I was rather surprised today as I explored some archaeological news for my Macquarie Asian History FB page, to be suddenly confronted with this heading in the Israeli Haaretz media site.
Before Herzl, There Was Pastor Russell: A Neglected Chapter of Zionism
Years before Theodor Herzl proposed creating a Jewish state, Charles Taze Russell was traveling the world holding Jewish Mass Meetings, beginning in 1879, at which he urged Jews to find a national home in Eretz Israel
... and this quote from Charlie's Zion's Watchtower (p. 329, 1892:
"There are now in the world more than ten million Jews, about three-quarters of whom are in Russia, Poland, the Balkan States, and Turkey. If the movement toward Palestine should get the impulse that the Hirsch committee is able to give it, an imaginative person can conceive of the country's doubling or trebling its Jewish population before the close of our century"
And to find the article adopting Charlie as an early and enthusiastic proponent for a Jewish state.
You may be able read the article at:
(There's no paywall, but Haaretz wants you email before letting you read the full story.)
I knew that Charlie had a greater leaning toward Zionism than the WTS in my time. but to see this fulsome praise was surprising.