Wien-Wahring 
Carl Ludwigstrasse 50 
19 March 1899 

Excellency, 

I owe to Mr. Zadok Kahn's kindness the pleasure of having read the letter which you 
addressed to him. Let me tell you first of all that the feelings of friendship which 
you express for the Jewish people inspire in me the deepest appreciation. The Jews 
have been, are, and will be the best friends of Turkey since the day when 
Sultan Selim opened his Empire to the persecuted Jews of Spain. 

And this friendship consists not only of words - it is ready to he transferred into 
acts and to aid the Moslems. 

The Zionist idea, of which I am the humble servant, has no hostile tendency toward 
the Ottoman Government, but quite to the contrary this movement is concerned with 
opening up new resources for the Ottoman Empire. In allowing immigration to a number 
of Jews bringing their intelligence, their financial acumen and their means of 
enterprise to the country, no one can doubt that the well-being of the entire country 
would be the happy result. It is necessary to understand this, and make it known to 
everybody. 

As Your Excellency said very well in your letter to the Grand Rabbi, the Jews have 
no belligerent Power behind them, neither are they themselves of a warlike nature. 
They are a completely peaceful element, and very content if they are left in peace. 
Therefore, there is absolutely nothing to fear from their immig ration. 

The question of the Holy Places? 

But no one thinks of ever touching those. As I have said and written many times: These 
places have lost forever the faculty of belonging exclusively to one faith, to one race 
or to one people. The Holy Places are and will remain holy for all the world, for the 
Moslems as for the Christians as for the Jews. The universal peace which all men of 
good will ardently hope for will have its symbol in a brotherly union in the Holy Places. 

You see another difficulty, Excellency, in the existence of the non-Jewish population 
in Palestine. But who would think of sending them away? It is their well-being, their 
individual wealth which we will increase by bringing in our own. Do you think that an 
Arab who owns land or a house in Palestine worth three or four thousand francs will 
be very angry to see the price of his land rise in a short time, to see it rise five 
and ten times in value perhaps in a few months? Moreover, that will necessarily happen 
with the arrival of the Jews. That is what the indigenous population must realize, 
that they will gain excellent brothers as the Sultan will gain faithful and good subjects 
who will make this province flourish this province which is their historic homeland. 

When one looks at the situation in this light, which is the ~ one, one must be the 
friend of Zionism when one is the Friend of Turkey. 

I hope, Excellency, that these few explanations will suffice to give you a little 
more sympathy for our movement. 

You tell Mr. Zadok Kahn that the Jews would do better to go somewhere else. That may 
well happen the day we realize that Turkey does not understand the enormous advantages 
which our movement offers it. We have explained our aim publicly, sincerely and loyally. 
I have had submitted to His Majesty the Sultan some general propositions, and I am 
pleased to believe that the extreme clearness of his mind will make him accept in 
principle the idea of which one can afterwards discuss the details of execution. 
If he will not accept it, we will search and. believe me, we will find elsewhere 
what we need. 

But then Turkey will have lost its last chance to regulate its finances and to 
recover its economic vigor. 

It is a sincere friend of the Turks who tells you these things today. 
Remember that! 

And accept, Excellency, the assurance of my very high consideration. 

(signed) Dr. Theodore HERZL