Stephen Wise

AZL flag holder TransparentStephen Samuel Wise (born Weisz, March 17, 1874 – April 19, 1949) was a Jewish rabbi and Zionist leader born in Budapest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the son and grandson of rabbis. He immigrated to New York as an infant with his family. Wise was an early supporter of Zionism, and showed particular support and commitment to Political Zionism. He founded the New York Federation of Zionist Societies in 1897, which led to the formation of the national Federation of American Zionists (FAZ), a forerunner of the Zionist Organization of America. Wise was a delegate and secretary for the English language at the Second Zionist Congress (Basel, 1898), and served as honorary secretary of FAZ, in close cooperation with Theodor Herzl until the latter’s death in 1904. Wise, Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter laid the groundwork for a nationwide organization of ‘ardently Zionist‘ Jews, ‘to represent Jews as a group and not as individuals’. In 1918, following national elections, this Jewish faction convened the first American Jewish Congress in Philadelphia’s historic Independence Hall. In 1933 while acting as honorary president of the American Jewish Congress, Wise led efforts for a Jewish Boycott of Germany along with Samuel Untermyer. Wise, along with Leo Motzkin and Nahum Goldmann, encouraged the creation in August 1936 of the World Jewish Congress in order to create a broader representative body to terrorise the newly formed German regime. Wise served as founding president of the World Jewish Congress president until his death in 1949. He was succeeded by Nahum Goldmann. On November 24, 1942 Wise held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to proclaim a plan for the extermination of all Jews in Europe. Given that Jews have tried this scam on many occasions his propaganda never made front page news.

“Hitler was right in one thing. He calls the Jewish people a race, and we are a race.” – Rabbi Stephen Wise

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