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September 29, 2017 2:24 pm

World Zionist Organization Celebrates 120th Anniversary of First Congress

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Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – At the foot of the grave of the state’s founder on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, the World Zionist Organization Wednesday held a ceremony marking the 120-year anniversary of the First Zionist Congress.

The First Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland in August 1897.

The event was attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, members of Knesset, mayors and regional council heads from around the country.

“[Theodor] Herzl was the modern savior of our people,” the prime minister said in a speech. “He had a genius in him that seems to have come from nowhere.”

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Netanyahu told the crowd, “Herzl’s ingenious prophecies continue to serve me as a road map and compass. Herzl’s vision says, ‘We are a people; we are also a nation.’ We are all walking on the bridge from the First Zionist Congress to today. We established a free, strong, progressive country. Israel is a rising global power. Truly a light unto the nations. Until 240 and beyond for all eternity. The strength of Israel will not lie and Herzl’s memory will forever remain.”

WZO Chairman Avraham Duvdevani said, “Zionism doesn’t end here. We must continue to pursue the Zionist enterprise that is the basis of our existence.”

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