A big argument with an anti-Semite in a thread at DSL Reports motivated me to re-read, for the first time in many years, Theodore Herzl’s diaries. A fascinating read, especially for the window into the life and emotions of an important player in an important historical moment. Especially fun because he was such a cranky, nasty, angry guy. Pretty much walking around disgusted with everyone.

Sometimes big changes happen because of noble, heroic figures, and sometimes because of irritated, obnoxious curmudgeons, who would be a real pain in the ass if you had to deal with them.

It’s also interesting that a quote posted by the above-mentioned anti-Semite, and one which is repeated on many anti-Zionist websites, purporting to be from Herzl’s diary, is completely fabricated. It would be a good example of how with selective misquoting and liberal use of ellipses, it’s easy to make someone appear to have said something completely the opposite of what he really said.