and asserts that “the Jew still wears that cloak more proudly, more earnestly, more intelligently than in the old days.” The cloak of orthodoxy? Mr. Wolf should come to America, where I write this, to see the effects of the sunshine of freedom. There is no King in Israel, and every man does what is right in his own eyes; every child even, for one of the saddest results of Americanization is the demoralization of the boys, and the disintegration of the old Jewish home-life. Never was there a profounder prophecy than Boerne’s, never one more literally fulfilled. Not inaptly has the narrow old Judengasse of Frankfort been transformed into the broad modern Boernestrasse. With such purblindness for the present, no wonder that Mr. Wolf should survey Zionism without a trace of the insight he has brought to bear upon the past.

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V.

Dismissing “the Zionist postulate” as absurd—and the item invented by Mr. Wolf is indeed absurd—Mr. Wolf now makes a discovery, which is a favourite discovery of the anti-Zionist. For does it not cut the very ground from under Zionism? The Jews are not a race at all; they represent merely a religion! Why then all this nationalistic pother? “Merely a religious community of great antiquity, which in consequence of inter-marriage during some two thousand three hundred years has acquired a more fixed physical type than younger religious communities. Given the same age and the same harsh history, and other re- ligious communities would develop for themselves a racial identity not less marked than that of the Jews.” The Jewish race then is not a race—it has merely been formed into one. What more need the Zionist claim? Whether this race has arisen by prehistoric causes or by causes within our ken, how does this affect its present differentia- tion? The Americans are not a people—they have merely been formed into one. Britain is not an island—it was merely broken off from France by the sea. “The European Jews then are a religious community of white men, not essentially different from the European Roman Catholics and Protestants.” That is to say, the Jews, though racially and facially differentiated by a historic process of twenty- three centuries, may nevertheless be considered on the same footing as Catholics and Protestants not yet, nor ever likely to be, racially and facially differentiated! Mr. Wolf's scorn for the etymology, sociology, and anthropology of the Zionists is boundless. But how about his own logic and his own history? The “essential difference” between the European Jews and the European Christians must be sought in their origins. Behind the religious community of the modern Jews lies a territorial past. Israel is not “merely a religious community of great antiquity,” it is the broken and scattered remains of a people with a soil,

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and wars, and dynasties, and a magnificent epical literature that has moulded the thought and the art of half the world. Christianity began with denationalization, Judaism has never shaken nationalism off. In Judaism the two threads—territorial and religious—have Jain entangled in that confusion which is the unavoidable legacy of the period when the two were one. To cut away the terri- torial thread, and to disentangle the religious, would now be perfectly legitimate. We are the heirs of the past, not its slaves. But what is not legitimate is to deny the past. To pretend that the Jews are “merely a religious com- munity,” like Catholics and Protestants, that their whole literature, liturgy, and consciousness are not woven through and through with nationalism, is to obscure history in sophistry. In Ellis Island, off New York—where the Jewish tragedy may be seen*in its most heartrending phase, as the refugees from Europe are turned back across the waste of waters at the very gates of their Paradise—this question of “Race or Religion” comes up in very practical shape. But the guardian angels of the port, whose flaming swords turn every way, have decided that “Hebrew” connotes “race or people” as much as its alphabetical neighbours, Greek and Irish. And in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Mr. Wolf himself speaks of “the bond of a common race,” and instructs the world that Jewish solidarity has been transferred from a religious to a racial basis.

Even, however, were the Jews “merely a religious com- munity,” that would not profit Mr. Wolf’s case an iota. On the contrary, it is just religious communities that are driven to build up new countries so as to develop their religion freely, and under the most favourable conditions. New England was founded by Puritans who, although anglicized,” reacted against their old England so strongly that nothing but a new England in a new continent could satisfy their desire for differentiation. The Boers, like the Jews, have ever regarded themselves as a chosen people; but Kruger was never heard to boast of their

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assimilability. Even, therefore, had there never been @ Jewish State, it might be necessary to create one.

Mr. Wolf, however, is at great pains to prove that differentiation and assimilation can be combined. I have no doubt but that the Puritans, too, could have found a way of staying on in England, if they had put their comfort first. And comfort and social position is, after all, the real quest of the Mendelssohnian movement.”

VI.

All that assimilation means,” writes Mr. Wolf, “is that the Jews shall adopt the social manners and customs, and share in the unsectarian interests, traditions, hopes, and ideals of their non-Jewish fellow citizens.” Is that all? The trouble is that Judaism is a religion in which the concept of secularity does not occur. To the Orient, all is religion, and religion is all. As the Prusso-Jewish con- script replied in bewilderment when asked to state his religion: “Die Christen haben Religion: wir sind doch Juden.” In a Christian country “the unsectarian interests, traditions, hopes, and ideals” are six-sevenths of life, the other seventh being roughly representable by Sunday. And many of these interests, traditions, hopes, and ideals clash with the Jewish.

Yet to all this six-sevenths of non-Jewish life we are to assimilate without ever attempting to Judaize any of it, even when popular desire runs counter to every Jewish ideal. And at the same time as we are to absorb ourselves in the unsectarian ambitions of the particular people among whom we live, we are to pray for a restoration to Zion. For the schooi of Judaism to which Mr. Wolf belongs does not even remove Zionism from the prayer-book. And just as assimilation may be combined with Zionistic prayers, so may it be combined with matrimonial exclusiveness towards the very people to whom you assimilate. Mutual “intermarriage is no bar to assimilation.” Indeed it is

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not. In Germany there are whole groups of baptized Jews who still marry among themselves. It is not the Jew’'s power of assimilating that is in question, it is his power of remaining Jewish.

But Mr. Wolf is mistaken in imagining that mixed marriages are equally forbidden by the other great religions. A Protestant is perfectly at liberty to marry a Jew, though the Jew may not be at liberty to marry a Protestant. Catholic and Protestant may intermarry on certain con- ditions. Mr. Wolf confuses rarity of mixed marriage with prohibition of mixed marriage. Social circles that do not intersect do not intermarry. That is a simple induction from sociological facts. Equally, social circles that do intersect do intermarry. And conversely, social circles that will not intermarry should not intersect. While Pro- testant and Catholic households are not anxious to entertain one another, the Jewish anxiety for separateness—once safeguarded by the dietary laws—is now combined with a paradoxical anxiety for Christian society. Mixed marriage increases exactly with the growth of the common segment of the two circles.

Mr. Wolf's statistics to prove that the Jew is really not much more exclusive than the Protestant or the Catholic err, strangely enough, in his own disfavour. The Jew marries out not less but more than the Protestant or the Catholic. Mr. Wolf's statistics are vitiated by being made in Germany, where if only thirty-nine Jews per thousand marry non-Jews, it is because a large number of Jews have left the fold altogether, and their marriages are enumerated as Catholic and Protestant. In Australia the rate of mixed marriages for Jews is nearer thirty-nine per hundred than thirty-nine per thousand. I gladly present Mr. Wolf with this additional disproof of “the portentous Zionist theory of our unassimilability.” For, despite his contempt for Zionist etymology, assimilation and fusion are, if not one, at any rate united. Nor need fusion be crudely physical : the assimilation whose reality Mr. Wolf so comically

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labours to bring home to us is indistinguishable from the effects of physical fusion. I have elsewhere demonstrated from the fact that emancipated Jewish life leaves no specific deposit in language, that it contains no genuine variations from non-Jewish life, in short—that the modern Jews have died without knowing it. Mr. Wolf's samples of brilliantly assimilated Jews—Heine for Germany, Catulle Mendés for France, Beaconsfield for England—are an amazing selection for a thinker to whom the Jews are “merely a religious community.” They fit very well into the Zionist scheme, but what are they doing in the syna- gogue galley? Once again I almost think that Mr. Wolf has forgotten he is for the plaintiff, not for the defendant.

Vil.

No, assimilation is evaporation, the Mendelssohnian solution is dissolution. The transition from assimilation to fusion is merely a question of time. You cannot fix your own boundary to living, ever-moving forces. For a time you will nurse your children on two historic traditions. For a time the Jewish stream will run parallel with the non-Jewish. But gradually the stronger stream will absorb the weaker. The six-sevenths of life will obliterate the one-seventh. When the Jewish code clashes with the Christian—as in the recent American case of uncle and niece criminally indicted for intermarriage— it is not the Jewish code that will survive. For a time you may serve two masters, like the eighteenth-century Highlanders who paid taxes to King George and King Charles, but sooner or later one master will command all your service. The little Jewish immigrants into America are made to declaim “Allegiance to the Flag” in a form specially drawn up for Jewish schoolchildren: “Flag of our great Republic, inspirer in battle, guardian of our homes, whose Stars and Stripes stand for bravery, purity, truth, and union, we salute thee! We, the natives of

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distant lands, who find rest under thy folds, do pledge our hearts, our lives, and our sacred honour, to love and protect thee, our country, and the liberty of the American people forever.” It is touching to hear the children reciting this in their quaint foreign accent. as they point to the flag which one of them upholds. And they appear to understand it: they declaim it with sincere emotion. How can the dream of Zion coexist with this sacred pledge to America for ever? President Roosevelt recently declared: “It is absolutely essential that the different peoples coming to our shores should not remain separate, but should fuse into one.” The United States are “the mills of God,” grinding the motley races into a new pattern. Assimilation with- out fusion is possible to races with territorial or colour boundaries. But races adventuring among other races of the same colour must either fuse or absorb, eat or be eaten. Only two homeless races in history have attempted to stand outside fusion. One is the Jewish race, the other is the gipsy race. But the gipsies have pitched their tents outside civilization; they have never attempted to become householders or city fathers. They have never sung the patriotic songs of local chauvinism. They have never yearned for “assimilation.” Hence they may truly be an eternal people. The Jews are an evaporating people. How else should one of the most prolific peoples in history number only twelve millions after all these centuries of existence? It is Mr. Wolf himself who has pointed out that scarcely any of the old Anglo-Jewish families survive. The Jewish people has been preserved from age to age by @ mere remnant, but its survival thus far is no proof of its continuance under the crowning attack of “assimilation.” The Campanile of Venice fell at last. In the whole of modern Jewish history before the Zionist movement, there is only one statesmanlike episode—the refusal of civil rights by the Jewish community of Amsterdam.

Mr. Wolf says “the assimilability of the Jew is far beyond the reach of reasonable doubt, and if we may judge by our

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experience of the last hundred years, it will soon be beyond the reach of reasonable cavil.” It will indeed. The Jew will be assimilated away.

VIII.

But there is a reverse to the shield of “assimilation,” as Mr. Wolf himself supposes the Zionist to retort. It is the unwillingness of the non-Jewish peoples to permit the assimilation, it is the resurgence of anti-Semitism even in countries where legal emancipation has been won. The wind is active, not the sun, “the cloak of orthodoxy” is hugged close. Israel is saved by his persecutors, as well as by his fools (though Mr. Wolf misquotes me as ascribing everything to the fools). In America itself, to which the Jew pledges himself for ever with so much emotion, he cannot join a University Club or a College Frat,” nor send his children to private schools, nor stay at certain hotels, nor enjoy general society. As for Europe, let us hear the man who knows it most intimately from East. to West—Arminius Vambéry. “It is surprising that the Jew, treated as a stranger everywhere in Europe, still persists in ingratiating himself into the national bond.” But there is another aspect (which Mr. Wolf overlooks). The majority of the Jews are placed amid barbarous envi- ronments, in which even Mr. Wolf could not wish them to exercise their aptitude for assimilation. And yet he speaks of the greatest body of Jews in the world, the Jews in the Pale, as in a state of “arrested assimilation.” Assimilation to what? to whom? To the Russian peasantry? Jews, then, have no inward spring of virtue or development! The people that Lecky described as the only torch- ~ bearer in the dark ages exists now merely to be assimi- lated! And it is useless relying on the salvation of persecution. Mr. Wolf has spent several weeks in Russia and Roumania, and has concluded that emancipation cannot be staved off even there. Even under the present

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appalling conditions there is no demand for Zionism in Russia, he tells us. There are 1,572 Zionist societies in Russia. But even were Mr. Wolf a correct observer of the contemporary, Russo-Jewish indifference to Zionism would argue nothing against that ideal. People rarely want what they ought to want, or what will do them good. As for the Jews of Poland, Mr. Wolf reminds us, they have already their political ideal—the independence of Poland. And their sacrifices for this ideal arouse an enthusiasm in that breast of his which all the sacrifices for Palestine leave cold. To redeem Palestine is reactionary; but to redeem Poland—that way heroism lies. Poor Polish dreamers! The Jews fought for the independence of Hungary, Kossuth himself is said to have had Jewish blood. And yet listen again to the Hungarian Arminius Vambéry: “I was all ablaze with enthusiasm when in my childhood I became acquainted with the life of the national heroes of Hungary. The heroic epoch of 1848 filled my youthful heart with genuine pride; and even later, in 1861, when I returned from Constantinople by the Danube boat, on landing at Mohaes I fell on my knees and kissed the ground with tears of true patriotic devotion in my eyes. I was intensely happy and in a rapture of delight, but had soon to realize that many, nay most, people questioned the genuineness of my Hungarianism. They criticized and made fun of me, because, they said, people of Jewish origin cannot be Hungarians, they can only be Jews, and nothing else.” This was before the days of “the Zionist peril.” Similarly pathetic is the patriotism of the Roumanian Jew. At the time of the Berlin Congress, Dr. Dulberg tells us, a section of Roumanian Jews resented the inter- ference of their West European brethren on their behalf. “Imbued with patriotism for their native country, fired with the enthusiasm caused by the war fever, these mis- guided would-be Roumanian citizens rewarded their friends with a sort of polite request to mind their own business. The Roumanian statesmen... managed, by a number of VOL. XVII. Ee

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promises to a few influential Jews, to stifle all opposition to the granting of the Roumanian independence. To-day we see the result of that policy.”

As his final word on Russia, Mr. Wolf declares that “the magnitude of the Russo-Jewish question excludes Zionism or any scheme of emigration from the category of effective remedies.” It is a pity he did not point this out to Baron de Hirsch, who certainly did contemplate the removal of the Jews from Russia. In the fifteenth century the Spanish Peninsula was the Jewish Russia, in so far as it was the centre of gravity of Jewish life. Jews formed a considerable percentage of the population. Had the Wolf of the period contended that the emigration of so vast a body was impossible, he would have sounded plausible. And yet, when the Expulsion came, a good many hundreds of thousands did manage to emigrate—at the point of the sword. For the rest, Zionism does not contemplate so sudden and wholesale a migration as that of the Sephardic Jews. Nor is it likely to be burdened in its beginnings with more than a manageable minority.

IX.

“The Judenstaat itself,’ says Mr. Wolf, “could never be such a revival of the Hebrew Commonwealth as would respond to the dreams of those who most earnestly support it.” But some of “those who most earnestly support it” have no such revivalist aspiration. They know quite as well as Mr. Wolf that history cannot repeat itself. Zionism, though it counts among its followers a faction that dreams of the religious revival of the old Hebrew State, has always strictly maintained itself as a political movement which, just because it is not tied to anything but politics, embraces all its groups in a healthy heterogeneity. This dream-state of orthodoxy never existed even in the heyday of Zion. Pobiedonostseff has such an ideal for “Holy Russia,” but even M. de Plehve could not make it mate-

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rialize. The old Hebrew Commonwealth, however the yearning retrospective vision of orthodoxy mis-sees it, pursued no such narrow ideal. It was never limited to Jewish inhabitants. A “mixed multitude” accompanied the original Exodus. The Mosaic code contains numerous provisions for the treatment of the alien, “the stranger that sojourneth among you.” He could not be King—just as no one not native born can be President in the United States—but he could hold the Jew as his slave. He was treated with the greatest magnanimity on the noble maxim “Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exod. xxiii. 9). “No ancient constitution,” says Professor S. H. Butcher, “accorded to strangers such @ position as they enjoyed under the Mosaic code.” Thus Mr. Wolf’s argument that “no state nowadays can be founded on a racial basis” falls to the ground, if he means, as he surely does mean, no state limited to a racial basis. A racial basis, like a religious basis, is a splendid foundation for a state. The Uitlander element is amply provided for in the Pentateuch. All that Zionism needs is that the Jews should form the majority instead of the minority, that the laws and institutions should be the expression of their own national genius, instead of laws and institutions to which they can “assimilate.” The alien minority would remain either resident foreigners or would seek naturalization. In the latter case they would call themselves Jews of the Christian or other persuasions. They would probably present no numerical difficulty, for the compulsory closing on Saturday in addition to their own Sunday would handicap Christians too severely, and they might even be driven to Judaism. Those orthodox Jews to whom such a constitution appears objectionable are not only below the level of the old Jewish State, but below the level of the Gentiles in whose bosom they have encamped themselves. Those very Jews are the ones who are most surprised that there should be any clannishness in other Ee2

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folk. Want of imagination is perhaps at the back of the Jew’s “ingratiating himself into the national bond.” The Judenstaat, if it cannot be the millennial dream-State of: orthodoxy—and no real State can ever vie with a dream- State—may quite well be a revival of the Old Hebrew State as it actually was, minus those features which the State would itself have outgrown, had the evolution of the Jewish people not been violently disturbed by divorce from a soil. It is this relegation of them to the realm of dream that has preserved slavery, sacrifice, and possibly even polygamy, as sacred constituents of the Hebrew Commonwealth ; in the real world these institutions would long since have passed away, as their embalmed mummies would crumble at the first breath of the air of reality. Thus the State, in resuming its life, would continue its career, not at the point of interruption, but at the point of resumption ; and the battle between Church and State— one of the skipped phenomena—could be taken as decided in the general modern sense. Even the Jewish Church would have modified itself, just as the Hebrew spoken to-day would have differed from classical Hebrew by at least the difference between Chaucer and Browning. Books like Job and Ruth and Ecclesiastes significantly sound the larger note, which is sustained and broadened in many passages of the Talmud. The Bible is not merely the textbook of a religion, but the life and literature of a race. It would have gone on being written. It is to the reduction of Israel from a State to a sect that the religious, no less than the secular, crippling of Jewish life has been due. The manifold manifestations of corporate life have, by the absence of a territory, been narrowed to the “religious” (in the-Christian sense). Whoso failed to conform to the one-seventh of life dropped or was excommunicated from the fold. Hence the appalling impoverishment of Jewish life. Imagine England with no history but that of members of the Established Church, drained of all its heterodox forces from Cromwell to

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Shelley. Mr. Wolf himself told us (in his presidential address to the Literary Societies’ Union) that for two centuries “the whole intellectuality of the Anglo-Jewish community, which rose above the mediocre, ran in non- Jewish channels, while the best minds left Judaism alto- gether.” It was the survival of the unfittest. And yet Mr. Wolf expostulates with me for saying that it is a wretched thing for a religion to be saved by its fools. Even the fools are now going the way of “the literary mind,” for, so far from all being well in the best of all possible communities, the very leaf of The Jewish World which contains Mr. Wolf’s optimistic address contains also statistics from “A Teacher” to prove that “Judaism in the West End is undoubtedly on the wane.” “Stop the influx from other parts to the West End of London, and within a period of two or three generations the synagogue will be a thing of the past.”

And while Jewry is left in the old chaos, unable to reconstitute itself, this tiny Anglo-Jewish community

produces a Beaconsfield who reorganizes the British Empire.

xX.

In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, if I remember aright, Mr. Wolf lays it down that a Jewish State, if not run on orthodox lines, would be deserted by its orthodox inhabitants. But where would they go to? Would they drop off the planet? Where could they find a better chance for the free exercise of orthodoxy? Mr. Wolf confounds the non-enforcement of orthodoxy with the prohibition of orthodoxy. Whether the synagogue is “established” or is independent of the State, Judaism will assuredly be the national religion. And if the orthodox were in a majority in the Judenstaat, they would be fools indeed to desert it. The national holidays, from Passover to Chanukah, would of themselves supply a more orthodox background than could be found in countries

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with the counter-attractions of Easter and Christmas; not to mention the Saturday-Sabbath. And this back- ground would have a continuous religious influence upon every inhabitant.

And just as Mr. Wolf confounds the non-enforcement of orthodoxy with its prohibition, so he confounds the permission of mixed marriages with their compulsoriness or their universal adoption. While it is obvious that the Judenstaat could never refuse to consider the marriages of its citizens with Britons, Americans, Germans, &c., &c., as illegal, it is equally obvious that marriages with foreigners would be as rare in the Jewish State as in any other. Every people, every circle of society even, marries within itself, by the laws of affinity, convenience, and least resist- ance. Mr. Wolf speaks as if the moment mixed marriages were not branded as illegal there would be a wild rush for alien alliances. The supposition is as uncomplimentary to his people