Visite nuestro sitio/Visit our home page:

Jewish Tours Argentina

Authentic historical insight to Zionism

The Sixth Congress.

One of the most important Congresses was the Sixth, which was held, in August 1903, in Basle. The leader, Dr. Herzl, was able to announce to the assembly that the British Government had offered to the Zionist Organization a territory in British East Africa, for the purpose of a Jewish settlement, with rights of local autonomy. It was intimated by the Government that they were willing to concede to the Zionist Organization a very large territory for the purpose and they suggested that an investigating Commission should be dispatched to confer with the High Commissioner in East Africa as to the most suitable piece of the country available for establishing, a Jewish settlement.


The East Africa Project.

This announcement gave rise to a regrettable misunderstanding. A section of the Congress believed that it meant that Zionism was to give up its efforts for the acquisition of Palestine and to regard the settlement of East Africa as its final goal, and they accordingly opposed with the utmost vehemence this supposed alteration of the original program. Such an alteration, however, was never contemplated. British East Africa was not to take the place of Palestine, but only to serve as a place of refuge for those unfortunate Jews who, under the horrible conditions placed upon them, could not live in the step motherly countries of their birth waiting until Palestine should become open to them as a place to which they could emigrate in safety as Jews, free from all chance of disability, because they would be emigrating to a land where the Government would be Jewish. After debates of intense excitement the Congress finally adopted the proposal, by a large majority, to express the thanks of the Jewish people to the British Government for its magnanimous offer, which was unique in history, and to send a Commission of experts to East Africa to investigate the territory. Mainly owing to the opposition which the plan aroused, Herzl deemed it wise not to avail himself of the offer of the British Government as originally made but to ask for a definite denomination of the territory proposed to be conceded. The British Government, after communication with the High Commissioner of the Protectorate, selected a tract of about five thousand square miles in the Guas Ngishu Plateau and a Commission was organized to examine its prospects and suitability.

This Commission started on its journey towards the end of the year l904, and in May 1905 presented its report, which is not favorable enough to justify Zionist activity in establishing a Jewish colony. It is therefore probable that no use will be made of the beneficent offer of the English Government. But the incident is of great importance as it has shown what esteem Zionism, during the few years of its career, has earned from a great Government, and with what elemental love a large section of the Jewish people cling to Palestine, and to Palestine only. Under most circumstances, according to the dictum of folklore, a sparrow in hand is preferred to a pigeon on the roof. The steadfast idealists, on the contrary, who form the flower of the Zionist army, despite the sparrow that is pressed into their hand, appear to prefer to wait patiently for the pigeon, which is meanwhile still beyond their reach.

Previous page  Next Page



Read about our specially designed tours Click here to know who we are Customers Testimonials  Site map  
News and Media  Prices Directory of Synagogues  
More info? Click here to send us an email

Terms and Conditions

Related links Other services