Today in history: Der Judenstaat

Today in 1896, Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl published his book “The Jewish State”.

Herzl was a well-known Jewish playwright and reporter in Austria-Hungary of the late 19th century; but the rising anti-Semitism around him in Europe aroused his interest in the Zionist idea that began to develop during this period, which called for the return of the people of Israel to their land. Herzl began to prepare the basis for extensive diplomatic and political activity for the Zionist cause, and within two months he wrote a book – The Jewish State, published in February 1896, in which he presented the main points of his views: The problem of insoluble anti-Semitism, the solution found in the Land of Israel, and practical ways to promote immigration, the economy, political institutions, and diplomatic support for this purpose. With its circulation, the book was scorned by many, and Herzl was ridiculed; but there were Jews throughout Europe who took it very seriously, and answered his call for the first Zionist Congress a year and a half later in Basel. The Congress is considered the beginning of political Zionism and the beginning of the path to the State of Israel; Herzl himself died in 1904 and did not live to see his dreams come true, but is considered to this day, to a great extent, as the father of the Israeli nation.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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