41 Facts About Zionism


Zionism is a nationalist movement that espouses the establishment of, and support for a homeland for the Jewish people centered in the area roughly corresponding to the Land of Israel, the region of Palestine, Canaan, or the Holy Land, on the basis of a long Jewish connection and attachment to that land.

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Variety of Zionism, called cultural Zionism, founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha'am, fostered a secular vision of a Jewish "spiritual center" in Israel.

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Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism has continued primarily to advocate on behalf of Israel and to address threats to its continued existence and security.

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Term "Zionism" is derived from the word Zion, a hill in Jerusalem, widely symbolizing the Land of Israel.

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These two outcomes represent the historical success of Zionism and are unmatched by any other Jewish political movement in the past 2, 000 years.

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In some academic studies, Zionism has been analyzed both within the larger context of diaspora politics and as an example of modern national liberation movements.

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Zionism sought the assimilation of Jews into the modern world.

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Opposition to Zionism, according to historian Geoffrey Alderman, can be legitimately described as racist.

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Some supporters of Zionism believed that Jews in the Diaspora were prevented from their full growth in Jewish individual and national life.

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Zionism convinced Suleiman I to intervene with the Pope on behalf of Ottoman-subject Portuguese Jews imprisoned in Ancona.

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Zionism first tried to establish a settlement in Gaza, but moved later to Smyrna.

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Zionism emigrated to Ottoman Palestine and established an agricultural colony in the Valley of Rephaim of Jerusalem.

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Zionism developed from Proto-Zionist initiatives and movements, such as Hovevei Zion.

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Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism was initially content with any Jewish self-governed state.

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Zionism remained in that role until 1948, and then was elected as the first President of Israel after the nation gained independence.

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Labor Zionism became the dominant force in the political and economic life of the Yishuv during the British Mandate of Palestine and was the dominant ideology of the political establishment in Israel until the 1977 election when the Israeli Labor Party was defeated.

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General Zionism was initially the dominant trend within the Zionist movement from the First Zionist Congress in 1897 until after the First World War.

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Philosopher Carlo Strenger describes a modern-day version of Liberal Zionism, rooted in the original ideology of Herzl and Ahad Ha'am, that stands in contrast to both the romantic nationalism of the right and the Netzah Yisrael of the ultra-Orthodox.

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Revisionist Zionists, led by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, developed what became known as Nationalist Zionism, whose guiding principles were outlined in the 1923 essay Iron Wall.

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Zionism is a colonising adventure and it therefore stands or falls by the question of armed force.

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Zionism was conceived by Jabotinsky not as the return of the Jews to their spiritual homeland but as an offshoot or implant of Western civilization in the East.

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Supporters of Revisionist Zionism developed the Likud Party in Israel, which has dominated most governments since 1977.

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Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and observant Judaism.

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One of the core ideas in Religious Zionism is the belief that the ingathering of exiles in the Land of Israel and the establishment of Israel is Atchalta De'Geulah, the initial stage of the geula.

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Green Zionism is a branch of Zionism primarily concerned with the environment of Israel.

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Post-Zionism asserts that Israel should abandon the concept of a "state of the Jewish people" and strive to be a state of all its citizens, or a binational state where Arabs and Jews live together while enjoying some type of autonomy.

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Notable early supporters of Zionism include British Prime Ministers David Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour, American President Woodrow Wilson and British Major-General Orde Wingate, whose activities in support of Zionism led the British Army to ban him from ever serving in Palestine.

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Muslims who have publicly defended Zionism include Tawfik Hamid, Islamic thinker and reformer and former member of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, an Islamist militant group that is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, Sheikh Prof.

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Zionism met routinely with Zionist officials and had a part in every pro-Zionist Arab organization from the beginning of the British Mandate, publicly rejecting Mohammad Amin al-Husayni's use of Islam to attack Zionism.

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Zionism, seen as a national liberation movement for the repatriation of the Jewish people to their homeland then under British colonial rule, appealed to many Hindu Nationalists, who viewed their struggle for independence from British rule and the Partition of India as national liberation for long-oppressed Hindus.

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Zionism is opposed by a wide variety of organizations and individuals.

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Reasons for opposing Zionism are varied, and they include: the perception that land confiscations are unfair; expulsions of Palestinians; violence against Palestinians; and alleged racism.

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Zionism cites the example of Ahad Ha'am, who after visiting Palestine in 1891, published a series of articles criticizing the aggressive behaviour and political ethnocentrism of Zionist settlers.

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Noam Chomsky, John P Quigly, Nur Masalha, and Cheryl Rubenberg have criticized Zionism, saying that it unfairly confiscates land and expels Palestinians.

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Saleh Abdel Jawad, Nur Masalha, Michael Prior, Ian Lustick, and John Rose have criticized Zionism for having been responsible for violence against Palestinians, such as the Deir Yassin massacre, Sabra and Shatila massacre, and Cave of the Patriarchs massacre.

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South African rabbi David Hoffman rejected the claim that Zionism is a 'settler-colonial undertaking' and instead characterized Zionism as a national program of affirmative action, adding that there is unbroken Jewish presence in Israel back to antiquity.

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Edward Said and Michael Prior claim that the notion of expelling the Palestinians was an early component of Zionism, citing Herzl's diary from 1895 which states "we shall endeavour to expel the poor population across the border unnoticed—the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.

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In 1975 the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, which said "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination".

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One of the best known Hasidic opponents of political Zionism was Hungarian rebbe and Talmudic scholar Joel Teitelbaum.

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Some have said that Israel is a "racist regime", compared Zionists to Nazis, claimed that Zionism is contrary to the teachings of the Torah, or accused it of promoting antisemitism.

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Some antisemites have alleged that Zionism was, or is, part of a Jewish plot to take control of the world.

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