aish.com > Day in Jewish History

Av 30

December 7, 2009 | by Aish.com

In 1903, the 6th Zionist Congress met in Basle, Switzerland. Herzl presented a British proposal for a temporary Jewish homeland in Uganda, as a refuge for Russian Jews in immediate danger. This settlement would be politically independent, with a Jewish governor and a Jewish administration. Herzl believed that the plan conferred an important stamp of legitimacy upon Zionism. The Zionist Congress approved the plan, and decided to dispatch an exploratory expedition to Africa. However, the idea was met with stiff opposition, and it split the Zionist movement. The Uganda Program was rejected two years later, but later exploratory missions were sent to Iraq, Libya and Angola. One project that gained traction was the Galveston plan which sent 9,300 Jews to Texas. In the end, it was understood that only the Land of Israel, with its deep historical and spiritual connections, would succeed as the Jewish homeland.




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