Louis Marshall (1856 -1929), New York-born child of German-Jewish immigrants, fluent in seven languages, a lawyer who defended child rapist and murderer Leo Frank, a school friend and colleague of Samuel Untermyer, a scholar, president & founder (with Jacob Schiff) of the American Jewish Committee, vice-president of the American Jewish Congress, the man who got Henry Ford to apologise to the Jews, an attendee of the Versailles "Peace" Conference, and a non-Zionist, not an anti-Zionist.
On September 26, 1918, Marshall wrote a letter to Max Senior, a Cincinnati businessman, philanthropist, and staunch anti-Zionist Jew. Marshall politely, but firmly states that, although he himself is not a Zionist, public antagonism to Zionism, during the war, is treachery to Judaism.
Marshall's letter includes some enlightening information, which due to Marshall's position in American Jewry, carries immense significance. As previously mentioned, as co-leader of the American Jewish Congress delegation, Marshall attended the 1919 Paris Peace conference, he worked alongside Jacob "Russian Revolutionist" Schiff, and Samuel "Holy War" Untermyer, and, as he reveals in this letter, was in personal correspondence with Lord Rothschild.
Marshall's makes clear that although he is not a Zionist, he is immensely impressed by how the movement which is "replete with poetry", has invigorate assimilated Jews, and most interestingly reveals:
"Zionism is but an incident of a far reaching plan. It is merely a convenient peg on which to hang a powerful weapon."
And comments one of the real reasons for WW1 (video):
"The Allied armies have now swept the Turks and the Germans out of Palestine. There is every reason to believe that within the next month the advancing armies will be in possession of Syria and a considerable portion of Asia-Minor. It is significant that Jewish units constitute a part of the victorous army."
Louis Marshall's September 26, 1918 letter to Max Senior in full:
September 26, 1918
To Max Senior
I am informed that it is contemplated to hold a convention in Pittsburgh in the near future for the purpose of protesting against Zionism, and that you are to take a prominent part in the gathering. I feel a delicacy in making any suggestions on the subject, especially where my opinion has not been asked and the intrusion of my views may be regarded as offensive. I trust, however, that my entire freedom from partisanship and my great interest in all that pertains to Judaism may be considered as in some degree warranting me in saying what I am about to say.
A few weeks ago, in common with many others, I received from Dr. David Philipson a request to become a signatory of a call for a conference to be held in New York City for the purpose of combating Zionism. In declining to become a participant in the movement I wrote to Dr. Philipson a letter of which I enclose a copy. The reasons which I then urged have been emphasized by the rapid march of events since that time. The Allied armies have now swept the Turks and the Germans out of Palestine. There is every reason to believe that within the next month the advancing armies will be in possession of Syria and a considerable portion of Asia-Minor. It is significant that Jewish units constitute a part of the victorious army.
Subsequent to the time when Dr. Philipson wrote his letter, President Wilson expressed his personal views in support of the principles laid down in the Balfour Declaration. France, Italy and Greece have formally adopted the terms of that Declaration. There is, therefore, a unanimity in sentiment on the part of the Allied Powers, which make the Balfour Declaration a part of their united policies.
The American Jewish Committee, although its members are in the main non-Zionists, recognized the political importance of the Declaration, and its strategic significance as a factor in the effort to defeat the Central Powers and for strengthening the cause of the Entente. For that reason and as a result of the most careful deliberation, the Committee adopted, with practical unanimity, at a general meeting of all the members, the statement of which I enclose a copy. Major Lionel de Rothschild, who is the President of the League for British Jews, informs me that the organization is in practical agreement with the American Jewish Committee, although he has suggested some changes in phraseology which, under the circumstances, are not feasible.
I am confident that the Balfour Declaration and its acceptance by the other Powers, is an act of the highest diplomacy. It means both more and less then appears on the surface. Zionism is but an incident of a far-reaching plan. It is merely a convenient peg on which to hang a powerful weapon. All the protests that non-Zionists may make would be futile to affect that policy.
If that were the sole consequence of a protest, I would stand mute, but I am confident that action is hostility to the carefully formulated pronouncement of the Allied Governments would be resented, the Jews as a whole would be the sufferers, and those engaged in combating what these Governments would regard as their policy would place themselves in serious jeopardy. It would be at once charged that their act tends to give aid and comfort to the enemy. It would be at once charged that their act tends to give aid and comfort to the enemy. It would put them individually to hateful and obnoxious investigation. It would put them under suspicion. I could give concrete examples of a most impressive nature in support of what I have said. I an not an alarmist, and even my enemies will give me credit for not being a coward, but my love for our people is such that even if I were disposed to combat Zionism I would shrink from the possibilities which might be entialed were I to do so. I have never been identified and am not now in any way connected with the Zionist organization. I have never favored the creation of a sovereign Jewish State. My interest in Jewish affairs is largely from the religious point of view. Yet I am so impressed with the reasons which I have sought to present to you, that I would regard public antagonism to Zionism at the present time as an act of treachery to the welfare of Judaism. I am not attempting to criticize anybody else's act. I am only telling you how I would regard my own action in the present circumstances.
Finally, let me say to you as one who has for many years studied Jewish conditions in America and who understands the beating of the public pulse, that nothing would so greatly tend to strengthen the Zionist cause at this time as the hlding of a convention whose purpose it is to attack that cause. The Zionists, whether their views be sound or otherwise, are the advocates of an affirmative policy. It is one that appeals to the imagination. It is replete with poetry. It is regarded by the religious-minded of all creeds as tending to bring about the fulfilment of ancient prophecies. It aims at the reconstruction of a land which has been under the oppressor's heel for centuries and which inspires enthusiasm in the hearts of those not easily stirred. At this moment the entire civilized world is on fire with the inspiration that follows in the wake of a dramatic military victory. What can a handful of men, whose programme must be one of negation, accomplish against so positive a programme as that of the Zionists, endorsed as it is by the great liberal Powers of the world? The outcome would be pitiable from the standpoint of the anti-Zionists. If I belonged to the Zionist organization I would ask for nothing better that such a convention as that which you have in mind be held. It would be like Mrs. Pardington seeking to keep back the Atlantic Ocean with a broom—you would be simply overwhelmed.
But even that would not concern me. I believe ordinarily that every man should be permitted to seek happiness in his own fashion. But what does concern me is the welfare of the Jewish people, not only in America, but in foreign lands. Knowing as I do the sacrifices that you have made for them, the splendid service that you rendered while abroad in the interest of the Joint Distribtion Committee, I regard it as my duty to ask you to do all that lies in your power to defer the holding of any convention of the kind proposed until the war is over. Give me the credit of believing that I am speaking advisedly.