On August 29-31 1897, the First Zionist Congress convened in Basel, Switzerland. It declared "Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law."
Theordore Herzl precided over the meeting. Later in his diary, he wrote: "Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word - which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly - it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it."
Fifty years later in November of 1947 what many considered an impossible dream became a reality when the United Nations voted to approve a Jewish state in Palestine. Yet international agreements had already validated the Jewish State many years before in the San Remo resolution of 1920 and the League of Nations Mandate in 1922.
On August 29-31, 2011 - exactly 114 years to the day on both the Jewish and Gregorian calendars - another group of both Jews and non-Jews gathered in Basel, Switzerland to issue another proclamation.
As they met in the same building Herzl did, they came to make a proclamation in light of what they perceive as a grave danger to the existence of the Jewish State conceived in Basel in 1897 and born in 1947, a UN vote for a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital.
In light of the upcoming vote for a Palestinian State, they issued this statement called "The Declaration of Basel." They hope it too carries with it the weight of history to preserve the state of Israel and a call to the nations of the world to honor their solemn pledges to the Jewish people.
Here's the Declaration:
DECLARATION OF BASEL CONFERENCE 2011
A conference was held from August 29 to August 31, 2011, in Basel, Switzerland, in the historic Musiksaal.
The Alliance for International Justice in Jerusalem organised this significant event. It brought together Jewish and non-Jewish participants from many nations for the purpose of affirming their support for the recognition of the international legal rights of the State of Israel and the Jewish people in respect to the whole City of Jerusalem.
On Aug. 31, 2011, the Basel Conference adopted the following Declaration: The Alliance for International Justice in Jerusalem re-affirms the inalienable historic and legal rights of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to a unified Jerusalem as their capital.
The Alliance acknowledges the tremendous contribution of Theodor Herzl, who outlined his vision for the restoration of a Jewish State at the first Zionist Congress held in this same hall in Basel on August 29, 30 and 31, 1897. This vision was realised on May 14, 1948.
The 2011 Basel Conference reiterates the significance of the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations relating to the sacred trust of civilisation, followed by the San Remo Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers on April 25, 1920, and the Mandate for Palestine approved by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922. These were the foundational instruments for the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
These instruments together constitute the Charter of Freedom of the Jewish people relating to rights expressly protected under Article 80 of the UN Charter.
The Alliance calls upon international leaders to display wisdom and courage when making decisions that relate to Jerusalem at the Sessions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly to be held in September, 2011.
The 2011 Basel Conference calls upon the Nations to honour their solemn and irrevocable pledges as well as their legal obligations to the Jewish People established under the law of Nations.
The Alliance for International Justice in Jerusalem calls upon all nations to reject any resolutions and actions that would violate Israel’s legitimate sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.