Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Patagonian Dreams

By       Message Uri Avnery     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 6/1/14

- Advertisement -

Cross-posted from Gush Shalom

From youtube.com/watch?v=sRyanX_rsN0: Pope Francis visits Jerusalem and Muslim leaders on the Temple Mount.
Pope Francis visits Jerusalem and Muslim leaders on the Temple Mount.
(image by YouTube)
  DMCA

DURING HIS short visit to Israel, Pope Francis laid a wreath on the grave of Theodor Herzl.

That was not a usual gesture. Foreign heads of state are obliged to visit Yad Vashem, as did the pope, but not the grave of Herzl. It is not like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris.

So why Herzl's grave? Obviously, this gesture was intended to emphasize the Zionist character of the state.

Herzl was the founder of modern political Zionism. He is officially called "the Visionary of the State." His is the only picture decorating the Knesset plenum hall. If we had saints, he would be St. Theodor.

PROBABLY, FRANCIS did not give another thought to this gesture. If so, it's a pity. The Argentine Pope could have found a lot of interest in this colorful Viennese journalist and playwright.

Because if Herzl had had his way, Francis would have been greeted by President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu in Spanish. He would have honored Herzl's grave in the Jewish State somewhere south of Buenos Aires.

- Advertisement -

If Francis had never heard of this episode, he is not the only one. The vast mass of Israelis has not either. It is not taught in Israeli schools. It is hidden rather shamefully.

Israelis know about "Uganda." Shortly before his early death, Herzl was invited by the British government to implement his ideas in part of British East Africa (actually, it was the Kenyan highlands, a plateau with a mild climate, which later became a part of Kenya.)

By that time, Herzl had despaired of getting Palestine from the Turkish Sultan. The Kenyan project, which could be implemented at once, attracted him and his main supporter, Max Nordau, who advised him to take it at least temporarily, as a "night asylum."

But the Russian Zionists, the bulwark of the movement, rebelled. Palestine or nothing. Herzl was overruled by his admirers and died soon after of a broken heart, it was said.

THIS EPISODE is well known. Much has been written about it. Some would say that if during the 1930s a Jewish Commonwealth had existed in Africa, many European Jews could have been saved from the Nazis.

- Advertisement -

But the Argentine chapter has been erased. It did not fit the image of the Visionary of the State on the walls.

HERZL'S LONG trek to Zionism started when, as a Hungarian-born Jewish student in Vienna, he encountered anti-Semitism. His logical mind found the answer. Being a playwright, he described the scene: all Austrian Jews, except himself, would march in an orderly fashion to the Cathedral and convert en masse to Catholicism. The pope would have been enthusiastic.

However, Herzl soon learned that neither would the Jews accept baptism ("the Jews are afraid of water," Heinrich Heine once joked), but the nationalist Goyim did not dream of accepting them into their ranks. How could they? Jews were everywhere, in many different countries, so how could they sincerely join any national movement?

That's when Herzl had his historic insight: if the Jews could not join any of the national movements that were mushrooming in Europe, why shouldn't they constitute themselves as a separate, new-old nation?

For Herzl, that was a sober, rational idea. No God involved, no Holy Scriptures, no romantic nonsense. Palestine did not enter his mind. Nor had he any interest in the religious fantasies of Christian Zionists in Britain and the US, like Alfred Balfour.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

"Stupid and Mean and Brutal"

A Flash of Lightning

Israeli Idiocracy

Spitting In The Face of Obama

The Tone and the Music; Reaction to Obama's Cairo Speech

The Grand Default