Jewish & Other Nationalisms
IN HIS famous Auto-Emancipation, published in 1882, Leo Pinsker urged his fellow Jews to make a great moral and practical effort and thereby re-embody the long disembodied ghost of their nationality. They were to create, not necessarily in Palestine, but somewhere, a permanent, autonomous, physical home. This effort, he felt, was not only a necessary condition of Jewish dignity and survival: it was also favored by the particular historical circumstances of the 19th century in Europe. “The general history of the present day,” he wrote, “seems destined to become our ally. In a few decades we have seen rising into new life nations which, at an earlier time, would not have dared to dream of a resurrection. The dawn is already breaking through the darkness of traditional statecraft. The governments already incline their ears-where it cannot be avoided- to the clamor of the awakening self-consciousness of nationalities.” In this essay I would like to consider and comment upon these remarks of Pinsker: to say something on the general subject of Jewish and other European nationalism.
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