The Basel Program was the first manifesto of the Zionist movement, drafted between 27-30 August 1897 and adopted unanimously at the First Zionist Congress in Basel (Basle), Switzerland on 30 August 1897.
In 1951 it was replaced by the Jerusalem Program.
The Basel Program was drafted by a committee elected on Sunday 29 August 1897 comprising Max Nordau (heading the committee), Nathan Birnbaum, Alexander Mintz, Siegmund Rosenberg, Saul Rafael Landau, together with Hermann Schapira and Max Bodenheimer who were added to the committee on the basis of them having both drafted previous similar programs (including the "Kölner Thesen").
The seven-man committee prepared the Program over three drafting meetings.
The program set out the goals of the Zionist movement as follows:
|“||Zionism seeks to secure for the Jewish people a publicly recognized, legally assured homeland in Palestine.
For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:
1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.
2. The federation of all Jews into local or general groups, according to the laws of the various countries.
3. The strengthening of the Jewish feeling and consciousness.
4. Preparatory steps for the attainment of those governmental grants which are necessary to the achievement of the Zionist purpose.
The original draft did not include the word for "publicly recognized"; this was the only amendment made during the debate at the Congress, and can be seen in the final version with the word öffentlich inserted via a curly bracket. The amended draft was approved unanimously by the 200-person congress.
- Jubilee Publication 1947, p. 74-76.
- Jubilee Publication 1947, p. 73.
- Epstein 2016, p. 54,83-87.
- Bodenheimer 1963, p. 102"...the commission, whose members were Nordau, Nathan Birnbaum, Sigmund Rosenberg, Dr. Minz, and Saul Rafael Landau was formed, and in addition Professor Schapira and I were also included..."
- Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael (2007), Encyclopaedia Judaica, Macmillan Reference USA, p. 202, ISBN 978-0-02-865931-2
- Jubilee Publication (1947). The Jubilee of the first Zionist Congress, 1897-1947. Jerusalem: Executive of the Zionist Organisation. pp. 108 pages, 2 leaves of plates. Published simultaneously in Hebrew, French, Spanish and Yiddish
- Epstein, Lawrence J. (14 January 2016), The Dream of Zion: The Story of the First Zionist Congress, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-1-4422-5467-1
- Bodenheimer, Max (1963). Prelude to Israel: The Memoirs of M. I. Bodenheimer. T. Yoseloff.