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This article is about the political movement. For the Italian school of town and country planning, see Territorialist School. For other uses, see Territory (disambiguation).

Territorialism, also known as Statism (though not to be confused with the political philosophy of the same name), was a Jewish political movement calling for creation of a sufficiently large and compact Jewish territory (or territories), not necessarily in the Land of Israel and not necessarily fully autonomous.

Development of territorialism[edit]

The first instance of what might be termed Territorialsm, though the term did not yet exist, much predated Zionism. In 1825 the playwright, diplomat and journalist, Mordecai Manuel Noah - the first Jew born in the United States to reach national prominence - tried to found a Jewish "refuge" at Grand Island in the Niagara River, to be called "Ararat," after Mount Ararat, the Biblical resting place of Noah's Ark. He purchased land on Grand Island - then on the frontier of white settlement - for $4.38 per acre, in order to build a refuge for Jews of all nations.[1] He had brought with him a cornerstone which read "Ararat, a City of Refuge for the Jews, founded by Mordecai M. Noah in the Month of Tishri, 5586 (September, 1825) and in the Fiftieth Year of American Independence." However, the scheme failed to attract Noah's fellow Jews. It began and ended with the ceremonial laying of that cornerstone.

Before 1905 some Zionist leaders took seriously proposals for Jewish homelands in places other than Palestine. Theodor Herzl's Der Judenstaat argued for a Jewish state in either Palestine, "our ever-memorable historic home", or Argentina, "one of the most fertile countries in the world". Many of the socialist Zionist groups were more territorialist than Zionist, such as Nachman Syrkin's Zionist Socialist Workers Party (the Z.S.).

The Jewish Colonization Association, created in 1891 by the Baron Maurice de Hirsch, was aimed at facilitating mass emigration of Jews from Russia and other Eastern European countries, by settling them in agricultural colonies on lands purchased by the committee, particularly in North and South America (especially Argentina).

In 1903 British cabinet ministers suggested the British Uganda Program, land for a Jewish state in "Uganda" (actually in modern Kenya). Herzl initially rejected the idea, preferring Palestine, but after the April 1903 Kishinev pogrom Herzl introduced a controversial proposal to the Sixth Zionist Congress to investigate the offer as a temporary measure for Russian Jews in danger. Notwithstanding its emergency and temporary nature, the proposal still proved very divisive, and widespread opposition to the plan was demonstrated by a walkout led by the Russian Jewish delegation to the Congress. Few historians believe that such a settlement scheme could have attracted immigrants, Jewish financial support, or international political support. Since there was strong support on the part of some members of the Zionist leadership, however, peace was kept in the movement by the time-honored parliamentary maneuver of voting to establish a committee for the investigation of the possibility, which was not finally dismissed until the 7th Zionist Congress in 1905.[2]

In response to this, the Jewish Territorialist Organization (ITO) led by Israel Zangwill split off from the Zionist movement. It attempted to locate territory suitable for Jewish settlement in various parts of America (e.g. Galveston), Africa, Asia, and Australia, but with little success. The ITO was dissolved in 1925.[dubious ]

In pre-1917 the Zionist Socialist Workers Party also took up the idea, combining it with a strong Socialist Revolutionary orientation, and for a time had a considerable influence among Russian Jews.

After the October Revolution there was in the USSR a Territorialist effort in Ukraine, the Crimea and then in a region surrounding Birobidzhan, where a Jewish Autonomous Region was established in 1934.[3] (The Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAO) (Russian: Евре́йская автоно́мная о́бласть, Yevreyskaya avtonomnaya oblast; Yiddish: ייִדישע אווטאָנאָמע געגנט, yidishe avtonome gegnt‎) is still today an autonomous oblast situated in Russia's far east.) In the United States, the Organization for Jewish Colonization in Russia worked to encourage the emigration and settlement of Jews there.

In the face of the looming Nazi genocide, Isaac Nachman Steinberg established the Freeland League for Jewish Territorial Colonization in the United States in 1935. This organization attempted, unsuccessfully, to pursue Jewish autonomy by obtaining a large piece of territory in sparsely populated areas in Ecuador, Australia, or Surinam. One of the more well-known ventures was the Kimberley Plan, to secure land in Australia.[4] The Kimberley Plan was officially vetoed on 15 July 1944 by Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin, who informed Steinberg that the Australian government would not "depart from the long-established policy in regard to alien settlement in Australia" and could not "entertain the proposal for a group settlement of the exclusive type contemplated by the Freeland League".[5]

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Steinberg criticized the exclusivist politics of the Israeli government and continued his attempts to create a non-nationalist Jewish settlement in some other region of the world. After Steinberg's death in 1957 the Freeland League was led by Mordkhe Schaechter, who gradually changed the focus of the organization to more cultural, Yiddishist goals.

Territorialism in popular culture[edit]

The 2007 alternate history detective story The Yiddish Policemen's Union by American author Michael Chabon, inspired by the 1939 Slattery Report and based on the premise that after World War II, a temporary Yiddish-speaking settlement for Jewish refugees was established in Alaska in 1941 while the State of Israel was destroyed shortly after its creation in 1948, can be considered a Territorialist alternate history (though the writer does not necessarily share the ideology of the Territorialist movement).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Image of the City of Ararat (Grand Island, NY) Image in 1825, a Pivotal Year on the Niagara Frontier on New York Heritage
  2. ^ Seventh Congress - Basle, 1905 (Jewish Virtual Library)
  3. ^ Territorialism (Jewish Virtual Library)
  4. ^ A Jewish colony in the Kimberleys
  5. ^ Steinberg, Isaac Nachman (1888 - 1957) by Beverley Hooper, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 16, Melbourne University Press, 2002, pp 298-299. Online Ed. published by Australian National University

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorialism — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

456 news items

The Times of Israel

The Times of Israel
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:26:15 -0700

But he famously fell out of love with Zionism and transferred his affections and enthusiasms to Territorialism, suggesting any number of alternative homes for the Jews of the Diaspora. In 1905 he founded the Jewish Territorialist Organization, which ...

Jadaliyya

Jadaliyya
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:00:00 -0700

I seek to question the provincialism, territorialism, and culturalism that continue to suffuse so much modern intellectual history and certain currents of postcolonial theory. Tendencies within each continue to reproduce dubious notions about necessary ...
 
AdAge.com
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 04:03:45 -0700

It's usually not out of malice or territorialism (although perhaps in rare cases). Sometimes it may be due to differences of opinion, but more often than not, it's because they're quite simply different disciplines, operating with two completely ...

Fashion & Style

Fashion & Style
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 07:48:45 -0700

'NCIS: LA' Season 6 Spoilers: Showrunner Teases 'Very Intense' Premiere, Kensi's Territorialism Over Deeks, Death For Sam And Callen? [VIDEO]. SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LATEST NEWS FROM FASHION&STYLE. ncis los angeles talia kensi.
 
Business Insider
Sat, 20 Aug 2011 09:40:26 -0700

A few years ago, Tom Rieger was confronted with a mystery. He'd been called in to help some organizations that were, in their words, "stuck." These organizations were seemingly well-managed, but they still struggled with high employee turnover, low ...
 
RDH
Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:07:30 -0700

What disturbs me more than the territorialism is the dental assistant's behavior. Who made her the office police? What was the real reason she chose to create resentment between you and your coworker? Who would have guessed that her little bit of juicy ...
 
Lexology (registration)
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 07:17:03 -0700

The purpose of an anti-suit injunction is to restrain respondents from commencing or continuing proceedings in another jurisdiction. Anti-suit injunctions are an important, and frequently required, judicial tool within the BVI. The growing number of ...

The New Yorker

The New Yorker
Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:07:30 -0700

He has written about how he is pained when he reads articles in American publications (including this one) criticizing Israel, picking nits, under Jewish bylines, as if “being Jewish in America means recoiling from military power territorialism ...
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