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April 18, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 18, 1980
 

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Page 6. HERITAGE. Florida Jewish News, April 18. 1980 1850 1853 Why anyone would want to live in this place called the "Holy Land" is beyond me. Look at 1881 this place! A neglected stagnation of the falling Ottoman Empire. Who would even want to visit this place? And yet, it's a land called holy by Christians, Jews and Moslems all over the world. Jerusalem... an enclosed city of 15,000 people living in crowded, dilapidated buildings seeking shelter from the roving marauders of the times. These walls enclose a city of poverty and filth, garbage and beggars. And this is the "Holy Land?" A shock for all who come to see!l bet even the bandits and robbers who come here for a get-rich-quick scheme are surprised. My name is Yehuda Leven ben Cohen. You can call me the "father of Israel," although most history books will probably forget me. I have a dream of a nation, a nation I will call "Israel"... maybe a national Jewish home- land, I cameto the Holy Land to begin fulfilling my dream. After all, it is a place of emotional and religious significance to all world Jewry. But I tell you, this violent dvalnj for power 189"/ among all these Christian nations is really discouraging. Wow! Look at that! Russia and France are really fighting it out for power here. They've even created the Crimean War. And poor Sultan Abdul Hamid II. He's trying awfully hard to maintain his influence by increasing his militia. This could get nasty. Sowing the seeds of a Jewish nation could be a bit complex. All these European powers sticking their noses into this place.., some even getting a few good punches. Well, at least 1904 my nation will be well-known around the world. Well, what do you know! All this clashing between countries has led to the founding of the Palestine Exploration Fund. They're surveying that desolate area west of the Jordan River. And will you look at the progress being made. Telegraphic communications are being installed. Hey, and now I can take my new custom model wheeled carriage from Jerusalem to Jaffa when they finish that new road. It will be even quicker to take the train as soon as the first roadbed linking,the two cities is finished in 1892. Oh, no! Did you read today's issue of the Palestinian Parchment? Who would have thought that after 26 years of reign, Tsar Alexander II would be assasinated. This could mean problems for Russian Jews. It could produce pogroms all over that massive country. But, what's this? The Jews there are advocating a "return to the land of Israel?" Why, that's a mighty good point in my favor. Jews coming to my Jewish state. What do you know about that. And I haven't even started advertising yet. Boy, they sure do work fast. Look at all those agricultural settlements being established. Over there in the Galillee and over there in Judea and even Samaria. Gosh, new houses, synagogues and buildings being erected everywhere. And what's this I hear about the Hebrew language being modernized. It's only ]892 and it's even being used in some schools. Hey! Who is this Theodore Herzl guy? Seem's he's had a dream like mine. He even wrote a book about it called, "Jewish State," simultaneous to the establishment of the World Zionist Movement. I hear he's even wooing support of various heads of state. He's making deals left and right, offering to helpthe Turnkish sultan solve his financial problems in return for an autonomous Jewish Palestine. I wonder if this Herzl guy is a banker. Well, I bet a deal like that just won't work. Wow, more Jews, about 40,000 Soviet Jews flowing to my land like milk and honey. Must be a new wave of pogroms in Russia. I'II call it the "Second Aliyah," just for the history books. Wait! Don't go back. We have lots of work to do, many foundations to lay. It will be hard work, but we can do it. Well, at least some remained to help build a new society. Some have already started.., the first kibbutz (I'II name it Deganya), the first Jewish defense organization (Ha-Shomer), political parties, even a Jewish suburb which I'II call Tel Aviv, BY' 1892, modern technology made it a snap to travel [rom Jaffa to Jerusalem on the first locomotive in ,my Jewish state. The Secret Diary YEtlU He saw it all. They were dreams and struggles. with Israel celebrating its anniversary as a nation on 21 st (in Orlando we celebrat on May 4), HERITAGE but not now, later, it will be a surprise. 1923 1914 Holy cow! I mean holy land! What's going on? Kupat Why is everybody leaving? A world war? Of all General the... This has just got to stop. Large recruit- tion to ment, heavy taxes, compulsory labor, service other and confiscation of food and property. And, oh moshav. no! Get them off me! Whydo we have to have a 1925 Things locust invasion now? Maybe They can't outlaw Zionism! We have to convince the Turks of our loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. But they won't go for it. What do we do now? What's this? Oh, oh, wait, let me get out of the way first! Will you look at those big shiny new weapons. The British are attacking from bases in Egypt. Wow! There's General Edmond Allenby, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. He's entering Palestine now. l'd sure like to meet him. Bingo! It's a hit--Beersheba. Another hit! -- Gaza. And another -- Jaffa. No more Ottoman rule over the Holy Land. What a relief that is. I sure hope the British are on my side. They say some kind of declaration will be announced on November 2. It's called the Balfour Declaration. Some guy named Weizmann--I think his name is Chaim--is try- ing to get support for the Zionist cause. 1917Three years of British rule--not exactly what 1 had in mind. Although we have the Jewish Legion, two Jewish battalions and third Pales- tinian battalion called the Judean Regiment, we still have no sympathy for the Zionist cause from that Sir Ronald Storrs, the British Military THAT'S mt Governor of Jerusalem. There's even talk of ber o/ dividing my country between the French and an Arab British. And the English are also occupied with invest their promise of an independent Arab state, shops. Thank the Lord the Arabs are interested in wh Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and not especially my Israel. Why, I even hear Hussein, Sharif of hear the Mecca, supports the Zionists and that his son, Mount Emir Feisal, signed an agreement with the Weizmann guy calling for, let me see, how was books, that worded.., oh yes, calling for "all necessary British measures to..." uh... "to encourage and Nivharinn stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine Jewish on a large scale." And, oh, "to settle Jewish What a,.. immigrants on the soil." Not bad, that's almost 1929 Oh, a hearty welcome. ] sure hopt this harmony of between Jews and Arabs is for real. But, l'm a surely bit suspicious, time to 1920 Well, it looks like the British got it. . . and even to back France, too. Some Peace Conference! Imagine granting a mandate over Palestine to 1933 Lc Britain, with some boundaries given to France. years This might be the end of my dream. Even the Aliyah" League of Nations confirmed it. small strides 1922 ,,,omething's got to break soon. Well, at least What's more Jews are coming to my country with He's the what I'II call the "Third Aliyah"--about 35,000 immigrants, for the elir Uh, oh! Things are looking bleakers. Arab Okay! attacks on the upper Galilee and anti-Jewish them riots in Jerusalem. I wonder if this so-called the JewiSh "High Commissioner," Sir Herbert Samuel, is 400, going to do anything. I mean, do something 1936 If it's besid.es appointing Haj Amin aI-Husseini, who was convicted in 1920 of inciting riots, as the Wh, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. And what's this?An and do Arab invasion of Transjordan? But that's 1939 Itsuret included in the Palestine Mandate. Boy, ole finally Churchill is gonna hear about this. He what? He excluded Transjordan from the Balfour Declaration? And on top of this, a "White immt( Paper" limiting immigration, consent.