Herzl’s book, The Jewish State, written 50 years before the founding of the State of Israel provide a prophetic outline of the blueprint that the Jewish who are scattered across the world should follow in order to have their own land. The book addresses the socio-political issues that the international community must address in order to unblock the puzzle of how to have a unified State for the Jewish. The book also addresses how the Jewish State will use sophisticated and modern approach to address social, political, economic, and technological problems that are facing many countries. Ultimately, the Herzl forms a mental picture of how the Jewish State will establish itself in matters of human rights, international diplomacy, and development once the State is founded.
According to Herzl, the only way a revolution would be realized among the Jews is through the formation of a Jewish state. This way, he notes, the Jewish will achieve peace and be freed from persecution. His work is thus a wakeup call for the Jewish living in different countries across Europe and America to unite in Zionist movement and negotiate; with countries like Turkey, Argentina, and Uganda; for the establishment of the Jewish State. In my opinion, this book provides a good insight in the history on the Jewish and is a valuable resource when it comes to the understanding of the crises that are common in the Middle East.
From the onset, the objective of the book is made clear; to agitate for the freedom of the Jews. The author seems passionate about the problems that are facing the Jewish state. In what may be seen as being authoritative, Herzl expresses his belief that the Jewish cannot and should not be allowed to be assimilated in other groups around the world, since the outsider will always know that the Jewish are an alien people in their midst. He is clear on how the Jews people can achieve this unity. According to him, it is prudent for the Zionists themselves to chat out ways through which a prosperous and envious Jewish State will be formed.
Though Herzl seems to acknowledge that this course will not be without its own challenges, he so much believed that there is the possibility of its achievement. This is indicated in one of the guiding principles that stand out in his theorization of the need to have a Jewish State. He notes that the world, both Jewish and non-Jewish, consents to the need to have a Jewish State. However, he agrees that an impediment to the implementation of the plans to have a Jewish State lies on the social and political pleas that have resulted in the scattering of the Jewish across the world. This is convincing since it is indeed the views that are expressed in the Jewish State that informs the restrictions, hostilities, and pogroms that follow the Jewish in Europe and culminate in the Holocaust in which over 40% of the Jewish population in Europe are murdered.
Another argument put forward or assumption made by Herzl is that the envisaged unity that exists among the Jewish people underscores the quest that these people had for wanting a state of their own. However, this argument seems to have lost its ground due to the opposition that Herzl receives from the people he represents. The Jews themselves undermine his analysis of their social structure of the Jewish. The people complain that, "We shall take what is given us, and what is selected by public opinion, (Herzl, 15).” Additionally, many of the Jewish in Russia opposed his suggestion of forming a Jewish State in countries like Argentina, Uganda, or even Turkey. It seems that, from the beginning, the Jewish people have premeditated the kind of the region in which they would want to settle. Ultimately, this kind of quest and social formation informs the agenda of Zionist movement; that of searching for a better place through diplomacy and negotiations.
However, the issue of persecution of the Jewish people forms the main argument in The Jewish State. He makes his position on this issue clear viewing the persecution of the Jewish as something that will persist until such a time that the Jewish will have their country. Such a goal, he believes, can only be achieved when the Jews’ generation can unite in one purpose and speak in one voice to the world. He rightfully notes that the envisioning of a Jewish nation is entangled with the universal problem that must be addressed by all nations. In his argument, he sees world politics as carried by the Zionist movement. He therefore believes that the possibility of the formation of a Jewish State squarely lies with the Jews themselves. Herzl argued that a finer, determined, and more advanced generation would come up to carry on the vision that he had concerning the Jewish State.
Herzl also discusses at length the issue of location of the Jewish State. Even though he suggests a number of countries where the Jewish State can be located, including Argentina and Uganda, he believes that Palestine is Jews’ historic homeland. It is later observed that this belief augurs well with the middle class Jewish who are living in other countries when they vehemently opposed any suggestion of locating the Jewish State outside the Palestine considering that Herzl himself believe that Palestine is the historic homeland of the Jewish.
He also came clear on the need for the separation of the state and religion id in this book. According to Herzl, the Jewish State should consider separating religion from the state if it has to succeed. He stated that, "while we respect our rabbis, we will keep them to their synagogues, just as the army will be kept to its barracks, (Herzl, 32).” As such, the State of the Jewish is supposed to ensure that it separates its mandate and mission from the religious practices that he thinks are highly respected by the Jews. Ultimately, there is a difficulty in this assertion because the Jewish are firmly founded on religion and any attempt to separate the State from religion would definitely result into futility. Even though one cannot exhaustively analyze how successful was Herzl’s argument concerning religion and State at the time when the Jewish was getting their own nation, it is evident that Herzl in particular and Zionist movement in general advocated for the separation of the two important structures that defined the politics of the Jews.
The Jewish State provides a lot of information concerning the challenges that are encountered during the process ofnation-state formation. The information in this book is presented from an insider’s point of view and therefore represents the epicenter of the contributing factors that drives the need to form a new nation. The book is written in a prophetic tone predicting what the Jewish State will look like. However it also envisages the obstacles that are likely to be encountered during its formation. Herzl acknowledges that the social, economical, and political forces play an important role in ensuring that stateless people get their own nation. The author also seems to have consulted widely with other relevant literatures published by other interested parties on the need to have a Jewish State. The book thus summarizes all the advantages and reasons that are driving the insatiable quest for a Jewish State.
One may then however wonder how Herzl is considering locating the Jewish State outside Palestine even though he knows that this is the historic homeland of the Jews. Equally, Herzl fails to substantiate some of his claims concerning the necessity to establish a Jewish State. For instance, he writes that, “The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness, (Herzl, 45).”
Irrespective of such weaknesses, Herzl’s The Jewish State is a great summary of the need for establishing a Jewish State but it falls short of the explanation on how having a State for people who are already scattered across the world would provide liberty and enrichment to the whole world. From a standby point of view, most of the ideas that are expressed in this people are informed by aggrandize approach to an issue that is dear to him. Herzl does not therefore write objectively as to the support for the formation of the Jewish State. Rather, the information herein is presented from an insider’s point of view. Thus, the book lacks objectivity in its entirety.
While The Jewish State provides enough evidence that the Jews people had enough reasons to fight for the formation of their State, it does not provide the reader with insight on how the Jewish people would be able to organize themselves from all over the world and come together to form a State. As a reader, I expected to learn the reason that led to the dispersion of the Jews across many nations given that almost every other people did have a place that they would call a home. This would make it possible for me to have an insight on how possible it would be for the Jews to unite in agitating and forming a state of their own.
The Jewish State provides an insight in the issues that contributed to the creation of the Jewish Nation in 1948. This book forms the blueprint that guided the struggle for the creation of the Jewish State. Herzl successfully outlines the social, political, and religious issues that prompted the Jews around the world to unite in search of their nation. Evidently, The Jewish State is an informative book that provides the circumstances that led to the creation on the Jewish State. It is this book that formed the foundations that the Zionist movement rode over in the struggle for the formation of the Jewish State. However, this book may have led to the increase in the persecution that followed thereafter culminating in the Holocaust where millions of Jews were murdered in Germany.