New York (Aug. 4)
Quoting the “Menorah Journal” as saying that “once upon a time a Zionist was a Jew who meant to live in Palestine, but now a Zionist is a man who invests his money in Palestine and runs home to New York to wait for his eight-per-cent. to start rolling in”, the “Nation”, the Liberal American weekly, in its editorial this week says:
There is a sad grain of truth in the “Menorah’s” bitterness and cynicism. Zionism has become a great business enterprise operating in a hard and practical world, and its profound meaning to the Jewish people is often lost in a cloud of statistics. Hence the growth of the romantic movement known as revisionism, which made the news of the recent world Zionist conference at Basle. Vladimir Jabotinsky, leader of the revisionists, is a sincere and flaming soul who lives in daily communion with a dramatic dream of a Jewish national state – something more than a “national home” – on both sides of the River Jordan in Palestine. The Zionist on leaders, he believes, have been too tenderly diplomatic with both British and Arabs. A magnificent and dangerous man, Jabotinsky. For the Jewish national home is to-day a minority in a little corner of the Arab world, owing its existence to lukewarm British support against the increasingly suspicious Arabs.
WHAT IS ZIONISM? WHAT IS JUDAISM? SOME DAY THE ZIONISTS WILL HAVE TO FACE THESE QUESTIONS WITH COURAGE, THE PAPER SAYS.
At Basle, the “Nation” continues, the revisionists were an earnest and vocal minority, demanding the removal of the old Zionist leaders and the adoption of planks which would make plain that the Jews wanted Palestine as their own. They succeeded, through various alliances, in ousting Chaim Weizmann, who won the Balfour Declaration from England and has given fifteen years of intense devotion to Zion, as president of the World Zionist Organisation, but Dr. Weizman was replaced by Nahum Sokolov, Russian who has worked hand in hand with Dr. Weizmann since the early days of the World War. The Revisionists affected the content of the resolutions adopted, but they could not turn them into frank declarations of political Zionism. In substance, the effect of the congress is that a loyal pilot has been dropped overboard and his policy faintly indorsed. The crucial MacDonald letter, stating the official position of the British Government, was, after a fight, accepted as a basis for further negotiation. Zionism, obviously, is in a state of slow flux. Some day the Zionists of the world will have to face more clearly than they have yet had the vision and courage to do the fundamental questions: What is Zionism? What does Palestine mean to Jewry? Perhaps before these can be answered, a deeper question still must be faced: What is Judaism? the paper concludes.