Golda's Balcony
The Jewish scene was completely transformed in the late 1890s by the unexpected appearance of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) as the leader of a new movement. His little book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896) and the program it outlined marked a watershed in Jewish history. Convinced that the Jewish problem was political in character and that only through political channels would it be possible for the Jews to regain their ancient Homeland, Herzl proceeded to establish institutions such as the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Colonial Trust, and the Jewish National Fund. But the strain of these days affected Herzl’s health, and he died of a heart ailment in the summer of 1904, at the age of 44.

From the outset Zionism was not merely a movement for the establishment of a National Home in Palestine for persecuted Jews whose position had become untenable in the Diaspora. It soon developed into a movement of national liberation that fought assimilation, raised Jewish self-esteem, gave the impetus to organized Jewish self-defense, upheld Jewish cultural values, fostered the study of the Hebrew language, and produced a veritable renaissance of Hebrew literature.
from The Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel (1971)
In the Histadrut [The General Federation of Jewish Labor] of the 1930s and 1940s, we all were paid a fixed living wage, which varied only according to actual seniority and the number of dependents in each family. I still think that it made good sound socialist sense—which usually means good sound common sense—for the janitor of the Histadrut building in Tel Aviv who had nine children to support to get a considerably fatter pay envelope than I, who had only two children to support.
from My Life (1975)
When I studied American history as a schoolgirl and I read about those who signed the Declaration of Independence, I couldn’t imagine these were real people doing something real. And there I was, sitting down and signing a Declaration of Independence!
from My Life (1975)
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