User Tools

Site Tools


Alternate Israels a.k.a. "Pin the Zion on Eurasia"

“Pin the Zion on Eurasia” and its variations has been a long-standing meme, with an added layer of criticque. The term is a reference to the fact that Israel appears in multitudinous and bizarre places in many timelines. In general, these various bizarre locations for analogues of OTL Israel are not that big an alternate history cliché, but the idea is still noted as a bit overdone at times - to the point that in many alternate histories, a state of Israel is founded at places anywhere on Earth, except at its OTL location.

Responses to this cliché by AH.commers

Our member ninebucks is the one who coined the famous nickname for this cliché, quipping : “Let's play Pin the Zion on the Eurasia… Note that, despite the name, Patagonia, Alaska and Australia are also popular destinations. Here's a list of territories and countries commonly suggested as alternate Israels by fans of alternate history:

  • Alaska (panhandle) - Based on a plan presented in OTL to allow the widespread immigration of Jewish refugees from Hitler's Germany into the then-US territory. The success of this plan forms the foundation for Michael Chabon's AH novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union.
  • The Baltic Sea coast
  • Far-Eastern Russia - Another proposal that existed in OTL, leading to the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, aka Birobidzhan, but was never a very popular idea to begin with.
  • Madagascar - Actually one of the British proposals in OTL. It was also part of an early plan by some elements in Nazi Germany as a place of resettlement for all of the Jews of Europe. Madagascar is the subject to large numbers of Jewish immigrants in the online timeline “Italian Surge,” as well as yet another Jewish nation (New Israel) in Tony Jones' Cliveless World. Also in The Separation by Christopher Priest, called Masada.
  • Manchuria - Based on OTL's Fugu Plan, which was drawn up by the Japanese during World War II to import 10,000-600,000 “unwanted” Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe to settle in Manchuria, where they would work for the glory of the Japanese Empire; the Plan was notorious for being linked to the anti-Semitic work of fiction The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which some elements in the Japanese government naively assumed meant that the Jews, if exploited properly, would contribute greatly to Japan's economic and geopolitical prowess.
  • New Zealand - Occurs in To A Place You Do Not Know, although this is due to ASB interference. Also, New Zealand in this timeline is the original Jewish homeland instead of Canaan.
  • Sinai - in the Chaos TL. See, a Napoleon analogue gave the Jews a homeland, but since the original settlers insisted that Zion proper wasn't supposed to be entered until the messiah came, he took the next-best place.
  • Texas - Likely based on OTL efforts by a Jewish territorialist organization in the early 20th century to encourage large numbers of Jewish migrants to come to Texas. Texas is the setting for an alternate Israel in Tony Jones' Cliveless World.
  • Uganda - One of the British proposals in OTL. The basis for David Bar Elias' Zionist Uganda timeline.
  • Western Australia - The idea is used by EdT in Fight and Be Right. This alternate Israel becomes known as “Altneuland”.

A list of some further OTL proposals can be seen here.

Timelines attempting to avert this cliché

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon - This AH detective thriller presents a surprisingly genre-savvy and original take on this, with the Alaskan town of Sitka and its environs becoming the new homeland of Jewish exiles after WWII. Notably, the territory isn't sold off to become a whole new country, but is only leased by the US government for a few decades, as a provisional solution. Outside of the main plot, the novel closely examines all the alternate social and political developments and problems that would arise from such a small and geographically rather cramped ethnic colony (including tensions with the locals, be they native Tlingits or old-settler Alaskans).

See Also

alternate_history/alternate_israels.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/12 13:33 by max_sinister

Donate Powered by PHP Valid HTML5 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki