For those who wish a closer look at the origins of the State of Israel, the journalist Desmond Stewart has written a definite biography, Theodor Herzl, published by Doubleday & Co. New York, 1974. In this book Stewart informs us that Herzl contracted venereal disease as a student, which affected his later life and his descendants. He was a complete failure in his chosen profession of writer as his books and plays were utterly without talent. However, by marrying into a wealthy Jewish family, the Naschauers, he lived for a number of years on his wife’s money, while also earning a small salary as a journalist for the Neue Frei Presse. In middle age, with his wife’s money almost exhausted, and his writings rejected everywhere, he conceived of a grandiose plan to unite the Jews of the world to form a political state. The idea came to him as the ravages of venereal disease had began to affect his mind, and he also was in poor physical health at the time.
Prominent Jews everywhere rejected his idea of political Zionism. They were all aware that the very existence of the Jewish people in the Diaspora, as a number of parasitic encysted growths infecting the centers of the host peoples in various parts of the world, would be threatened by Herzl’s wild plans. Nevertheless, he continued to travel and write and speak about his conception of Zionism, with a Jewish National Home possibly based in Africa. Even Herzl did not believe, in the early years of Zionism, that the Jews would ever be powerful enough to return to Palestine and oust the Arab peoples who had lived there for thousands of years. Herzl’s conception of Zionism was a purely political one with the Jews using money and influence to attain its ends. He had no interest in religious Judaism, and when he addressed groups of Jews in synagogues, he had no idea as to where he should stand or how to observe any of the religious rites of his people. Nevertheless, he aroused the emotional and irrational elements of the Jews and the first Zionist Congress was convened in 1897 in Basle, Switzerland. Two world wars later, the Jews had their national home in Palestine. From this political base, they soon had the rest of the world in constant turmoil