Who coined the term, what is the historically enduring question and why is there a need of a question?
The ‘Jewish Question’ first became a political topic in Great Britain around 1750, initially intended to be a neutral expression to create political thought and discussion, regarding the continual negative attitude toward Jews, who were persistently surrounded by historical friction, from a national, ethical, religious, political and legal view-point, to which a ‘Solution’ needed to be sought.
The styled slogan of it being a ‘Question’ was a political and linguistic approach to address what was actually an incessant ‘Problem.’ A ‘Question’ provokes an ‘Answer’ – a ‘Solution’ is only ever in direct response to a ‘Problem’ – in this case, ‘The Jewish Problem.’ Unless it is, of course, manipulation of a Problem-Reaction-Solution, in which case, ‘Who Benefits’, then indicates who or what is behind the deliberate cause of any political problem.
The histories of Jewish emancipation and the canard of European Anti-Semitism are filled with a great variety of proffered “Solutions to the Jewish Question.”
From 1750’s Great Britain, the Question was next discussed in France – ‘la question juive’ – after the French Revolution in 1789, before arriving in Germany via Bruno Bauer’s treatise “Die Judenfrage” (The Jewish Question).
From that point hundreds of tractates, pamphlets, newspaper articles and books were written on the subject, with many offering ‘Solutions’ to the ‘Problem’ including resettlement, deportation and assimilation of the Jewish population. Similarly, yet out-weighing in abundance, hundreds of pieces of literature were actually written by Jewish intellectuals themselves, whom, opposing these solutions and, although having offered solutions such as integration and education, the most favourable solution to meet these sub-solutions, was complete freedom in all civic positions in order to administer them.
This debate, however, ultimately resulted in confusion at not being able to ascertain whether the problem of the ‘Jewish Question’ had more to do with the problems posed by the German Jews themselves, or their opponents? Was it ‘Anti-Semitism’ or ‘Anti-Gentilism’?
From around 1860, under the newly coined description to the historical problem, Jews were described as a stumbling block to the identity and cohesion of the German nation and as enemies within the Germans’ own country. The Question was declared by many as a racial ideology and cultural problem, unsolvable through integration and that the removal of Jews from their over-representation and socially dominant positions, of the press, education, culture, state politics and economy, was necessary to restore ethical and cultural balance back into the lives of the German people.
An early use of the expression “Jewish question” appeared during the ‘Jew Bill of 1753’ debates in England, though not yet a political slogan. It was formally called; The Jewish Naturalisation Act – 1753.
Joseph Salvador, a prominent Banker and leader of London’s Sephardi Jewish community, petitioned the government for legislation to enact a wide range of accommodations for foreign and local Jews, financial benefits for the higher classes being dominant… The contradictions within the petition and the legal implications, left puzzled those who debated it and wondering what was the true intent behind the Bill itself, as it would open up further hostilities toward Jewry. This was a foreign concept to the XVIII century Christian mind, which could not understand the intentional purpose – and ultimate benefit – of civil unrest and political chaos.
Although the Bill passed, it was hurriedly repealed a few months later, citing; “Wherein the motives of all parties interested therein are examined: the principles of Christianity, with regard to the admission of Jews are fully discussed […] Wherein the false reasoning, gross misrepresentation of fact and Perversions of Scripture, are fully laid open and detected.” It was colloquially termed an “Abandonment of Christianity.”
Bruno Bauer, in his book; ‘The Jewish Question’ published in 1843, argued that Jews could achieve political emancipation, only if they relinquished their particular religious consciousness, since political emancipation requires a secular state, which he assumed did not leave any “space” for social identities such as religion. True political emancipation, for Bauer, required the abolition of religion.
Mordechai Levi ( better-known as Karl Marx), replied to Bauer in his 1844 essay titled, ‘On the Jewish Question.’ Marx contradicted Bauer’s view that the nature of the Jewish religion prevented Judaism’s assimilation. Instead, he focused on the specific social and economic role of the Jewish group in Europe which, according to Marx, was lost when capitalism, the “material basis for Judaism,” assimilated the European societies as a whole.
Marx argued, that Bauer was mistaken in his assumption that in a ‘secular state’, religion would no longer play a prominent role in social life. In Marx’s analysis, the ‘secular state’ is not opposed to religion, but rather actually presupposes it.
After a century of political discussion, the abundance of printed material disseminated into the psyche of the newly-literate populations of Europe, along with the Jewish Enlightenment movement (Haskalah) and, a succession of Revolutions, the progression of the Question expansively grew into an international geopolitical question, from its initial discussions on mere internal, civic issues.
Theodore Herzl, stated in his 1896 pamphlet, ‘Der Judenstaat’ (The Jews’ State);
“The ‘Jewish Question’ persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the ‘Jewish Question’ is not solved on the political level.”
The ‘British Uganda Programme’ or, the ‘Uganda Scheme,’ was a plan in the early 1900s to give a portion of British East Africa to the Jewish people as a homeland. The idea was brought to the Zionist Congress at its sixth meeting in 1903, at Basel. There a fierce debate ensued. The African land was described as an “ante-chamber to the Holy Land” and a Nachtasyl (temporary night shelter), and many felt that accepting the offer would make it more difficult to establish a Jewish State in Palestine and, also that the Jewish nation would not be able to claim itself as native to the land of Africa. Before the vote on the matter, the Jewish-Russian delegation stormed out in opposition. According to Author, Zionist, later Territorialist and close associate of Theodore Herlz – Israel Zangwill, who, as President of the International Jewish Territorial Organisation, stated during his address at the annual Vienna Conference, that; “the gradual abandonment of the [Uganda] project, [was] partly from the fear that our neo-Jewish civilisation, would be based on black labour.”
The Uganda Debate is still used as a metaphor in present-day Israeli politics. Israeli occupiers place supreme importance on settling in the Biblically-hallowed Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and some have used the term “Latter-Day Ugandists” to describe others who are willing to accept a Jewish state based on the 1947 United Nations plan or, the 1949 Armistice Agreements (excluding the West Bank). This term implies that liberal Israelis—like the adherents of the Uganda Programme or Latter-Day Ugandists, are simply interested in a place where Jews can live in peace, and care little about supposed historical and/or biblical matters.
Chaim Weizman (first President of Israel) stated in a 1907 speech;
“The governments of the world will pay attention to us, only as they will ‘become convinced’ that we are capable of ‘Conquering Palestine’ through persistent practical work.
Political Zionism means, to make the ‘Jewish Question’ an ‘International Question.’ It means going to the nations and saying to them: “We need your help to achieve our aim; but we ourselves are doing all in our power to strengthen our position in the land, because we regard Palestine as our homeland.” We must explain Zionism to the governments in such a manner that they shall understand it as the Jews understand it.”
How the Palestinians understand it, was not proffered at all.
In National Socialist Germany, the term “Jewish Question” (Judenfrage) referred to the sense that the existence of Jews in Germany had posed great problems for the nation, especially well-founded since the 1848 Revolution, the 1918 Revolution, the 1919 Communist-Spartacist Uprising, the repeated and deliberate economic crashes and escalated problems, moreover, since the Treaty of Versailles. In 1933 – the same year International Jewry Declared War on Germany – theorists Johann von Leers and Achim Gercke, both proposed that this particular Jewish problem and, the Jewish Question over all, could be solved most humanely by resettling Jews in Madagascar or elsewhere in Africa. Both intellectuals discussed the pros and cons of supporting the German Zionist Jews as well, but von Leers asserted that establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine would create humanitarian and political problems for the region. This percipient prediction has since been proven so, since The Benefit of WWII, led to the establishment of a Jewish [Terrorist] State in Palestine, which has caused the region to be consumed with wars, terrorism, genocide and chaos, ever since.
These theories were expanded on and proposed to the International Refugee Committee (today, International Rescue Committee), between National Socialist representative, Alfred Rosenberg, IRC Director George Rublee and other international delegates.
Rosenberg reflected on all possible proposals and after a process of elimination, such as rejecting Alaska – as it offered too harsh a climate – proposed Guiana or Madagascar, as both had been officially offered by other governments prior.
Opposing a Jewish ‘Reservation’ in Palestine, Rosenberg said it was too small and experience had shown that the British Mandate Government of Palestine could not come to agreement with the Arabs. Further he asserted, that the territory should be set aside with contributions by “Jewish Millionaires and billionaires from all the world,” to the International Refugee Committee in London. Supervision of the ‘Reservation’ by a police administration under the command of a Governor or a League of Nations was also an important recommendation by Rosenberg.
He added, “If the democracies want to prove the truth of their friendship for Jews now, they must within a reasonable time make clear, which of these territories shall be established as a Jewish Reservation.”
“I stress the word “Reservation” for there can be no talk either at present or in the future about a Jewish-State…” Rosenberg said.
After nearly two centuries of progressive political manoeuvring, debates, revolutions and the overthrow of Autocratic political systems (except the short revival in the Third Reich) that could not have their policies rapidly manipulated by infiltration, like Democracy caters to (WWI – the final implosion of the old world Autocratic systems; German, Russian, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empires) and before the world could examine the economic, political and social systems of Germany that brought it such prosperity – while the rest of the world suffered the Depression – the time was ripe for the finalè to establish a new world capital and a state of eternal Jewish impunity from accountability… and the mother of all excuses and political sympathy was required for this purpose – a travesty – a Holocaust!
It was make-or-break and no Atrocity Propaganda was neglected, because a Nachtasyl would never be acceptable.
The Final Solution: Germany’s Madagascar Resettlement Plan – see here
“It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish State in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organization for their international world swindle, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university of budding crooks.”
∼ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
The only “Questions” that should be accurately answered and absent of fanciful theories of unfounded prejudice is…
Why hasn’t there been a persistent;
“Spanish Question” or
“All other peoples Question”
just the “Jewish Problem”?
And now, we have an additional modern day Question/Problem to find a ‘Solution’ for…
How do we hold criminals accountable, now that a ‘Jurisdictional-State [of Impunity]’ has been established, as a safe-haven for criminals to shelter and to retreat to?
N. Jones is a Writer, Researcher, Historian and Literary Critic