Today in history: The Biltmore plan

Today in 1942, the Zionist organizations’ conference in the Biltmore Hotel in New York City was concluded.

The World Zionist Congress was first convened in Basel in 1897 under Herzl’s leadership, and continued to convene every year (or two) in various locations in Europe for the purpose of coordinating, labeling and promoting Zionist policy. The outbreak of World War II in 1939 prevented the Congress (most of whose representatives were European) from being held; but Minister Macdonald’s ‘White Paper’ and the change of Britain’s policy toward the Jewish settlement required a reorganization and re-calculation. David Ben-Gurion pushed for a Zionist conference in the United States with anyone who could come, who would resemble the Congress as much as possible, in cooperation with Chaim Weizmann (Chairman of the Histadrut) and Abba Hillel Silver (A Reform rabbi and strong Zionist activist). The conference was held in May 1942 in New York, with over 600 delegates from around the world, and lasted 3 days. Finally, the Biltmore Plan was published: Continuing to encourage massive Jewish immigration, and ensuring that a state is established in Israel as part of the arrangements and changes following the end of the war (even be it a bi-national state). Despite objections, the plan was finally approved by all the major organizations and became the official policy of the Zionist movement; indeed, in the years after the war, the Jews of the world acted in accordance with it toward the establishment of the state.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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