Zionism Between 1894-1918

Essay by iamthewalrusCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2010

download word file, 2 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Define Zionism and examine its main goals and activities from 1894-1918 Zionism was the movement to create a Jewish homeland. It grew from anti-Semitic policy and attitudes in Europe, namely Russian Pogroms and The Dreyfus Affair. The latter helped bring awareness to anti-Semitism in Europe. Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish French Officer convicted of treason and sentenced to life. Many believed he was framed (which was confirmed in 1899) and the incident became symbolic of Jewish inequality . Before 1897 the Zionist movement was loose and unorganized. Led by Theodor Herzl, the First Zionist Congress was opened in Basle, Switzerland. Herzl was a prominent figure in the movement. He was journalist and playwright as well as an editor in one of Europe's leading newspapers. He authored convincing, rational answers to the Jewish question as well as commentary on the Dreyfus Affiar . With his prominence he helped organize the First Zionist Congress in August 1897.

In his opening speech Herzl states the congress' goal: lay the foundations for the Jewish nation. He also called for the settlement of Jews in Palestine, unification of a Jewish Organization, building Jewish national consciences, and gain assistance from various governments to fulfill these goals. This first congress created the World Zionist Organization that helped unify the movement . Herzl's attempts to act on his goals proved harder than anticipated.

Finding the land for the proposed Jewish nation was an issue. The British had offered land in East Africa that became known as the Uganda Proposal in 1903. The WZO sent a team to inspect the land and found it filled with hostile natives and lions. They politely declined the offer. 1904 brought about the Second Aliyah consisting mostly of Russian Jews escaping persecution. This group would eventually establish Tel Aviv in 1909 .