A voice in opposition to a Jewish nationalist state and in favour of self-determination for British-mandated Palestine
Hopes (with a warning)
The following reflection will be offensive to many who have grown up with the belief that Jewish security is dependent on the presence of a Jewish nationalist state based in the historic region occupied by ancient Hebrew people. However, as difficult as it is to read please be assured that the purpose of writing this reflection is to help build a future where the 11 million human beings in the troubled region of Israel and Palestine may find creative and sustainable ways to live in peace. Peace is based on attaining fundamental needs such as justice, security, meaning, identity and autonomy. A balanced interpretation of the history of the region is essential for this.
Purpose of this tribute
Sir Isaac Isaacs was one individual of the Jewish faith who stood against a Jewish nationalist state. The culmination of his views was published in a 63 page booklet ‘Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous’ (Ramsay Ware Publishing) 14 January 1946.
The purpose of this tribute is to remind the Jewish community of Sir Isaacs’ immense contribution and his bravery in presenting a voice in favour of self-determination for the human beings living in British-mandated Palestine as opposed forcibly creating a Jewish nationalist state.
This tribute is intended to raise some of the arguments Isaacs’ used during the time the Australian Jewish community debated in the 1940s how best to ensure the survival of the European Jewish community given atrocities being committed in Europe under Nazism and secondly given the long history of discrimination and acts of violence committed against the Jewish community in Europe.
Sir Isaac Isaacs – a background
Sir Isaac Isaacs (1855-1948) was Australia’s first Australian born Governor-General (1931-1936). He was a High Court Justice (1906-1930) and Chief Justice (1930-1931) and a member of the first Federal Parliament (1901-1906). He died in 1948 aged 92.
Isaacs was Jewish. After a long and distinguished legal career on his retirement Isaacs devoted a great deal of time to studying Jewish scriptures and conversing with Rabbi Jacob Danglow (1880-1962) of St Kilda Synagogue. It was during this time that Isaacs views against the creation of a Jewish state were publicly announced – a situation that has left Isaacs being remembered with mixed feeling by the Jewish community – respected in his legal prime but seen to have become detached from the mainstream Jewish community towards the end of his life.
1855 – Isaac Isaacs born in Melbourne, 6 August. He was the son of Alfred Isaacs (of Mlawa Congress Poland) who married Rebecca Abrahams in 1849 in London. The Isaacs moved to Melbourne given the opportunities following the gold rush.
1859-1872 – Isaacs educated in government schools in Yackandandah and Beechworth, Victoria. Grows up amongst Chinese immigrants. Learns some Chinese language.
1901-1906 – Isaacs elected as a member of the first Federal Parliament of Australia
1901- Issacs favoured the dictation test to limit the immigration of Asians to Australia as a way to keep Australia “white and…free for all time from the contaminating and degrading influence of inferior races”
- Isaacs favoured ending the “monstrosity” of importing Kanaka labour to work on sugar fields in Queensland given the oppressive nature
1906-1930 – Justice in the High Court
1931-1930 – Chief Justice of the High Court
1933 – 29 August speech on centenary of the British emancipation of slaves
1939 – MacDonald White Paper on Palestine – limits Jewish immigration
1941 – Alfred Harris (owner of the Hebrew Standard) produces editorials critical of political Zionism
- Isaacs enters the debate in the Hebrew Standard 6 November 1941.
- Isaacs ‘Extreme Zionism: A disclaimer and an appeal’ Hebrew Standard 20 November 1941.
- NSW Zionist State Council responds to Isaacs’ 20 Nov piece.
Hebrew Standard 4 December 1941
1942 – 29 December Inaugural meeting of the United Emergency Committee for the rescue of European Jewry (Sydney and Melbourne0 Julis Stone of Sydney University endorses the termination of the White Paper.
1943 – The Hebrew Standard publishes Isaac’s views on Political Zionism – 28 October, 4 and 11 November 1943. The Hebrew Standard publishes Julius Stone’s response 31 December 1943.
1946 – Isaac publishes Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous
1948 – Isaac dies 11 February in Melbourne aged 92
1960 – Lady Isaacs died in Bowral
1963 – Max Gordon publishes the biography “Sir Isaac Isaacs: A Life of Service
1968 – Marjorie Cohen (Isaacs daughter) dies – she leaves a son Thomas B Cohen
1967- Zelman Cohen’s first biography of Isaacs
1979 – Zelman Cowen’s second biography of Isaacs
2008 - 60th anniversary of Isaacs’ death
Isaacs’ position against a Jewish nationalist state (1941-48)
Isaacs attained notoriety because of his outspokenness against the proposal for a Jewish nationalist state as demonstrated in a series of letters published in the Hebrew Standard from 1941, in the Australian Jewish Outlook in 1947 as well as following the publication of his 63 page booklet ‘Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous’ (Ramsay Ware Publishing) 14 January 1946. Sir Isaacs died in 11 February 1948 two months before the creation of Israel and the collapse of a unitary Palestinian state.
Biographies of Sir Isaac Isaacs
Sir Isaac Isaacs was the subject of two biographies the first by Max Gordon in 1963 and the second by Zelman Cowen (who published one biography of Isaacs in 1967 and another in 1979). Godfrey Lee wrote an article on ‘The battle of the scholars: the debate between Sir Isaac Isaacs and Julius Stone over Zionism during World War 2’ Australian Journal of Politics and History, v.31, no.1, 1985: 128-134. All three authors were in favour of a Jewish nationalist state in that region and disagreed with Isaacs’ position against the forcible creation of such a state. This has meant the richness of Isaacs arguments against creating a Jewish nationalist state have been unfairly represented by these three biographies.
Isaacs’ arguments against a Jewish nationalist state
Isaacs main objections to Political Zionism were:-
1. “A negation of Democracy, and an attempt to revert to the Church-State of bygone ages.
2. Provocative anti-Semitism.
3. Unwarranted by the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate, or any other right; contrary to Zionist assurances to Britain and to the Arabs’ and in present conditions unjust to other Palestinians politically and to other religions.
4. As regards unrestricted immigration, a discriminatory and an undemocratic camouflage for a Jewish State.
5. An obstruction to the consent of the Arabs to the peaceful and prosperous settlement in Palestine of hundreds of thousands of suffering European Jews, the victims of Nazi atrocities; and provocative of Moslem antagonism within and beyond the Empire, and consequently a danger to its integrity and safety.
6. Inconsistent in demanding on one hand, on a basis of a separate Jewish nationality everywhere Jews are found, Jewish domination in Palestine, and at the same time claiming complete Jewish equality elsewhere than in Palestine, on the basis of a nationality common to the citizens of every faith.”
The National Library of Australia Collection of Sir Isaac Isaacs
The following are excerpts of manuscripts contained in the Sir Isaac Isaacs collection at the National Library of Australia. It is interesting to note that Sir Zelman Cowen placed a number of manuscripts in the Isaacs collection that was in fact more reflective of Julius Stone’s work. Placed there to contradict or contextualise Isaacs work.
The papers of Sir Isaac Isaacs received by the National Library in three parts. The major portion was deposited by Lady Isaacs in 1950. In 1968, after the death of Isaacs’ daughter Mrs Marjorie Cohen, a second group of papers was received from her son Thomas B. Cohen. A further collection, used by Sir Zelman Cowen for his biography Isaac Isaacs, was deposited in April 1970.
[Lady Isaacs died in Bowral 1960]
National Library of Australia Collection
Manuscript No. 1
Letter from Howard Boas of the Outlook Publishing Company publishers of ‘The Australian Jewish Outlook: A monthly review of Jewish Affairs’ 12 Howard St Perth WA to Sir Isaac Isaacs 56 Marne St South Yarra Victoria
9 September 1947
9 September 1947
[Dear Sir Isaac]
We are very appreciative of your help in supplying these very valuable articles and trust that you may be spared long to continue spreading the gospel in accordance with the light as you see it.
Yours very sincerely
A manuscript typed by Sir Isaac Isaacs in preparation for an Australian Outlook publication entitled ‘The Nationality of the Australian Jew’, 9 September 1947.
Having regard to public references made to the ‘Outlook” since it took its place in the Jewish press, it is plain that there is no more desirable or even necessary branch of its activities than that of making clear to all who do not fully apprehend, or who misapprehend the matter, what it holds to be the only attitude consistently maintainable of Australian Jews in respect of their nationality…
In respect of Palestine the [Political Zionist] claim is specially indefensible from a democratic point of view. There the Jews are in a minority, the Arabs are at least equally an ‘ethnical nationality’ and are in a majority. Political Zionism, notwithstanding all its declarations and demands perceives the fallacy of its position all too plainly. Hence the claim to control immigration so as to obtain a majority hence too the more violent groups in Palestine employing terrorism to obtain control. And hence the stand taken by ‘Australian Jewish Outlook’ to preserve Judaism in Australia in all its aspects, its basic principles, its morality, and its culture while maintaining our Australian political allegiance and patriotism perfect and unweakened by any doctrine of ‘nationality’ of a political nature in respect of Palestine under the name of ‘Eretz Israel’.
In a critique of the ‘Outlook’ by a representative organ of Political Zionism in Australia it is said that ‘we struggle for our Statehood on the soil of Palestine’’. It goes on to add ‘in the terms of the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate for Palestine ’. The addition may be summarily disposed of. In my pamphlet on ‘Political Zionism’ (pages 25 to 46) it is incontrovertibly shown by documentary evidence that those two instruments neither contain, nor were intended to contain any provision for Jewish ‘Statehood’ in Palestine. And further that the Zionist Organisation in writing agreed to that…In any case there is no warrant, legal, or moral for making Palestine a Jewish State, any more than an Arab State, but there is every reason for making it what the Mandate terms it, a Palestinian nationality, that is bi-national…
What our religious Faith comprehends (p. 4-5)
…I do not think I can better answer the objection than by quoting again a few lines from Danziger on Yochanan Ben Zakkai. Though himself heartbroken by the destruction of the Temple, he endeavoured to console his weeping disciples. He said ‘Weep not and dry your tears; the enemy hath destroyed the sanctuary of brick and mortar, but the true altar of the Lord, the place of forgiveness, is with us yet. Would you know where? Behold in the homes of the poor, there is the altar; love, charity, mercy and justice are the offerings, the sweet incense which pleases the Lord, Love ye one another, and ye shall find mercy and forgiveness.’ Then cried they, ‘But, O Master, the sanctuary of the Lord is destroyed, Israel has disappeared, and therefore the Lord’s presence no longer abides with us’ Say not so, my children, said the Saint.’ Whithersoever the people of the Lord go, thither the holy presence goes with them’, Hillel spoke prophetically, says Danziger .
Is Judaism a creed or a race?
For me Judaism is a creed not a race. A fortress mentality exists whereby many members of the Jewish community feel so threatened that they perceive themselves as a race. This is wrong. Take for example other groups. Zororastrians. Parsis are descended from Persian Zororastrians. Zororastrians fled from Persia in the 700-900s following religious persecution . They were allowed to settle in India. They have avoided intermarriage with the local Indian population for centuries. But does that make them a race. It makes them an ethnic group but not a race.
In the alternative if it was agreed that a Jew is part of a racial group then so what consider the 10,000 ethnic groups of the world. If there are 10,000 ethnic groups in the world and there only 200 countries. That means that only two percent of ‘nations’ have their own country. This figure itself is inflated given it includes multi ethnic countries like the United States, Canada, Australia. What about Africa? 52 countries with each country containing numerous tribal groups. Does this satisfy the nation test?
People consider that they are part of their own race since they have avoided intermarriage with the local population.]
National Library of Australia Collection
Folder signed by Julius Stone
Julius Stone manuscript 1.
Manuscript about Jewish refugees who arrived in Palestine in November 1940 and witnessed the sinking of the Patria who were sent to Mauritius by the British mandate authorities arriving there in December 1940.
Julius Stone Manuscript 2
Documents from the United Jewish Emergency Committee c. 1942 detailing the fate of 1500 refugees sent to Mauritius after having tried to enter Palestine illegally. They were allegedly allowed to leave Germany to embarrass the British government, because of Britain’s policy on limiting Jewish emigration to Palestine.
Julius Stone Manuscript 3.
31 December 1943
Julius Stone’s (4 Ortona Rd Lindfield) letter to the Hebrew Standard
In response to Isaacs views on Political Zionism – 28 October, 4 and 11 November 1943
Julius Stone Manuscript 4.
Julius Stone’s (from UYSYD Law School) letter to Dr Evatt (Parliament House, Canberra)
6 December 1943
Dear Mr Evatt,
I believe that, busy as you are, the series of article of which I send you the first, will be of interest to you. Before beginning the series I tried, with humility, to ask myself what the late Mr Justice Brandeis would have done in face of the situation which Sir Isaac has produced; a situation in which he is feeding materials to certain tendencies of the ‘Sydney Bulletin’. I have tried to act as, I believe, on the grounds of true scholarship alone, Brandeis would have acted. You will find attached to the printed material two foolscap pages which state Brandeis’ position in this whole matter. May I commend it to you? I know Brandeis’ intellectual stature commanded your respect, as it has always commandeered my own deepest respect and admiration.
Julius Stone knew that Evatt respected US Justice Brandeis, so he gave him copies of Brandeis’ position on the Jewish national home.]
Julius Stone Manuscript 5.
Julius Stone’s talk to Aliya 1943
Julius Stone Manuscript 6.
Newspaper article to the Bermuda Conference 1943
National Library of Australia Collection
Manuscript No. 2
Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous
Ramsay Ware Publishing
14 January 1946
63 page booklet
Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs KC PC GCB GCMG Associate Knight of St John of Jerusalem
‘We are bound together only by the faith of our fathers’ (Theodor Herzl in his ‘Jewish State’)
No more urgent and delicate task awaits the statesmanship of the United Nations, and particularly of the British Empire and the United States of America, than the solution of the problem in Palestine…
The problem is many sided. It concerns directly and indirectly not alone the pressing necessities of finding there and elsewhere peaceful and humanitarian habitations for hundreds of thousands of Jewish victims of unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the Nazis and their accomplices, but it extends to the present rights of a still greater number of Arab inhabitants of Palestine, who constitute a majority of the population, and through them it touches the integrity and safety of our Empire and the preservation of peace…
Arab resistance to Jewish domination in Palestine has the firm and powerful support of the whole Moslem world, including 90 millions in India. Any attempt to establish Jewish dominance would inevitably lead to bloodshed and threaten not merely the prestige but even the integrity and safety of the Empire.
A most serious responsibility therefore for affording a just and acceptable basis for a peaceful and harmonious solution rests primarily on the shoulders of Political Zionism because it is actively pressing for political measures intended to swamp the Arab population…
To persist in its present demands would naturally exasperate all Islam…
Many political Zionists, and I believe a considerable proportion of them, are genuinely sincere in their advocacy of the movement. But their sincerity and their ardour and belief in its propriety does not relieve the movement itself as an ideology from the serious objections of the Movement err from various causes, as from lack of knowledge of relevant and inescapable facts, inaccurate judgment, want of appreciation of relative values, or concentration of vision solely on the appalling and sadistic persecution of European Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices to the mistaken exclusion of other material and most serious considerations, thereby obscuring the real character of Political Zionism. Hence arises the in ability to see and understand the injustice, the imminent dangers public and private, the moral obligation toward other peoples and other faiths, and other objections that when the facts are known and properly appraised, are inseparable from the attempt to attain the political aspirations of the movement.
‘What is political Zionism?’ the reader ask. ‘Wherein does it differ from other Zionism?’ it may further be asked. The answer is that Political Zionism to which I am irrevocably opposed for the reasons which will be found clearly stated, must be sharply distinguished from religious and cultural Zionism to which I am strongly attached. The first is to make all of Palestine directly or indirectly a ‘Jewish State’ – or as it is sometimes termed, a ‘Jewish Commonwealth’ – a distinction without a difference. The latter is a Zionism and only the Zionism prefigured by the Balfour Declaration of 1917. This clearly appears from history and words of that historic Instrument when they are fairly considered. It is established beyond question in my opinion by the authorative representative of the Declaration by the British Government, including Lord Balfour himself, and interpretation deliberately assented to by the Zionist Organisation.
The political interpretation now insisted by Political Zionism is utterly inconsistent with the assurances given to the Arabs in 1918 by the Zionist leader Dr Weizmann and then accepted by them. It is contrary to the assurance given alter to the world by Dr Weizmann and by Lord Balfour personally on two notable occasions…and with repeated statements of British Minister for 23 years as well as with the conclusions of two great Commissions. The compact which by Zionist acceptance of Mr Churchill’s White Paper of June 19, 1922, rejected the notion of imposing a Jewish nationality on Palestine as a whole and defined the term ‘a Jewish national home in Palestine’ has recently – in June, 1945 – been openly admitted by the British Zionist leader, Dr Weizmann, as governing the situation. It is, however, given by him a totally wrong interpretation calculated by reason of its political implications to stiffen Arab resistance to any extensive Jewish immigration into Palestine.
These facts appear in this brochure, with complete verification. Nevertheless, the Zionist movement as a whole, passing by these recorded facts, now places its own unwarranted interpretation on the Balfour Declaration, and makes demands that are arousing the antagonism of the Moslem world of nearly 400 millions, thereby menacing the safety of our Empire, endangering world peace and imperiling some of the most sacred associations of the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem faiths. Besides their inherent injustice to others these demands would, I believe, seriously and detrimentally affect the general position of Jews throughout the world.
[Isaacs analogy if each Australian state was a different Christian denomination and immigration was placed in the hands of one denomination – is this democratic?]
Summarising my objections…the demands of Political Zionism are:-
7. A negation of Democracy, and an attempt to revert to the Church-State of bygone ages.
8. Provocative anti-Semitism.
9. Unwarranted by the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate, or any other right; contrary to Zionist assurances to Britain and to the Arabs’ and in present conditions unjust to other Palestinians politically and to other religions.
10. As regards unrestricted immigration, a discriminatory and an undemocratic camouflage for a Jewish State.
11. An obstruction to the consent of the Arabs to the peaceful and prosperous settlement in Palestine of hundreds of thousands of suffering European Jews, the victims of Nazi atrocities; and provocative of Moslem antagonism within and beyond the Empire, and consequently a danger to its integrity and safety.
12. Inconsistent in demanding on one hand, on a basis of a separate Jewish nationality everywhere Jews are found, Jewish domination in Palestine, and at the same time claiming complete Jewish equality elsewhere than in Palestine, on the basis of a nationality common to the citizens of every faith.
B. Negation of Democracy
C. The necessary implications of a ‘Jewish State’
“If the doctrine of nationalities has any serious meaning, it is this—that all States ought to be composed of one sole race, of peoples of the same origin, and speaking the same language. On these conditions, no State would have the right to exist. To desire the application of such a theory in order to realise it we must retrograde for a thousand years”. Jastrow, pp. 107ff, is exactly in line with Professor Holland. Here as else where, unless otherwise indicated, emphasis in type is mine.
D. Political Exclusion of Non-Jews
If Palestine were constitutionally declared a “Jewish State”, no Arab, whether Moslem or Christian, no Christian, no Christian of whatsoever race or denomination, could become a first-class citizen having constitutionally political or civil or even religious rights except by
Chapter II Provocative of Anti-semitism
A. A Policy of Segregation
B. The Rise of Modern Political Zionism
C. Herzl’s admission as to Anti-Semitism
D. What he did not foresee
E. The Earl of Listowel
F. Dr Julian Morgenstern
Then referring to present-day Zionism he says: ‘It has run the entire gamut of racial nationalism from the, as we now see, very modest hope of restoration of Palestine as the centre of a new, positive, and intensive Jewish cultural life to the extreme theory of Jewish nationalism practically identical with Nazist and Fascist theory, which holds that the bonds of Jewish racial nationalism are eternally indissoluble, that there can only be ever only one Jewish homeland, only one land in which the Jew can ever feel himself completely at home, that eternally he is a member of the Jewish racial nation, however that term may be defined, that he resides among the nations, as at present, only as a temporary sojourner, that he is in Diaspora, in ‘Galut’, in exile, and that Israel’s redemption from the sad fate of the last 1500 years or even the last 2500 years will be only when it will be restored to the role of completely and predominately Jewish independent statehood in Palestine, in whatever form and however achieved this Statehood may take, Commonwealth, Republic, or Dominion’.
G. Official Statement Regarding Political Zionism
H. A Divided Allegiance
Jerusalem Jaffa case
‘the purpose of the article is to secure that in fulfilling the duty which is incumbent upon every Government to safeguard the rights from time to time belonging to the inhabitants of the territory the Mandatory shall not discriminate in favour of persons of any one religion or race.’
B. The Responsibility of Political Zionism
C. The Mandate disregarded by Political Zionism
E. History of the Balfour Declaration
F. Negotiations with the British Government
Folder 4 contd.
Zelman Cowen/Julius Stone Manuscript
Juliys Stone 1944:
“Stand up and be counted!” An open letter to the Rt Hon Sir Isaac Isaacs on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Jewish National Home
This open letter was prepared in November and December 1943 and finally revised at the beginning of January 1944.
This copy had Julius Stone’s handwriting and was signed to Zelman Cowen “in case it might…”
Sir Isaac Isaacs
Isaacs, Sir Isaac. ‘Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous’ (Ramsay Ware Publishing) 14 January 1946.
Isaacs, Isaac. Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, 12th Sept 1901 p.4845; Cowen, Isaac Isaacs, 1967, p. 82.
Gordon, Max. Sir Isaac Isaacs: A Life of Service (Heinemann: Melbourne) 1963.
Cowen, Sir Zelman. Isaac Isaacs (Oxford University Press) 1967
Cowen, Sir Zelman. Sir Isaac Isaacs (Melbourne University Press) 1979
L/ KB15.I/C1/1; S 994.04/105
Isaac Isaacs. National Library Australia
Lee, Godfrey S. The battle of the scholars: the debate between Sir Isaac Isaacs and Julius Stone over Zionism during World War 2. Australian Journal of Politics and History, v.31, no.1, 1985: 128-134
Gollancz, Victor. Let my people go : some practical proposals for dealing with Hitler's massacre of the Jews and an appeal to the British public. 1942 L/ KC1355.1/G1/1
Brandeis, Louis. The Jewish Problem, How to Solve It. 1915
Australian Jewish Historical Society
Turnbull, Malcolm J (1999) ‘Chapter 6: Aspects of Jewish Life in Australia’. Safe Haven: Records of the Jewish Experience in Australia
Cowen, Z. “Isaac Isaacs” Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 14 Issue 2 Page 277-305, August 1968
Turnbull, Malcolm J (1999) Safe Haven: Records of the Jewish Experience in Australia. http://sites.archivenet.gov.au/naaresources/publications/research_guides/guides/haven/menus/chapter1.htm
Malcolm Turnball can be contacted on (03) 9481 3924 or at email@example.com
My World as a Jew: The Memoirs of Israel Goldstein
Brief History of Australian Jewry. The University of Sydney.
Early Australian Zionism (1894-1927)
Michael Kirby, Sir Isaac Isaacs – A Sesquicentary reflection,
Kirby, Michael. Sir Isaac Isaacs - a sesquicentenary reflection [online]. Melbourne University Law Review, v.29, no.3, Dec 2005: 880-904. Availability:
Rutland, Suzanne D. 1948 and the creation of the state of Israel: a watershed period for Australian Zionism. Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, v.18, 2004: (97)-124
S 305.892405/3 Vol. 5, no. 1 (1991)-
Hyams, Bernard. Australian Zionism: ideas and debate in the pre/ Balfour period. Journal (Australian Jewish Historical Society), v.13, no.3, Nov 1996: 416-423
Apple, Raymond. Isaacs and Monash: the Jewish connection. Journal (Australian Jewish Historical Society), v.11, no.6, June 1993: 985-999
Honig, Eliyahu. Sir John Monash and his Zionism. Menorah (Australia), v.4, nos 1-2, Dec 1990: (78)-92
Graham, Caroline. The Labor Party and the founding of Israel. Arena (North Carlton, Vic), no.94, Autumn 1991: 30-35
Rubinstein, W. D. The Australian Jewish Outlook and the last phase of opposition to ' political Zionism' in Australia, 1947/ 1948. Jews in the Sixth Continent. (1987): 303-321
Levi, John S. Doubts and fears: Zionism and Rabbi Jacob Danglow. Jews in the Sixth Continent. (1987): 151-168
Crown, Alan D. The initiatives and influences in the development of Australian Zionism, 1850-1948. Australian Jewish Historical Society. Journal of Proceedings, v.8, 1979: 313-336
Sources of the debate
Hebrew Standard of Australasia
Hebrew Standard of Australia. First published in 1895 in Sydney embroiled in controversy from the 1920’s through to the 1940’s because of the anti-Zionist stance of the editor Alfred Harris. Rival papers developed including the Australian Jewish Chronicle and the Sydney Jewish News. In 1952 the Harris family sold the paper which was renamed the Jewish Times. http://judaica.library.usyd.edu.au/bibliography/bibliography.html
State Library of NSW (NSL:M) 296.06/1 1936/37
The University of Sydney. University of Sydney Library (NU) Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 1, 1895)-v. 56, no. 25 (Dec. 28, 1950) 296.05/32 F.MIC
Australian Jewish Outlook
Perth, W.A. : The Outlook Publishing Co., 1947-1948.
The Australian Jewish Outlook (May 1947-September 1948) provided a forum for anti-Zionist views. Its founder and editor was Harold Boas. The journal had so little support it transferred operations to Melbourne and the majority of its sales were to anti-Zionists in the eastern. http://judaica.library.usyd.edu.au/bibliography/bibliography.html
The Australian Jewish Outlook (May 1947-September 1948) provided a forum for anti-Zionist views. Its founder and editor was Harold Boas.
State Library NSW - M Q296.05/2 Vol. 1, no. 10 (Feb. 1948)-v. 2, no. 4 (Sept. 1948)
National Library of Australia - N 296.05 AUS Vol. 1, no. 1-v. 2, no. 4 May 1947-Sept. 1948
Archive of Australian Judaica (USYD)
University of Sydney Library
Shelf List 26 – Julius Stone
The controversy with Sir Isaac Isaacs from Hebrew Standard clippings over several years and correspondence and papers.
Harold Boas = Shelf list 37
Writings by Harold Boas. My Jewish Life and Associations; Father and Sons; Fanny Herman: A Daughter in Israel (1967);
Shelf list : 47 Source : Godfrey LEE Housing : 1 folder Period: 1939 - 1948
Godrey Lee is an educationalist and Holocaust historian. His papers, which include some typescripts span the crisis of World Jewry and the role played by the Australian community during the Second World War, and its aftermath.
Godfrey Lee turned 80 in 2007
Godfrey Lee: Rescue or Rhetoric? Australian Jewry’s Reactions during the Holocaust. AAJS 1988 Conference
Australian Association of Jewish Studies
Call for papers by 8 Septmember
Lee, Godfrey S. The battle of the scholars: the debate between Sir Isaac Isaacs and Julius Stone over Zionism during World War 2. Australian Journal of Politics and History, v.31, no.1, 1985: 128-134
Gollancz, Victor, (1893-1967) Let my people go: some proposals for dealing with Hitler’s massacre of the Jews and an appeal to the British public (London) 1942
Prominent Australian Jews who favoured a secular multiethnic democratic Palestinian state as opposed to a Jewish state [Anti-Zionist Jews / pro-democracy Jews]
Sir Archie Michaelis (1889-1975) an anti-Zionist and public defender of Isaacs helped fund the Outlook.
Australian Dictionary of Biography http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150422b.htm
Rabbi Jacob Danglow (1880-1962) another anti-zionist. States.
Australian Dictionary of Biography
Sir Isaac Isaacs
Just 19 listed
Benjamin Cardoza (1870-1938) unsympathetic to Zionism USA
The World of Benjamin Cardozo: Personal Values and the Judicial Process
Rabbi Elmer Berger (1908-1996)
Naseer Aruri A tribute to Rabbi Elmer Berger
Aruri, Naseer. A Jewish Thinker in the Tradition of Humanistic Universalism. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Jan/Feb 1997.
Berger, Elmer. Zionist Ideology: Obstacle to peace. 1978
Alfred M. Lilienthal
The Zionist Connection
Israel’s Flag is not mine. Readers Digest. 1949.
Intellectual Jews opposing Zionism include Elmer Berger, Norton Mezvinsky, Mosh Menuhin, Mick Ashley, Israel Shahak and Maxime Rodinson.
Criticisms of Dr Weizmann and Ben Gurion (Gordon p. 197)
Jews who believed Jewry was a faith compared with a political creed
Rufus Isaacs (Lord Reading) (Gordon p. 198)
Viscount Herbert Samuel (Gordon p. 198)
The Jewish Problem, How to Solve It. 1915
Zionism seeks to establish in Palestine, for such Jews as choose to go and
remain there, and for their descendants, a legally secured home, where they may live together and lead a Jewish life, where they may expect ultimately to constitute a majority of the population, and may look forward to what we should call home rule. The Zionists seek to establish this home in Palestine because they are convinced that the undying longing of Jews for Palestine is a fact of deepest significance; that it is a manifestation in the struggle for existence by an ancient people which has established its right to live, a people whose three thousand years of civilization has produced a faith, culture and individuality which enable it to contribute largely in the future, as it has in the past, to the advance of civilization; and that it is not a right merely but a duty of the Jewish nationality to survive and develop.
Brandeis refers to the
The rebirth of the Jewish nation is no longer a mere dream. It is in process of
accomplishment in a most practical way, and the story is a wonderful one. A
generation ago a few Jewish emigrants from Russia and from Romania, instead of proceeding westward to this hospitable country where they might easily have secured material prosperity, turned eastward for the purpose of settling in the land of their fathers.
To the worldly-wise these efforts at colonization appeared very foolish.
Nature and man presented obstacles in Palestine which appeared almost insuperable; and the colonists were in fact ill-equipped for their task, save in their spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice. The land, harassed by centuries of misrule, was treeless and apparently sterile; and it was infested with malaria. The Government offered them no security, either as to life or property. The colonists themselves were not only unfamiliar with the character of the country, but were ignorant of the farmer’s life which they proposed to lead; for the Jews of Russia and Romania had been generally denied the opportunity of owning or working land. Furthermore, these colonists were not inured to the physical hardships to which the life of a pioneer is necessarily subjected. To these hardships and to malaria many succumbed. Those who survived
were long confronted with failure. But at last success came. Within a generation these Jewish Pilgrim Fathers, and those who followed them, have succeeded in establishing these two fundamental propositions:
First: That Palestine is fit for the modern Jew.
Second: That the modern Jew is fit for Palestine.
Over forty self-governing Jewish colonies attest to this remarkable achievement.
Talks of Palestine but no mention of the impact on the indigenous population
Brandeis fall out with Weizmann as resigned in 1921.
Zelman Cowen’s unfavourable portrayal of Isaacs – on the issue of Palestine (1967 and 1979)
It is obvious Zelman Cowen was a great admirer of Sir Isaac Isaacs, given two substantial biographies on the man -- one in 1967 and the other in 1979. However, unfortunately Zelman’s bias to the creation of a Jewish nationalist state coloured his view of Isaacs.
“But it is fair to say that Issac’s arguments were grotesquely overstated and were unbalanced.”
Zelman sees Arab Palestinians were provoked by anti-Semitism as opposed to anger at being disempowered by the recent arrival of European jews to British-mandate Palestine.
John Levi’s unfavourable portrayal of Isaacs in his biography on Rabbi Danglow (1995)
John Levi attacks Isaac’s character, intellect and sympathy for the atrocities being committed by Nazism to European Jews (p234-235)
“Apparently oblivious to the slaughter of the trapped Jews of Europe, Isaacs later resumed his attack on political Zionism in four consecutive issues of Sydney’s Hebrew Standard”.
“The outbursts of Sir Isaacs was truly indefensible. His extremism has polarized the community.”
Danglow defends Isaacs character following an attack by Abe Landa the NSW state member for Bondi - Jewish Herald 1, 8 August 1942.
Danglow fails to sign the Zionist Movements ‘A call to Australian Jewry’, February 1943 (p. 240)
Words of Danglow at the Armistice Day address in 1944 following the :
“Jewish Nationalism, can only prove a source of sorrow, humiliation and disillusionment to the Jewish people. Zion would be redeemed in God’s good time, not by terrorism not by force, but by justice and righteousness”
Other quotations by John Levi
Sir Raphael Cilento described by John S Levi As “anti-Jewish bigotry”
John Levi describes story of internment of ‘enemy aliens’. In many ways this parallels the plight of Afghan and Iraqi and Palestinian refugees to Australia under the Howard government in the 1990s until 2007 (p.226)