The Basle Program
Resolutions of the First
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Theodore Herzl organized the first
Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897. Prior to the Congress, Zionist activities had been initiated by several
different groups such as Hovevei Zion (lovers of Zion) with no central direction or political program. The Basle
Congress was the foundation of a mass Zionist movement. At the conclusion, the congress adopted the resolutions below.
Herzl wrote in his diary, "At Basle, I founded the Jewish state.. If not in five years, then certainly in fifty,
everyone will realize it.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion , an anti-semitic forgery of the Tsarist police written in 1905, are claimed by anti-Zionists to be the protocols of the first Zionist Congress. The actual resolutions of the congress are given below. They are the result of a compromise formula. A committee headed by Max Nordau offered the text "The aim of Zionism is to create for the Jewish people a home in Eretz-Israel (the land of Israel) secured by law." Leo Motzkin proposed the wording "international law.
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