BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL


Click on a year below to find out what happened
Ancient times
1890s
1910s
1920s-30s
1940s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s











Basle: The venue of the First Zionist Congress
First Zionist Congress

The First Zionist Congress met in Basle, Switzerland, to discuss the ideas set out in Theodor Herzl's 1896 book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). Herzl, a Jewish journalist and writer living in Vienna, wanted Jews to have their own state - primarily as a response to European anti-Semitism.

The Congress issued the Basle Programme to establish a "home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured by public law" and set up the World Zionist Organisation to work for that end.

A few Zionist immigrants had already started arriving in the area before 1897. By 1903 there were some 25,000 of them, mostly from Eastern Europe. They lived alongside about half a million Arab residents in what was then part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. A second wave of about 40,000 immigrants arrived in the region between 1904 and 1914.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific