Basel Program

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The original "Basel Program", as agreed at the conference. The only amendment made during the debate at the Congress – addition of the word öffentlich – can be seen inserted via a curly bracket.[1]

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.

Drafting committee[edit]

It was drafted by a committee originally elected on Sunday 29 August 1897[2] comprising Max Nordau (heading the committee),[3] Nathan Birnbaum, Alexander Mintz, Siegmund Rosenberg, Saul Rafael Landau,[4][3][5] 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").[2]

The seven-man committee prepared the Program over three drafting meetings.[2]

The Program[edit]

The program set out the goals of the Zionist movement as follows:[1]

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.[1] The amended draft was approved unanimously by the 200-person congress.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d Jubilee Publication 1947, p. 74-76.
  2. ^ a b c Jubilee Publication 1947, p. 73.
  3. ^ a b Epstein 2016, p. 54,83-87.
  4. ^ 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..."
  5. ^ Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael (2007), Encyclopaedia Judaica, Macmillan Reference USA, p. 202, ISBN 978-0-02-865931-2