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Beyond the Nation-StateThe Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion$

Dmitry Shumsky

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300230130

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300230130.001.0001

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(p.237) Notes

(p.237) Notes

Beyond the Nation-State

Dmitry Shumsky

Yale University Press


(1.) Landsmann, “Nisui makhshavti-politi.” Available in English at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.774936.

(5.) Ibid., 108.

(9.) Although not all the historians who addressed the topic explicitly used the term “nation-state,” with many using the less formal “Jewish state,” they all had in mind a sovereign entity in which the synonymity of the terms for the (Jewish) state and the (Jewish) nation was taken for granted. This represents precisely the conventional conception of the nation-state in international relations: Keating, Plurinational Democracy, 6–7. See Heller, The Zionist Idea, 224; Halpern, The Idea of the Jewish State, 19; Dinur, Ba-Mifneh ha-Dorot, 68; Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea, 95; Ettinger, “Yichuda shel ha-Tenuah ha-Leumit ha-Yehudit,” 20; Vital, The Origins of Zionism, vii–viii; Katz, Leumiyut yehudit, 5–6, 10; Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, 13; Kolatt, “Haim ha-Yishuv be-Eretz-Israel hu Hagshamat ha-Leumiyut ha-Yehudit,” 234; Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology, 4; and Engel, “Ha-meser ha-kaful,” 75.

(11.) The following are some central works in the multidisciplinary studies of nationalism that have challenged the inevitability of the link between (p.238) (political) nationality and the nation-state: Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship; Keating, Nations Against the State; Taylor, “Nationalism and Modernity”; Gans, The Limits of Nationalism; Brubaker, Ethnicity Without Groups; and Roshwald, The Endurance of Nationalism.

(19.) Myers, Between Jew and Arab; Pianko, Zionism and the Roads Not Taken; Loeffler, “Between Zionism and Liberalism”; Chazan, Metinut; Jacobson and Naor, Oriental Neighbors, 28–31. See also Ezra Mendelsohn, who showed in his earlier research on Eastern European Zionism in the interwar period that binational or multinational models were, in principle, aligned with the political interests of Polish Zionists: Mendelsohn, “Zionist Success and Zionist Failure,” 172. For the recent valuable accounts of diaspora Jewish nationalism, see Karlip, The Tragedy of a Generation; and Rabinovitch, Jewish Rights, National Rites.

(25.) For a critical discussion of methodological nationalism in the social sciences —which can likewise apply to the humanities, especially when it comes to (p.239) the history of national movements—see Wimmer and Glick Schiller, “Methodological Nationalism and Beyond”; and Wimmer and Glick Schiller, “Methodological Nationalism and the Study of Migration.” See also Amelina, Nergiz, Faist, and Glick Schiller, eds., Beyond Methodological Nationalism.

(28.) Just as Shlomo Avineri in The Making of Modern Zionism, so too I have naturally faced the dilemma of speaking of the key figures in Zionist history without mentioning Chaim Weizmann. Like Avineri, however, I am also convinced that Weizmann, for all his stature and importance as a statesman, can hardly be viewed as a thinker ( ibid., ix), while the present study deals with the constant interplay between the elements of political imagination and political thought in Zionism.

Chapter One. Leon Pinsker

(3.) Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, vol. I, February 10, 1896, 299.

(8.) Bein, Theodore Herzl: A Biography. The perception of the Dreyfus trial as a revelatory event in Herzl’s Zionist evolution was already contested more than three decades ago by Jacques Kornberg: Kornberg, “Theodore Herzl: A Reevaluation”; and Kornberg, Theodor Herzl: From Assimilation to Zionism. For a brief bibliographical sketch of the main trends within the Zionist historiography on Herzl during the 1914–1993 period, see Goldstein, “Herzl’s Place in Zionist Historiography.”

(p.240) (10.) On the origins, rise, and decline of the “from-assimilation-to-nationalism” paradigm, see Frankel, “Assimilation and the Jews in Nineteenth Century.”

(12.) Although Jonathan Frankel was the most prominent proponent of the crisis perception of modern Jewish history and regarded 1881 as the decisive turning point in the history of Russian Jews, in his work one can already find clear reservations about the presentation of emancipation, enlightenment, and integration as phenomena that hastened the disintegration of the inner unity of Jewish society and of “tradition.” See Frankel, “Crisis as a Factor in Modern Jewish Politics,” 45. See also Frankel, Prophecy and Politics.

(13.) Zipperstein, The Jews of Odessa, 139–150; Stanislawski, For Whom Do I Toil?, 146–147; Bartal, The Jews of Eastern Europe, 141–142. Bartal had raised this argument challenging the 1881–1882 crisis-oriented paradigm as early as 1981, in the framework of his doctoral dissertation: Bartal, “Halo-yehudim u-khevratam,” 2–3.

(22.) Sion no. 1, July 7, 1861.

(24.) Vernikova, “Russko-yevreiskiye pisateli Odessy vtoroi poloviny XIX”; and see in particular her bibliographical essay devoted specifically to the attribution of Pinsker’s writings in the Russian Jewish press: Vernikova, “Atributsiya statei L’va Pinskera.”

(25.) For the complete list of Pinsker’s publications in the Russian Jewish press as composed by Vernikova, see Vernikova, “Atributsiya statei L’va Pinskera,” 80–87.

(26.) Sion, July 7, 1861.

(29.) Druyanov, Pinsker ve-zmano, 64. Compare to Breiman, “Ha-Mifneh ba-Makhshava,” 205–206. Unlike Druyanov, Breiman completely overlooks the salience of Jewish nationally based categories in Pinsker’s editorial in the first issue of Sion.

(31.) Ibid., 34.

(32.) Sion, July 7, 1861.

(34.) Lev Pinsker, “Yevrei v Avstrii,” Sion, July 21, 1861

(45.) The significant difference between Pinsker on one hand and Fischhof and the Austro-Marxists on the other lay in the fact that while Pinsker perceived the Jews to be one of the nationalities of the empire that would have to uphold its right to maintain its national-cultural character, the latter called upon the Jews to assimilate. See Kann, The Multinational Empire, vol. 2, 143–178; Cahnman, “Adolf Fischhof and His Jewish Followers”; and Reifowitz, Imagining an Austrian Nation, 198–228.

(46.) To be sure, Pinsker was not the first to articulate the innovative perception of reorganizing a multinational empire as a Nationalitätenstaat. He was preceded by József Eötvös (1813–1871), a prominent Hungarian statesman who scathingly criticized the trend toward aggressive Magyarization in the Hungarian part of the Habsburg Empire and who in 1859 published in German his most important work, Guarantees of Austria’s Power and Unity (Die Garantien der Macht und Einheit Oesterreichs), in which he proposed several formulas for multinational decentralization of the empire. Given Pinsker’s deep interest in Hungarian affairs, it is quite likely that he was familiar with this essay. On Eötvös, see Kann, The Multinational Empire, vol. 2, 93–99; and Reifowitz, Imagining an Austrian Nation, 179–191.

(53.) Lev Pinsker, “Cremieux v Damaske v 1840,” February 13, 1880; February 20, 1880; February 27, 1880; March 5, 1880; March 12, 1880; March (p.242) 19, 1880; April 2, 1880; April 23, 1880; May 21, 1880; July 2, 1880; Lev Pinsker, “Gabriel Rieser i yego epokha,” September 2, 1880; September 12, 1880; November 12, 1880; November 26, 1880; December 3, 1880.

(57.) See above notes 6–7.

(59.) Ibid., 81.

(67.) Leon Pinsker, “Auto-Emancipation,” 102. It is crucial here, however, to refer to the German original, for the term “ein suzeränes Paschalik” was mistranslated by David S. Blondheim as a “sovereign Pashalik” (!), thereby confusing “suzerainty” and “sovereignty”; see Leon Pinsker, “Autoemancipation!,” 30.

(71.) See notes 38–41 above.

Chapter Two. Theodor Herzl

(4.) For a notable example, see the series of essays published following the centennial of the Jewish State’s publication and of the First Zionist Congress (1897). These essays plainly consider the Jewish nation-state as a (p.243) point of departure for studying Herzlian Zionism: Elboim-Dror, “Herzl as a Proto-‘Post-Zionist’?”; Sagi and Stern, Herzl Az ve-Hayom; Conforti, “East and West”; see also Gorny, Anshei Kan ve-Achshav, 116–136.

(7.) Adler, The Herzl Paradox, 86–87; Elon went so far as to define this development as “a dramatic departure in Herzl’s political thinking” and as “a development that set him apart from, and above, most nineteenth-century nationalists.” See Elon, Herzl, 348. See also Pawel, The Labyrinth of Exile, 469, who also claimed that Altneuland “marks a sharp break with the political attitudes that inspired Der Judenstaat.

(14.) Ibid., 117–118, 122, 130.

(15.) See Chapter 1.

(16.) The historiographical claim that the Dreyfus trial was a central factor in Herzl’s adoption of Zionism was an idea that dominated scholarship until the publication of Kornberg’s research. It was first proposed and developed by Alex Bein in his biography of Herzl: Bein, Theodor Herzl: Biographie.

(18.) Ibid., 118–124.

(19.) Ibid., 115–117.

(20.) Ibid., 13; on the way that the Hungarian environment of Herzl’s youth shaped his Zionist worldview, see Handler, Dori, 106–117.

(22.) Ibid., 103–111.

(23.) Ibid., 115.

(24.) Ibid., 181–182.

(p.244) (31.) Bartal, Letaken Am, 7–19. As Bartal argues, modern Jewish national movements, including Zionism, made frequent use of cultural patterns and concepts that originated in the “recent past,” in the Jews’ unequivocally diasporic way of life. These movements sought to reincorporate those patterns and concepts as central, and even essential, elements within the Jewish national collective ethos in the new national-political landscape. Bartal demonstrates that this logic was particularly apparent in the relationship between the concepts “nationalism” and “Enlightenment,” when Jewish nationalism’s agents and spokespeople often internalized, confirmed, and even explicitly legitimated the goals and values of the Enlightenment and Haskalah era. This picture is sharply different from the way that the relationship between nationalism and Zionism on one hand and the European Enlightenment and Haskalah on the other is depicted from within the later ideological framework of the Jewish nation-state, according to which “nationalism” is usually viewed as opposed to “assimilation” and “Zionism” as opposed to “diaspora.”

(33.) See the original, “Jeder behält seine Sprache, welche die liebe Heimat seiner Gedanken ist” (Herzl, Der Judenstaat, 82), which was translated into English as “Every man can preserve the language in which his thoughts are at home” (Herzl, The Jewish State, 99).

(34.) As convincingly shown by Liora Halperin in the case of Jewish Palestine during the Mandate period, even while most Yishuv’s Zionists became and remained deeply committed to an emerging Hebrew culture, they remained linguistically connected to cultures that lay outside the boundaries of their pro-Hebrew community: Halperin, Babel in Zion.

(39.) Amos Elon, in Herzl, 348, argues that “the [novel’s] plot is simple and at times so thin it is almost trite.” David Vital writes that “Altneuland was poor literature: crudely constructed, of wooden characterization, psychologically superficial” (Vital, Zionism, 352). According to Ernst Pawel, The Labyrinth of Exile, 467, “Altneuland is an insipid and indigestible fin-desiècle concoction.” Michael Gluzman, Ha-Guf ha-Tzioni, 42, writes that “from a literary point of view, Altneuland is a schematic novel, possessing an ineffectual plot and characters who lack any trace of psychological complexity.” And Shlomo Avineri, in Herzl, 168, posits that “Altneuland suffers from a sentimentalism that sometimes borders on kitsch [and] [i]ts frame story is artificial and forced”; elsewhere ( ibid., 173) Avineri concludes that “Herzl was a brilliant journalist and essayist but a mediocre playwright and novelist.”

(p.245) (41.) Ritchie Robertson offers an interesting interpretation of Kingscourt’s character, arguing that Kingscourt is “the Gentile remade in the image of the Jew.” Kingscourt represents the Jews’ social mobility and ability to assume different identities in that he himself changed his career, his country of residence, and even his name: in Robertson, “The New Ghetto,” 47–48.

(45.) Ibid., 37.

(46.) Ibid., 39.

(47.) Ibid., 42.

(49.) Ibid., 50.

(50.) Ibid., 60.

(52.) In that sense, one must concur with Avineri’s main argument regarding Altneuland, which no one before him had made so decisively and clearly, namely, that it is not just a utopian novel but is above all a plan of action (ibid., 165). However, to fully understand the essence of this plan, one must carefully consider the novel’s personal plot line rather than casually dismissing its importance.

(54.) Ibid., 136.

(57.) See Schwartz’s illuminating interpretation of Kingscourt’s connection to David Litvak’s young son, a bond that causes Kingscourt to want to stay in Altneulandian Palestine even before Friedrich considers doing so. Schwartz argues that this motif in the plot reflects Herzl’s thinking on “social engineering that will save the Jewish tribe.” He believes that Herzl thought that taking non-Jews from ancient aristocratic houses like Kingscourt and adding them to the Jewish people would be one of the aforementioned strategies for restoring the national gene pool: Schwartz, Ha-Yada’ata et ha-Aretz, 140–141.

(70.) Ro’i, “Nisionotei’hem shel ha-Mosdot,” 215ff; Tauber, “Yachas Ha-Leumiut Ha-Surit La’Tnuah Ha-Tzionit Ad Tom Milhemet Ha-Olam Ha-Rishona,” Historia Yehudit, 14–17; Jacobson, “Sephardim, Ashkenazim and the ‘Arab Question,’” 120–123; Gribetz, “An Arabic-Zionist Talmud”; Jacobson, From Empire to Empire. For a hybrid Arab-Jewish identity of Middle Eastern Zionists in Mandatory Palestine, see Jacobson and Naor, Oriental Neighbors, 9, 11–12, 99–106.

(75.) “eine freie Erfindung Achad-Haams ist”: Nordau, “Achad-Haam über ‘Altneuland.’”

(76.) Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, vol. 1, February 23, 1896, 305–306.

(80.) Shmuel Almog was the only researcher to unequivocally stress the absence of the desire for total state sovereignty in Herzlian Zionism. However, Almog mistakenly claimed that this was an exception in the imagination of the nationalisms of the period. As I argue above, an examination of notions of self-determination in the Central and Eastern European space suggests precisely the opposite (Almog, “Was Herzl a Jewish Nationalist?”).

(81.) Herzl, Old New Land, 193. It is pretty clear from Altneuland that in Herzl’s imagination, the future link of the Old-New Palestine to the Ottoman Empire was far from being just a matter of formality. When needed in order to promote the building of the country, Joe Levy, the “general manager” of Altneuland, was “obliged … to hurry off to Constantinople” to arrange “a very important matter … with the Turkish Government” (Herzl, Old New Land, 231).

(p.247) (83.) It is worth noting that this “tactical” interpretation of Herzl’s relationship to the Turkish context is not necessarily driven by a particular ideology. This point is further demonstrated by the case of Benny Morris’s treatment of Herzl’s Zionism. Over his career, Morris has changed his ideological position significantly: he went from being a historian who is critical of the Zionist narrative to being one who is critical of the Palestinian narrative. Nevertheless, he consistently argues—despite the fact that his argument has been empirically disproved (see Hacohen and Kimmerling, “Theodor Herzl”)—that Herzl had intended to expel the Arab residents of Palestine but concealed his intention under the guise of loyalty to the Muslim empire (see Morris, “He’arot al Ha-Historiographia Ha-Tzionit,” 195; Morris, “He’ara al Ma’amaram”). Morris advances this claim while totally disregarding and expressing complete intellectual uninterest in the wider cultural, geopolitical, and national contexts of the presovereign imperial world in which Herzl lived and worked. Furthermore, he is not in the slightest bit familiar with histories of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires, nor with the histories of the national movements alongside which Herzl developed his national thought.

(89.) Ibid., 769.

(90.) Makdisi proposes here a complex rethinking of Edward Said’s approach. Said (Orientalism) identifies that the dichotomy between the rationalist enlightened Europeanness and the barbaric, ignorant (and simultaneously magical and exotic) Orient is the opposition that most decisively shapes Western cultural consciousness. Makdisi’s study of the Ottoman imperial context, however, proposes a more multidimensional account of the relationship between Europe and “the Orient”: at the very same time that educated Ottoman officials insisted on modernity’s uniquely Islamic development in “the Orient,” they also presented themselves as “Western” vis-à-vis the “orientals” within the empire while asking to join European Enlightenment culture without giving up their unique Ottoman-Muslim identity. In light of the comparison that I draw above between Herzl’s Reschid Bey and the complex orientalist discourse of the late Ottoman period, it seems necessary to reconsider whether Said’s bipolar orientalist paradigm applies to Herzlian Zionism. There is no doubt that Herzl (p.248) wanted to Europeanize the Zionist Yishuv in Palestine and that he considered Jewish settlement in the country to be the vanguard of culture against Asiatic barbarism, as he wrote in The Jewish State (43). At the same time, however, he wanted to carry all of this out within the framework and in the presence of the Ottoman Empire. This was in the spirit of the Ottoman Empire’s complex orientalist self-conception, which was based both on its desire to be a part of Europe and on its insistence on its oriental-Muslim uniqueness.

(92.) Steven Beller, who discusses the “Futuro” in his biography of Herzl, considers it to be a symbol of the world’s respect, recognition, and approval of the “Jewish state.” However, he does not address the central element of the story, which is that the ship is referred to as “Zion”; Beller, Herzl, 104.

(95.) Ibid., 291.

(96.) Ibid., 178.

(97.) In this substantial aspect, I am revisiting here my earlier work on Pinsker, in which I argued for a deep difference between Pinsker’s and Herzl’s perceptions of the Jewish national political future (Shumsky, “Leon Pinsker,” 56).

Chapter Three. Ahad Ha’am

(2.) Two of the three academic biographies of Ahad Ha’am—Gottschalk, Ahad Ha’am, and Goldstein, Ahad Ha’am: Biographiya—do not refer to it at all. The same goes for the 1990 volume of Jewish History, which is dedicated entirely to the study of Ahad Ha’am and includes articles by a number of central scholars of Zionism: Vital, “Ahad Ha-’Am”; Reinharz, “Ahad Ha-’Am”; Shapira, “Herzl, Ahad Ha-’Am, and Berdichevsky”; and Shavit, “Ahad Ha-’Am and Hebrew National Culture.” Foundational books on Zionist ideologies—Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism; and Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology—and the recent Shapira, Israel: A History, are equally silent about “Preface to the New Edition.” Ben Halpern addressed it rather briefly, and with no relation to the large context of Ahad Ha’am’s writings: Halpern, The Idea of the Jewish State, 334–336, and the same applies to Gorny, Zionism and the Arabs, 112.

(3.) For the criticism of the dichotomy between the “political” and “cultural/spiritual” dimensions in studies on Jewish nationalism and Zionism, see Pianko, The Roads Not Taken; and Shumsky, “Brith Shalom’s Uniqueness Reconsidered.”

(14.) Ibid., 308. A similar interpretation of the “Preface” was proposed by Yosef Nedava, a prolific scholar of Zionism and self-proclaimed Revisionist Zionist (Nedava, “Ahad Ha’am ve-ha-beaya ha-aravit,” 100–101). Nedava goes to great lengths to disregard the fact that the idea that Jewish and non-Jewish national rights in Palestine are equal, which Nedava infers from the Balfour Declaration, is actually something that Ahad Ha’am agreed with wholeheartedly in this text. Nedava also imagines that Ahad Ha’am was deeply sorrowful at the fact that the Balfour Declaration did not recognize Palestine as the national home of the Jewish people, leaving an opening for it to become a joint site for two “national homes,” for both Jews and Arabs. Like in Zipperstein’s case, Nedava’s interpretation disregards what Ahad Ha’am himself wrote and unequivocally believed: namely, that the British government, when it decided not to grant the Jews exclusive national rights to the country and instead urged them to share their right with the land’s residents, was giving the Jewish people “what is theirs by right, truthfully and justly” (Ahad Ha’am, “Hakdama,” 9).

(17.) Ahad Ha’am, “Milim u-Musagim.” References below are to the English translation of this article: Ahad Ha’am, “A Spiritual Centre.”

(19.) Ibid., 127.

(20.) Ibid., 127–128 (emphasis in the original).

(21.) Ibid., 128.

(22.) See Chapter 1.

(29.) That Turkish is Reschid Bey’s primary language is obvious from the scene (p.250) in which he appears for the first time in the novel, being approached by David Littwak in Turkish. Curiously, in the English edition of Altneuland referred to here, the language of Reschid Bey’s daily use is mistranslated as Arabic (“David called to him [Reschid] in Arabic,” Herzl, Old New Land, 68). Compare to the German original: “David rief ihm einige Worte in türkische Sprache zu” (Herzl, Altneuland, 77).

(33.) Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, vol. 1, February 23, 1896, 305–306.

(35.) Ibid., 53.

(46.) Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, vol. 1, February 23, 1896, 305–306.

(58.) Ahad Ha’am, “Shelilat ha-Galut”; Igrot Ahad Ha’am, vol. 4, 90–92, 94–96.

(69.) Ahad Ha’am to D. Sherman, July 14, 1903, in Laskov, ed., Ahad Ha’am, 196.

(72.) Ahad Ha’am, “Medinat-ha-Yehudim ve-‘Tsarat-ha-Yehudim,’” in Kol Kitvei Ahad Ha’am, 138. In the existing English translation—Ahad Ha’am, “The Jewish State and the Jewish Problem,” 47—the word “lands” (artzot) is omitted, thereby causing a misunderstanding of Ahad Ha’am’s sub-statist view of the future “Jewish state.”

Chapter Four. Vladimir Jabotinsky

(1.) Quoted from an article compilation published a year later on the “Polish-Jewish question” and its link to municipal governance in Congress Poland: Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Polyaki i yevrei,” 14–15.

(4.) Yaacov Shavit, who laid the foundations for critical historical research on Jabotinsky, proposes a sharp distinction between the young Jabotinsky and the older Jabotinksy who led the Revisionist movement: Shavit, Mi-Rov leMedina, 208–209. The practical consequence of this assumption is that Jabotinksy’s political views during the pre–World War I period are considered to have only minor relevance to understanding his views during his Revisionist period. Thus, this assumption bolsters the historiographic tendency to focus on Jabotinsky’s interwar biography and thought without adequately addressing his recent past in the period before the collapse of the fin-de-siècle empires. See Shavit, Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement (p.252) ; and Kaplan, The Jewish Radical Right, 20–30. Likewise, even in the comprehensive anthology of Jabotinsky scholarship published as part of the Ben-Gurion Institute’s “Iyunim le-Tekumat Israel” series, it is readily apparent that most research interest in Jabotinsky focuses on his Revisionist period, with very little integration between the pre– and post–World War I periods. See Bareli and Ginnossar, eds., Ish ba-Saar.

(5.) Apart from the scholarly literature mentioned in note 4, see the following foundational texts on the history of Zionism and Zionist ideology: Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, 159–186; Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology, 236–249; and Shapira, Israel, 124–127.

(8.) Natkovich (“Pulmus ‘Mashber ha-Marksizm,’” 2) criticizes what she sees as Stanislawski’s “imprecise” and somewhat static use of the term “fin-desiècle” to describe the ideological and cultural background of Jabotinsky’s nationalism, when pointing out the internal changes in Jabotinsky’s cultural thought and identity stances throughout the “fin-de-siècle” period itself.

(9.) Amir Goldstein’s important recently published book offers an integrative and chronologically comprehensive account of Jabotinsky’s Zionist thought in the context of anti-Semitism during the period between the First Russian Revolution and the outbreak of World War II (Goldstein, Derekh Rabat-Panim). Regarding Jabotinsky’s early Zionist period in tsarist Russia, however, the book relies on texts that were translated into Hebrew and published in an edition of collected works by Jabotinsky’s son Ari (Zeev Jabotinsky, Ktavim) or as part of an updated volume of Jabotinsky’s ideological works published by the Jabotinsky Institute (Zeev Jabotinsky, Leumiyut Liberalit). Thus, the book leaves out dozens of early articles and essays that might have shed light on essential aspects of Jabotinsky’s identity and national-political positions during his pre-Revisionist period.

(10.) For example, Shlomo Avineri adopts this approach to Jabotinsky’s vision of the future state: Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, 179; see also Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology, 260. Despite the fact that Arye Naor is more aware than most Jabotinsky scholars of the latter’s complex approach to the concept of “state” and to the ideological link between his Helsingfors Conference–era thought and the pre–World War I multinational past in the Eastern European space, he nonetheless chooses to conclude his comprehensive article on Jabotinsky’s constitutional outline for the Jewish state by presenting his political thought as a kind of early blueprint for the contemporary state of Israel: Naor, “Ha-Mitveh Ha-Chukati,” 92.

(12.) Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Predisloviye.” The fact that a Russian translation of Staat und Nation was published by the Zionist press Kadima, and with a preface written by Jabotinsky, deserves special attention. After all, it is a well-known fact that although both Renner and Otto Bauer, his younger collaborator of Jewish origin, did not consider Jews to be a national group, their Austro-Marxist autonomism did have a decisive influence on non-Zionist Jewish nationalist movements. This was particularly true of the Jewish social-democratic Bund party, which fought for national-cultural (“personal”) autonomy for Eastern European Jewry (see Gechtman, “Conceptualizing National-Cultural Autonomy”; and Karlip, The Tragedy of a Generation. On the impact of Austro-Marxism on Poalei Zion’s struggle for national autonomy during the Habsburg monarchy, see Silber, Leumiyut shona, 78). However, Renner’s Staat und Nation also served as a veritable national-political bible for more mainstream versions of Zionist nationalism. The problem is that the decisive influence of this Austro-Marxist national-political theory on Zionist political thought, the patterns and trajectories of that influence, and the ways in which the Zionist mainstream adapted and adjusted to this influence have been improperly understood, have been understated, or have gone completely unnoticed by key studies of the history of Zionist ideology (see Halpern, The Idea of the Jewish State, 93; and Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology, 168–169).

(13.) He also went by the pen names Rudolf Springer and Synopticus; toward the end of his life, he was elected president of the Second Republic of Austria; Barkai, “Ha-Sotzialdemocratiya ha-Ostrit”; Kann, The Multinational Empire, vol. 2, 159–162; Reifowitz, Imagining an Austrian Nation, 198–213. On the influence of Austro-Marxist thought on Jabotinsky, see Naor, “Ha-Mitveh Ha-Chukati,” 53–54.

(14.) For a biographical overview of key Austro-Marxist figures, see Blum, The Austro-Marxists; for the ideological characteristics of Austro-Marxism, see Nimni, Marxism and Nationalism, 119–141.

(17.) Ibid., 7.

(18.) Ibid., 6.

(19.) Ibid., 7.

(20.) Ibid. Compare to Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Nashi zadachi II.” Jabotinsky makes a sharp distinction here between the autonomous powers of the nations and the powers of the state as a coordinating body that represents the interests of all its citizens.

(21.) Vladimir Jabotinsky [Altalena], “O natsionailsme.”

(25.) Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Nashi zadachi III” (emphasis in the original).

(29.) The contemporary Russian term at the time for non-Russians, mainly for those who were not members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

(33.) On the Polish nationalists’ Habsburgian patriotism, see Wolff, The Idea of Galicia, 210–215.

(35.) Seton-Watson, The Rise of Nationality in the Balkans; Pipes, The Formation of the Soviet Union, chs. 1 and 2; Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy; Seton-Watson, The Southern Slav Question; Seton-Watson, The “Sick Heart” of Modern Europe, 4–5; Seton-Watson, Nations and States; Ash, The Uses of Adversity. It is interesting to note that the first book that appears on this list—The Rise of Nationality in the Balkans, published in 1917—was rushed by the author R. W. Seton-Watson to the publisher even before he had completed it because the former hoped that the book would “help to serve the great purpose of the War.” Though the book’s scholarly value falls far below its propaganda value, it is clear that Seton-Watson’s deterministic approach to the fall of the Hapsburg, Romanov, and Ottoman empires had a significant influence on generations of Western historians. For more on this, see Karpat, Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History, 437, n. 6.

(p.255) (41.) Amir Goldstein (Derekh Rabat-Panim, 102–119) argues that Jabotinsky and his coauthors wrote the Helsingfors Program because of the dead end that the Zionist movement faced in Russia following the 1905 revolution. However, the full scale of the revolution’s failure had not yet become clear in 1906; as a matter of fact, anyone who studies the radical vision for Jewish national autonomy and a multinational federation in the Russian state that Jabotinsky presented in the newspaper Khronika yevreiskoi zhizni (Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Nashi zadachi I,” “Nashi zadachi II,” and “Nashi zadachi III”—one of his many political articles that have not been translated from the Russian and therefore were not included in Goldstein’s study) would be hard-pressed to ignore the clear link between the Zionist-autonomist worldview that Jabotinsky developed in the run-up to the Helsingfors Conference and his optimistic approach to the possibility of reestablishing Russia along the lines that he had presented earlier in Radikal. For criticism of the “the failure of the revolution” as it pertains to the Jews’ educational and cultural conditions, see Horowitz, “Victory from Defeat”; on the role of the 1905 revolution in the process by which the Jews of tsarist Russia became a distinct ethno-linguistic community, see Ury, Barricades and Banners, 175; and for more on trends in Russian Jewish politics following the revolution, see Levin, Mi-Mahapecha le-Milkhama.

(61.) Ibid., 8.

(62.) Ibid., 9.

(77.) Ibid. In contrast with Hillel Halkin’s new biography of Jabotinsky, in which he argues that Jabotinsky supported the national independence aspirations of the small nations of tsarist Russia, Austro-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, both this text and Jabotinsky’s Radikal articles on the future of tsarist Russia tell an entirely different story that clearly rejects national-political separatism and explicitly opts for the federative multinational vision. Halkin, Jabotinsky, 77.

(82.) Kann, The Multinational Empire, vol. 2, 159–162; Reifowitz, Imagining an Austrian Nation, 191–198.

(95.) Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Nashi zadachi II.” For more on the Russian Zionists’ antiessentialist conceptualization of the Jewish nation as an inclusive social entity during the Helsingfors Conference period, see Taro Tsurumi’s illuminating study: Tsurumi, “‘Neither Angels, nor Demons, but Humans,’” esp. 537–539.

(98.) Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Jewish War Front (London: Georg Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1940), 217–218.

(100.) Nedava, “Jabotinsky be-Vina”; Naor, “Ha-Mitveh Ha-Chukati.” See also Bilski Ben-Hur, Kol Yachid Hu Melech, 315–334. Though Ben-Hur does point out that Jabotinsky’s vision accords the Arabs of the future state “both full equality and self-rule in areas that are national-specific” (ibid., 331), she still considers the Jabotinskian state to be a model for mononational sovereignty, whose regime is that of a liberal democracy (ibid., 321ff)—this despite the fact that Jabotinsky’s constitutional outline in The Jewish War Front clearly describes the Jewish state that will emerge after a Jewish majority is secured as a consociational democracy, with explicit reference to Canada and Belgium. The problem is that Bilski Ben-Hur does not mention the above work or its constitutional outline in her chapter on Jabotinsky’s conception of the political future of the Jewish majority state.

(106.) Regarding the work of Gil Rubin, who claims that Jabotinsky gradually abandoned the multinational state concept in favor of the idea of population transfers, see below note 127.

(p.258) (112.) Ibid.

(113.) Ibid. In his discussion of the Hebrew translation of this article, Amir Goldstein argues that Jabotinsky saw the second approach (which affirms the existence of strong diasporic communities) as an option that the Zionist circles may adopt (Goldstein, Derekh Rabat-Panim, 111). However, a reading of the source material makes it clear that Jabotinsky considered it to be the preferred approach.

(127.) On the basis of Jabotinsky’s private notes from November 1939, Gil Rubin (“The Future of the Jews,” 113–115) argues that following the outbreak of World War II, Jabotinsky gradually embraced the idea of the transfer of Palestinian Arabs to the neighboring Arab countries, therefore abandoning the conceptions of a multinational state and national minority rights. To fortify this argument, Rubin stresses rightly that in his last book—The Jewish War Front—Jabotinsky dedicated several pages to discussing the possibility of the transfer of the Arabs, writing that the departure of nine hundred thousand Arabs from Transjordan should not be regarded as a “tragedy” or with “dismay” (Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Jewish War Front, 221). However, Rubin seems to have downplayed the fact that in The Jewish War Front Jabotinsky clearly favored the option of multinational democracy in Palestine over the transfer scenario.

(129.) Ibid. (quotation marks were placed there by Jabotinsky).

(133.) Ibid., 216–218.

(p.259) Chapter Five. David Ben-Gurion

(2.) Ibid. (“or even more,” he added, “if the Christians were to want a special authority for themselves”).

(4.) Teveth, Kin’at David, vol. 1, 256–271, 305–319; Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion: Biographiya, 54; see also Bar-Zohar’s expanded biography of Ben-Gurion: Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion, vol. 1, 89; Anita Shapira does not hide her surprise at Ben-Gurion’s and Ben-Zvi’s efforts to try to blend into the late Ottoman state’s cultural and political life, but her surprise is to be expected since she approaches the Ottomanization approach without considering the historical context, and specifically the efforts of pre–World War I non-Jewish national movements at the time to achieve national autonomy: Shapira, Ben-Gurion, 31.

(6.) Gorny, “Bein Activism Histori le-Activism Achshavi.” Both Ben-Gurion’s biographers and the prominent historians of the Zionist Labor movement, like Mintz and Gorny, cannot ignore Ben-Gurion’s Ottoman period, if only because they need to be able to present a complete account of both Ben-Gurion’s biography and the history of the Poalei Zion party in Palestine, the very party that would become the forerunner of the Israeli Labor movement. Key texts on the history of Zionist ideology, however, which naturally reserve a central place for Israel’s first prime minister, make no mention at all of the Ottoman chapter of Ben-Gurion’s life and certainly do not go into detail regarding his political-ideological position at the time (see Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism; Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology; and Shapira, Israel).

(8.) For Ben-Gurion’s perspective on the distinction between the “old” and “new” Yishuv, see Ben-Gurion, “Le-She’elot ha-Yishuv ha-Yashan” (1910). See also Israel Bartal’s classic article: Bartal, “‘Yishuv Yashan’ ve-’Yishuv Khadash’.”

(10.) Ibid., 292.

(12.) Ibid., 293.

(13.) Ibid., 295.

(14.) Ibid., 294–295.

(17.) Ibid., 236.

(p.260) (20.) Ibid., 296.

(22.) Ibid., 297.

(31.) See note 52 below.

(32.) For criticism of the historiographic distinction between “political Zionism” and “spiritual-cultural Zionism,” see Shumsky, “Tsiyonut u-Medinatha-Leom,” 224.

(44.) Ibid., 333.

(45.) Ibid., 334.

(46.) Ibid., 336.

(47.) Ibid. (emphasis in the original).

(49.) Ibid., 337.

(51.) Ibid., 337–338.

(52.) Ibid., 338.

(57.) Ben-Gurion, “Zchuyoteinu,” June 2, 1916; June 9, 1916; June 23, 1916.

(60.) Ibid. (emphasis in the original).

(73.) “Ha-Berit ha-Olamit shel ha-Poalim ha-Ivrim ha-Sotzialim ‘Poale Zion,’” 566.

(76.) One of the founders of the Poalei Zion world movement and director of the Technion in Haifa from 1932 to 1950.

(78.) Ibid., 118, 122–123 (emphasis in the original).

(79.) Ibid., 124.

(80.) Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, 3–13; for more on both the revolutionary-utopian motivations driving the social engineering trends in Zionism and the ways in which the Zionist settlement project was continuous with and linked to the European and Jewish environment, see Penslar, Zionism and Technocracy, 1–9, 151.

(82.) Ibid., 124.

(83.) Passfield’s “White Paper” seemed to imply that the special status that the Balfour Declaration had granted the Jewish Yishuv would be rescinded. However, the letter that the British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald subsequently sent to Chaim Weizmann confirmed that this would not be the case.

(92.) Ibid., 164.

(99.) Ibid., 5–7.

(101.) Anita Shapira’s biography of Berl Katznelson is an illustrative example of this approach. When discussing Katznelson’s above-mentioned “autonomist” speech at the Third Mapai Conference, she does not once refer to his efforts in the speech to anchor his proposal within the legacy of “diasporic” Jewish autonomism, nor did she ask why the speech refers to Renner and Dubnow. See Shapira, Berl, 180.

(106.) Ben-Gurion, “Avtonomia,” 122 (emphasis in the original).

(107.) Ibid. (emphasis added).

(113.) Ibid., 187.

(114.) Morris, “He’arot al Ha-Historiographia Ha-Tzionit,” 195. For criticism of Morris’s approach to Herzl’s diary, see Chapter 2, note 83, above.

(115.) At around that period, Nir Keidar identified a significant shift in Ben-Gurion’s Zionist ideology, namely, the birth of statism (mamlachtiyut) and the notion that the state is the best way to realize Zionism: Keidar, Mamlachtiyut, 72.

(p.263) (118.) Ben-Gurion, “Halichot Ha-Medina Ha-Yehudit,” 282 (emphasis in the original).

(119.) Ibid., 292.

(120.) See note 111 above.

(130.) Ibid., 114–116.


(4.) The work of Israel Bartal, who did address this question (Bartal, Kozak u-bedui, 157ff), is exceptional in this regard.

(6.) See a useful overview of these debates by Umut Özkirimli, Theories of Nationalism. See also a number of central theoretical works on nationalism referred to in the introduction, note 7.

(12.) Feinbrun, N., ed., Devar Anshei Shem al Tochnit ha-Chaluka, 43–44.

(15.) See the introduction.

(17.) Ibid., 100.

(18.) Ibid., 101.

(19.) Ibid., 99–100.

(20.) Ibid., 100.