Up to WW2 the number of Jews who had moved there was a big disappointment, not nearly enough to pull off the Israel project. It's no exaggeration to say that WW2 saved the Zionist dream, but not because Jews suddenly wanted to move to the Middle East, only because it allowed Zionists to arrange for them to move their whether they wanted to or not.
Yosef Grodzinsky has written In the Shadow of the Holocaust, an account of how Zionists arranged for those Jews in the displaced persons camps post WWII to be sent to Palestine regardless of their wishes, often drafting them into the Haganah to fight there as well.
Now, Yossi Gurvitz, in his blog, has brought my attention to another chapter of railroading to Palestine in his post Soviet Jews were Cheated into Immigrating to Israel which draws its information from an article in 7 Yamim, the weekly magazine supplement of Israel's most popular newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.
I encourage you to read the blog post. Here is an excerpt. "Kadmi" is Yasha Kadmi, who was the chief of Nativ, "the clandestine organization infiltrating the Soviet Bloc", who has written a book explaining the way the system worked...
It went like this: The goal was to prevent Russian Jews from reaching Vienna, from which they could make it to the US as refugees. So Kadmi gathered Jews wishing to emigrate to Moscow, and met with them after 17:00, the time the Austrian embassy stopped working. He then gave them a plane ticket to either Romania or Hungary, which they had to use immediately, preferably that night. Kadmi has already made a deal with the two dictatorships, who would in turn make certain no Soviet Jew had the option of boarding a plane to anywhere but Israel. Often, they didn’t even have the chance to leave the airport. Such deals with the Romanian despot Nicolae Ceausescu – “dear departed Ceausescu, peace be upon him”, as he is described by Kadmi – were common; throughout the 1970s and 1980s he literally sold Jews to Israel. “7 Yamim” summed it thus: “No [Austrian] embassy? No way to reach Vienna. No way to rwach Vienna? No America. So what’s left? What Kadmi gives”.Yossi Gurvitz also relates in his blog post another example of Jews sacrificed, in this case their lives sacrificed, for the sake of Zionism, in the story of the ship Patria...
This was a ship into which the British herded Jewish refugees from the Nazis, intending to deport them. With the blessing of Moshe Sharet, later to become prime minister, the Hagana placed an explosive device on the ship. On 25 September, 1940, 216 Jews who managed to escape Hitler’s hell were done to death by the Zionists. Later, the perpetrators would claim they misjudged the amount of explosive they used; given that the explosion blew away the entire steel frame on one side, this was some misjudgment, if that’s what it really was. When one of Mapai’s members dared to publicly come out against the attack, writing “it is unacceptable for Jews to sanctify the name by killing other Jews. What right have we to drown women, men, old people and young, whose permission we did not ask, and make a sacrifice of them?”, he was slapped in public by Ben Gurion’s son, Amos. Few people remember the Patria today.
The movie Exodus, a misleading source of information for Americans about the founding of Israel, neglected to inform movie-goers of these incidents in the history of Zionism, an extremist movement within Judaism that did not by any means have the support of the majority of Jews yet now claims to represent all.