Yousef al-Khalidi

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Yusuf Dia Pasha al-Khalidi (Arabic: يوسف ضياء باشا الخالدي‎‎, Yousef Ḍiya’ Bāshā al-Khalidī) was a prominent Ottoman Empire politician. He was born in 1829 in Jerusalem and represented the city in the Ottoman Parliament of 1877.

Al-Khalidi played a key role in the opposing political factions established to prohibit the Ottoman Empire's attempts to violate the constitution. He also wrote the first Kurdish-Arabic dictionary. In 1899 he wrote a letter to the Zadok Kahn, the chief rabbi of France, in which he said, "The idea itself is natural, fine and just. Who can challenge the rights of the Jews in Palestine? Good Lord, historically it is really your country. What a wonderful spectacle that will be when a people as resourceful as the Jews will once again be an independent nation, honored and complacent, able to make its contribution to needy humanity in the field of morals, as in the past."[1]

To this letter he received a reply from the leader of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl.[2] He died in 1907.


  1. ^ Elder of Ziyon[1]
  2. ^ Beška, Emanuel: RESPONSES OF PROMINENT ARABS TOWARDS ZIONIST ASPIRATIONS AND COLONIZATION PRIOR TO 1908. In Asian and African Studies, 16, 1, 2007. [2]

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