How The State of Israel Was Attempted to Be Established in Baja California?

Francisco Ramirez Ochoa/California Hoy

The Jewish population began to arrive in Los Angeles from Prussia as early as the 1800s, increasing steadily. Most of the Jewish populations arriving in the region came from Europe and adopted a multilingual culture and language, enabling them to integrate well with the local communities.

From the late 1830s to the twentieth century (through the Second World War), Mexico's Baja, California, was meticulously planned as a Jewish homeland. These programs were initiated by Russia-based doctrines and plans that disputed the lives and harmony of Jewish populations in the region.

The quest started with establishing prominent Russian 'programs' that considerably distressed the dominant Israeli communities based in the San Francisco region (Carlos Henri Cohen, 2015). Through the B'nai B'rith, the Israeli community recommended the establishment of the International Society for the Colonization of Russian Jews in 1891 that would help relocate the Russian Jews who faced persecution in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe (Mroczek, 2021).

The group launched to purchase 2 million acres of the Baja California Peninsula to help resettle the Russian Jews and other Jews who encountered these undecorated maltreatments in parts of Eastern Europe. Most of these programs were initiated by Jewish businessmen who had already established businesses in the Baja California region (Hinton, 1975).

Their view of Baja as Jewish heaven propelled their quest for re-settlement and purchase of the land from the Mexican government.

The offer made to the Mexican government stressed that it cedes the Baja Peninsula area. This concession was more similar to the Benito Juarez concession that granted the American mogul and businessman Jacobo Leese to acquire extensive land possessions in the zone. Similar to the other Jewish-Americans, Reformists, and business people, the B'nai B'rith deliberated the prospective of agrarian colonization as an approach and plan of immigrant assistance for the Jewish emigrants (Phillips, 2021).

Under this recommended proposal, the Jewish International Society negotiated a prolonged lease in securing 200,000,000 acres of the Baja region from the Mexican government (Mroczek, 2021; Hinton, 1975). The resettled Russian Jews would then obligate themselves to agriculture until their labor equals the financial backing funded to them by the American Jewish financiers.

Despite the International Society being a short-lived movement, their proposal to create an independent Jewish settlement in the Pacific continued through the late 1930s. Their recommendations were presented through the Jewish American News outlets, conveyed through the telegram to the Mexican government, sent to the United States politicians and Jewish leaders across Europe (Mroczek, 2021; Phillips, 2021).

Their concessions also alarmed the Mexican citizens of the Baja Californian region that they sought to occupy and escape European persecution that threatened their existence more so in Russia and during the Hitler's NAZI regime that aimed at addressing the 'Jewish Question' in Europe (Carlos Henri Cohen, 2015; Hinton, 1975).

The short-lived colonization proposal was also received by William Rudolph Hearst, who also proposed countries like Angola, Guyana, and Madagascar as suitable regions for the Jewish population relocation. 

It's vital that historians center on the Baja California proposal since it is an essential model for reviewing the Jewish history- for instance, Zionism and its vast radical inspirations and how the establishment of the Jewish country in the Middle East (Palestine) both a strategy for European colonialism but also an aspect of the United States imperialism.

The final solution was reached, which saw the Jewish resettled in Palestine, leading to the establishment of Israel. It's also an essential factor that examines the current turmoil experienced in the Middle East involving Israel and Palestine. The Jewish population continues to be scattered across North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. The Colonization plan, indubitably, today is nonexistent and unachievable. 


Carlos Henri Cohen. (2015). EXODUS TO NEW ISRAEL: a story from the future of the mass migration from Israel to Mexico.

Hinton, H. P. (1975). Review. Southern California Quarterly, 57(2), 213–214. 

Mroczek, E. (2021). EVENT: Maxwell Greenberg, "Baja California Dreaming: How US Settler Colonialism Shapes Jewish Nationalism (A Regional History) (May 4, 12PDT) | H-Judaic | H-Net. 

Phillips, M. (2021). There is a new way to smear Zionism - opinion. The Jerusalem Post | 

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