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The League of British Jews: Challenging Nationalism in Behalf of Jewish Universalism

Peter Egill Brownfeld
Fall 2001

(This is Part II of a two-part article about the clash of values  
between the advocates of Jewish universalism and Jewish nationalism in England  
during the first half of the twentieth century. Part I
(Issues, style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Summer 2001) covers the period prior to the  
issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917)






Among British Jews, opposition to  
the ides of Jewish nationalism and the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine  
was widely held in the early years of the twentieth century.




In 1912, when Zionists pressed  
for the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration, it was a Jewish opponent who  
spoke out against the concept of an exclusively Jewish state within the British  
cabinet. Edwin S. Montagu, Secretary of State for India in Lloyd George’s World  
War I cabinet, said that he had “striven all his life to escape the ghetto,” to  
which he now faced possible relegation as a result of the proposed policy paper.  
He resented the Zionist effort to convince Jews that they were an  
“ethnic-racial” group and believed, as well, that it was an injustice to turn  
over control of a land to those who then constituted only 7 percent of the  




Mischievous Creed




“Zionism,” Montagu declared, “has  
always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any  
patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes  
on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil  
from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always  
seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship  
and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great  
Britain or to be treated as an Englishman.”




Claude Montefiore, then president  
of the Anglo-Jewish Association, in November, 1916 asked: “How can a man belong  
to two nations at once? No wonder that all anti-Semites are enthusiastic  




The British Jewish community was  
sharply divided over the question of Jewish nationalism. Just prior to the  
issuance of the Balfour Declaration, supporters of the creation of a Jewish  
state gained a narrow majority within the Board of Deputies of British Jews.




Jewish Britons




Less than a week after the  
Balfour Declaration was issued, Claude Montefiore and his colleagues organized  
a group of their sympathizers at New Court, the headquarters of the Rothschild  
concerns. The assembly agreed to establish a “League of British Jews.” A provisional  
committee was elected, office space was obtained and a campaign plan was agreed  
upon. In its announcement to the press, the League proclaimed its determination  
to combat the Zionist caveat that “the Jew is an alien in the land of his  
birth.” It called upon all Jewish Britons, regardless of their place of birth,  
to support its platform: “To uphold the status of British subjects professing  
the Jewish religion. To resist the allegation that Jews constitute a separate  
Political Nationality. To facilitate the settlement of Palestine of such Jews  
as may desire to make Palestine their home.”




Those policies were formally  
adopted at the inaugural General Meeting of the League of British Jews held in  
London in March 1918, which was attended by over 400 members.




The league vigorously maintained  
that Judaism was a religion, not a nationality; the attraction of Zionism to  
anti-Semites, and Zionism’s subordination of Judaism’s larger religious  




Triumph for Anti-Semitism




Correspondence among the leaders  
of the League illustrated these concerns. Following the Balfour Declaration, on  
November 12, 1917, Lucien Wolf wrote Claude Montefiore: “It is worse than  
‘nasty.’ The more I study it, the more disastrous it seems to me. Henceforth,  
we are only temporary sojourners here, enjoying a political status which we  
obtained by some oversight and which will not be disturbed but which is  
nonetheless artificial. What a triumph for the anti-Semites.” The League stated  
that it sought “to strengthen the religious life of Anglo-Jewry and to identify  
it with the national life of Britain.” It also aimed to help as Jews in the  
great common task of building “Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.”




The League dedicated itself to  
upholding “the status of British subjects professing the Jewish religion” and  
to resisting “the allegation that Jews constitute a separate Political Entity.”  
Members of the League thought of themselves as “Englishmen of the Jewish  
persuasion.” One of their fears was the conviction that “the Jewish Relief Act  
of 1858 might be repealed if Zionists convinced anti-Semites that the Jews were  
a nation in Palestine.” It refused to admit Jews living in Britain who were not  
British subjects, stressing its patriotism and the Englishness of the  




A prominent theological voice for  
Jewish universalism was Rabbi Israel Mattuck, the pre-eminent Reform Jewish  
leader of the day. “The Jews, say the Zionists, have no homeland,” declared  
Mattuck. “But Jews have homelands. They look upon the countries in which they  
live as their homelands.” The League applied such sentiments to England. How  
could Jews who are content in England be regarded as homeless?




Religious Distinctiveness




In his book What Are the Jews?,  
Mattuck argues that the distinctiveness of the Jews is religious, not national:  
“...the dispersion of the Jews, which gives them universality, helps both its  
realization and expression. It is a condition of their religious value that  
they remain distinctive and dispersed ... By its very nature, religion tends to  
universalism. There have been national religions. All religions began in  
tribalism. But religion long ago outgrew its nationalist swaddling-clothes.  
Judaism cast them off at least 26 centuries ago — in the time of Isaiah, Amos  
and Micah. The present tendency in some countries to make a religion of  
nationalism, and in others to make nationalism itself into a religion, only  
shows the malignancy of the nationalist disease which afflicts humanity.”




Rabbi Mattuck declares that, “The  
significance of Jewish history has lain in its religious achievements, and its  
glory shines in the unflinching and unbreakable loyalty of Jews to their  
religion. The genius of the Jews is a genius for religion, the contribution of  
the Jews to the life of humanity has been in the field of religion ... My chief  
objection to Jewish nationalism is that it threatens the religious content and  
function of Jewish life. It threatens the content by giving the name Jew a  
secular insignificance. It threatens its function by reducing the Jewish  
religion from a universalist to a nationalist context. And, further, it  
threatens the whole religious value of the Jews to the world by making them a  
nation instead of a people of religion ... To reduce the Jews to a national  
people would destroy their uniqueness and peculiar value.”




Warning Against Segregation




Beyond this, he notes that, “The  
history of the ghetto should be a warning against segregation. If Jewish  
distinctiveness is to have any value for the world, Jewish life must maintain  
the fullest possible contact with the life of the world ... The Jews’ religious  
service to the world depends on their dispersion. It is not just an accident  
but a condition of their value ... The chief argument against Zionism is that  
the nationalization of Jewish life would interfere with the religious function  
and value of the Jews. When the Zionist answers: ‘But it will save the Jews,’  
the non-Zionist asks: ‘Save them for what?’ To be a small nation in a small  
corner of the world! Is that to be the issue of Jewish history, its struggles  
and achievements, its sufferings and glories? How small, insignificantly  
pathetically small, is the result compared to the process?”




The League of British Jews  
failed, as time went on, to become a sufficiently powerful organization to  
threaten the proponents of Jewish nationalism. It suffered from chronically low  
membership. It made several attempts to recruit more members through a series  
of drawing-room meetings, public lectures and Lionel de Rothschild’s personal  
signature on 500 letters. All of these efforts produced disappointing results.  
Compared to the English Zionist Federation, the League was always by a large  
measure numerically inferior. Despite this fact, the League managed to attract  
most of the prominent families in English Jewry, including the Montefiores,  
Montagus, Rothschilds, and Cohens. Many in the Jewish elite were members of the  
league, including several of the Jewish Members of Parliament, and the heads of  
almost all, of the most important Jewish organizations.




Leaders of Anglo-Jewry




On March 13, 1918, style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>The Times reported that “all the leading  
names in Anglo-Jewry are represented on its provisional committee.” On April  
12, 1918 the Westminster Gazette  
stated “it includes in its membership the lay heads of all the sects of the  
Jewish community in this country and the presidents of the principal charitable  
and representative institutions.” It was the presence of these prominent men  
that allowed it to have influence despite its small numbers.




The League claimed to represent  
the Jews in Britain. This was a weak claim both because of its low membership  
and because of its statutory exclusion of non-naturalized foreign-born Jews.  
David Cesarini writes: “This was doubtless a patriotic gesture and in full  
keeping with the hysterical anti-alienism of the times, but it was of  
disastrous consequence’ for their standing in Jewish eyes. By excluding Jewish  
aliens (and many of the immigrants before 1914 had not bothered to naturalize  
owing to the expense or lack of urgency), they set themselves apart from a  
large portion of the Jewish population. Moreover, they tacitly identified  
themselves with the ultra-patriotic right-wingers who were busily hunting down  
‘aliens’ wherever they could find them, frequently with more than a tinge of  




British Nationality




Robert Waley Cohen described the  
purpose of the League in a 1918 memorandum: “for the purpose of enabling Jews  
of British nationality to voice their views independently of the Jews of  
foreign origin who are residing in this country but who feel no strong  
attachment to their British nationality.” This sentiment was typical of feeling  
in the League. Ten leading members of the League wrote a letter which appeared  
in the Morning Post of April 23, 1919  
accusing the Jewish Chronicle and it  
sister paper, the Jewish World of  
aiding and abetting the Bolshevik cause. Alderman writes: “it was rightly  
interpreted as another attempt to drive a wedge between the indigenous minority  
and the immigrant majority among British Jewry, to the public detriment of the  
latter.” This xenophobia would limit the League’s appeal.




One arena where the League  
wrangled with the Zionists was the Balfour Declaration Committee. First  
convened in 1917, it was composed of Anglo-Jewish leaders across the spectrum:  
Zionist, non-Zionist, and anti-Zionist. The goal was to end the strife within  
the Jewish community and to present a united front on the question of  
Palestine. The members of the committee were able to agree on many issues,  
including land reclamation, urban construction, and education. However, the  
League refused to accommodate the Committee on several key provisions. They  
insisted on a preamble that explicitly affirmed that the Jews “do not form a  
separate political nation.” They demanded a clause barring the ruling power  
from sanctioning “anything being done to make religious belief a test of  
citizenship or of political or civic rights.” They also made it a condition  
that “any document to be accepted by them should further include a specific proviso  
against any religious tests for membership of the Jewish nationality or Jewish  




Jewish Claim to Palestine




The Zionists could not accede to  
this. They found it to be “self-evident that there must be some special  
qualification for the membership of the Jewish National Unit.” Without that  
there was no reason to argue that there was a Jewish claim to special interest  
in Palestine. However, from the League’s point of view, there could be no other  
qualifications for nationality in Palestine “than those which are needful for  
admission to, say, the British or Indian nationality.” But for Zionists, this  
would ignore the Jews’ special claim to the land.




To insure that the Zionists would  
not silence the smaller group of anti-Zionists, the League supported two  
publications. By the end of 1918 the League had begun to publish a monthly  
commentary on communal affairs titled Jewish  
It presented its position to the British government, and began to  
contemplate the formation of an international network of sister societies. Wolf  
and Lionel de Rothschild unsuccessfully attempted to foster the foundation of a  
League of American Jews in the United States. The League also was in contact  
with the French and sought to form an organization across the Channel.




Jewish Opinion lasted for one year until the weekly style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Jewish Guardian was established as a  
full-blown rival to the Jewish Chronicle.  
The League established the Jewish  
as a rival to the pro-Zionist Jewish  
and Jewish World. This  
newspaper provided a view of current events that was decidedly not Zionist. It  
also prevented the League from being ignored. Lucien Wolf, the primary force  
behind the League’s publications, reported that he had seen the secretary of  
the wartime Paper Commission and had made a submission on the following  






1.         That  
the two existing Anglo-Jewish newspapers, which had been acquired by the  
Zionists before the war, represented only one part of the Jewish community.




2.         That  
both papers support a theory of a separate international nationality for the  
Jews, which is opposed and repugnant to the great mass of British-born Jews.




3.         That  
the Company owning these papers is only partially British. Of the 20  
shareholders 9 are foreigners domiciled abroad and they hold nearly half the  
share capital. Two of the other shareholders resident in this country are  
probably not of British birth, but of this nothing certain is known.




4.         That  
since the establishment of the Paper Commission and the issue of the  
prohibition against the publication of new periodicals, a license has been  
issued for a third Jewish paper in this country which is also Zionist — namely  
“The Zionist Review.”




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>League Declined




Although the style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Guardian presented serious competition  
for the Chronicle, the market was not  
big enough to support two Anglo-Jewish weeklies. Cesarani writes: “The style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Jewish Guardian tended to attract  
high-quality advertising, reflecting its well-to-do readership, but its  
circulation was too small for it to be economical.” Its circulation barely  
moved beyond the membership of the league, which never exceeded 1,300.




The League  
declined through the 1920s, and seemed to be losing its foothold in the Jewish  
community. Most of the significant communal organizations had by this point  
adopted a more or less pro-Zionist position. The Board of Deputies agreed to  
join the Jewish Agency for Palestine in 1924, and in 1928 it was represented at  
the EZF Annual Conference. Although not formally Zionist, B’nai B’rith elected  
Zionists as presidents. The membership of the League never exceeded 1,300, and  
by the end of the 1920s attendance at its meetings had fallen drastically. Its  
newspaper, the Jewish Guardian, which  
it had launched in 1919, ceased publication in 1931. Lipman writes: “In spite  
of its distinguished sponsorship within the establishment, the League never  
succeeded in becoming a popular force within Anglo-Jewry, and ended after a few  




Although the  
League petered out, this does not reflect an absence of opposition to Jewish  
nationalism. The major battles for opinion in the Jewish community and in the  
British government had been lost. The Balfour Declaration had been passed, and,  
despite some signs to the contrary, this meant a certain official commitment to  
a Jewish state. Among Jewish organizations, the Zionists had won the balance of  
opinion, while the anti-Zionists seemed to be an outnumbered, though  
influential elite. Opposition to Zionism did not die with the League. It  
continued during this period, and was given a new voice with the Jewish Fellowship.




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Jewish Fellowship




During World War  
II the Jewish Fellowship took up the anti-Zionist mantle left behind by the  
League of British Jews. However, once the State of Israel was formed, the  
Fellowship was dissolved. The Jewish Fellowship is a body that has been  
referred to by scholars as both “the last gasp” and the “last stand” of  
opposition to Zionism in Anglo-Jewry. Although it was founded in 1942, it was  
only officially organized and presented as a functioning body in September  




Like the League,  
it did not attract significant numbers in the Jewish community, though it did  
hold appeal for many of the prominent Jewish families. Its founder and chairman  
was Basil Henriques, a member of one of the leading Jewish families. Former MP Sir  
Jack Brunel Cohen was the Fellowship’s president. Other prominent members  
included: Sir Robert Waley Cohen, president of the United Synagogue, Sir  
Leonard Lionel Cohen, who in 1946 became the first Jewish Lord of Justice;  
Daniel Lipson, Independent Conservative MP for the constituency of Cheltenham,  
1937-1950; Colonel Louis Gluckstein, Conservative MP for Nottingham East,  
1931-1945; Rabbi Dr. Israel Mattuck, Rabbi of the Liberal Synagogue; Viscount  
Bearstead; and Lord Swaythling. To counter the Zionist press, the Fellowship  
published a newspaper, The Jewish  
Mattuck, Rabbi of the Liberal Synagogue and the religious head of  
the Liberal movement in Britain, was the spiritual leader of the Fellowship.




The Fellowship  
was founded during the turmoil surrounding the Biltmore Declaration of 1942,  
which was the first official call for a Jewish state by the mainstream Zionist  
movement. There were other Jewish groups that opposed a Jewish state, such as  
the Anglo-Jewish Association (AJA) and Agudath Yisra’el, however these two  
organizations were non-Zionist, rather than avowedly anti-Zionist, like the  




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Judaism as a Religion




The Fellowship  
raised many of the same issues that the League supported. In a recent article  
for the Jewish Journal of Sociology  
Rory Miller writes: “For the Fellowship the campaign of Zionist Jews for a  
Jewish State in Palestine raised issues which struck at the heart of Jewish  
existence in the Diaspora — whether Jews were loyal to their country of birth  
or to the Zionist nationalist movement and ultimately, if it ever came into  
being, to the Jewish State. A Jewish State would severely strain, if not  
destroy beyond repair, the great strides that the Jews as members of a  
religious community had made since being granted citizenship.” The Fellowship  
established one of its primary aims as stressing the religious, rather than  
nationalist elements of Judaism. Cohen informed the Fellowship council, the  
body had the duty `to remove the impression ... that although Jews [are]  
British by birth ... [they are] Jewish by nationality.’”




A meeting of the  
executive committee in March 1944 drew up the aims of the Jewish Fellowship.  
These stated that the body sought to “co-operate with fellow citizens of other  
creeds in strengthening the influence of religion in the life of the nation, in  
bearing the responsibility of citizenship and national loyalty and in promoting  
the highest standards of honor and service in public and private life.”




The first  
official effort of the Fellowship to fight Zionism took place in September  
1944. Brunel Cohen and Colonel Robert Henriques sent letters to style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>The Times stating their opposition to  
the creation of a Jewish Brigade within the British army. Like the League, the  
Fellowship was a patriotic organization that opposed any division between Jews  
and Englishmen.




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Creation of Israel




With the imminent  
creation of the state of Israel, members of the Fellowship felt that this was  
an important time for an anti-Zionist organization to be heard. However, with  
the recent Holocaust in Europe, and the seemingly imminent decision over  
Palestine, the Fellowship’s stance was deemed by many to be insensitive. The  
Fellowship took many traditional anti-Zionist stances — Zionism was a cause of  
anti-Semitism, it caused dual loyalty, and that Judaism was a nationality, not  
a religion. But the Fellowship went further than this, portraying Zionism,  
Jewish nationalism, the Jewish State policy, and all Zionist Jews, whether or  
not they had been involved in the suffering in Europe, as being under a delusion  
brought about by Nazism.




Harold Reinhart,  
a Fellowship leader, wrote to The Times that  
Zionism, which had gained strength during the Nazi era was “bred on despair and  
disillusion — naked nationalism — contrary to the whole Jewish tradition.”




Miller writes  
that the Fellowship took a very strong stance, arguing: “those Jews who  
supported the creation of a Jewish State were not only victims of Nazism who,  
blinded by the trauma of Nazism, had forgotten the true meaning of Judaism but  
were also enemies of Jewry. For by subscribing to the theories of a Jewish race  
and a Jewish state they had become the torchbearers of Nazi-inspired doctrines,  
and hence had to be viewed as the propounders of the Nazi philosophy in the  
post-war world.” Fellowship leader Colonel Louis Gluckstein, for example,  
stated before the Anglo-American Committee that “to believe that this [Jewish  
suffering] is a justification for Jewish separatism and Jewish nationalism  
seems to me the adoption of the Hitler doctrine.” The Jewish Outlook echoed this opinion in an editorial, which claimed:  
“the conception of a Jewish race can only stand if we are prepared to accept  
the Nazi conception of a Nordic race.”




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Zionist Attacks




As could be  
expected, these strong statements drew condemnation from British Zionists.  
Zionists presented the Fellowship’s opposition not as a legitimate stance, but  
as a potential threat to the existence of Jewish life. By making such an  
extreme claim as linking Zionism to Nazism, and by doing so in the non-Jewish  
world, the Fellowship alienated much of the Jewish community. It also gave more  
credibility to the large number of Zionist propaganda attacks.




In the last years  
of the war and the beginning of the post-war era, memories of the Holocaust  
were vivid. An assault on Zionism at this time was unlikely to be very  
influential. Beyond this, just as the Zionists seemed poised to achieve their  
dream, the Fellowship made public attacks in the non-Jewish community. Zionists  
found this particularly galling because on this issue it was vital that the  
Jewish community appear unified, and the Fellowship showed that it was not. As  
a result, the Fellowship suffered from repeated and vicious attacks from the  




Zionists relied  
on the old accusation that Jews who looked away from Jewry into the non-Jewish  
world did so out of self-hate. One Zionist commentator, Barnet Litvinoff,  
looked to ‘Self-Hatred Among Jews,’ the pioneering work by the American social  
psychologist Kurt Lewin, to explain the attacks on Zionism by Mattuck.  
Litvinoff saw Mattuck an “interesting example of self-hatred.” A Zionist  
columnist echoed this type of attack, asking rhetorically, ‘Take our Jewish  
Fellowship ... can any other people boast of such strange growths? Of course  
not, because among other peoples self-respect would not allow a man to  
deprecate his own spiritual inheritance. ’”




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Fellowship Is Targeted




Zionists attacked  
the membership of the Fellowship, hoping to illustrate that it was not  
representative of the Anglo-Jewish community. The Zionist Review in an article on the founding of the Fellowship  
stated: “It is gratifying that Zionists and representatives of religious Jewry,  
except members of the Liberal Synagogue, have not found it possible to join Mr.  
Henriques’s organization.” Zionists accused Henriques of being “only Jewish in  
name,” and that he was attempting to Christianize and hence destroy Judaism.




propaganda found the Fellowship to be a good target. Moshe Rosette was a member  
of the Jewish Agency Information Department, which had been at the forefront of  
the Zionist propaganda offensive. He recalled in a 1961 interview that it would  
have been “an exaggeration” to say that the Jewish anti-Zionists had any effect  
on the Jewish community and that the “small lunatic fringe — the Jewish Fellowship  
— were never very effective ... never an effective counter blast to good  
Zionist propaganda.”




The major  
publication of Anglo-Jewry, the Jewish  
which was clearly favorable to Zionism, was highly critical of  
the Fellowship. The Chronicle editorialized  
that the Fellowship was isolated among Jewry, that it did not appeal to the  
orthodox Jew, the AJA, or the Board of Deputies and that “whether intended or  
not [this] ... avowedly anti-Zionist movement ... seems to have started off on  
a somewhat strange course of anti- everything, for a body which has chosen the  
nice chummy sounding title of Fellowship.”




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>“Spreading the Gospel”




In a report in  
the Chronicle on a Fellowship meeting  
in Yorkshire in 1946 the reporter wrote: throughout the evening “we were told  
we should spread the gospel of the Jewish Fellowship, ‘gospel’ being the right  
word... I cannot remember whether the meeting concluded with the sign of the  
cross or the double cross.”




Despite this  
opposition, the Fellowship continued to present itself as speaking on behalf of  
Anglo-Jewry. The Times reported that  
Colonel Robert Henriques, in his speech to the first annual meeting of the  
Fellowship, was confident that ‘the overwhelming majority of British Jews could  
unite within the Fellowship.” By 1947 in Greater London there were chapters of  
the Fellowship in Bayswater, Paddington, Hampstead, South London and the Thames  




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>The Jewish Outlook argued editorially in  
1947 that only those Jews who had “not been blinded by blatant propaganda,” and  
who could “still distinguish” between charity and politics, religion and  
nationality, understood the true value of the Fellowship.” It continued to believe,  
or at least stated that its views were held by a majority in the Jewish  
community. The Jewish Outlook stated  
in June 1948: “While the Zionists are rejoicing, the bulk of the community is  
stunned and bewildered by the speed of events.”




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Failed to Gain Members




However, there  
were never more than ten local groups in England, and total membership never  
exceeded two thousand. At times, the Fellowship leaders admitted that their  
organization had failed to capture the imagination of the majority of  
Anglo-Jewry. A 1948 Private and  
Confidential Memorandum
admitted that the Fellowship position was “not held  
by the majority of Jews in England.”




On the whole the  
Fellowship may have deluded itself into believing it presented the opinion of  
the silent majority. This was an untenable claim considering its failure to  
appeal to the AJA or Agudath Yisra’el, neither of which were politically  
Zionist in orientation. Miller writes: the Fellowship was “a victim of communal  
trends, contemporary events, Zionist propaganda, and its own extremism.” It was  
disbanded in November 1948.




style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Significant Influence




The League and  
the Federation believed that Zionism was a threat to their status as  
Englishmen, that it was opposed to the true role of Judaism, and, moreover,  
that it was supported by anti-Semites and based on false premises. “By every  
reasonable test,” Mattuck writes, “the Jews in the Western world have shown  
themselves identified with the countries of which they are nationals — by  
loyalty, by service in times of peace and war, by participation in national  
culture. Nationally, they are Germans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, or American. By  
the same tests they are not nationally Jewish. In national loyalty and culture  
the Jews of the world are divided. There is no nation comprehending all Jews.”




organization succeeded in winning over the majority of the Jewish population.  
The League did have significant influence, while for a variety of reasons,  
including timing and its own approach, the Fellowship did not enjoy as much.  
Despite their chronically low memberships of just one or two thousand, it is  
clear that both organizations were more important than the number of their  
followers. This is most clearly illustrated by the vituperative assaults levied  
by the Zionist press and Zionist leaders. They were regarded as a real threat  
to the success of Israel. They showed that the Jewish community was not unified  
behind Zionism, and, in doing so, they provided an important counterweight to  
the growing strength of Zionism in Britain.

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