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Zionism (Hebrew: ציונות‎, Tsiyonut) is a nationalist[1] Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, calls for the self-determination of the Jewish people and a sovereign, Jewish national homeland.[2] Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to support and advocate on behalf of the Jewish state, and its current existence.

Zionism does not have a uniform ideology, but a plethora of ideologies: General Zionism, National-Religious Zionism, Labor Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, Green Zionism(2001), etc. Shimoni (1995) shows that there exists among the parties a common denominator: the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews and as the legitimate focus for the national self-determination of the Jews.[3]

Zionism is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.[4] 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 Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire.[5]

With its international support, Zionism is included in diaspora politics as a broader phenomenon of modern nation liberation movements.[6] 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.[7] The movement sought to encourage Jewish migration to the Ottoman Palestine 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.[8] 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 (see American Jews).


[edit] Terminology

The term "Zionism" itself is derived from the word Zion (Hebrew: ציון, Tzi-yon‎), referring to Jerusalem. The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian Nathan Birnbaum, founder of the first nationalist Jewish students' movement Kadimah, in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) in 1890.[9]

[edit] Organization

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.[10]
Country/Region Members Delegates
Poland 299,165 109
USA 263,741 114
British Mandate of 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 on representative democratic principles. 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.

Until 1917, the World Zionist Organization pursued a strategy of building a Jewish National Home 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, the movement included for the first time an express objective of the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

The 28th Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem in 1968, adopted the five points of the "Jerusalem Program" as the aims of Zionism today. They are:[11]

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.

[edit] 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.[citation needed]

[edit] 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. Kadima, however, 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Green Zionism

Green Zionism is a branch of Zionism which is primarily concerned with the environment of Israel. The first and only environmental Zionist party is the Green Zionist Alliance.

[edit] 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 rejected association with the Zionist movement, however in 2010 it joined the World Zionist Organization, its voters also 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/UTJ 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.

[edit] Particularities of Zionist beliefs

Zionism was established on the basis of the association between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Aliyah (migration, literally "ascent") to the Land of Israel is a recurring theme in Jewish prayers. Zionists consider Jews outside of Israel as living in exile.[12] Rejection of life in the Diaspora is a central assumption in Zionism.[13] Underlying this attitude is the feeling that the Diaspora restricts the full growth of Jewish individual and national life.

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.

Major aspects of the Zionist idea are represented in the Israeli Declaration of Independence:

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses.[14]

Zionism is dedicated to fighting antisemitism. Some Zionists believe antisemitism will never disappear (and that Jews must conduct themselves with this in mind),[15] while others perceive Zionism as a vehicle with which to end antisemitism.

[edit] History

Population of Palestine by religions[16]
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[citation needed], 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 Judea, changing the name from "Provincia Judea" to "Provincia Palestina", and thus forming the Jewish diaspora.[citation needed]

In the 19th century, a current in Judaism supporting a return to Zion grew in popularity,[17] 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.[18]

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).[19] Herzl's 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 USA 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 [21] 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. This was disastrous to European Jews already being gravely discriminated against and in need of a place to seek refuge. 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.[22] 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.[23] 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-Gurion, 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[24] 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.

In 2001, the first ever environmental Zionist organization, the Green Zionist Alliance, was founded by a group of American and Israeli environmentalists led by Dr. Alon Tal, Rabbi Michael Cohen and Dr. Eilon Schwartz. The Green Zionist Alliance focuses on the environment of Israel and its region.

[edit] Opposition to and criticism of Zionism

Zionism has been opposed by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. 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.

During the last quarter of the 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:

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".[27] 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,[28] or a binational state in which Arabs and Jews live together while enjoying some type of autonomy.

[edit] Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

Opposition to Zionism and Anti-Semitism at the more extreme fringes, may be hard to separate.[29]

Anti-semites alleged that Zionism was part of a Jewish plot to take control of the world.[30] 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") achieved global notability and was extensively quoted by the Nazis. The protocols are fictional minutes of an imaginary meeting by Jewish leaders of this plot. Analysis and proof of their fraudulent origin goes as far back as 1921.[31] The Russian author alleged they were presented to the founder of Zionism, by Herzl (the "Prince of Exile") at the first Zionist congress. A 1920 German version renamed them "The Zionist Protocols".[32] The "protocols were extensively used by the Nazis and remain widely distributed in the Arab world. They 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"...

There are examples of anti-Zionists using accusations, slanders, imagery and tactics previously associated with anti-semites. 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 Saint Petersburg designates the following as Soviet Zionist material: Jewish prayer shawls, tefillin and Passover Hagaddahs,[33] even though these are all religious items used by Jews for thousands of years.[34] After WWII, the Soviet Union under Stalin launched an overtly anti-semitic campaign under the pretext of anti-Zionism.

The Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses was closely followed by the Arab Boycott, which began in 1945, and its adherents in Europe sometimes had Nazi backgrounds.[35]

[edit] Allegations of racism

Opposition to Zionism, especially from the movement's staunchest critics, not infrequently includes the contention that Zionism is inherently racist, with those who espouse this position pointing particularly to Israel's Right of Return, which allows any Jew in the world to obtain full Israeli citizenship, while denying that automatic right to non-Jews, and most notably to Palestinian Arab refugees and their progeny.[36] Those who defend Zionism against this judgment argue that all nations accord rights to members of that nation, while denying national rights to those who are not members of that nation.[37] Those who view Zionism as racist counter that the Jewish People are in fact not a people or nation, and therefore cannot exercise national rights. For example, the PLO charter in Article 20 states that "Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong."[38]

Devout Muslims who maintain that Zionism is racist have addressed the Quran's express affirmation of both the nationhood of the Israelites/Jews as well as the divine assignment of the Holy Land to that nation (e.g. Quran 5:20-21 and 7:137[39][40]), by asserting that the modern Jews are not biologically descended from the original Biblical nation, while other Muslim anti-Zionists argue that the Jews are a cursed nation and therefore not entitled to continued divine favor, and that in any case, Islam as an Abrahamic faith supersedes the promise of the Holy Land to the Jews.[41]

Complicating the debate is the fact that what is called the Nation of Israel in the Bible evolved in tandem with the birth of the faith, laws, and rituals known as Judaism, such that there was no essential difference between religion and nationhood for the Biblical nation called Israel. As most forms of Zionism developed from philosophical ideas tied to the Bible, most Jewish Zionists have a religio-nationalist identity.[42]

Early examples of racism charges were in 1973 when Arab and Islamic states became more politically active in the global arena: the Organisation of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement passed resolutions condemning Zionism and equating it with racism and apartheid. 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." [43]

The most significant assertion that Zionism is racist was in 1975, when the United Nations passed Resolution 3379, stating in its conclusion that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination", with many Arab, African, South Asian, Latin American and Soviet bloc states voting in favor of it.[44][45] The resolution was opposed by most of the Western world.[citation needed]

As the war in Iraq began and the South African 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.[43] [46][47]

At the session revoking the motion, U.S. President George H. W. Bush declared that Resolution 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."[48] The revocation motion was co-sponsored by 90 nations and supported by 111, and opposed by 26.[43]

[edit] 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."[49] 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[50] and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem who initially moved to Liberia before settling in Israel.

[edit] 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, Napoleon Bonaparte,[51] 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.[citation needed]

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.[52]

[edit] Hindu support for Zionism

After Israel's creation in 1948, Indian leftists who controlled the government opposed Zionism in order to get more Muslim votes in India (where they numbered over 30 million at the time).[53] 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.[54] 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.[55][56][57][58] In more current times, all conservative Indian parties and organizations support Zionism.[54][59] This has invited attacks on Hindus by the Indian left opposed to Zionism, and allegations that Hindus are conspiring with the "Jewish Lobby",[60]

[edit] Christians supporting Zionism

Some Christians have actively supported the return of Jews to Palestine even prior to Zionism, as well as subsequently. 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.[61]

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,[62] 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".[63]

[edit] 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.[64]

Arab Muslims who publicly defended Zionism include Dr. Tawfik Hamid, former member of a terror organization and current Islamic thinker and reformer,[65] Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community,[66] and Tashbih Sayyed, a Pakistani-American scholar, journalist, and author.[67]

On occasion, some non-Arab Muslims such as some Kurds and Berbers have also voiced support for Zionism.[68][69][70]

Some Indian Muslims have also expressed opposition to Islamic anti-Zionism. In August 2007, a delegation of the All India Organization of Imams and Mosques led by Maulana Jamil Ilyas visited Israel. The meet led to a joint statement expressing "peace and goodwill from Indian Muslims", developing dialogue between Indian Muslims and Israeli Jews, and rejecting the perception that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of a religious nature.[71]. The visit was organized by the American Jewish Committee. The purpose of the visit was to create meaningful debate about the status of Israel in the Muslim eyes worldwide, and strengthen the relationship between India and Israel. It is suggested that the visit could "open Muslim minds across the world to understand the democratic nature of the state of Israel, especially in the Middle East"[72].

[edit] See also

[edit] Types of Zionism

[edit] Zionist institutions and organizations

[edit] History of Zionism and Israel

[edit] Miscellanea

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "Zionism (nationalistic movement) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/657475/Zionism. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  2. ^ Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Zionism: mission and politics (1998) p 289; Moshe Davis, Zionism in transition (1980) p 56; "Zionism: Changed perceptions of," in Glenda Abramson, ed. Encyclopedia of modern Jewish culture (2005) vol 2 p Page 991
  3. ^ Gideon Shimoni, The Zionist Ideology (1995)
  4. ^ 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).
  5. ^ Wylen, Stephen M. Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism, Second Edition, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 392).
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Walter Laqueur, The History of Zionism (2003) p 40
  8. ^ 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. Retrieved August 17, 2006.
  9. ^ De Lange, Nicholas, An Introduction to Judaism, Cambridge University Press (2000), p. 30. ISBN 0-521-46624-5.
  10. ^ Source: A survey of Palestine, prepared in 1946 for the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Volume II page 907 HMSO 1946.
  11. ^ Hagshama.org
  12. ^ Esraten.com
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ Harris, J. (1998) The Israeli Declaration of Independence The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning, Vol. 7
  15. ^ For an example of this view see The New Anti-Zionism and the Old Antisemitism: Transformations By: Raphael Jospe at Hashama.org accessed 16/11/2008
  16. ^ Anonymous (1947-09-03). "Report to the General Assembly, Volume 1". United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/07175de9fa2de563852568d3006e10f3!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  17. ^ Lds.org
  18. ^ C.D. Smith, 2001, 'Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict', 4th ed., ISBN 0-312-20828-6, p. 1-12, 33-38
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  21. ^ Peel Commission report 1937, chapter 3.
  22. ^ United Nations Special Committee on Palestine; report to the General Assembly, A/364, 3 September 1947
  23. ^ Three minutes, 2000 years, Video from the Jewish Agency for Israel, via YouTube
  24. ^ 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
  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)
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  30. ^ Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 chapter 3
  31. ^ A Hoax of Hate
  32. ^ Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 page 75-76
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    • Dinstein, Yoram, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights 1987, Volume 17; Volume 1987, pp 31, 136
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  39. ^ 5:20-21
  40. ^ 7:137
  41. ^ [2] Harkabi, ibid, pp194-197.
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  67. ^ Neuwirth, Rachel (2007-06-24). ""Tashbih Sayyed ― A Fearless Muslim Zionist"". Islam Watch. http://www.islam-watch.org/Others/Tashbih-Sayyed-A%20Fearless-Muslim-Zionist.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
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