Page:Zionism 9204 Peace Conference 1920.pdf/37

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Zionism]
25
THE ZIONIST CONGRESSES

men, University students, agriculturists, book-keepers, clerks—all professions and occupations. Orthodox Jews, moderate Conservatives, Chassidim, reformers, freethinkers, Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Galician Straimlech, and Parisian top-hats, German preachers, Lithuanian Rectors of Yeshiboth, Capitalists and Socialists, philanthropists and Bettelstudenten, from Polish plains and Swiss mountains, from Lithuanian Ghetti and Vienna 'Rings', speaking Russian, Polish, German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Arabic, Dutch, Bulgarian, Serbian, Danish, Yiddish and Hebrew, all had come there united by one will, unfurling one banner, forgetting at once all their differences, all their communities' petty questions, all their family worries, all their personal troubles, inspired by one idea, devoted to one great cause, reasoning, arguing, discussing, with a power of conviction and enthusiasm as if this question of a home for the nation were the most personal, the most vital question to every one of them.

The second Congress was notable for an eloquent address by Max Nordau. In burning words he attacked the Anti-Semitism of the Gentile, and the lukewarmness of the rich and 'cultured' Jews who remained in Babylon. The fourth Congress was held in London in 1900 at the Queen's Hall. The fifth and sixth were again held in Basle in 1901 and in July 1903. At all of these Herzl presided. In 1901 he was still hopeful of persuading the Sultan to grant a Jewish charter to Palestine, and he visited Constantinople twice in that year. The Sultan Abdul Hamid expressed his sympathy but did not grant the charter. The key-note of the Congress of that year (at which thirty English delegates attended) was the desirability of obtaining concessions in Palestine. The Jewish National Fund, of which more hereafter, was organized for the purchase of land. At the sixth Congress, in 1903, Herzl had to admit the failure of his Turkish negotiations; and the emigration of persecuted Jews to Egypt and to Uganda was suggested as a temporary measure.

Lord Cromer was most sympathetic to the former scheme, and the latter was offered to the Zionists by Joseph Chamberlain, then Colonial Secretary, who had just returned from South Africa. Chamberlain's offer was enthusiastically welcomed by a section of the