Israel Cohen

AZL flag holder TransparentIsrael Cohen (1879–1961) of the Kohanim line was a Jewish Zionist leader, writer, and journalist. Born in Manchester to Jewish parents born in Poland, Cohen was educated at Manchester’s Jews’ School (1884-1892), Manchester Grammar School (1892-1895); and then simultaneously at Jews’ College and University College, London, where he received his BA. From 1895 on, Cohen became actively involved in the Zionist cause. He joined the ranks of the Zionist movement in 1896 and became a lifelong supporter of the Zionist movement upon the establishment of the World Zionist Organization at the First Zionist Congress in Basel in August 1897. From 1909 to the beginning of WWII Cohen directed the English department of the Zionist Central Office in Cologne and later in Berlin. In 1918 he became secretary for the World Zionist Organization in London and from 1918-19 he was in charge of propaganda on behalf of the Zionist leadership. These took him to Poland and Hungary, where he seeded vitriol about ‘pogroms’ and other anti-Jewish acts of violence. Following the Zionist Congress of 1921 Cohen was appointed general secretary of the Zionist organization in London, a position he held through 1939. He was also a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews of which homosexual child rapist labour MP Greville Janner would be a future president, and in 1946 he was appointed head of its Foreign Affairs Committee delegation to the peace conference in Paris. Cohen is also attributed with the following quote that appeared in a March 1957 letter to the editor of the Washington Star; “We must realize that our party’s most powerful weapon is racial tensions. By propounding into the consciousness of the dark races that for centuries they have been oppressed by whites, we can mould them to the program of the Communist Party. In America we will aim for subtle victory. While inflaming the Negro minority against the whites, we will endeavour to instil in the whites a guilt complex for their exploitation of the Negroes. We will aid the Negroes to rise in prominence in every walk of life, in the professions and in the world of sports and entertainment. With this prestige, the Negro will be able to intermarry with the whites and begin a process which will deliver America to our cause”

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