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Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948

Thomas Kolsky

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xi

The American Council for Judaism was the only American Jewish organization ever formed for the specific purpose of fighting Zionism and opposing the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. In the 1940s, when the Zionists were engaged in a decisive struggle to create a Jewish...

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Chapter 1: Zionism and Its Reform: Jewish Critichs in America Before World War II

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pp. 1-36

There is a story, probably an apocryphal one, that a few days before the first Zionist congress in 1897, the historian Joseph Klausner asked an American rabbi whether there were any Zionists in the United States. "Yes," replied the rabbi, "there are two. A mad man named Stephen Wise and a mad woman, Henrietta Szold1 ...

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Chapter 2: The Rebellion of the Dissident Reform Rabbis

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pp. 37-56

The extraordinary intensification of Zionist activities in the United States after the outbreak of the war in Europe in 1939 provoked an American Jewish anti-Zionist reaction. Its most serious manifestation was the emergence in 1942 of a Reform rabbinical resistance movement against Zionism, in reaction to passage by the CCAR of a resolution favoring creation of a ...

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Chapter 3: The Formation of the American Council for Judaism

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pp. 57-86

Thirteen rabbis assembled at Wolsey's Temple Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia on 2 November 1942 to explore plans for creating a formal organiza public-relations expert and former employee of the AJe, who brought along a proposal for immediate action. Describing their movement as the last stand against the rapid progress of Zionism, Wallach warned the rabbis of ...

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Chapter 4: The Council's Wartime Anti-Zionist Campaign

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pp. 87-106

By the end of August 1943, both sides were mobilized. The publication of the Council's platform during the American Jewish Conference sparked open political warfare between anti-Zionists and Zionists. With their objectives clearly defined, both sides embarked on campaigns to win support for their respective causes as well as to discredit their opponents. Several acri ...

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Chapter 5: Between War and Peace

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pp. 107-128

In 1945, the year World War II ended and the Palestine question resurfaced as a serious international problem, the Council experienced its maximum growth. Elmer Berger traveled across the country for almost six months, working incessantly to help organize local ACJ branches. As a result of his and Rosenwald's efforts, the Council grew from 9 to 23 chapters and its ...

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Chapter 6: The Search for Compromise in Palestine

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pp. 129-158

Between January 1946 and February 1947, the Palestine question emerged as a major international problem. The period began on a promising note, with the United States and Great Britain cooperating in an effort to find a of which had been announced simultaneously on 13 November 1945 by President Harry Truman and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, was a joint ...

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Chapter 7: The Emergence of Israel

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pp. 159-188

On 18 February 1947, Ernest Bevin officially informed the House of Commons of the British cabinet's decision to refer the Palestine question to the United Nations. This decision ushered in the final phase of the struggle for Palestine, fifteen months of dramatic political, diplomatic, and military developments that culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel in ...

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Epilogue and Conclusion

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pp. 189-202

One week after the Israeli declaration of independence, the Council officially accepted the reality of the Jewish state. At the same time, however, it clearly dissociated itself from that state. To American Jews, the ACJ declared, Israel was neither the state nor the homeland of "the Jewish peopIe." It was simply a foreign state. Distrustful of Israel and Zionists, the ACJ ...


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pp. 203-212


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pp. 213-252

Bibliographical Note

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pp. 253-256


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pp. 257

E-ISBN-13: 9781439903759

Publication Year: 2010