Once a highly assimilated Austro-Hungarian journalist, Herzl was shocked by the treatment of Alfred Dreyfus, the French army captain falsely accused of treason at the turn of the 20th century. The rest of his life became subsumed within a seemingly impossible goal: the reestablishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel ending nearly two thousand years of statelessness for diaspora Jewry. Like Moses, he did not merit to see the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, but his vision and determination transformed the millennial aspirations of an exiled people into a political reality.
Part XI of the lecture series “ISRAEL: The Land and its People” offered during the Spring 2017 semester at the mighty Avenue J campus of Touro College. Free and open to the community. Sponsorships are available at bit.ly/thefriendsofjewishhistory.

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