The Zionist Aspect of Religious-Zionist Policy in Palestine in View of the Holocaust
Religious Zionism was part of the Zionist wartime policy of taking advantage of the circumstances in order to promote Zionism. Furthermore, the messianic fervor, that characterized Mizrachi/Ha-Po’el ha-Mizrachi, placed the movement in the front line of the struggle for the establishment of a Jewish State. The Mizrachi claimed that there was no future for the Diaspora and that Zionism should not be concerned with postwar Jewish rights there. Ha-Po’el ha-Mizrachi had its reservations about this extreme approach. Despite great awareness of the Holocaust from the end of 1942 – and maybe because of it – Ha-Po’el ha-Mizrachi movement clung to the “Biltmore Plan” and gave priority to redemption as opposed to rescue. Naturally, this greatly affected the movements’ aid and rescue policy. As to the “Biltmore Plan”, the Mizrachi was opposed to the extreme left Zionists’ stand, but as to the discussion about the mobilization of the Jewish population in the Land of Israel to fight on the western front – their points of view were quite similar. Mizrachi leaders movement, whose utmost priority was security in the Land of Israel, refused to send out Jewish troops. This stand was more extreme than Mapai’s. On the other hand, the Hapoel-Mizrachi leaders supported the division of forces between the Land of Israel and the western front from the beginning, out of human solidarity and Jewish duty. Due to practical difficulties, there was a large gap between the ideological fervor and the mobilizations propaganda of religious Zionism, and the actual recruitment.