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Jewish Zionism

History of Jewish Zionism

Dr. Theodore Hertzl, 1860-1904, is the father of modern Jewish Zionism. He was not thinking about God's Covenants with Abraham or Jacob. He was reacting to the anti-Semitism that was rabid throughout Europe.

Jewish immigration to Palestine, having grown slowly in the 1920's, increased substantially beginning in 1933 when Hitler came to power. A growing problem of refugees was emerging, but which countries would accommodate these refugees?  President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the Evian Conference in July 1938 to address this urgent and pressing issue.

The outcome of the conference was that no country was willing to offer sanctuary to large numbers of Jewish refugees. Only the Dominican Republic offered to accept more than a few refugees and volunteered to contribute large but unspecified areas for agricultural colonization. Unfortunately war broke out before the offer could be implemented to its full extent.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who was to become Israel's first President in 1948, is quoted in the Manchester Guardian as saying:

"The world seemed to be divided into two parts - those places where the Jews could not live and those where they could not enter."

Last updated: January-2005