Israel Zangwill (2): Global melting pot?

Though half my manhood has been devoted to the quest for a Jewish State, I have never regarded a world settlement, based on racial differences, as a final goal, nor do I share the current enthusiasm for the smaller nationalities. The mere fact that a group of people hates its neighbors affords no basis for reverence. Moses told the Jews, ''Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," and Seneca reminded the imperial Romans that all men are sacred — homo sacra res homini. Moreover, the world always has been and always will be a melting-pot.

* * *

Its [the Jewish people] existence even in dispersion enriches the world, giving in our own day a Meldola to British science, a Bergson to French philosophy, a Schnitzler to Austrian drama, a Berenson to American art criticism, an Ehrlich to Gemian medicine, a Luzzatti to Italian statesmanship, a Josef Israels to Dutch painting, a Brandes to Scandinavian criticism, a Ronetti Roman to Rumanian poetry, a Rubinstein to Russian music, a Vambery to Hungarian adventure, an Enver Pasha to Turkish arms, a Zamenhof to Esperanto internationalism, a Sarah Bernhardt to the world's stage, a Leo Bakst to the newest Nobel Prize-list. Concentrated on a soil of its own, under conditions that might stimulate afresh its spiritual genius, this stock might well produce a superstate, a kultur, not of militarism but of humanism.

SOURCE: Zangwill, Israel. The War for the World (New York: The Macmillan company, 1916), pp. 442, 444-445. [Boldface mine—RD]

No comments: