A Territory, but not a State
The Territorialists’ Visions for a Jewish Future after the Shoah (1943–1960)
Keywords:Palestine, Israel, territorialists, Freeland League for Jewish Territorial Colonisation, settlement, Diaspora, Yiddishism, anti-statism, idealism
The Jewish Territorialists, represented as of 1934 by the Freeland League for Jewish Territorial Colonisation, searched for places of settlement for Jews outside Palestine/Israel. I here argue that Territorialist ideology demonstrated both continuity and change in the post-1945 years, and continued to focus on an investment in Diaspora life, Yiddishism, anti-statism, colonial and postcolonial attitudes, and Socialist Revolutionary idealism. This article thus challenges the notion that the Shoah spelled the end of non-Zionist Jewish political activities, by demonstrating the ways in which the Freelanders, headed by the enigmatic Isaac N. Steinberg (1888–1957), imagined an alternative Jewish cultural and political future after the Shoah. By mapping the Territorialist movement’s continued endeavours after 1945, this study also adds to our broader understanding of the rich spectrum of post-Shoah Jewish political ideologies.
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