Labor Zionists Are Assailed at Herzl Rites
July 10, 1934
An attack on general Zionism and Labor Zionism for swerving from the ideal of Herzlian Zionism was the keynote of a memorial meeting by the Zionist-Revisionist Organization and the Brith Trumpeldor for Dr. Theodor Herzl and Chaim Nachman Bialik last night at Plaza Hall, Fifteenth street and Irving place.
“When in 1897,” said Louis Altman, Revisionist leader, “Dr. Herzl assembled the first Zionist Congress, the Jewish Socialists assembled somewhere in Eastern Europe to establish their organization entitled ‘the Bund.’ A bitter struggle between two antagonistic ideologiesâ€”that of Herzlian Zionism on the one hand and that of Marxian Socialism on the otherâ€”determined the course of Jewish public life for decades.
“The Poale-Zionists have tried for the last decade to reconcile the Zionism of Herzl with the Marxian Socialism of the Bund. But instead of bringing the Jewish Socialists into the Zionist camp, they converted Zionists to Socialism.”
Other speakers included Beinesh Epstein and Mordecai Danzis.
Epstein compared the Stavsky case to the Dreyfus affair, “Official Zionism today,” he declared, “is displaying its inconsistency by holding memorial meetings for Dr. Herzl. They who have abandoned the nationalistic teachings of the great leader have no right to shelter themselves in its shadow.
“Supine leadership and weak policies, which are characteristic of present-day Zionism, have nothing in common with the Herzlian Zionism.
“We are told that Dreyfus was greatly instrumental in influencing Dr. Herzl in his determination toward the idea of Zionism, because he lost all faith in the possibility of Jews to continue to live in the European atmosphere. Dr. Herzl was fundamentally shocked by the display of cruelty and slander against the Jews that the Dreyfus trial brought about.
“What shall we say now when among ourselves in the Zionist ranks the same thing is being repeated? Stavsky is being sacrificed on the altar of political machinations of the Histadruth in Palestine. The hatred displayed on the pages of the Histadruth press reminds one of the French press in the days of Dreyfus.”
In his speech Mordecai Danzis drew a parallel between Dr. Herzl and Vladimir Jabotinsky and asserted that the Revisionists were the only Zionists who had followed in the footsteps of Dr. Herzl and propagated the founder’s ideals as he expressed them in his Yudenstadt.
Danzis pointed out that the Revisionists constitute at the present time the only political Zionists in the entire Zionist movement. After the Balfour declaration, he said, when Dr. Weizmann came into power, political Zionism had disappeared. The movement then reverted to its original status of the “lovers of Zion.” With the appearance of Jabotinsky, world Revisionist leader, Danzis declared, political Zionism was revived.