“I pledge to tell the story of the Jewish nation and the Zionist chapter to the Arab world”

A rare handwritten letter from Theodor Herzl was presented on Sunday at the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress in Basel by a citizen of the United Arab Emirates.

Ahmed Obeid Al Mansouri, a former member of the National Council of the United Arab Emirates, said he bought the missive in 2016 in Vienna to display it in the Zionism museum he opened in Dubai.


Herzl denies an unidentified person’s request to join a social club he was promoting. The authenticity of this writing has been confirmed after several tests to which it has been subjected. 

“I am committed to telling the story of the Jewish nation and the Zionist chapter to the Arab world,” said qualified historian Ahmed Obeid Al Mansouri, stressing that Jews have always played an important role in the Middle East. “I am not a Zionist, but it is important for young people in Arab countries to know Herzl and Zionism, to learn the facts and form their own opinions,” he said.

“I am very happy to take part in the event in Basel to which I have been invited, because we are now at peace with Israel,” he said.

“Herzl was a very important leader, not a man filled with dreams, but rather a man with a vision,” he continued. “I look at him from a historical perspective, not a political one. I can’t identify with Zionism, I’m not part of it, but he was the father of modern Zionism, and that’s a great honor. for me to exhibit his letter in my museum,” said the historian. 

Ahmed Obeid Al Mansouri first opened his private Zionism Museum in 2006, which was later moved by the government to a larger, more formal space. in a former royal palace in Dubai.

Five years later, and well before the signing of the Abraham Accords, the museum was opened to the public, displaying an array of rare objects, documents, coins and photos from the personal collection of the historian.

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day last year, a new section was inaugurated dedicated to the Holocaust, which has since become popular among students, tourists and visiting delegations.

Ahmed Obeid Al Mansouri has also opened a political center where discussions are held to promote understanding between the three monotheistic religions.

Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the executive of the World Zionist Organization, presented an award to the historian on Sunday evening. “Your exceptional activity in favor of the memory of the Holocaust is an example for the Arab world which makes it possible to change the discourse on the Holocaust and the importance of the State of Israel. Herzl could not have imagined that a courageous Arab leader would one day participate in the Zionist Congress,” he said.

source: https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/europe/1661778485-125-ans-du-congres-sioniste-a-bale-un-emirati-presente-une-lettre-originale-de-theodor-herzl-issue-de-sa-collection-privee

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