The Zionist Congresses

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An article from the New-York Daily Tribune, dated August 25, 1903.


Belief That Proposition of African Colony Will Be Accepted.

London, Aug. 24.--English Jews are deeply interested in the announcement made by Dr. Theodor Herzl, president of the sixth Zionist Congress, at its opening yesterday at Basel, that Great Britain, in view of the failure of the plan to establish Jews on the Sinai Peninsula, had offered to the Zionists a large tract of territory in East Africa for colonization by the Jews, who would have an autonomous government under British suzerainty. While some opposition is expected, they believe that the congress will accept the proposition.

It is pointed out that there is a great difference between the acquisition of Palestine for the establishment of a Jewish state, as originally contemplated by the Zionists, and the proposal of the British Government, which simply contemplates the establishment of a Jewish colony in a section of the British Empire needing development. When in London, Dr. Herzl called at the Foreign Office and consulted with the officials there in regard to the British attitude with respect to the Sinai Peninsula, but Great Britain was not willing to do more than make the proposal announced by Dr. Herzl.


Dr. Thedor Herzl

Dr. Theodor Herzl
From a photograph taken by C. Bietzner in Vienna,
July 3, year unknown.
Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery.

Lord Rothschild said today:

"Fearing Jewish emigration from the British Isles, the government has offered a tract of land in East Africa to Jews emigrating there. They will have only the rights and privileges of British subjects, the same as their brethren enjoy here and elsewhere in the empire. They will be under British rule, the same as they would be under American rule if they were located within American territory. In other words, they will simply be colonists. I do not know whether the proposition will be accepted."

As Dr. Herzl did not disclose the proposal before its announcement to the congress at Basel, the Jews here are not aware of its exact terms, but the majority of the Jews in England are said to oppose its acceptance. Israel Zangwill and Sir Francis Montefiore, who are at Basel, will, it is believe, uphold the proposal. The editor of a Jewish newspaper here said:

"In any event a refuge is not desired for the Jews of England or America, but for those of Russia, Rumania and other European States, whose condition can only be improved by emigration."

The editor reiterated that the idea of acquiring Palestine had not been abandoned, even in view of the British proposal being accepted.






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