Some years before the 1896 appearance of Theodore Herzl’ Der Judenstaat, Joseph Marco Baruch (Istanbul, 1872–Florence, 1899) articulated his own brand of Zionism. His life and work provide alternative Jewish geographies for the study of Zionism that complicate established categories, such as the “cultural/East” and “political/West,” a binary that also posits Jewish identity and political action as disjoined spheres. Neither premise applies to the work of Joseph Marco Baruch. Conceptually, his social vision juxtaposed realpolitik and a national-historical Jewish identity, and his activism was well received in European and Mediterranean circles. As in all similar movements, Zionism was shaped by power struggles between leaders and ideologues; biographical contrasts between Theodore Herzl and Joseph Marco Baruch draw attention to personal privilege and its role in influencing the institutional course of Zionism at a critical historical juncture. The case of Joseph Marco Baruch invites discussion of the early 1890s as an important, but overlooked, period in the development of political Zionism.
KeywordsPolitical Action Jewish Identity Similar Movement Power Struggle Draw Attention
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