Following are excerpts from a Hamas TV drama about Theodor Herzl and the Ottoman Sultan, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on November 16, 2010:
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Can the Jews settle anywhere other than Palestine?
Lewinsky: If they fail to take over Palestine, they will try to go to Argentina.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Why don't they go there, and that will be the end of it?
Lewinsky: They haven't failed yet in making Palestine their homeland.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: So that is what your friend Herzl wants.
Lewinsky: Yes, sir. All he wants is for you to sell Palestine to him. You will get a lot of money. You will be able to pay your debts, and to establish institutions, universities, and mosques, as well as irrigation and agricultural projects. The whole world will be loyal to you.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Then tell Herzl...
Lewinsky: ...That you agree?
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Listen, Lewinsky. If Herzl is your friend as much as you are mine, advise him not to pursue this. I will not sell a single inch of the country, because it is not mine – it belongs to all the Muslims. They paid for this empire with their blood, and we will redeem it with our blood. Let the Jews keep their millions. If the empire is partitioned, they can get Palestine for free, but that will happen over our dead bodies.
Lewinsky: But my lord...
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: I made myself clear. There is no need for explanation. They think that I don't understand their intentions. Let them know that every single person in our empire will continue to loathe them as long as these are their intentions. Tell them to forget about the idea of establishing a state in Palestine, because I am still their greatest enemy. Forgive me, my friend, but Sultan Abdul Hamid is not a man to take the land of the Muslims lightly.
Lewinsky: Forgive me for talking to you about this. I'm only the messenger.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Let me offer you my hospitality. You are a dear friend.
Theodor Herzl: So that's how it is. Sultan Abdul Hamid does not appreciate the consequences. If he were as smart as I hear he is, he would not have rejected my offer.
Lewinsky: Listen, Herzl, Sultan Abdul Hamid is a man of faith. Such men cannot be bought.
Theodor Herzl: We are the men of faith, not him. He is clever enough to outsmart you, Lewinsky, in one meeting.
Lewinsky: I know Abdul Hamid as well as I know you. When you give up your idea, he might forget about it as well.
Theodor Herzl: Then you do not know Herzl.
Lewinsky: You are the one who does not know Sultan Abdul Hamid. It is not a matter of being smart, but a matter of honor. Even if you gave him the weight of Palestine in gold, he would not give you a single inch in return.
Theodor Herzl: You seem to admire him.
Lewinsky: As mush as I admire you. I wonder why you do not resolve this issue by looking for a place other than Palestine.
Theodor Herzl: Palestine is what the Jews dream of. It is our land and the land of our forefathers. It is what God promised us. We will regain it, whether the world likes it or not.
Lewinsky: The land of your forefathers?
Theodor Herzl: Yes.
Lewinsky: If I didn't know my friend Herzl so well, I could almost believe what you're saying.
Theodor Herzl: My friend, the world must know that Palestine is the Promised Land, the land of the Jews. All those who persecuted and tortured the Jews must acknowledge this, in order to atone for their deeds.
Lewinsky: You know that I do not like lies and deception. I hope that you live to realize your dreams.
Theodor Herzl: Palestine is ours, and we will take it even if it costs us everything we have – even if we have to turn history head over tail. I will tighten the noose around your neck, you sick man, until I take Palestine for free.
Theodor Herzl: Say it, my lord.
Lewinsky: Say it, and the whole world will be with you.
Theodor Herzl: All your dreams will come true, my lord.
Lewinsky: Europe in its entirety will stand by you.
Theodor Herzl: The whole world will attest that you have conducted an historic revolution.
Lewinsky: No more threats, no more rumors, no more debts.
Theodor Herzl: You will make your country happy, and you will be remembered for all eternity.
Lewinsky: We will stand with you against your opponents.
Theodor Herzl: Your name will be revered, my lord. A tiny country like Palestine is meaningless compared to everything you own, my lord.
Lewinsky: We will recruit our news papers and writers in your service.
Theodor Herzl: Palestine is the Promised Land. That is what God promised.
Lewinsky: Say it, my lord.
Theodor Herzl: Say it, my lord.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II awakens from a bad dream
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: I seek Allah's refuge from the accursed Satan.
He drinks some water from a bedside urn
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: I seek Allah's refuge from the accursed Satan. They shouldn't even dream of Palestine, as long as I live, as the Lord is my witness.
The muazeen calling for prayers is heard in the background
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Allah Akbar.
Theodor Herzl: Emperor Wilhelm...
Kaiser Wilhelm II: Hello, Herzl.
Theodor Herzl: I know that your time is precious, Sir, but...
Kaiser Wilhelm II: I know why you are here, Herzl, and exactly what you want. You know that Sultan Abdul Hamid paid me a visit, and so you have come to learn why. In addition, you want me to convince the Sultan of your cause.
Theodor Herzl: Sir, that is what we are expecting from you. After all, you are our benefactor. All that we hope is that you bestow your kindness on the Jewish people.
Kaiser Wilhelm II: You Jews – your greed knows no bounds... Are you upset by what I said? I meant to say that your ambitions know no bounds. You know that we are the only European ally of the Ottoman state, but what connects us to the Ottoman state supersedes our support for you.
Theodor Herzl: My lord, Kaiser Wilhelm, we are not asking for support of Your Highness. You are already supporting us. All we want is that you intercede on our behalf with Sultan Abdul Hamid, so that he will sell a small portion of the land under his rule to a people with no land. Is that too much to ask? Or maybe you could persuade him to meet with me, and I will convince him.
Kaiser Wilhelm II: You are very ambitious, Herzl. If all Jews were like you, they would be better off.
Member of Jewish delegation: This is our request, Sir. We will never forget your generosity. We do not want you to be hostile to the Ottoman state. We Jews love Sultan Abdual Hamid and wish him well. If he makes a concession, we will be at his service for as long as we live.
Kaiser Wilhelm II: I will try to persuade Abdul Hamid to meet you. The rest is up to you.
Theodor Herzl: Thank you, Sir. That is all we want.
Kaiser Wilhelm II: But with one condition.
Theodor Herzl: Yes, Sir?
Kaiser Wilhelm II: You must stop attacking him in the newspapers, and stop spreading rumors about him.
Theodor Herzl: Who, us?
Kaiser Wilhelm II: It does not make sense to attack him at a time when you need him.
Theodor Herzl: I will exercise all my authority, you have my word.
Grand Vizier: Herzl is at the door, Sir.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Tell him to come in, Grand Vizier, and don't let anyone in after him.
Grand Vizier: At your service, my lord, the Sultan.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: You can raise your head, Herzl – Sultan Abdul Hamid does not like to see heads bowing before him. Have a seat.
Theodor Herzl: This is a sign of your hospitality, Sir.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: I believe you did not come all this way just to praise the humbleness and hospitality of the Sultan.
Theodor Herzl: That is true, Sir, but my praises are far from being mere flattery.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: If Kaiser Wilhelm had not spoken on your behalf time and again, you'd never have won an appointment with me in your wildest dreams. Let's cut to the chase. What do you want, Herzl?
Theodor Herzl: Palestine, Sir. I want Palestine.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Didn't you get the message that I sent to you with Lewinsky?
Theodor Herzl: That was a year ago. Circumstances have changed.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: For you, maybe.
Theodor Herzl: The situation of the Jews all over the world has changed. All the capital of Europe is in our hands, and so are all the newspapers. I have come to you, and I do not want to beat around the bush: I want Palestine, at any cost.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: How much do you want to pay, Herzl?
Theodor Herzl: How about 150 million golden liras?
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: 150 million golden liras?! That's a large sum. Listen, Herzl. Even if you paid me the weight of the Earth in gold, I would never agree. I would never bring shame upon the Muslims, and upon my forefathers, the Ottoman Sultans and Caliphs.
Theodor Herzel: But Sir...
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Tell me, Herzl. Do you know how many Muslims there are in the world?
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: If you want to buy Palestine, know that the price is the blood of all the Muslims.
Theodor Herzl: Then let the Jews settle there, Sir.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: You are as sly as a fox. I told you not to even dream about Palestine. The Jews can live anywhere in the Ottoman Empire except Palestine. If I agreed, I would be sentencing my brothers in Islam to death. Get it?
Turkish revolutionary leader: We have used every peaceful means to persuade Sultan Abdul Hamid to change his mind, but to no avail. Therefore, we have decided to devise a plan to get rid of this stubborn Sultan.
Theodor Herzl: Gentlemen, I'm sad to say that Sultan Abdul Hamid does not care about the Ottoman state. All he cares about is his personal interests, not the interests of his people or the rest of the peoples.
Turkish revolutionary leader: But his personal interests require that he find a solution to the problem of our Jewish brothers in the world.
Jewish conspirator: The Jews are no-one's enemies. Wherever they go, love, peace, and fraternity prevail.
Another Jewish conspirator: Herzl received some very positive responses from Europe regarding the removal of the Sultan from power. Europe in its entirety agreed out of sympathy for the Jewish people.
Theodor Herzl: So we have devised a plan to get rid of Sultan Abdul Hamid. All you have to do is to start implementing it.
Turkish revolutionary leader: We are prepared to carry out this plan. Tomorrow, you will hear news that will make you happy.
Theodor Herzl: For our part, we will cover your debts, and I assure you that the relations of the Ottoman state with the rest of the world will be the best ever.
Would-be assassin shoots the Sultan as he is leaving a mosque
Sultan's bodyguards: Over there!
Injured sultan is rushed to safety by entourage
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: It has come to this?! To the [attempted] killing of the Sultan? I can't believe it! And why?
Grand Vizier: My lord!
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: No, there can be no excuse for what has happened. [Trying] to kill the Sultan?! I have no enemies, other than the enemies of Islam and the Muslims. I have had no ulterior motive ever since I ascended this throne.
Grand Vizier: Can't you see, my lord. That our debts are accumulating, and the state is growing weaker?
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: The Jews have done their thing, but they should know that I am their greatest enemy. Even if I lose my throne, it is better than selling them a single inch of Palestine.
Grand Vizier: Look, Sir, they are conspiring with some political parties, in order to bring you down and debilitate the state.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Let them do what they like.
Grand Vizier: Sir, they will not let you be until they get what they want.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II: Listen, I do not agree. I told Herzl and his mediators and I am telling it now to everybody. Let Chaim Weizmann hear it: I will not give a single inch of Palestine to anyone. The land belongs to its people. Let them take it over their dead bodies. We will never relinquish it. Never! Get it?
Grand Vizier: May Allah protect you, Sir.
Narrator: The years went by quickly. The hands of Freemasonry have shaken the filthy hands of the hypocrites – of the Union and Progress Party, for example. One conspiracy followed another, until a coup d'etat took place. The coup ended the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, on March 10, 1909. The greatest obstacle was removed from the path of the Jews. Jewish minds and defiled hands have brought down the Caliphate, and a new stage in the conflict has begun.