First Zionist Congress

First Zionist Congress

First Zionist Congress

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The First Zionist Congress () was the inaugural congress of the Zionist Organization (to become the World Zionist Organization in 1960) held in Basel , Switzerland, from August 29 to August 31, 1897. It was convened and chaired by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionism movement. The Congress formulated a Zionist platform, known as the Basel program, and founded the Zionist Organization. It also adopted the Hatikvah as its anthem (already the anthem of Hovevei Zion and later to become the national anthem of the State of Israel).


The first Zionist Congress was convened by Theodor Herzl as a symbolic parliament for the small minority of Jewry Nahum Goldmann, The Jewish Paradox, translated by Steven Cox (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978), p. 77. "When Zionism first appeared on the world scene most Jews opposed it and scoffed at it. Herzl was only supported by a small minority." in agreement with the implementation of Zionist goals. While Jewish majority opposition to Zionism would continue until after revelation of the Holocaust in WWII, Edward C. Corrigan, , Middle East Policy Council, Journal, Winter 1990-91, Number 35. "Prior to World War II the majority of Jews were non-Zionist, and a large number were openly hostile to Zionism. ...It was not until the full horror of the Holocaust was realized that the great bulk of the Jewish...
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