Segments in this Video

Herzl's Diplomacy: Introduction (01:32)


Dr. Daniel Polisar discusses how the First Zionist Congress placed Theodor Herzl in a position respected by international leaders. It also boosted his sense of confidence in his leadership.

Reframing Herzl's Diplomacy (05:51)

Polisar describes the standard view of Herzl as a failed diplomat. He argues that Herzl made progress with the Ottoman, German, British and Russian empires. He believes Herzl influenced David Lloyd George to later pass the Balfour Declaration.

Diplomatic Strategies (04:15)

Polisar discusses Herzl's arguments that German, Ottoman, Russian and British empires would benefit from Jewish populations relocating to a restored homeland.

Herzl's Diplomatic Challenge (05:39)

Polisar outlines Herzl's publication of "The Jewish State" and organization of the First Zionist Congress that overcame both intellectual and institutional challenges. He now had to convince major European powers to carve out territory for a Jewish homeland.

The Geopolitical Order of Herzl's Time: Ottoman Empire (04:08)

Polisar outlines the Ottoman Empire's dwindling geographic, political and religious influence. There was Muslim and local Arab opposition to a Jewish settlement. European powers with Christian interests had established protectorates in Palestine; the Sultan wanted to avoid further weakening his control.

German Empire (02:29)

Germany had united and grown in territory during the 19th century. Anti-Semitism was increasing but there was some support for Restorationism. The German Empire was the Ottoman Empire's only ally.

Russian and British Empires (03:30)

Russia was the Ottoman Empire's historical enemy and home to the world's largest Jewish population. The majority of Russians were anti-Semitic. Britain held power in the Middle East and was the most likely candidate to succeed the Ottomans in Palestine.

Herzl's Diplomatic Strategy (06:28)

Polisar outlines Herzl's meetings with Ottoman officials; the Sultan was not interested in a Jewish state. Herzl offered to refinance Turkish debt, but the Sultan used him as leverage to negotiate with French banks.

Negotiations with the German Empire (05:18)

Hear how Herzl came into contact with the Kaiser. During a meeting in Constantinople, they agreed that Germany would establish a protectorate over Palestine to establish a Jewish home nominally under Ottoman sovereignty. However, the Kaiser backed out.

Negotiations with the Russian Empire (04:12)

Secret police head Vyacheslav von Plehve met with Herzl to improve his image after his involvement with the Kishinev pogrom. Herzl also met with the papal nuncio and the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister.

Herzl's Diplomacy with the British Empire (05:03)

Herzl addressed the Maccabean Society soon after publishing "The Jewish State" and envisioned the Jewish Company based in London. The Rothschilds connected him to Joseph Chamberlain; his representative Leopold Greenberg nearly secured the Sinai for Jewish settlement.

Uganda Proposal (03:32)

Herzl hired David Lloyd George, then a lawyer, to negotiate an African territory with the British and write a charter similar to the Balfour Declaration. Non-orthodox Russian Jews at the Zionist Congress opposed Herzl on the proposal, undermining his authority.

Herzl as the Chief Diplomat of Zionism (04:35)

Polisar argues that Herzl's negotiations, although immediately unsuccessful, led the way to the Balfour Declaration. He convinced David Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour, Joseph Chamberlain, Mark Sykes, Sir Edward Grey, and Lord Cromer to support a Jewish homeland. Polisar discusses Herzl's persistence.

Diplomacy Lessons (01:55)

Herzl's experiences demonstrated the importance of providing an advantage for the other negotiating party and entering negotiations with confidence. Polisar believes he was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Balfour Declaration.

Credits: Herzl as Chief Diplomat: The Great Powers, Britain, and the Balfour Declaration (00:08)

Credits: Herzl as Chief Diplomat: The Great Powers, Britain, and the Balfour Declaration

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Herzl as Chief Diplomat: The Great Powers, Britain, and the Balfour Declaration

Part of the Series : Theodor Herzl and the Birth of Israel
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In pursuing diplomacy with the great powers of his time, Herzl left no stone unturned.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL182978

ISBN: 978-1-64481-796-4

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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