- British Uganda Programme
The British Uganda Programme was a plan to give a portion of
British East Africato the Jewish people as a homeland.
The offer was first made by British Colonial Secretary
Joseph Chamberlainto Theodore Herzl's Zionistgroup in 1903. He offered convert|5000|sqmi|km2 of the Mau Plateauin what is today Kenya. The offer was a response to pogroms against the Jews in Russia, and it was hoped the area could be a refuge from persecution for the Jewish people. [ [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Herzl.html Theodor Herzl's biography at Jewish Virtual Library] ]
The idea was brought to the Zionist Congress at its sixth meeting in 1903 in
Basel. There a fierce debate ensued. The African land was described as an "ante-chamber to the Holy Land" and a "Nachtasyl" (temporary night shelter), but other groups felt that accepting the offer would make it more difficult to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Before the vote on the matter the Russian delegation stormed out in opposition. In the end the motion passed by 295 to 177 votes.
The next year a three-man delegation was sent to inspect the plateau. Its high elevation gave it a temperate climate, making it suitable for European settlement. However, the observers found a dangerous land filled with lions and other creatures. Moreover, it was populated by a large number of
Maasaiwho did not seem at all amenable to an influx of Europeans.
After receiving this report, the Congress decided in 1905 to politely decline the British offer. Some Jews viewed this as a mistake and the
Jewish Territorialist Organizationsplit with the explicit aim of establishing a Jewish state anywhere, not just in the Holy Land. A fewFact|date=March 2007 Jews did move to Kenya, but most settled in the urban centres. Some of these families remain to this day.
The Uganda proposal was revived during the
Second World Warby Winston Churchillin an attempt to create a refuge for Jews fleeing from the Nazis, but by this time Zionist organizations were firmly committed to settling in Palestine and feared that accepting such an idea would undermine their efforts to convince the British government to end their restrictions on the number of Jews allowed to emigrate to the Palestine Mandate.
Abayudaya, a group of Ugandans who converted to Judaism in the 1920s
Madagascar Plan, a Nazi plan to move the Jews of Europe to Madagascar.
*The Soviet Union created a
Jewish Autonomous Oblastin Soviet Manchuria.
*Japan created the
Fugu Planto attract Jews to the puppet state of Manchukuotaken from Chinese Manchuria.
* [http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Zionism/Uganda.html Jewish Virtual Library on Uganda Proposal]
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