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Front page of The Jewish Chronicle, January 17, 1896, showing an article by Theodor Herzl (the father of political Zionism) a month prior to the publication of his pamphlet Der Judenstaat

Theodor Herzl was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet Der Judenstaat, he envisioned the founding of a future independent Jewish state during the 20th century.

Zionism (Hebrew: ציונות‎, Tsiyonut) is the international nationalist[1] political movement that originally supported the reestablishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel (Hebrew: Eretz Yisra'el), the historical homeland of the Jews. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to support it, either in principle or politically.

Zionism is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.[2] Almost two millennia after the Jewish diaspora, the modern Zionist movement, beginning in the late 19th century, was mainly founded by secular Jews, largely as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to antisemitism and the emancipation across Europe, especially in Russia.[3]

It is included in diaspora politics as a broader phenomenon of modern nation liberation movements.[4] Although one of several Jewish political movements offering alternative responses to assimilation and antisemitism, Zionism grew rapidly and became the dominant force among Jewish political movements.

The political movement was formally established by the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl in the late 19th century following the publication of his book Der Judenstaat.[5] The movement seeks to encourage Jewish migration to the "Land of Israel" and was eventually successful in establishing Israel on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyyar 5708 in the Hebrew calendar), as the homeland for the Jewish people. Its proponents regard its aim as self-determination for the Jewish people.[6] The proportion of world Jewry living in Israel has steadily grown since the movement came into existence. Today roughly 40% of the world's Jews live in Israel. Nearly as many live in the United States.


The term "Zionism" itself is derived from the word Zion (Hebrew: ציון, Tzi-yon‎), referring to Jerusalem. "Zionism" was coined by Austrian Nathan Birnbaum, founder of the first nationalist Jewish students' movement Kadimah, in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) in 1890.[7]


Members and delegates at the 1939 Zionist congress, by country/region (Zionism was banned in the Soviet Union). 70,000 Polish Jews supported the Revisionist Zionism movement, which was not represented.[8]
Country/Region Members Delegates
Poland 299,165 109
USA 263,741 114
Palestine 167,562 134
Romania 60,013 28
United Kingdom 23,513 15
South Africa 22,343 14
Canada 15,220 8

The multi-national, worldwide Zionist movement is structured as a representative democracy. Congresses are held every four years (they were held every two years before the Second World War) and delegates to the congress are elected by the membership. Members are required to pay dues known as a shekel. At the congress, delegates elect a 30-man executive council, which in turn elects the movement's leader. The movement was democratic from its inception and women had the right to vote (before they won the right in Great Britain).

Until 1917, the World Zionist Organization pursued a strategy of building a homeland through persistent small-scale immigration and the founding of such bodies as the Jewish National Fund (1901 - a charity which bought land for Jewish settlement) and the Anglo-Palestine Bank (1903 - provided loans for Jewish businesses and farmers). In 1942, at the Biltmore Conference, Zionists changed their program and demanded the establishment of a Jewish state as the aim of the movement.

The 28th Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem 1968, adopted the five points of the "Jerusalem Program" as the aims of Zionism today. They are:[9]

  • The unity of the Jewish People and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life
  • The ingathering of the Jewish People in its historic homeland, Eretz Israel, through Aliyah from all countries
  • The strengthening of the State of Israel which is based on the prophetic vision of justice and peace
  • The preservation of the identity of the Jewish People through the fostering of Jewish and Hebrew education and of Jewish spiritual and cultural values
  • The protection of Jewish rights everywhere.

Since the creation of Israel, the role of the movement has declined and it is now a peripheral factor in Israeli politics although different perceptions of Zionism continue to play a role in Israeli and Jewish political discussion.

Labor Zionism

Labor Zionism originated in Eastern Europe. Socialist Zionists believed that centuries of being oppressed in antisemitic societies had reduced Jews to a meek, vulnerable, despairing existence which invited further antisemitism, a view originally stipulated by Theodor Herzl. They argued that a revolution of the Jewish soul and society was necessary and achievable in part by Jews moving to Israel and becoming farmers, workers, and soldiers in a country of their own. Most socialist Zionists rejected the observance of traditional religious Judaism as perpetuating a "Diaspora mentality" among the Jewish people, and established rural communes in Israel called "kibbutzim". Though socialist Zionism draws its inspiration and is philosophically founded on the fundamental values and spirituality of Judaism, its progressive expression of that Judaism has often fostered an antagonistic relationship with Orthodox Judaism.

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. The Israeli Labor Party continues the tradition, although the most popular party in the kibbutzim is Meretz.

Liberal Zionism

General Zionism (or Liberal Zionism) was initially the dominant trend within the Zionist movement from the First Zionist Congress in 1897 until after the First World War. General Zionists identified with the liberal European middle class (or bourgeoisie) to which many Zionist leaders such as Herzl and Chaim Weizmann aspired. Liberal Zionism, although not associated with any single party in modern Israel, remains a strong trend in Israeli politics advocating free market principles, democracy and adherence to human rights, although Kadima does identify with many of the fundamental policies of Liberal Zionist ideology, advocating among other things the need for Palestinian statehood in order to form a more democratic society in Israel, affirming the free market, and calling for equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel.

Nationalist Zionism

Nationalist Zionism originated from the Revisionist Zionists led by Jabotinsky. The Revisionists left the World Zionist Organization in 1935 because it refused to state that the creation of a Jewish state was an objective of Zionism. The revisionists advocated the formation of a Jewish Army in Palestine to force the Arab population to accept mass Jewish migration. Revisionist Zionism evolved into the Likud Party in Israel, which has dominated most governments since 1977. It advocates Israel maintaining control of the West-Bank and East Jerusalem and takes a hard-line approach in the Israeli-Arab conflict. In 2005 the Likud split over the issue of creation of a Palestinian state on the occupied territories and party members advocating peace talks helped form the Kadima party.

Religious Zionism

In the 1920s and 1930s Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (the first Chief Rabbi of Palestine) and his son Rabbi Zevi Judah Kook saw great religious and traditional value in many of Zionism's ideals, while rejecting its anti-religious undertones. They taught that Orthodox (Torah) Judaism embraces and mandates Zionism's positive ideals, such as the ingathering of exiles, and political activity to create and maintain a Jewish political entity in the Land of Israel. In this way, Zionism serves as a bridge between Orthodox and secular Jews.

While other Zionist groups have tended to moderate their nationalism over time, the gains from the Six-Day War have led religious Zionism to play a significant role in Israeli political life. Now associated with the National Religious Party and Gush Emunim, religious Zionists have been at the forefront of Jewish settlement in the West Bank and efforts to assert Jewish control over the Old City of Jerusalem.

Zionism and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Judaism

Haredi Orthodox organizations do not belong to the Zionist movement; they view Zionism as secular, reject nationalism as a doctrine and consider Judaism to be first and foremost a religion.

Some Haredi rabbis do not consider Israel to be a halachic Jewish state because it is secular. However, they generally consider themselves responsible for ensuring that Jews maintain religious ideals and since most Israeli citizens are Jews they pursue this agenda within Israel. Others reject any possibility of a Jewish state, since according to them a Jewish state is completely forbidden by Jewish law, and a Jewish state is considered an oxymoron.

Two Haredi parties run in Israeli elections. They are sometimes associated with views which could be regarded as nationalist or Zionist and have shown a preference for coalitions with more nationalist Zionist parties, probably because these are more interested in enhancing the Jewish nature of the Israeli state.

The Sephardi-Orthodox party Shas rejects association with the Zionist movement. However, its voters generally regard themselves as Zionist and Knesset members frequently pursue what others might consider a Zionist agenda. Shas has supported territorial compromise with the Arabs and Palestinians but generally opposes compromise over Jewish holy sites.

The Ashkenazi Agudat Israel/United Torah Judaism| party has always avoided association with the Zionist movement and usually avoids voting on or discussing issues related to peace because its members do not serve in the army. The party does work towards ensuring that Israel and Israeli law are in tune with the halacha, on issues such as Shabbat rest.

Many other Hasidic groups, most famously the Satmar Hasidim as well as the larger movement they are part of in Jerusalem, the Edah HaChareidis, are strongly anti-Zionist. Other groups included in the Edah HaChareidis include Dushinsky, Toldos Aharon, Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, Spinka, and others, numbering tens of thousands in Jerusalem, and hundreds of thousands worldwide.

The Neturei Karta movement is a smaller, strongly anti-Zionist Haredi group.

The Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement has traditionally not identified itself as Zionist, although in recent years it has adopted an ultra-nationalist agenda and opposed any territorial compromise.

Particularities of Zionist beliefs

The idea of Zionism is established on the basis of long and continuous association between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Mass return, or Aliyah, to the Land of Israel is a recurring theme in Jewish prayers that continued during the period the Jews lived in diaspora, following the Roman occupation and the destruction of the Second Temple at the hands of the Romans in the year 70. Aliyah, however, was associated with the coming of the Jewish Messiah. The core of Zionist ideology is reflected in the principle that the land of Israel is the historical origin of the Jewish people, and in believing that the presence of Jews in any other part of the world is living in exile.[10] The center of the Zionism idea is represented in the Israeli Declaration of Independence:

The Jewish people have grown in the land of Israel, wherein their religious, spiritual and political identity reached the maturity, and in here they lived for the first time in a sovereign state, and in there they produced their human, national and cultural values.

When the Jewish people were forcefully dispersed out of their country, they kept their promise to return from the different countries of exile, and never stopped praying and believing in the hope of returning to their country and resuming their political freedom there.

Zionism is dedicated to fighting antisemitism. Some Zionists believe that antisemitism will never disappear (and that Jews must conduct themselves with this in mind),[11] while others perceive Zionism as a vehicle with which to end antisemitism.

Zionists generally preferred to speak Hebrew, a Semitic language that developed under conditions of freedom in ancient Judah, modernizing and adapting it for everyday use. Zionists sometimes refused to speak Yiddish, a language they considered affected by Christian persecution. Once they moved to Israel, many Zionists refused to speak their (diasporic) mother tongues and gave themselves new, Hebrew names.

According to Eliezer Schweid, the rejection of life in the Diaspora is a central assumption in Zionism.[12] Underlying this attitude was the feeling that the Diaspora restricted the full growth of Jewish individual and national life.


Population of Palestine by religions[13]
year Muslims Jews Christians Others
1922 486,177 83,790 71,464 7,617
1931 493,147 174,606 88,907 10,101
1941 906,551 474,102 125,413 12,881
1946 1,076,783 608,225 145,063 15,488

The delegates at the First Zionist Congress, held in Basel, Switzerland (1897).

Since the first century CE most Jews have lived in exile, although there has been a constant presence of Jews in the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel). According to Judaism, Eretz Israel, or Zion, is a land promised to the Jews by God according to the Bible. After the 1st century Great Revolt and the 2nd century Bar Kokhba revolt, the Romans expelled the Jews from Palestine, thus forming the Jewish diaspora.

In the 19th century, a current in Judaism supporting a return to Palestine grew in popularity,[14] particularly in Europe, where anti-semitism and hostility towards Jews were also growing. Jews began to emigrate to Palestine, pre-Zionist Aliyah, even before 1897, the year considered as the start of practical Zionism.[15]

Jewish immigration to Palestine started in earnest in 1882. Most immigrants came from Russia, escaping the frequent pogroms and state-led persecution. They founded a number of agricultural settlements with financial support from Jewish philanthropists in Western Europe. Further Aliyahs followed the Russian Revolution and Nazi persecution.

In the 1890s, Theodor Herzl infused Zionism with a new ideology and practical urgency, leading to the First Zionist Congress at Basel in 1897, which created the World Zionist Organization (WZO).[16] Herzl's First Zionist Congress#Basel Program|aim was to initiate necessary preparatory steps for the attainment of a Jewish state. Herzl's attempts to reach a political agreement with the Ottoman rulers of Palestine were unsuccessful and other governmental support was sought. The WZO supported small-scale settlement in Palestine and focused on strengthening Jewish feeling and consciousness and on building a worldwide federation.

The Russian Empire, with its long record of state organized genocide and ethnic cleansing ("pogroms") was widely regarded as the historic enemy of the Jewish people. As much of its leadership were German speakers, the Zionist movement's headquarters were located in Berlin. At the start of World War I, most Jews (and Zionists) supported Germany in its war with Russia.

Lobbying by a Russian Jewish immigrant, Chaim Weizmann and fear that American Jews would encourage the US to support Germany culminated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 by the British government (the Zionist congress had decided already by 1903 to decline an offer by the British to establish a homeland in Uganda). This endorsed the creation of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. In addition, a Zionist military corps led by Jabotinsky were recruited to fight on behalf of Britain in Palestine.

In 1922, the League of Nations adopted the declaration in the Mandate it gave to Britain:

The Mandatory (…) will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

Weizmann's role in obtaining the Balfour Declaration led to his election as the movement's leader. He remained in that role until 1948 and then became the first President of Israel.

Jewish migration to Palestine and widespread Jewish land purchases from feudal landlords led to landlessness and fueled unrest which was often led by the same landlords who sold the land. There were riots in 1920, 1921 and 1929, sometimes accompanied by massacres of Jews [18] The victims were usually from the non-Zionist Haredi Jewish communities in the Four Holy Cities. Britain supported Jewish immigration in principle, but in reaction to Arab violence imposed restrictions on Jewish immigration.

In 1933, Hitler came to power in Germany, and in 1935 the Nuremberg Laws made German Jews (and later Austrian and Czech Jews) stateless refugees. Similar rules were applied by the many Nazi allies in Europe. The subsequent growth in Jewish migration and impact of Nazi propaganda aimed at the Arab world led to the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. Britain established the Peel Commission to investigate the situation. The commission did not consider the situation of Jews in Europe but called for a two-state solution and compulsory transfer of populations. But Britain rejected this solution and instead implemented White Paper of 1939. This planned to end Jewish immigration by 1944 and to allow no more than 75,000 further Jewish migrants. The British maintained this policy until the end of the Mandate.

Growth of the Jewish community in Palestine and devastation of European Jewish life sidelined the World Zionist Organization. The Jewish Agency for Palestine under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion increasingly dictated policy with support from American Zionists who provided funding and influence in Washington, D.C. including via the highly effective American Palestine Committee.

After World War II and the Holocaust, a massive wave of stateless Jews, mainly Holocaust survivors, began migrating to Palestine in small boats in defiance of British rules. The British either imprisoned these Jews in Cyprus (including many orphaned children) or sent them to the British-controlled Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. This resulted in universal Jewish support for Zionism and the refusal of the U.S. Congress to grant economic aid to Britain. In addition, Zionist groups attacked the British in Palestine and, with its empire facing bankruptcy, Britain was forced to refer the issue to the newly created United Nations.

In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended that western Palestine should be partitioned into a Jewish state, an Arab state and a UN-controlled territory (Corpus separatum) around Jerusalem.[19] This partition plan was adopted on November 29, 1947 with UN GA Resolution 181, 33 votes in favor, 13 against, and 10 abstentions. The vote led to celebrations in the streets of Jewish cities.[20] However, the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states rejected the UN decision, demanding a single state and removal of Jewish migrants, leading to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

David Ben-Gurion proclaiming Israel's independence beneath a large portrait of Theodor Herzl.

On 14 May 1948, at the end of the British mandate, the Jewish Agency, led by David Ben-Gurio, declared the creation of the State of Israel, and the same day the armies of seven Arab countries invaded Israel. The conflict led to an exodus of about 711,000 Arab Palestinians[21] and the exodus of 850,000 Jews from the Arab World, mostly to Israel.

Since the creation of the State of Israel, the World Zionist Organization has functioned mainly as an organization dedicated to assisting and encouraging Jews to migrate to Israel. It has provided political support for Israel in other countries but plays little role in internal Israeli politics. The movement's major success since 1948 was in providing logistical support for migrating Jews and, most importantly, in assisting Soviet Jews in their struggle with the authorities over the right to leave the USSR and to practice their religion in freedom.

Opposition to and criticism of Zionism

Zionism has been opposed by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. The Arab League and Arab Higher Committee rejected the UN Partition Plan (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) approving the creation of a Jewish and Arab state in Palestine,[22] and viewed Israel as the "Zionist entity" occupying "Arab land".[23][24] Arab states continue to reject the Zionist philosophy which underwrote the creation of Israel and in particular allege that the displacement of some 700,000 Arab refugees in the 1948 Palestinian exodus[25] and the subsequent conflict is the inevitable consequence of the re-establishment of the Jewish State.

Haredi Jewish communities are non-Zionist but willing to participate in Israeli coalitions. A minority, (the Satmar Hasidim and the small Neturei Karta group) are strongly anti-Zionist.

Before Hitler, Jews seeking to assimilate in Europe feared that Zionism would undermine their claims to citizenship since antisemites claim that Jews are disloyal to their "host" societies.[26] These Jews sought to define themselves as loyal citizens of a different faith, sometimes styling themselves "of the Mosaic persuasion" . This movement was particularly prevalent in Germany, where most Jews supported German nationalism.[27]

Non-Zionist Israeli movements, such as the Canaanite movement led by poet Yonatan Ratosh in the 1930s and 1940s, have argued that "Israeli" should be a new pan-ethnic nationality. A related modern movement is known as post-Zionism, which asserts that Israel should abandon the concept of a "state of the Jewish people" and instead strive to be a state of all its citizens.[28] Another opinion favors a binational state in which Arabs and Jews live together while enjoying some type of autonomy.

During the last quarter of 20th century, classic nationalism in Israel declined. This led to the rise of two antagonistic movements: neo-Zionism and post-Zionism. Both movements mark the Israeli version of a worldwide phenomenon:

  • the emergence of globalization, a market society and liberal culture
  • a local backlash.[29]

Neo-Zionism and post-Zionism share traits with "classical" Zionism but differ by accentuating antagonist and diametrically opposed poles already present in Zionism. "Neo Zionism accentuates the messianic and particularistic dimensions of Zionist nationalism, while post-Zionism accentuates its normalising and universalistic dimensions".[30]

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

In 1903, following the Kishinev Pogrom, a variety of Russian antisemites, including the Black Hundreds and the Tzarist Secret Police, began combining earlier works alleging a Jewish plot to take control of the world into new formats.[31] One particular version of these allegations, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (subtitle "Protocols extracted from the secret archives of the central chancery of Zion"), arranged by Sergei Nilus], achieved global notability. In 1903, the editor claimed that the protocols revealed the menace of Zionism:

....which has the goal of uniting all the Jews of the whole world in one union - a union that is more closely knit and more dangerous than the Jesuits.

The book contains fictional minutes of an imaginary meeting in which alleged Jewish leaders plotted to take over the world. Nilus later claimed they were presented to the elders by Herzl (the "Prince of Exile") at the first Zionist congress. A Polish edition claimed they were taken from Herzl's flat in Austria and a 1920 German version renamed them "The Zionist Protocols".[33] The "protocols were one of the earliest, and possibly the most important example of the many cases in which antisemitism has manifested as anti-Zionism or vice versa and were extensively used by the Nazis]]. They are widely distributed in the Arab World and are referred to in the 1988 Hamas charter (article 32):

The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"...

Resolutions condemning Zionism

The Organisation of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement passed resolutions condemning Zionism and equating it with racism and apartheid during the early 1970s. The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 3151 72 to 36, with 32 abstentions, in December 1973, stating that there was an "unholy alliance between South African racism and Zionism." [34] Resolution 3379, stating in its conclusion that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination", passed in November 1975, with many Arab, African, South Asian, Latin American and Soviet bloc states voting in favor of it.[27][35] The resolution was opposed by most of the Western world.

As the war in Iraq began and the South Africa's apartheid government and the Soviet Union collapsed, the resolution was repealed in 1991 with Resolution 4686, after Israel declared that it would only participate in the Madrid Conference of 1991 if the resolution were revoked.[34] [36] [37]

At the session revoking the motion, U.S. President George H. W. Bush declared that 3379 mocked the founding principles of the United Nations and its charter's pledge "to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors."[38] The revocation motion was co-sponsored by 90 nations and supported by 111, and opposed by 26.[34]

Equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism

There is evidence to suggest that anti-Zionism is sometimes antisemitism masquerading in a more sanitized term.[39] The word Zionist is sometimes used as a synonym for Jew and anti-Zionists may use motifs previously associated with antisemitism. On October 21, 1973, then-Soviet ambassador to the United Nations Yakov Malik declared: "The Zionists have come forth with the theory of the Chosen People, an absurd ideology." Chosenness, a basic doctrine of Judaism, has no role in Zionism. Similarly, an exhibit about Zionism and Israel in the Museum of Religion and Atheism in Leningrad designates the following as Soviet Zionist material: Jewish prayer shawls, tefillin and Passover Hagaddahs,[40] even though these are all religious items used by Jews for thousands of years.[39]

Marcus Garvey and Black Zionism

Zionist success in winning British support for formation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine helped to inspire the Jamaican nationalist Marcus Garvey to form a movement dedicated to returning Americans of African origin to Africa. During a speech in Harlem in 1920, Garvey stated: "other races were engaged in seeing their cause through—the Jews through their Zionist movement and the Irish through their Irish movement—and I decided that, cost what it might, I would make this a favorable time to see the Negro's interest through."[41] Garvey established a shipping company, the Black Star Line, to allow Black Americans to emigrate to Africa, but for various reasons failed in his endeavour.

Garvey helped inspire the Rastafari movement in Jamaica, the Black Jews[42] and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem who initially moved to Liberia before settling in Israel.

Non-Jewish support for Zionism

Political support for the Jewish return to the Land of Israel predates the formal organization of Jewish Zionism as a political movement. In the 19th century, advocates of the Restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land were called Restorationists. The return of the Jews to the Holy Land was widely supported by such eminent figures as Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, President John Adams of the United States, General Smuts of South Africa, President Masaryk of Czechoslovakia, philosopher and historian Benedetto Croce from Italy, Henry Dunant (founder of the Red Cross and author of the Geneva Conventions), and scientist and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen from Norway.

The French government through Minister M. Cambon formally committed itself to “the renaissance of the Jewish nationality in that Land from which the people of Israel were exiled so many centuries ago".

In China, top figures of the Nationalist government, including Sun Yat-sen, expressed their sympathy with the aspirations of the Jewish people for a National Home.[43]

Hindus supporting Zionism

After Israel's creation in 1948, Indian leftists who controlled the government opposed Zionism in order to pander to Muslim voters in India (where they numbered over 30 million at the time).[44] However, the conservative Hindus, led by the Sangh Parivar, openly supported Zionism, as did Hindu Nationalist intellectuals like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Sita Ram Goel.[45] Zionism as a national liberation movement to repatriate the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland 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.

An international opinion survey has shown that India is the most pro-Israel country in the world.[46][47][48][49]. In more current times, all conservative Indian parties and organizations support Zionism.[50][45] This has invited attacks on Hindus by the Indian left opposed to Zionism, and allegations that Hindus are conspiring with the "Jewish Lobby"[51], as well as from Islamist in Pakistan (see Zaid Hamid]), who accuse Indian Hindus of participating in a "global Hindu-Zionist" conspiracy.

Christians supporting Zionism

Christians have a long history of supporting the return of Jews to the Holy Land prior to Zionism. One of the principal Protestant teachers who promoted the biblical doctrine that the Jews would return to their national homeland was John Nelson Darby. He is credited with being the major promoter of the idea following his 11 lectures on the hopes of the church, the Jew and the gentile given in Geneva in 1840. His views were embraced by many evangelicals and also affected international foreign policy. Notable early supporters of Zionism include British Prime Ministers David Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour, American President Woodrow Wilson and Orde Wingate whose activities in support of Zionism led the British Army to ban him from ever serving in Palestine. According to Charles Merkley of Carleton University, Christian Zionism strengthened significantly after the Six-Day War of 1967, and many dispensationalist Christians, especially in the United States, now strongly support Zionism.

The founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Joseph Smith, Jr., in his last years alive, declared "the time for Jews to return to the land of Israel is now." In 1842, Smith sent Orson Hyde, an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to Jerusalem to dedicate the land for the return of the Jews.

Some Arab Christians publicly supporting Israel include US author Nonie Darwish, creator of the Arabs for Israel website, and former Muslim Magdi Allam, author of Viva Israele,[52] both born in Egypt. Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese-born Christian US journalist and founder of the American Congress for Truth, urges Americans to "fearlessly speak out in defense of America, Israel and Western civilization".[53]

Muslims supporting Zionism

In 1873, Shah of Persia Naser al-Din Shah Qajar met with British Jewish leaders, including Sir Moses Montefiore, during his journey to Europe. At that time, the Persian king suggested that the Jews buy land and establish a state for the Jewish people.[54]

On occasion, some non-Arab Muslims such as some Turks, Kurds and Berbers have also voiced support for Zionism.[55][56][57]

See also

Types of Zionism

History of Zionism and Israel



  2. Aviel Roshwald, "Jewish Identity and the Paradox of Nationalism", in Michael Berkowitz, (ed.). Nationalism, Zionism and Ethnic Mobilization of the Jews in 1900 and Beyond, p. 15).
  3. Wylen, Stephen M. Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism, Second Edition, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 392).
  4. A.R. Taylor, 'Vision and intent in Zionist Thought', in 'The transformation of Palestine', ed. by I. Abu-Lughod, 1971, ISBN 0-8101-0345-1, p. 10
  5. Walter Laqueur, The History of Zionism (2003) p 40
  6. A national liberation movement: Rockaway, Robert. Zionism: The National Liberation Movement of The Jewish People, World Zionist Organization, January 21, 1975, accessed August 17, 2006). Shlomo Avineri: (Zionism as a Movement of National Liberation, Hagshama department of the World Zionist Organization, December 12, 2003, accessed August 17, 2006). Neuberger, Binyamin. Introduction Zionism - an Introduction, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 20, 2001, accessed August 17, 2006).
  7. De Lange, Nicholas, An Introduction to Judaism, Cambridge University Press (2000), p. 30. ISBN 0-521-46624-5.
  8. Source: A survey of Palestine, prepared in 1946 for the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Volume II page 907 HMSO 1946.
  11. For an example of this view see The New Anti-Zionism and the Old Antisemitism: Transformations By: Raphael Jospe at accessed 16/11/2008
  12. E. Schweid, ‘Rejection of the Diaspora in Zionist Thought’, in Essential Papers on Zionism, ed. By Reinharz & Shapira, 1996, ISBN 0-8147-7449-0, p.133
  13. Anonymous (1947-09-03). "Report to the General Assembly, Volume 1". United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  15. C.D. Smith, 2001, 'Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict', 4th ed., ISBN 0-312-20828-6, p. 1-12, 33-38
  16. Zionism & The British In Palestine, by Sethi, Arjun (University of Maryland) January 2007, accessed May 20, 2007.
  17. League of Nations Palestine Mandate, July 24, 1922,
  18. Peel Commission report 1937, chapter 3.
  19. United Nations Special Committee on Palestine; report to the General Assembly, A/364, 3 September 1947
  20. Three minutes, 2000 years, Video from the Jewish Agency for Israel, via YouTube
  21. General Progress Report and Supplementary Report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, Covering the period from 11 December 1949 to 23 October 1950, GA A/1367/Rev.1 23 October 1950
  22. Bregman, Ahron (2002), A History of Israel, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0333676319, pp. 40-41.
  23. El-Nawawy, Mohammed (2002). The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the reporting of western Journalists. Ablex/Greenwood, pg. 19 ISBN 1567505449 "It is a barrier that has been created by years and years of antagonism with Israelis; a barrier that was strengthened by the Egyptian and Arab news media at large which have enforced the Arabs' stereotypes about the Israelis as invaders of Arab land."
  24. Khalidi, Rashid (2006). The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. Beacon Press, pg. 19.
  25. The U.N.'s final estimate of the total number of Palestinian Refugees was 711,000 according to the General Progress Report and Supplementary Report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, Covering the Period from 11 December 1949 to 23 October 1950, published by the United Nations Conciliation Commission, October 23, 1950. (U.N. General Assembly Official Records, 5th Session, Supplement No. 18, Document A/1367/Rev.1)
  26. Social and political history of the Jews in Poland, 1919-1939 By Joseph Marcus page 421 published 1983 see also
  27. 27.0 27.1
  28. Can Israel Survive Post-Zionism? by Meyrav Wurmser. Middle East Quarterly, March 1999
  29. Uri Ram, The Future of the Past in Israel - A Sociology of Knowledge Approach, in Benny Morris, Making Israel, p.224.
  30. Steve Chan, Anita Shapira, Derek Jonathan, Israeli Historical Revisionism: from left to right, Routledge, 2002, p.58.
  31. Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 chapter 3
  32. Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 page 74
  33. Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 page 75-76
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Further reading

  • Beller, Steven. Herzl (2004)
  • Brenner, Michael, and Shelley Frisch. Zionism: A Brief History (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Cohen, Naomi. The Americanization of Zionism, 1897-1948 (2003). 304 pp. essays on specialized topics
  • Friedman, Isaiah. "Theodor Herzl: Political Activity and Achievements," Israel Studies 2004 9(3): 46-79, online in EBSCO
  • David Hazony, Yoram Hazony, and Michael B. Oren, eds., "New Essays on Zionism," Shalem Press, 2007.
  • Laqueuer, Walter. A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel (2003) survey by a leading scholar excerpt and text search
  • Medoff, Rafael. "Recent Trends in the Historiography of American Zionism," American Jewish History 86 (March 1998), 117-134.
  • Pawel, Ernst. The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl (1992) excerpt and text search
  • Sachar, Howard M. A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Taylor, A.R., 1971, 'Vision and intent in Zionist Thought', in 'The transformation of Palestine', ed. by I. Abu-Lughod, ISBN 0-8101-0345-1, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, USA
  • Urofsky, Melvin I. American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust (1995), a standard history
  • Wigoder, Geoffrey, ed. New Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel (2nd ed. 2 vol. 1994); 1521pp

Primary sources

  • Herzl, Theodor. A Jewish state: an attempt at a modern solution of the Jewish question‎ (1896) full text online
  • Herzl, Theodor. Theodor Herzl: Excerpts from His Diaries‎ (2006) excerpt and text search

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Zionism. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.