The plan would seem mad enough if a single individual were to undertake
it; but if many Jews simultaneously agree on it, it is entirely reasonable, and its
achievement presents no difficulties worth mentioning. The idea depends only on the number
of its adherents. Perhaps our ambitious young men, to whom every road of advancement is
now closed, and for whom the Jewish state throws open a bright prospect of freedom,
happiness, and honor perhaps they will see to it that this idea is spread. . .
It depends on the Jews themselves whether this political document
remains for the present a political romance. If this generation is too dull to understand
it rightly, a future, finer, more advanced generation will arise to comprehend it. The
Jews who will try it shall achieve their State; and they will deserve it. . .
I consider the Jewish question neither a social nor a religious one,
even though it sometimes takes these and other forms. It is a national question, and to
solve it we must first of all establish it as an international political problem to be
discussed and settled by the civilized nations of the world in council.
We are a people one people.
We have sincerely tried everywhere to merge with the national
communities in which we live, seeking only to preserve the faith of our fathers. It is not
permitted us. In vain are we loyal patriots, sometimes superloyal; in vain do we make the
same sacrifices of life and property as our fellow citizens; in vain do we strive to
enhance the fame of our native lands in the arts and sciences, or her wealth by trade and
commerce. In our native lands where we have lived for centuries we are still decried as
aliens, often by men whose ancestors had not yet come at a time when Jewish sighs had long
been heard in the country. . .
Oppression and persecution cannot exterminate us. No nation on earth
has endured such struggles and sufferings as we have. Jew-baiting has merely winnowed out
our weaklings; the strong among us defiantly return to their own whenever persecution
breaks out. . . Wherever we remain politically secure for any length of time, we
assimilate. I think this is not praiseworthy. . .
Palestine is our unforgettable historic homeland. . . Let me repeat
once more my opening words: The Jews who will it shall achieve their State. We shall live
at last as free men on our own soil, and in our own homes peacefully die. The world will
be liberated by our freedom, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And
whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to
the good of all mankind.