||Jewish anti-Zionist opposition to the early stages of Herzalian Zionism by Dovberush ben Alexander Tursh. It asks whether the return can be accomplished by the two trumpets, Thoeodr Herzl and Max Nordau and their assembly in Basle, that is the famed World Zionist Congress, suggesting that their movement will be like chaff in the wind. The author describes himself as a true Hovev Zion.
Theodor Herzl Binyamin Ze'ev; 1860–1904), father of political Zionism and founder of the World Zionist Organization. From an early age he was aware of the Jewish problem, antisemitism and the persecution of Jews, but it was the Dreyfus case that awakened in him national Jewish feeling and brought him to the conclusion that the Jewish problem could only be solved by political means. The concept of emergence from the diaspora and return to Zion found expression in his book "The Jewish State", which was written in 1896. Herzl appealed to wealthy Jews such as Baron Hirsch and Baron Rothschild, to join the national Zionist movement, but in vain. He then appealed to the people, and the result was the convening of the First Zionist Congress in Basel where the World Zionist Organization was established and the Basel Plan was formulated. Herzl convened six Zionist Congresses between 1897 and 1902. It was here that the tools for Zionist activism were forged: Otzar Hityashvut Hayehudim; the Jewish National Fund; the movement's newspaper Die Welt and more. In 1897, at considerable personal expense, he founded Die Welt of Vienna. Then he planned the first Zionist Congress in Basel. He was elected president, and held as by a magnet the delegates through all the meetings. He was reelected unanimously at every congress. Herzl died in 1904 and was buried in Vienna. After the establishment of the State of Israel his remains were reburied on Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem in the summer of 1949. Herzl's books Der Judenstaat ("The Jewish State") and Altneuland ("Old New Land"), his plays and articles have been published frequently and translated into many languages. His name has been commemorated in the Herzl Forests at Ben Shemen and Hulda; the world's first Hebrew gymnasium "Herzlia" which was established in Tel Aviv; the town of Herzliyya in the Sharon; and neighborhoods and streets in many Israeli towns and cities. To mark his visit to Erez Israel in 1898 Herzl planted a cypress tree on the land of Shmuel Broza, a settler in Motza near Jerusalem. By mistake it was assumed that the tree was a cedar, which became known as "Herzl's Cedar". During the riots of May 1921, the cypress was hacked down by Arabs from a village near Motza.
Max Nordau, (1849 - 1923) was a co-founder of the World Zionist Organization, philosopher, writer, orator, and physician. He was born in Pest, the son of Rabbi Gabriel Suedfeld, Nordau received a traditional Jewish education and remained an observant Jew until his eighteenth year, when he became a militant naturalist and evolutionist.
Initially he worked as a journalist but later decided to study medicine. In 1880 his studies took him to Paris where he opened a practice, even though it was in the literary field that he was to make a name for himself. Nordau was considered a controversial writer with his attacks on contemporary European art, social and political behavior. His Conventional Lies of Society, written in 1883 was an attack on irrationality, egotism and nihilism which he perceived as the evils of his time. By 1898 his works were translated into some 18 languages. Nordau's Zionist conversion was an experience not dissimilar to Herzl's and he admitted that the rising tide of antisemitism had brought him back to realize his duties towards the Jewish people. When Herzl met with Nordau, it took little persuasion to convince the latter of the worthiness of the Jewish State idea. Nordau soon became Herzl's partner in the Zionist movement playing a central role in defining the Basel program.. In November 1895 Herzl discussed his idea of a Jewish state with Nordau, after Emil Schiff, a friend concerned over his mental condition, advised him to see a psychiatrist. Far from declaring Herzl insane, however, Nordau concluded the consultation by saying: "If you are insane, we are insane together. Count on me!" To Nordau, the idea of a Jewish state appeared as a most welcome means for the implementation of his "solidaritarian" philosophy by Jews in the land of the Jews.
At the First Zionist Congress, Nordau gave the opening speech on the condition of the Jewish people, which subsequently became a tradition at later Zionist Congresses.
At the Sixth Zionist Congress, Nordau defended Herzl's Uganda plan arguing that they offered a temporary solution to the Jewish people's sufferings. It was he who coined the term nachtasyl (night shelter) to describe the Uganda plan. Following Herzl's death, Nordau was offered the position of President of the World Zionist Organization but he declined preferring instead to serve as advisor to David Wolffsohn. He opposed the growing trend towards practical Zionism remaining faithful to Herzl's political program.
Nordau distanced himself from the Zionist movement but not from the idea. He last attended a Zionist Congress in 1911 and although resident in Spain during the First World War tried to maintain contact with the movement throughout that period. Weizmann attempted to bring him back into the organization at the end of the War, however Nordau rejected the overtures believing that the movement was a shadow of what Herzl had intended it to be. In 1920 he raised the idea of evacuating half a million Jews from Europe to Eretz-Israel but no one took the idea seriously at that time. By then he had returned to Paris, where despite discussion of his immigration to Eretz-Israel he died after a long illness.