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Unformatted text preview: Denominations within Zionism
Denominations within Zionism The nexus between ideals and ideologies: there are many ways to understand abstract ideals, hence, several routes to reach it.
Functional and Organic Zionism (the Fundamental Level of Ideology) Functional Zionism Organic Zionism External dimension Internal dimension Problem of the Jews Problem of Judaism alien status, economic displacement existence as unique ethnie Solved by negotiating a new Solved by cultural and national sovereign Entity (“functionally”) renewal (“organically”) Central and Western Europe Eastern Europe Emancipation and human rights Absolutism and lack of rights Theodore Herzl Asher Ginzberg (Ahad Ha’am) (18601904) (18561927) Political, Practical and Cultural Zionism (the Political, Practical and Cultural Zionism (the operational level of ideology) Political /diplomatic Zionism stems from the functional conception while cultural Zionism emanates from the organic conception. Practical Zionism embodies both:
Political Zionism: The effort to gain an international recognition for territory and sovereignty for the Jews. Seeking the formal support (‘charter’) from relevant Powers (GB, Germany, Turkey and others) to allow the restoration of Jews as a political entity.
Practical Zionism: The emphasis is on settling the land, a daily, ongoing effort to create facts from the ground up regardless of political recognition, believing that the former secures the latter and that this undertaking would establish the new Jew.
Cultural Zionism: The belief that national salvation must arrive by reinvoking the cultural legacy of Israel. Revival of the heritage, language, history, literature, poetry and mythology would raise national consciousness and strengthen solidarity and identity. Principles of Political Zionism
Principles of Political Zionism 1. The Legalist Approach: This is the gist of Herzl’s effort. The 2.
3. 4. founder of the Zionist movement was convinced that this is the only sure way to solve the ‘Jewish problem’. Being a legalist (Law degree from Vienna University), a formalist and a politician, he thought this was the most efficient and just way: a legal authorizationcharter and then, settling the land.
The Impossibility of Integration: Attempts to assimilate are in vain and distracting. There is a gap between the written law and its actual realization.
A New AntiSemitism: current hatred is politically motivated, not religious or cultural as in previous ages. Emancipation has allowed Jews to compete and organize as a political constituency, which alarms and enrages other claimants.
The Rational/Functional Approach: If Jews want so much to leave and Gentiles are so keen on getting rid of them, there’s a meeting of expectations to resolve the common problem. Principles of Practical Zionism
Principles of Practical Zionism 1. The Principle of selfHelp: The exponents of this interpretation 2.
5. stretched the notion of selfhelp to its fullest capacity: Jews would redeem themselves without relying on anyone, not even the leaders of the big Powers. Irrational Rejection of Jews: antiSemitism is ingrained and unconditional. It could never be a solid basis for negotiating a solution or a rational setting for reconciliation.
No Time for Bargaining: Jews are persecuted all over Europe. No time for deliberations and persuasion. Salvation must start promptly and resolutely without waiting for permission. Establishing Facts on the Ground: The more settlements are built and territories expanded, the more recognition and respect of others would be granted.
Creating the ‘New Jew’: redemption of the Jews begins with changing the image and self awareness: a pioneer, a worker, a farmer, an explorer, an independent an a resolute new Jew. Principles of Cultural Zionism
Principles of Cultural Zionism 1. The problem of Judaism: the issue is not antiSemitism but the loss of way I light of the waning of Orthodox leadership on the one hand, and the challenge of Emancipation on the other.
2. Massive Emigration is not the Way: Focusing solely on Aliya to Zion is evading the need to revive the spirit and culture of Judaism. It is not feasible, it is messianic and delusionary.
3. The Moral Salvation: Zionism is not about material or physical redemption. It is more than economic or political improvement. Without spiritual and cultural renaissance it has no value. Zion isn’t a “work place” or a “source of living” but a “source of life”.
4. A Selective Movement: the Jewish national movement must be very selective of those who are really committed to cultural renewal and purity. It cannot have a massappeal since it does not purport to and cannot solve the economic situation of Jews.
5. A Spiritual Center: Palestine should become a spiritual center to inspire and strengthen Jewish communities around the world. An elite of Jews would emigrate there and establish a Center of productive Jewish life to be emulated by Jews elsewhere. Synthetic Zionism
Synthetic Zionism After Herzl’s death in 1904, the political camp suffered a major setback. His failure to get a charter and the lack of a leader of his caliber weakened the ‘politicals’.
They were further damaged by the Uganda crisis, the hesitancy of David Wolffsohn, the new president of the Organization and by the departure of the territorial faction (1905 to form the Jewish Territorial Organization).
Meanwhile, the ‘practicals’ were gaining momentum due to the thrust of the 2nd Alyia, the unyielding leadership of Menachem Ussishkin, the president of the Odessa chapter of the ZO, and the influence of the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.
The ‘practicals’ won a major victory in the 8th Congress (1907) when a decision was passed to establish a Palestine office to promote and coordinate practical activities. A quarter of the yearly budget was dedicated to that. Two years later the ‘practicals’ won over the organization when their delegate Otto Warburg was elected the third president of the ZO. The other factions were still very active and a schism began to unfold. Even the most ardent practicals still felt attachment to Even the most ardent practicals still felt attachment to Herzl’s diplomatic way and Ussishkin was the first to admit it. Hence, in his booklet Our Program (1904) he called for the first time for the synthesis of all forms.
From Our Program: 3 phases of Zionism: 1)Hibbat Zion (18821891)(“too exclusionist”) 2)Spiritual Zionism (18911897)(“too introversive”) 3)Zionist Organization (1897) (“too diplomatic”), all onesided and defective.
And his conclusion: ”Endeavors in all three directions at one and the same time; this is the only wise program for the liberation movement”, or Synthetic Zionism.
Helsingfors Conference (1906) Synthetic Zionism is adopted as the main policy of the Zionist movement declaring a dual effort in settling Zion while fortifying Jewish cultural autonomy in the diasporas. General Zionism
General Zionism Synthetic Zionism has become the mainstream of the movement as the most effective way to realize the national goals and to eliminate the inner tensions.
So much so that it became to be known as General Zionism the quintessential orientation. The chief promoter and leader of that approach was the new president of the ZO: Chaim Weitzmann.
But the mainstream was only structurally unified: its delegates were representatives of regional branches. Ideologically they were mixed, and thus, soon enough they were challenged, and later outnumbered by more cohesive and determined ideological factions: the Democrats, the Radicals, the NationalReligious, the Labor Zionists and the Revisionists. ...
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- Fall '11