The Jews almost created Israel in Africa

History 25/03/20 As Jews almost created Israel in Africa

for many centuries the Jews hoped to gain their own state. As a shelter they saw not only the promised Land, but other places in the world, for example East Africa.

the Relocation of English

August 14, 1903 the British government made the Zionist organization official proposal for the establishment of an Autonomous Jewish settlement in British East Africa in Kenya, which bore the name Uganda (not to be confused with the modern state of Uganda).

This idea arose a year earlier at the meeting, one of the leaders of Zionism, Theodor Herzl and the British banker Nathan Rothschild, and was later discussed with the Secretary for the colonies Joseph Chamberlain.

According to the plan, the internal management of the settlement was to be Autonomous, but the Supreme power belong to the British government. The boundaries of the territory of the Jewish state was not discussed and had to be installed after consultation with British experts and conclusions of the special Commission of the Zionist organization, which planned to examine the scene of the alleged settlement.

British officials and bankers motivated the idea with desire to help the Jewish people, suffering from the pogroms in Europe. However, this visibility, UK primarily guided by the desire to attract East Africa of professional manpower and capital for economic development in the region.

was in London, and other reasons. Recently ended Boer war and the British authorities were keen to settle in the territory of “black Africa” civilized white inhabitants and to simplify for themselves the issue of confrontation with the local peoples.

However, the noble idea of helping should not be completely discounted. Despite the fact that in Britain the Jews also discriminated against, as in continental Europe, the English anti-Semitism was still restrained and tolerant. While some aristocratic and literary circles of Victorian England even cultivated friendly-romantic feelings towards the Jews.

the dreams of Herzl

the Founder of the world Zionist organization, Theodor Herzl as no one else react badly to any manifestations of anti-Semitism. It deeply resented, as the audience of the cultural capital of Europe – Paris can shout “death to the Jews!” and similar slogans. Particularly acute question about the salvation of East European Jewry began in the days of the Christian Easter, 1903, broke out in a bloody pogrom in Kishinev.

Increased anti-Semitic sentiment in Europe at the turn of XIX-XX centuries and the dispersion of the Jews who fled from the oppression of Russia finally convinced Herzl of the need for a Jewish autonomy.

Despite significant differences with Herzl and other leaders of the Zionist organization Oscar Marmoream and max Nordau, they came together in one: Jews need their own independent state. But the question of its location continued to be the discussion.

Dr. Herzl tried to explain the essence of the British project and his position: “Uganda is not the end of Zionism, Uganda — only the hub station, a rallying point for Israel on the way to Zion. The history of Israel is going to repeat in Uganda itself. Is Africa first to serve the Jews during the transition to the promised land? Remember the Patriarch Joseph, and the land of Goshen”.

not all Jews supported the idea of resettlement in Africa, although its benefits were even seen other nationalities. For example, the Russian writer Alexander Amfiteatrov wrote: “Wonderful there, right! And palm trees, and sea, and even giraffes!”. He argued to his friend Rabbi Muhimu that Palestine is unable to feed the Jews, when the Zionist movement will take a much larger scale.

“Palestine — stone and sand, the wild mountains, running steppe, skinny river, belese, disgusting coast, salt marshes, malaria, Bedouins, locusts… You suffocate in that jar with sand worse than even in your ill-fated pale,” he argued Amphitheater.

According to historians, Herzl, who was promoting a plan for Jewish autonomy, had it’s own interest, which primarily was to establish close relations with the British government. Official London could prove to be useful in the implementation of the relocation and resettlement of Jews in the new territories, and in the future would strengthen the position of the Zionist organizations in the negotiations on the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel.

ultimately, the motivation of Herzl was mainly strategic: the creation of the so-called “shelter” — Nachtasy that was not a deviation from the Basel program (adopted at the 1st Zionist Congress), providing for public legal refuge of Jews in Palestine.

Rabbi Berl Wein noted that Herzl’s Zionism was not a religious idea or a branch of Jewish history and tradition, but a new pragmatic approach to the problem of Jewish suffering. Uganda, therefore, was acceptable as possible any territory.


the Plan Uganda has been provided by Herzl at the 6th Zionist Congress in August 1903. Plan vitalogichoodia debate. During the Congress the majority of the Russian members of the Executive Committee of the Zionist organization, Herzl presented a statement of disagreement with the plan and left the hall.

But in the end the plan was supported by 295 votes (178 voted against, abstained 132). At the end of the Congress in Uganda was sent to the Commission, which was to assess the prospects of the establishment of a Jewish autonomy in Africa. However, the controversy did not end that threatened the unity of the Zionist movement.

In October 1903 the opponents of the Uganda plan at the Kharkov conference joined the group Zionei Zion (“Zionists of Zion”), which became RossYi Hasidic Jews Yechiel Members and Menachem Ussishkin. Herzl refused to accept the delegations to him with an ultimatum, demanding to renounce the plan of Uganda. However, at an informal meeting with representatives of the opposition, Herzl managed to convince them that he intends to continue to seek recognition of the rights of Jews to settle in Palestine, that the Zionist rescued the organization from the final split.

At the meeting of the Executive Committee 11 April 1904 between the conflicting parties have reached reconciliation. By this time returned the Jewish Commission of Uganda, pregnantamerican unfit for settlement. In addition, the plan Uganda grew cold and the British government.

the Controversy surrounding the plan of the resettlement of Jews in East Africa still cost the Zionist movement integrity. So, left organization famous writer Israel Zangwill and created his own movement of territorialism. Left the organization and many of the Zionists of Russia.

In July of 1905, shortly before the 7th Zionist Congress, which was finally to decide the question of Uganda, Theodor Herzl died of a heart attack.

Only the land of Israel

After the death of Herzl his ideas continued to live. Israel Zangwill, who put forward the slogan “land without a people for a people without land”, and further considered the establishment of a Jewish autonomy in any place of the planet. The next few decades he tried to establish a Jewish state in Australia, Africa and North America.

it is interesting to note that on the eve of the Second world war in Poland under assumed Polish colonization of Madagascar there was a movement to resettle Jews on the island. With the beginning of the war for the Third Reich without the influence of the British Uganda programme developed a plan for forced resettlement of all Jews from Europe to Madagascar.


On the 7th Zionist Congress a plan for the resettlement of Jews in Uganda on the basis of negative conclusion of the Commission sent to the East Africa, was finally rejected. Congress delegates adopted a resolution which read that, “according to the Basle program of the Zionist organization should promote the settlement of Jews in Eretz Israel”. They say that shortly before his death, and the Theodor Herzl said: “Palestine is the only country where our people can find peace”.

Russian Seven

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