Zionist Congress

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As Zionist Congress or Zionist Congress ( English Zionist Congress ), more rarely, as Zionist Congress or World Zionist Congress , a meeting of representatives and supporters of is Zionism referred from all over the world.

Such congresses have since the founding of the World Zionist Organization ( World Zionist Organization , WCO) in 1897 in Basel City Casino annually until 1901 to 1939, usually every two years with delegates from all Zionist part of organizations and parties. No congresses could be held during World War II . Since the founding of the state of Israel , a World Jewish Congress has been held as required , most recently in June 2006.

Congresses under Theodor Herzl (1897–1903)

Participant in the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897
Basel Program 1897

The first six congresses were chaired by Theodor Herzl , who died in 1904.

The first Zionist Congress was to take place in Munich . This failed, however, because of the strict rejection of the General German Rabbis Association and the board of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Munich . An alternative was found in Basel, where the congress was organized by David Farbstein and took place from August 29 to 31, 1897. The Basel program was formulated there.

"Zionism strives to create a publicly secured home in Palestine for those Jews who cannot or do not want to assimilate elsewhere."

To achieve this goal, the 204 delegates from Jewish communities from all over the world founded the WZO and elected the conference leader and initiator Theodor Herzl as its first president. The program followed Herzl's political idea that the Jewish state should not be reached through unsecured settlement of Palestine, but through diplomatic agreements with the major European powers. After the end of the congress, Herzl wrote in his diary on September 3, 1897:

“If I summarize the Basel Congress in one word - which I will be careful not to pronounce in public - it is this: I founded the Jewish state in Basel. If I said this out loud today, I would be greeted with universal laughter. Maybe in five years, at least in fifty, everyone will see it. "

The second congress in Basel from August 28 to 31, 1898 with a considerably increased number of delegates (349) campaigned for the recognition of the WZO in the Jewish communities (the motto given by Herzl was conquering the communities , i.e. the Jewish communities should be Zionist and thus the existing Jewish infrastructure can be used, an idea that probably originated in the minds of Herzl and Nordau at the same time) and initiated the foundation of a financial corporation for the development of Palestine, the Jewish Colonial Bank, which a few months later was named Jewish Colonial Trust was founded in London (date of registration: March 22, 1899 - for the history of this institution see Bank Leumi ). The action committee (ie all 23 members belonging to it) was also elected (at Bodenheimer's request ) as the corporation that was supposed to oversee the Jewish Colonial Bank. For the first time, socialist Zionists appeared as a separate group. The Colonization Commission was also established at the second congress. You belonged to: Moses Gaster , London; Murray Rosenberg, London; David Wolffe, Birmingham; Abraham Korkis, Lemberg; Johann Kremenezky , Vienna; Alexander Marmorek , Paris; S. Barbasch, Odessa; Israel Isidor Jasinowsky, Warsaw; Menachem Ussishkin , Ekaterinoslav ; Chaim Chissin , Bern; Samuel Pineles , Galatz ; A. Lindenberg, Bucharest, and Bodenheimer in Cologne.

At the third congress in Basel from August 15 to 18, 1899 (participation of 153 delegates) Herzl reported on his meetings with Kaiser Wilhelm II in Constantinople and Jerusalem , which had no practical consequences, but which made the Zionist movement better known as the Jewish national movement did. Herzl's political efforts met with incomprehension and opposition from many representatives of Jewish settlers' associations: on the other hand, they emphasized the importance of a “cultural” or ethnic identity. It was agreed that the Jewish Colonial Trust should only use its resources in Palestine or Syria.

The fourth congress was held in London from Monday, August 13th to Thursday, August 16, 1900, in order to win public opinion in Great Britain for Zionism. At the same time thousands of Jews fleeing pogroms in Romania and so did the urgency of a Zionist constitution significantly to the objectives of the WCO enforce organizationally. The religious Zionists under Rabbi Isaak Jakob Reines demanded a clear division of labor: the WZO should limit itself to political matters. The congress was the best attended to date and had 497 delegates. Herzl himself said after the congress: “The fourth Zionist Congress is over. There was a lot of noise, sweat and drumbeats. Of course, nothing was “worked”, u. nevertheless the result was excellent. We manifested before the English world and the manifestation was noticed. The English papers on the whole brought u. Great reports like we could need them and can ... ”(Diaries, August 20, 1900). The HaTikwa was sung for the first time at the end of the congress .

At the fifth congress in Basel from December 26 to 30, 1901, Herzl reported on his meeting with the Turkish sultan Abdülhamid II and the successes of the Jewish Colonial Trust. The representatives of the newly formed Democratic Group in the WCO, including Leo Motzkin , Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann , called for a program for Hebrew culture and more democracy in the organization. The Jewish National Fund JNF / Keren Kajemeth was founded by Hermann Schapira to raise funds for the purchase of land in Palestine (Schapira had already proposed this at the first congress in 1897). "For the purpose of settling disputes between bodies of our Zionist organization" a congressional court with seat in Paris was created. It was also decided that the following Zionist congresses should only take place every two years.

The sixth congress in Basel from 23 to 28 August 1903, the last one in which Herzl was still able to attend personally, discussed his proposal for a constitution for the WZO in the light of the previous pogroms in Kishinew . To counter this threat to the Russian Jews, Herzl also advised the El Arisch project with the British diplomats Joseph Chamberlain and Lord Lansdowne. After this failed, the British offered Herzl an autonomous Jewish settlement in East Africa: the misleadingly so-called Uganda Plan . Although Herzl emphasized that Uganda could not and should not replace Palestine as a home, he met with strong rejection. The Russian Zionists left Congress in protest. Nevertheless, a majority of 295 to 178 delegates, with 98 abstentions, voted in favor of sending a committee to East Africa to examine Jewish settlement opportunities there. Franz Oppenheimer proposed cooperative settlements in Palestine: this idea led to the establishment of the first cooperative kibbutz in Palestine a few years later . In 1904, Herzl died at the age of 44 without being able to see his endeavors completed.

Congresses before the founding of the state (1904–1948)

The seventh congress from July 27 to August 2, 1905 in Basel began with Max Nordaus (also chairman of the congress) obituary for Theodor Herzl. The East Africa Commission reported on their trip and came to the conclusion that Uganda was unsuitable as a Jewish settlement destination. Other interim solutions for settlement outside Palestine were discussed, but the majority rejected them. As a result, a group led by Israel Zangwill left the Congress in protest and founded the Jewish Territorial Association. Nonetheless, the WZO now also shifted its focus and decided to provide organizational and financial support to agricultural settlements and industrial enterprises of Jews in Palestine. After Herzl's death there was a vacuum in the leadership of the movement. Various candidates were under discussion as Herzl's successor, and finally three received approval at the seventh congress: Wolffsohn , Nordau and Otto Warburg . At the Zionist Congress in 1905, the movement split between supporters of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and the prospect of land allotted in Uganda by the British. After the Congress rejected the Uganda Plan , the Territorial Jewish Organization was founded in Basel under the leadership of Israel Zangwill. She tried to find suitable territories for Jewish settlements in Africa, Asia and Australia, but had little success. With the Balfour Declaration and the renewed strengthening of Zionism, this movement lost its influence and was dissolved in 1925 (dissolution of the ITO in 1918). Other territorialist attempts were made in the Soviet Union during the interwar period. Four national districts were established in southern Ukraine and northern Crimea in the 1920s, which were wiped out after the German invasion of the Soviet Union . Another area was Birobidzhan , where the Jewish Autonomous Region was proclaimed in 1934 . This venture, too, was a failure. In 1935 the "Free Land League" was founded in the United States, which unsuccessfully tried to establish Jewish autonomy in a sparsely populated area of ​​Ecuador, Australia or Surinam. - The seventh congress accepted Otto Warburg's proposal to general applause to name an area with artificially planted olive trees in Palestine Herzl-Wald .

The eighth congress , chaired by David Wolffsohn, took place from August 14 to 21, 1907 in The Hague parallel to the Second International Peace Conference in order to have a positive influence on it. David Wolffsohn was elected President of the World Zionist Organization because Max Nordau had surprisingly refused to chair it. As a result, the executive office was relocated from Vienna to Cologne. At the eighth congress, practical and political Zionists again discussed their conflicting priorities: Herzl's supporters demanded a constitution which practical work in Palestine should follow; their opponents argued that without an existing Jewish settlement, the great powers would not endorse such a constitution. Chaim Weizmann in particular advocated a merging of both directions (“synthetic Zionism”). To this end, the congress set up a Palestinian branch of the WCO, which was to coordinate the settlement work on site. At the eighth Congress the National Library was founded and the establishment of the Palestine Office in Jaffa was decided. The English philanthropist Jacob Moser committed himself to a donation of 90,000 marks at the congress for the expansion of the Herzlija high school (Jaffa) and to support the Bezalel art academy .

The ninth congress in Hamburg from December 26th to 31st, 1909 followed an uprising of the “ Young Turks ” against the Ottoman Empire, which Max Nordau and David Wolffsohn judged as hope for a Jewish state in Palestine. But Nachum Sokolow accused them, Menachem Ussishkin and Chaim Weizmann, of only promoting economically profitable projects. The congress decided to promote cooperative settlements in Palestine in accordance with Oppenheimer's suggestion.

The tenth congress was held in Basel from August 9th to 15th, 1911. At the opening of the congress David Wolffsohn spoke the first and last words of his address in Hebrew . At this so-called Peace Congress, practical and political Zionists were able to agree on a common approach and settle their conflict for the following decades. Schlomo Kaplansky raised the subject of discussion between Zionists and Arabs. The German Otto Warburg , a practical Zionist, was elected to succeed David Wolffsohn as President of the WZO.

The eleventh congress , which took place in Vienna from September 2 to 9, 1913 under the chairmanship of Wolffsohn, dealt with the settlements in Palestine and their support by the WZO office in Jaffa . Max Nordau did not take part in protest against the deviation from Herzl's concept. Weizmann and Ussishkin obtained approval to found the Hebrew University in Jerusalem , which opened in 1925. At the same time, a conference of the Sephardic Jews took place in Vienna, encouraged by the academic association "Esperanza", in which ninety Sefardim, including all Spanish congress delegates, took part, as well as by the Enger Actionscomité Sokolow and Jacobson; The topic was the most recent Balkan politics and the effects on Sephardic Jewry as well as the language issue and the attempt to clarify the status of Spanish (adoption of Hebrew yes or no?). Nathan Birnbaum gives a fiery speech for the retention of Spanish (later criticized by Niemirower, who pleads for Hebrew; replica by Birnbaum in Freistatt I. , January 10, 1914: "Jabnehist All-Judaism").

Since 1921 there were also party-like organizations, whose delegates organized themselves in parliamentary groups at the congresses. The speakers spoke in the language they liked, as indicated in the verbatim minutes of the congress. The most common are German, English, Yiddish and increasingly also Hebrew.

12th Zionist Congress from September 1 to 14, 1921 in Karlovy Vary under the chairmanship of Nachum Sokolov. Ratification of the Zionist mandate policy. Establishing a generous colonization program. Participation by Martin Buber, among others . Buber then withdraws from active party work.

13th Zionist Congress from August 6 to 8, 1923 in Karlsbad, chaired by Sokolov. Debate on the expansion of the Jewish Agency .

14th Zionist Congress from August 18 to 31, 1925 in Vienna under the chairmanship of Sokolov. 261 delegates. It is decided to expand the Jewish Agency.

15th Zionist Congress from August 30th to September 11th 1927 in Basel under the chairmanship of Sokolow. 281 delegates. Anniversary Congress (30 years of Congress Zionism). A consolidation program is launched. I.a. Henrietta Szold is appointed a member of the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem. The Zionist revisionists ( Jabotinsky ) win nine seats.

16th Zionist Congress from July 28 to August 14, 1929 in Zurich . Formation of the expanded Jewish Agency for Palestine, in which Zionists and non-Zionist friends of the Palestine construction (including Frankel, Marshall, O. Wassermann) are each represented with 50%. Jabotinsky does not get through with his resolution, which calls for a tightening of the pace against the British and threatens to split off the Zionist revisionists, tears up his membership card and leaves the room, shouting "This is not a Zionist Congress!"

17th Zionist Congress from June 30th to July 17th 1931 in Basel. Sokolow succeeds Weizmann, who had resigned because of the Passfield white paper.

18th Zionist Congress from August 21 to September 4, 1933 in Prague . At the 18th Zionist Congress, the writer Shalom Asch declared that the Ha'avara agreement with Hitler was "a betrayal of world Jewry" (on November 5, 1933, the "Trust and Transfer Office Ha'avara Ltd." was registered, as it were private company; the Zionist World Organization then approved the Ha'avara degree by a majority at its conference on August 20, 1935 in Lucerne and even took all of its activities under its own control).

19th Zionist Congress from August 20 to September 6, 1935 in Lucerne . Present among many others: Sammy Gronemann , David Ben-Gurion , Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan , James McDonald, Arthur Ruppin , Nachum Sokolow, Avraham Menachem Ussishkin , Chaim Weizmann , Rabbi Steven Wise and Fritz Rosenthal , present as a reporter for Nathan Birnbaum's magazine Der Reputation . Chaim Weizmann is re-elected as President of the Zionist Organization and Agency at the Congress. The revisionists had canceled their participation (they separated from the world Zionist movement in 1935 in protest against their allegedly too soft course, but rejoined it in 1946). The director Benjamin Fett, who emigrated to Palestine, made the first film at a Zionist congress.

20th Zionist Congress from August 3rd to 17th, 1937 in Zurich. I.a. Decision to start negotiations with the UK Government on the modalities of the land allocation as proposed by the Peel Commission .

21st Zionist Congress in Geneva in August 1939 .

Biltmore Conference in New York City at the Biltmore Hotel. From 9th to 11th May 1942. An extraordinary Zionist congress, as no Zionist congress could take place that year due to the war events. The approximately 600 delegates came from all American and Canadian Zionist organizations and - as best they could - from Europe and Palestine. Mainly it was about the demand for an opening of Palestine for the refugees from the Europe occupied by the National Socialists. The conference took place under the direction of Ben-Gurion (chairman of the executive branch of the Jewish Agency) (Chaim Weizmann, the president of the WZO, was also present) and stated that the British-controlled Palestine should become Jewish property (without his And called for the British Mandate Government to be replaced by the Jewish Agency. This alarmed some American liberal Jews who, in late 1942, formed an anti-Zionist organization called The American Council for Judaism. The British stuck to their negative policy. Only Rommel could be stopped in front of El Alamein before he reached Jewish settlements. The Biltmore program was accepted not only by Zionist but also by all Jewish organizations in America; it formed the basis for the political struggle of the Zionist movement from 1943 to the founding of the state in 1948.

22nd Zionist Congress in Basel in December 1946. Well-known actors of the later decades such as David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and the young Shimon Peres took part in the first congress after the Second World War . Polish Jewry was largely absent, and German and that of Central and Eastern Europe were as good as absent.

Congresses since the founding of Israel (since 1948)

23rd Congress (August 14-30, 1951): The first congress to be held in Jerusalem after the establishment of the state. With the establishment of the State of Israel, the main goal of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) was achieved, the dissolution of which was then considered. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in particular spoke out in favor. However, this view was not generally shared. Therefore, the 23rd Zionist Congress formulated the new tasks of Zionism:

"The state of Israel to strengthen to gather the dispersed of Israel in the country and to ensure the unity of the Jewish people."

In the following year the Knesset guaranteed the WZO by law its special status and recognized the WZO and the Jewish Agency as the “institutions that are authorized in the State of Israel to continue developing and colonizing the country, accepting immigrants and coordinating activities Jewish organizations working in this field in Israel ”.

24th Zionist Congress : April 24 to May 7, 1956 in Jerusalem

25th Zionist Congress : December 27, 1960 to January 11, 1961 in Jerusalem

26th Zionist Congress : December 30, 1964 to January 11, 1965 in Jerusalem

27th Zionist Congress : 9. – 19. June 1968 in Jerusalem

28th Zionist Congress : 18. – 28. June 1972

29th Zionist Congress : 20. – 28. February 1978

31st Zionist Congress : 1987

32nd Zionist Congress : 1992

35th Zionist Congress : June 2006

Web links

Commons : Zionist Congress  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Zionist Congress in Basel - on August 30 and 31, 1897. Official protocol. . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Publishing house of the Erez Israel Association. 1898. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  2. Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 2nd Zionist Congress held in Basel from August 28 to 31, 1898 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Publishing house of the Erez Israel Association. 1898. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 3rd Zionist Congress in Basel, August 15-17, 1899 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Publishing house of the Erez Israel Association. 1899. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  4. Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 4th Zionist Congress in London on August 13, 14, 15 and 16, 1900 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Publishing house of the Erez Israel Association. 1900. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 5th Zionist Congress in Basel on December 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th 1901 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Publishing house of the Erez Israel Association. 1901. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  6. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 6th Zionist Congress Basel, August 1903 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Publishing house of the Erez Israel Association. 1903. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 7th Zionist Congress Basel and the extraordinary congress in Basel on July 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, August 1 and 2, 1905 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Jewish publishing house. 1906. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 8th Zionist Congress in The Hague from August 14th to 21st, 1907 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Jewish publishing house. 1907. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  9. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 9th Zionist Congress in Hamburg from December 26th to December 30th, 1909 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Jewish publishing house. 1910. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  10. a b c Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 10th Zionist Congress in Basel from August 9th to 15th, 1911 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Jewish publishing house. 1911. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  11. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 11th Zionist Congress in Vienna from September 2nd to 9th, 1913 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Jewish publishing house. 1914. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  12. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 12th Zionist Congress in Karlsbad from September 1 to 14, 1921 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Jewish publishing house. 1922. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Stenographic minutes of the negotiations of the 13th Zionist Congress from August 6 to 18, 1923 in Karlsbad . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Central Office of the Zionist Organization. 1924. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Minutes of the negotiations of the 14th Zionist Congress from August 16 to 31, 1925 in Vienna . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Central Office of the Zionist Organization. 1926. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  15. ^ Minutes of the negotiations of the 15th Zionist Congress in Basel, August 30 to September 11, 1927 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Central Office of the Zionist Organization. 1927. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  16. ^ Minutes of the negotiations of the 16th Zionist Congress and the constituent meeting of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Zurich, July 28 to August 14, 1929 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Central Office of the Zionist Organization. 1929. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Minutes of the negotiations of the 17th Zionist Congress and the second meeting of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Basel, June 30 to July 17, 1931 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Central Bureau of the Zionist Organization. 1931. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  18. Minutes of the negotiations of the 18th Zionist Congress and the third session of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Prague, August 21 to September 4, 1933 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Fiba publishing house. 1934. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  19. ^ Minutes of the negotiations of the 19th Zionist Congress and the fourth meeting of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Lucerne, August 20 to September 6, 1935 . In: sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de . Fiba publishing house. 19. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  20. Valerie Zaslawski: Zionist Congress of 1946: The Jewish State at Last Before Eyes . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , January 3, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.