Sir Isaac Isaacs, ninth Governor-General of Australia and the first Australian-born Governor-General. Born in 1855 and died in 1948, he did not live to see the creation of the State of Israel, but he was an outspoken critic of Zionism.
During the 1940s he became entangled in controversy with the Jewish community in Australia as well as internationally through his opposition to Zionism. Isaacs insisted that Judaism was a religious identity and not a national or ethnic one. He opposed the notion of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Isaacs said
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.*
Isaacs opposition to Zionism was not only because he disliked nationalism of all kinds and saw Zionism as a form of Jewish national chauvinism, but also because he saw the Zionist agitation in Palestine as showing disloyalty to the British Empire, which he was devoted to.
In 1946, militant right-wing Zionist terrorists (an organisation called Irgun) blew up the King David Hotel, resulting in nearly 100 deaths, Isaacs said that
the honour of Jews throughout the world demands the renunciation of political Zionism*
Isaacs has several objections to political Zionism, these were his main reasons:
- A negation of Democracy, and an attempt to revert to the Church-State of bygone ages.
- Provocative anti-Semitism.
- 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.
- As regards unrestricted immigration, a discriminatory and an undemocratic camouflage for a Jewish State.
- 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.
- 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 Zionist movement as a whole…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…*
*Source of quotes: Sir Isaac Isaacs. ‘Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous’ (Ramsay Ware Publishing) 14 January 1946
additional information: wikipedia
added by @redglitterx
use of quotes in no way suggests that Isaacs or wikipedia in any way endorse the contents of this post or this blog