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Theodor Herzl's Influence on the First Zionist Congress.

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Theodor Herzl's Influence on the First Zionist Congress There were many events in the course of history that led to the First Zionist Congress. There were several leaders that wanted an end to Anti-Semitism. They believed that all of the hatred directed towards the Jewish people had to be put to an end and the world wasn't going to stop persecuting them unless someone presented the struggles and sufferings that the Jews were experiencing. Someone or something had to show all the nations that the Jews were not happy with the way they were been treated. The Jewish people were in constant danger and Anti-Semitism was growing stronger and stronger as time passed by. Acts of hatred towards Jews influenced Theodor Herzl to start Zionist movements and spread the word that life for Jews didn't have to be unpleasant. The world would soon hear about a new and innovating idea that could put a stop to the unjust treatment of Jews all over the world. However, this idea would take lots of courage, time, thought, and determination. Luckily, Herzl was well educated and strong-minded. These great qualities would help him start a new revolution that would change the views and ideas that many people had about the importance about Jews and what should be done with them. ...read more.


In 1894 a document sent by the French Major Ferdinand Esterhazy, who was working for the Germans, was intercepted. Dreyfus was accused of the crime because he was a Jew. The prosecution went as far as forging documents to frame him and to prove him guilty of treason. As a result, in a closed court-martial, Dreyfus was found guilty and condemned to life imprisonment on Devil's Island. Herzl witnessed mobs shouting "Death to the Jews" and his heart was deeply touched. Even when the frame-up was proven, the French army refused to change its verdict. The incident caused an international scandal because France, the European birthplace of liberty, justice, and liberalism had sunk to such depths of anti-Semitism. On January 13, 1898, Emile Zola wrote an outraged article, "J'accuse!" which accused Dreyfus's opponents of malicious libel. Despite world horror, it wasn't until 1906 that the French Court of Appeal admitted that there had never been a case against Dreyfus, and he was completely exonerated. This event put and exploded a spark in Herzl's mind. He could not stand to see the continuous mistreatment of the Jewish people. He was greatly disturbed and his idea that anti-Semitism occurred because Jews looked and acted differently quickly changed. ...read more.


It was the first time that Jews from different nations had ever met with a political agenda. Although the philosophical differences among the representatives were tremendous, all of them agreed that the purpose of the World Zionist Congress would be to represent the needs of all Jews in their goal of establishing an independent Jewish nation. It was understood that their major function was to create the political organizations needed to found a new country. They elected Herzl president of the organization, set the dues rate, approved the design of the Jewish national flag, which is now the flag of Israel, and agreed to meet once a year. Thus, the First Zionist Congress set the foundation for was to come and for the movement of creating a Jewish State. The First Zionist Congress could not have been formed without Theodor Herzl. It was the first step toward the elimination of Jewish mistreatment and it will be remembered by people around the world for decades to come. It might not have fulfilled its purpose right away, but with time, it did help to create the Jewish State of Israel in 1948. Without the First Zionist Congress, Israel would probably not even exist right now, anti-Semitism would still subsist as before and the Jewish people would still be suffering dreadfully. ...read more.

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