NEW YORK – The Arab Leagues opposition to the naming of a square in Vienna after Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement, demonstrates that Arab hostility to Israel is not over borders or settlements, but over the very concept of the existence of a Jewish State of any size.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly supports the naming of the Vienna square after Herzl, which will take place on July 3, the 100th anniversary of Herzls death. (Associated Press, May 4, 2004)
In a telegram to Vienna Mayor Michael Haeupl, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein wrote: The city of Vienna should feel proud that it counted among its residents a visionary such as Theodor Herzl. The Zionist movement which Herzl created made deserts bloom, built a thriving democracy amidst a sea of fascist dictatorships, and has served as a haven for millions of persecuted Jews, from Ethiopia to Russia. Naming a square after Herzl is certainly an appropriate way to honor him.
The ZOA president commented: If the Arab world was opposed only to Israeli occupation or settlements and not Israels very existence it would have no objection to naming a square in Austria after the founder of Zionism. The fact that the Arabs cannot accept any public honoring of Herzl shows that they remain opposed to the very concept of Zionism which Herzl represents the existence of a Jewish State, regardless of its size.