A Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, and American Zionism by Ben Halpern

By Ben Halpern

Chaim Weizmann, steeped within the people tradition of the East ecu shtetl and the humanistic technology of primary and Western Europe, used to be the ambassador of the Jewish humans to the English-speaking global. Louis D. Brandeis, nonetheless, used to be referred to as the genuine exponent of Anglo-American civic tradition who gave his management at a severe second to the yank and global Jewish neighborhood. A conflict of Heroes experiences the clash among those dominant personalities, every one of whom has been hailed through dedicated fans because the hero of a very important period in contemporary Jewish heritage. Halpern units the assembly, collaboration, and sharp clash among those males opposed to the moving historical past of an international at battle and the shaky travail of revolution and reconstruction within the early twentieth century. via a comparability of 2 exemplary figures in Jewish management, Halpern paints a captivating portrait of 20th-century Zionism and illuminates the advanced relationships among leaders and the general public and among Jewish nationalism and its prolonged surroundings.

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Additional info for A Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, and American Zionism (Studies in Jewish History)

Sample text

The issue arose sharply Weizmann 29 in the case of Nachman Syrkin, who had staked out an independent ideological position at the Zionist congresses, in provocative lectures in Zurich and Berne, and in his manifesto, The Socialist Jewish State (first published in 1898). Syrkin wished to combine a Zionist-socialist cooperativist program in Palestine (or another territory, if Palestine proved unattainable) with socialdemocratic agitation a la Bund in Russia and other Diaspora lands. He now organized a socialist-Zionist group and wished to attend the Zionist Youth Conference—after having announced his withdrawal from the WZO.

By barring cultural activities unacceptable to traditionalists, Herzl occasioned the formation of an internal Zionist opposition among Weizmann's circle of friends. Earlier, in Russia, where the legal scope for activity was severely limited, such issues were fought out in the press or as a traditional intracommunal dispute. The structure of the WZO—a quasi-parliamentary representation of the Jewish national will—laid the groundwork for a new level of contention and eventually turned the diffuse ideological quarrels of Hibbat Zion into organized party struggles.

Some existing philo-Zionist clubs sent elected delegates or representatives who found it convenient to be in Basle; some individuals responded to Herzl's personal request to participate; and some just chanced to be in the area and came out of a sympathetic interest. Among those who did not come were the leaders of Hibbat Zion in Odessa, Berlin, and London—not necessarily because of outright opposition, but reserving judgment. Journalists like Ahad Ha'am or the young populist thinker and social revolutionary, Chaim Zhitlovsky, came to observe and later to criticize the clearly historic development.

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