SULTAN ABDUL HAMID II AND ZIONISM
Sultan Abdul Hamid II is the thirty-fourth sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who assumed the throne at the age of thirty-four from the year (1876-1909 AD) . The researchers differed in assessing his personality and his reign, which is considered one of the most turbulent eras of Ottoman history in terms of economic, political and social aspects. Where the Jews began in the second half of the nineteenth century to gather themselves from the global diaspora, in order to establish a national homeland for them in Palestine, and the rates of Jewish immigration were limited until 1881 AD when the Russian Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, and the group “Loves of the Children of Zion” was accused of killing him, and after that A campaign of ethnic cleansing took place in Russia against the Jews, which prompted the Jews to immigrate to the Ottoman Empire, which was a refuge for the religiously persecuted in the world.Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s position on Jewish immigration was clear from the beginning, as he took several measures to prevent Jews from entering Palestine, with the mediation of ambassadors The Europeans were able to obtain the approval of the Sultan for the entry of the Jews into Palestine for the purpose of pilgrimage and to stay in Jerusalem for one month, and after that it was increased to three months. A conference in the Swiss city of Basel on August 23, 1897 AD, in which they agreed to strive to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. Herzl succeeded in meeting Sultan Abdul Hamid II after many attempts in Istanbul in 1901 AD and offered him tempting offers In return for issuing a decree allowing the Jews to emigrate to Palestine and settle there, but the Sultan persistently refused those temptations, and Herzl died in 1904 AD without his idea coming into being, but this idea remained alive in the hearts of the leaders of the Zionist movement after him, and Britain supported them with all force. In the late nineteenth century, secret associations and organizations abounded, the most prominent of which was the Union and Progress Association, which was founded by Ottoman citizens, most of whom belonged to the Jewish and Christian minorities. And they obtained a fatwa from the Sheikh of Islam deposing him and banishing him to Thessaloniki, and he was the main reason behind that. It is Sultan Abdul Hamid's rejection of Herzl's demand to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, despite the tempting offers that the Jews made to the Ottoman Empire
Keywords: Sultan Abdul Hamid, Zionism, The Ottoman Empire.