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

Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת, translit. Tziyonut) is a nationalist and political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the reestablishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel.[1][2][3][4] Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in central and eastern Europe as a national revival movement, and soon after this most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.[5][6][7] A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the 'return' of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority in their own nation, and to be liberated from antisemitic discrimination, exclusion, and persecution that had historically occurred in the diaspora.[1] Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of Israel and address threats to its continued existence and security. In a less common usage, the term may also refer to non-political, cultural Zionism, founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha'am; and political support for the State of Israel by non-Jews, as in Christian Zionism.

Supporters of Zionism say it is a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a dispersed socio-religious group to what they see as an abandoned homeland millennia before.[8][9][10] Critics of Zionism see it as a colonialist[11] or racist[12] ideology that led to the denial of rights, dispossession and expulsion of the 'indigenous population of Palestine.'[13][14][15][16]


  • Overview 1
  • Terminology 2
  • Organization 3
    • Labor Zionism 3.1
    • Liberal Zionism 3.2
    • Nationalist Zionism 3.3
    • Religious Zionism 3.4
    • Green Zionism 3.5
    • Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism 3.6
    • Zionism and Haredi Judaism 3.7
  • Particularities of Zionist beliefs 4
  • History 5
    • The Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate 5.1
    • The Rise of Hitler 5.2
    • Post-WWII 5.3
  • Non-Jewish support for Zionism 6
    • Christians supporting Zionism 6.1
    • Muslims supporting Zionism 6.2
    • Hindu support for Zionism 6.3
  • Marcus Garvey and Black Zionism 7
  • Opposition to Zionism 8
    • Catholic Church and Zionism 8.1
    • Characterization as colonialism or ethnic cleansing 8.2
    • Characterization as racist 8.3
    • Anti-Semitism 8.4
  • See also 9
    • Types of Zionism 9.1
    • Zionist institutions and organizations 9.2
    • History of Zionism and Israel 9.3
    • Miscellanea 9.4
  • Footnotes 10
  • Primary sources 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13


The common denominator among all Zionists is the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews and as the legitimate focus for the Jewish national self-determination.[17] It is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.[18] Zionism does not have a uniform ideology, but has evolved in a dialogue among a plethora of ideologies: General Zionism, Religious Zionism, Labor Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, Green Zionism, etc.

After almost two millennia of existence of the Jewish diaspora without a national state, the Zionist movement was founded in the late 19th century by secular Jews, largely as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to rising antisemitism in Europe, exemplified by the Dreyfus affair in France and the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire.[19] The political movement was formally established by the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl in 1897 following the publication of his book Der Judenstaat.[20] At that time, the movement sought to encourage Jewish migration to the Ottoman Palestine.

Although initially one of several Jewish political movements offering alternative responses to assimilation and antisemitism, Zionism grew rapidly and became the dominant force in Jewish politics with the destruction of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe where these alternative movements were rooted.

The movement was eventually successful in establishing Israel on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyyar 5708 in the Hebrew calendar), as the homeland for the Jewish people. The proportion of the world's Jews living in Israel has also steadily grown since the movement came into existence and over 40% of the world's Jews now live in Israel, more than in any other country. These two outcomes represent the historical success of Zionism, unmatched by any other Jewish political movement in the past 2,000 years. 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.[21]

Zionism also sought assimilation into the modern world. As a result of the Diaspora, many of the Jewish people remained outsiders within their adopted countries and became detached from modern ideas. So-called "assimilationist" Jews desired complete integration into European society. They were willing to downplay their Jewish identity or even to abandon their traditional views and opinions in an attempt at modernization and assimilation into the modern world. A less radical form of assimilation was called cultural synthesis. Those in favor of cultural synthesis desired continuity and only moderate evolution, and were concerned that Jews should not lose their identity. "Cultural synthesists" emphasized both a need to maintain traditional Jewish values and faith, and a need to conform to a modernist society.[22]

In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that designated Zionism as "a form of racism and racial discrimination". The resolution was repealed in 1991 by replacing Resolution 3379 with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/86. Within the context of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Zionism is viewed by critics as a system that fosters apartheid and racism.[23]


The term "Zionism" itself is derived from the word Zion (Hebrew: ציון, Tzi-yon‎), referring to Jerusalem. Throughout eastern Europe in the late 19th century, there were numerous grassroots groups promoting the national resettlement of the Jews in what was termed their "ancestral homeland", as well as the revitalization and cultivation of Hebrew. These groups were collectively called the "Lovers of Zion." The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian Nathan Birnbaum, founder of a nationalist Jewish students' movement Kadimah, who used the term in 1890 in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation).[24]


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.[25]
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 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 Jewish National Home through persistent small-scale immigration and the founding of such bodies as the Jewish National Fund (1901 — a charity that 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:[26]

  • Unity of the Jewish People and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life
  • Ingathering of the Jewish People in its historic homeland, Eretz Israel, through Aliyah from all countries
  • Strengthening of the State of Israel, based on the prophetic vision of justice and peace
  • Preservation of the identity of the Jewish People through fostering of Jewish and Hebrew education, and of Jewish spiritual and cultural values
  • Protection of Jewish rights everywhere

Since the creation of modern Israel, the role of the movement has declined and it is now a peripheral factor in Israeli politics, though 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 oppression in antisemitic societies had reduced Jews to a meek, vulnerable, despairing existence that 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". The kibbutz began as a variation on a "national farm" scheme, a form of cooperative agriculture where the Jewish National Fund hired Jewish workers under trained supervision. The kibbutzim were a symbol of the Second Aliya in that they put great emphasis on communalism and egalitarianism, representing to a certain extent Utopian socialism. Furthermore, they stressed self-sufficiency, which became an important aspect of Labor Zionism. 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. Labor Zionism's main institution is the Histadrut, which began by providing strikebreakers against a Palestinian worker's strike in 1920 and is now the largest employer in Israel after the Israeli government.

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 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.

Nationalist Zionism

Nationalist Zionism originated from the Revisionist Zionists led by Likud Party in Israel, which has dominated most governments since 1977. It advocates that Israel maintain control of the West Bank, including 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 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.

Green Zionism

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

Neo-Zionism and Post-Zionism

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:

  • Emergence of globalization, a market society and liberal culture
  • Local backlash[27]

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".[28] 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,[29] or a binational state where Arabs and Jews live together while enjoying some type of autonomy.

Zionism and Haredi Judaism

Most 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. However, some Haredi movements such as Shas do openly affiliate with the Zionist movement.

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 that 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 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 non-Hasidic or 'Lithuanian' Haredi Ashkenazi world is represented by 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. The rabbinical leaders of the so-called Litvishe world in current and past generations, such as Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach and Rabbi Avigdor Miller, are strongly opposed to all forms of Zionism, religious and secular, but allow for slight cooperation in the form of participating in Israeli political life, including both passive and active participation in elections.

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. One of the best known Hasidic opponent of all forms of modern political Zionism was Hungarian rebbe and Talmudic scholar Joel Teitelbaum. In his view, the current State of Israel, which was founded by people that included some anti-religious personalities in seeming violation of the traditional notion that Jews should wait for the Jewish Messiah, is seen as contrary to Judaism. The core citations from classical Judaic sources cited by Teitelbaum in his arguments against modern Zionism are based on a passage in the Talmud, Rabbi Yosi b'Rebbi Hanina explains (Kesubos 111a) that the Lord imposed "Three Oaths" on the nation of Israel: a) Israel should not return to the Land together, by force; b) Israel should not rebel against the other nations; and c) The nations should not subjugate Israel too harshly. According to Teitelbaum, the second oath is relevant concerning the subsequent wars fought between Israel and Arab nations.

Other opponent 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, an orthodox Haredi religious movement, strongly oppose Zionism and Israel; it considers the latter a racist regime.[30] The movement equates Zionism to Nazism, stating "Apart from the Zionists, the only ones who consistently considered the Jews a race were the Nazis."[31] Naturei Karta believes that Zionist ideology is totally contrary to traditional Jewish law and beliefs and the teachings of the Holy Torah[32] and that Zionism promotes antisemitism.[33]

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

Particularities of Zionist beliefs

Zionism was established with the goal of creating a Jewish state. Though later Zionist leaders hoped to create a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael, Theodor Herzl "approached Great Britain about possible Jewish settlement in that country's East African colonies."[34] Aliyah (migration, literally "ascent") to the Land of Israel is a recurring theme in Jewish prayers. Rejection of life in the Diaspora is a central assumption in Zionism.[35] 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 European persecution. Once they moved to Israel, many Zionists refused to speak their (diasporic) mother tongues and gave themselves new, Hebrew names. Hebrew was preferred not only for ideological reasons, but also because it allowed all citizens of the new state to have a common language, thus furthering the political and cultural bonds between Zionists.

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.[36]

Zionism is dedicated to fighting antisemitism. Some Zionists believe antisemitism will never disappear (and that Jews must conduct themselves with this in mind),[37] while others perceive Zionism as a vehicle with which to end antisemitism.


Population of Palestine by ethno-religious groups[38]
Year Muslims Jews Christians Others Total
1922 486,177 (74.91%) 83,790 (12.91%) 71,464 (11.01%) 7,617 (1.17%) 649,048
1931 493,147 (64.32%) 174,606 (22.77%) 88,907 (11.60%) 10,101 (1.32%) 766,761
1941 906,551 (59.68%) 474,102 (31.21%) 125,413 (8.26%) 12,881 (0.85%) 1,518,947
1946 1,076,783 (58.34%) 608,225 (32.96%) 145,063 (7.86%) 15,488 (0.84%) 1,845,559
The delegates at the First Zionist Congress, held in Basel, Switzerland (1897).
Lord Shaftesbury's "Memorandum to Protestant Monarchs of Europe for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine", published in the Colonial Times, in 1841

Since the first centuries CE most Jews have lived outside Land of Israel (Eretz Israel, better known as Palestine by non-Jews), although there has been a constant presence of Jews. According to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Eretz Israel is a land promised to the Jews by God according to the Hebrew and Greek Bibles and the Quran, respectively. The Diaspora began in 586 BCE during the Babylonian occupation of Israel. The Babylonians destroyed the First Temple, which was central to Jewish culture at the time. After the 1st century Great Revolt and the 2nd century Bar Kokhba revolt, the Romans expelled the Jews from Judea, changing the name to Syria Palaestina. The Bar Kokhba revolt caused a spike in anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution. The ensuing exile from Judea greatly increased the percent of Jews who were dispersed throughout the Diaspora instead of living in their original home.

Zion is a hill near Jerusalem (now in the city), widely symbolizing the Land of Israel.

In the middle of the 16th century Joseph Nasi, with the support of the Ottoman Empire, tried to gather the Portuguese Jews, first to Cyprus, then owned by the Republic of Venice and later to Tiberias. This was the only practical attempt to establish some sort of Jewish political center in Palestine between the fourth and 19th centuries.[39] In the 17th century Sabbatai Zebi (1626–1676) announced himself as the Messias and gained over many Jews to his side, forming a base in Salonica. He first tried to establish a settlement in Gaza, but moved later to Smyrna. After deposing the old rabbi Aaron Lapapa even the Jewish community of Avignon prepared to emigrate to the new kingdom in the spring of 1666. The readiness of the Jews of the time to believe the messianic claims of Sabbatai Zevi may be largely explained by the desperate state of European Jewry in the mid-17th century. The bloody pogroms of Bohdan Khmelnytsky had wiped out one third of the Jewish population and destroyed many centers of Jewish learning and communal life. Finally, he was forced by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV to visit him and, to the surprise of his followers, in the presence of the Sultan he converted to Islam.[40][41]

In the 19th century, a current in Judaism supporting a return to Zion grew in popularity,[42] particularly in Europe, where antisemitism and hostility towards Jews were also growing, although this idea was rejected by the conferences of rabbis held in that epoch. Nonetheless, individual efforts supported the emigration of groups of Jews to Palestine, pre-Zionist Aliyah, even before 1897, the year considered as the start of practical Zionism.[43]

The Reformed Jews rejected this idea of a return to Zion. The conference of rabbis, at Frankfurt am Main, July 15–28, 1845, deleted from the ritual all prayers for a return to Zion and a restoration of a Jewish state. The Philadelphia conference, 1869, followed the lead of the German rabbis and decreed that the Messianic hope of Israel is "the union of all the children of God in the confession of the unity of God". The Pittsburg conference, 1885, reiterated this Messianic idea of reformed Judaism, expressing in a resolution that "we consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community; and we therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning a Jewish state".[44]

Jewish settlements were established in the upper Mississippi region by W.D. Robinson in 1819 and near Jerusalem, by the American Consul Warder Cresson, a convert to Judaism, in 1850. Cresson was tried and condemned for lunacy in a suit brought forward by his own wife and son. The basis of the suit was that only a lunatic would convert to Judaism from Christianity. After a second trail, revolving upon the centrality of American freedom of faith issues and anti-Semitism, Cresson won the bitterly contested suit.[45] He emigrated to Ottoman Palestine and established an agricultural colony in the Valley of Rephaim of Jerusalem. He hoped to "prevent any attempts being made to take advantage of the necessities of our poor brethren ... (that would) ... FORCE them into a pretended conversion."[46] Moral but not practical efforts were made in Prague, by Abraham Benisch and Moritz Steinschneider in 1835. In the United States, Mordechai Noah attempted to establish a Jewish refuge opposite Buffalo, N.Y. on Grand Isle, 1825.[47][48] The early Jewish efforts of Cresson, Benisch, Steinschneider and Noah failed.

Sir Moses Montefiore, famous for his intervention in favor of Jews around the world, including the attempt to rescue Edgardo Mortara, established a colony for Jews in Palestine. In 1854, his friend Judah Touro bequeathed money to fund Jewish residential settlement in Palestine. Montefiore was appointed executor of his will, and used the funds for a variety of projects, including building in 1860 the first Jewish residential settlement and almshouse outside of the old walled city of Jerusalem—today known as Mishkenot Sha'ananim. Laurence Oliphant failed in a like attempt to bring to Palestine the Jewish proletariat of Poland, Lithuania, Romania, and the Turkish Empire (1879 and 1882). The official beginning of the construction of the New Yishuv in Palestine is usually dated back to the arrival of the Bilu group in 1882, which commenced the First Aliyah. In the following years, Jewish immigration to Palestine started in earnest. 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. However, at the end of the 19th century, Jews still were a minority in Palestina.

In the 1890s,

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Works related to Zionism at Wikisource
  • Works related to Zionism an Affirmation of Judaism at Wikisource
  • Central Zionist Archives site in Jerusalem
  • WZO website
  • Jewish Zionism, News, Links
  • PBS Documentary Film focusing on the secret American involvement in Aliyah Bet, narrated by Morley Safer
  • SAZ — Support Association for Zionism
  • Hanoar Hatzioni UK A Jewish-Zionist Youth Movement
  • Theodore Herzl and Rev. William Hechler and the Zionist Beginnings
  • Is Zionism in Crisis? A Follow-Up Debate with Peter Beinart and Alan Dershowitz at The Graduate Center, CUNY

External links

  • Armborst-Weihs, Kerstin: The Formation of the Jewish National Movement Through Transnational Exchange: Zionism in Europe up to the First World War, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2011, retrieved: August 17, 2011.
  • Beller, Steven. Herzl (2004)
  • Brenner, Michael, and Shelley Frisch. Zionism: A Brief History (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Butler, Judith: Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism. Columbia University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0231146111
  • 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
  • Hacohen, Dvorah (1991), "BenGurion and the Second World War", in Jonathan Frankel, Studies in Contemporary Jewry : Volume VII: Jews and Messianism in the Modern Era: Metaphor and Meaning, Oxford University Press,  
  • Hakohen, Devorah (2003), Immigrants in Turmoil: Mass Immigration to Israel and Its Repercussions in the 1950s and After, Syracuse University Press,  
  • David Hazony, Yoram Hazony, and Michael B. Oren, eds., "New Essays on Zionism," Shalem Press, 2007.
  • Kloke, Martin: The Development of Zionism Until the Founding of the State of Israel, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2010, retrieved: June 13, 2012.
  • Laqueur, 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
  • Shimoni, Gideon. The Zionist Ideology (1995)
  • Taub, Gadi. The Settlers and the Struggle over the Meaning of Zionism (2010, Hebrew, English)
  • 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

Further reading

  • 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

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  68. ^ Hakohen 2003, p. 47: "But as head of the government, entrusted with choosing the cabinet and steering its activities, Ben-Gurion had tremendous power over the country's social development. His prestige soared to new heights after the founding of the state and the impressive victory of the IDF in the War of Independence. As prime minister and minister of defense in Israel's first administration, as well as the uncontested leader of the country's largest political party, his opinions carried enormous weight. Thus, despite resistance from some of his cabinet members, he remained unflagging in his enthusiasm for unrestricted mass immigration and resolved to put this policy into effect."
  69. ^ Hakohen 2003, p. 247: "On several occasions, resolutions were passed to limit immigration from European and Arab countries alike. However, these limits were never put into practice, mainly due to the opposition of Ben-Gurion. As a driving force in the emergency of the state, Ben-Gurion— both prime minister and minister of defense—carried enormous weight with his veto. His insistence on the right of every Jew to immigrate proved victorious. He would not allow himself to be swayed by financial or other considerations. It was he who orchestrated the large-scale action that enabled the Jews to leave Eastern Europe and Islamic countries, and it was he who effectively forged Israel's foreign policy. Through a series of clandestine activities carried out overseas by the Foreign Office, the Jewish Agency, the Mossad le-Aliyah, and the Joint Distribution Committee, the road was paved for mass immigration."
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    • West, Cornell, Race Matters, 1993. pp 73–74
    • Dollinger, Mark, "African American-Jewish Relations" in Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution, Vol 1, 2005., p 4-5"
    • Hacker, Andrew (1999) "Jewish Racism, Black anti-Semitism", in Strangers & neighbors: relations between Blacks & Jews in the United States, Maurianne Adams (Ed.). Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1999. p. 20
  102. ^ [1]African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Banjul Charter), African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
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    • Post-Zionism doesn't exist. Shlomo Avineri.
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  108. ^ Hoffman, David. Zionism is not a 'settler-colonial undertaking'. The Mail & Guardian, South Africa. June 28, 2005
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    • Salaita, Steven George (2006). The Holy Land in transit: colonialism and the quest for Canaan. Syracuse University Press. p. 54.  
    • "FrontPage magazine interview with Christopher Hitchens". December 11, 2003. 
    • """Essay by James M. Martin from "Atheist Nexus. 
    • Quigley, John B. (1990). Palestine and Israel: a challenge to justice. Duke University Press. pp. 176–177.  
    • Chomsky, Noam (1999). Fateful triangle: the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (2nd Ed, revised). South End Press. pp. 153–154.  
    • Saleh Abdel Jawad (2007) "Zionist Massacres: the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem in the 1948 War" in Israel and the Palestinian refugees, Eyal Benvenistî, Chaim Gans, Sari Hanafi (Eds.), Springer, p. 78.
    • Yishai, Yael (1987). Land or peace: whither Israel?. Hoover Press. pp. 112–125.  
    • Geaves, Ron (2004). Islam and the West post 9/11. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 31.  
    • Kassim, Anis F. (2000). The Palestine Yearbook of International Law, 1998–1999, Volume 10. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 9.  
    • Raphael Israeli, Palestinians Between Israel and Jordan', Prager, 1991, pages 158–159, 171, 182.
  110. ^
    • Said, Edward, The Edward Said reader, Random House, Inc., 2000, pp 128–129
    • Prior, Michael P. Zionism and the state of Israel: a moral inquiry, Psychology Press, 1999, pp 191–192
    • Penslar, Derek, Israel in history: the Jewish state in comparative perspective, Taylor & Francis, 2007, p 56.
  111. ^ "Benny Morris's Reign of Error, Revisited The Post-Zionist Critique". Middle East Forum. Spring 2005. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  112. ^ Patai, Raphael (editor) (1960). The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, translation, June 1895 entry. Herzl Press and Thomas Yoseloff. p. 88. 
  113. ^ Alexander, Edward; Bogdanor, Paul (2006). The Jewish Divide Over Israel. Transaction. pp. 251–2. 
  114. ^ *Penslar, Derek, Israel in history: the Jewish state in comparative perspective, Taylor & Francis, 2007, p 56.
  115. ^ Laquer, Walter (1972). A History of Zionism. Random House. pp. 231–232. 
  116. ^
    • Pappe, Ilan, The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld, 2007
  117. ^ Rane, Halim. Islam and Contemporary Civilisation. Academic Monographs, 2010. ISBN 978-0-522-85728-3. p. 198
  118. ^
    • Khallidi, Walid, "Plan Dalet: The Zionist Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine", in Middle East Forum, no. 22, Nov 1961, p 27.
    • Weisburd, David, Jewish Settler Violence, Penn State Press, 1985, pp 20–52
    • Lustick, Ian, "Israel's Dangerous Fundamentalists", Foreign Policy, 68 (Fall 1987), pp 118–139
    • Tessler, Mark, "Religion and Politics in the Jewish State of Israel", in Religious resurgence and politics in the contemporary world, (Emile Sahliyeh, Ed)., SUNY Press, 1990, pp 263–296.
    • Horowitz, Elliott S. (2006). Reckless rites: Purim and the legacy of Jewish violence. Princeton University Press. pp. 6–11.  
    • Rayner, John D. (1997). An understanding of Judaism. p. 57.  
    • Saleh Abdel Jawad (2007) "Zionist Massacres: the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem in the 1948 War" in Israel and the Palestinian refugees, Eyal Benvenistî, Chaim Gans, Sari Hanafi (Eds.), Springer, p. 78:
    ".. the Zionist movement, which claims to be secular, found it necessary to embrace the idea of 'the promised land' of Old Testament prophecy, to justify the confiscation of land and the expulsion of the Palestinians. For example, the speeches and letter of Chaim Weizman, the secular Zionist leader, are filled with references to the biblical origins of the Jewish claim to Palestine, which he often mixes liberally with more pragmatic and nationalistic claims. By the use of this premise, embraced in 1937, Zionists alleged that the Palestinians were usurpers in the Promised Land, and therefore their expulsion and death was justified. The Jewish-American writer Dan Kurzman, in his book Genesis 1948 … describes the view of one of the Deir Yassin's killers: 'The Sternists followed the instructions of the Bible more rigidly than others. They honored the passage (Exodus 22:2): 'If a thief be found …' This meant, of course, that killing a thief was not really murder. And were not the enemies of Zionism thieves, who wanted to steal from the Jews what God had granted them?'
    • Ehrlich, Carl. S., (1999) "Joshua, Judaism, and Genocide", in Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Judit Targarona Borrás, Ángel Sáenz-Badillos (Eds). 1999, Brill. p 117-124.
    • Hirst, David, The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East. 1984, p 139.
    • Lorch, Netanel, The Edge of the Sword: Israel's War of Independence, 1947–1949, Putnam, 1961, p 87
    • Pappe, Ilan, The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld, 2007, p 88
  119. ^ William R. Slomanson. Fundamental Perspectives on International Law. p. 50
  120. ^ Karsh, Efraim (1997). Fabricating Israeli History. Frank Cass. p. 55. 
  121. ^ Sarig, Mordechai (1999). The Social and Political Philosophy of Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Valletine Mitchell. p. 50. 
  122. ^ shlaim, Avi (9 June 1994). "It can be done".  
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    • Korey, William, Russian antisemitism, Pamyat, and the demonology of Zionism, Psychology Press, 1995, pp 33–34
    • Beker, Avi, Chosen: the history of an idea, the anatomy of an obsession, Macmillan, 2008, pp 139
    • Shimoni, Gideon, Community and conscience: the Jews in apartheid South Africa, UPNE, 2003, p 167
  124. ^ Perednik, Gustavo. "Judeophobia". The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism. 
    ".. This identity is often explicitly worded by its spokespersons. Thus, Yakov Malik, the Soviet ambassador to the UN, declared in 1973: “The Zionists have come forward with the theory of the Chosen People, an absurd ideology.” (As it is well known, the biblical concept of “Chosen People” is part of Judaism; Zionism has nothing to do with it). "
  125. ^ Resolution 3151 G (XXVIII) of December 14, 1973 by the UN General Assembly
  126. ^ Israel and Black Africa: A Rapprochement? Ethan A. Nadelmann. Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jun., 1981), pp. 183–219
  127. ^ Brothers in arms — Israel's secret pact with Pretoria (The Guardian, February 7, 2006)
  128. ^ UN envoy hits Israel 'apartheid' (BBC, Feb. 23, 2007)
  129. ^ It's time to rethink Zionism (The Guardian, Feb. 17, 2009)
  130. ^ Zionism as a Racist Ideology, by Kathleen and Bill Christinson (Counterpunch, November 8 / 9, 2003)
  131. ^ UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, Racial Discrimination (Council on Foreign Relations, November 10, 1975)
  132. ^ a b Troy, Gil (2012). Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight Against Zionism as Racism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 368.  
  133. ^ 260 General Assembly Resolution 46-86- Revocation of Resolution 3379- December 16, 1991 — and statement by President Herzog Dec 16, 1991, VOLUME 11–12: 1988–1992
  134. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 320. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
  135. ^ Anger over Zionism debate (BBC, Sept. 4, 2001)
  136. ^ US abandons racism summit(BBC, Sept. 3, 2001)
  137. ^ Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog's Response To Zionism Is Racism Resolution. November 10, 1975. "You dare talk of racism when I can point with pride to the Arab ministers who have served in my government; to the Arab deputy speaker of my Parliament; to Arab officers and men serving of their own volition in our border and police defense forces, frequently commanding Jewish troops; to the hundreds of thousands of Arabs from all over the Middle East crowding the cities of Israel every year; to the thousands of Arabs from all over the Middle East coming for medical treatment to Israel; to the peaceful coexistence which has developed; to the fact that Arabic is an official language in Israel on a par with Hebrew; to the fact that it is as natural for an Arab to serve in public office in Israel as it is incongruous to think of a Jew serving in any public office in an Arab country, indeed being admitted to many of them. Is that racism? It is not! That, Mr. President, is Zionism."
  138. ^ Laquer, Walter (2003). A History of Zionism. Random House. p. XXiii. 
  139. ^ Ottolenghi, Emanuele (2003-11-29). "Anti-Zionism is anti-semitism". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2003-11-29. 
  140. ^ "Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Fall 2004. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  141. ^ a b c Anti-semitism in Germany: the post-Nazi epoch since 1945 By Werner Bergmann, Rainer Erb, page 182, "Continuity and Change: Extreme Right Perceptions of Zionism" by Roni Stauber in Anti-semitism worldwide 1999/2000 Tel Aviv University
  142. ^ Marcus, Kenneth L. (2007), "Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964", William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 15 (3): 837–891 
  143. ^ Temko, Ned (October 17, 2006). "'"Critics of Israel 'fuelling hatred of British Jews. The Guardian (London). 
  144. ^
  145. ^ Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 chapter 3
  146. ^ A Hoax of Hate
  147. ^ Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, Serif 2001 page 75-76
  148. ^ 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" ..."
  149. ^ Korey, W., "Updating the Protocols," Midstream, May 1970, p. 17.
  150. ^ Prager, D; Telushkin, J. Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983. page 169-175.
  151. ^
    • Professor Noam Chomsky argues: "There have long been efforts to identify anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in an effort to exploit anti-racist sentiment for political ends; "one of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all," Israeli diplomat Abba Eban argued, in a typical expression of this intellectually and morally disreputable position (Eban, Congress Bi-Weekly, March 30, 1973). But that no longer suffices. It is now necessary to identify criticism of Israeli policies as anti-Semitism — or in the case of Jews, as "self-hatred," so that all possible cases are covered." — Chomsky, 1989 "Necessary Illusions".
    • Philosopher Michael Marder argues: "To deconstruct Zionism is ... to demand justice for its victims - not only for the Palestinians, who are suffering from it, but also for the anti-Zionist Jews, "erased" from the officially consecrated account of Zionist history. By deconstructing its ideology, we shed light on the context it strives to repress and on the violence it legitimises with a mix of theological or metaphysical reasoning and affective appeals to historical guilt for the undeniably horrific persecution of Jewish people in Europe and elsewhere."[2][3]
    • American political scientist Tariq Ali, a British-Pakistani historian and political activist, argues that the concept of new antisemitism amounts to an attempt to subvert the language in the interests of the State of Israel. He writes that the campaign against "the supposed new 'anti-semitism'" in modern Europe is a "cynical ploy on the part of the Israeli Government to seal off the Zionist state from any criticism of its regular and consistent brutality against the Palestinians ... Criticism of Israel can not and should not be equated with anti-semitism." He argues that most pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist groups that emerged after the Six-Day War were careful to observe the distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. — Ali, Tariq. "Notes on Anti-Semitism, Zionism and Palestine", Counterpunch, March 4, 2004, first published in il manifesto, February 26, 2004.



History of Zionism and Israel

Zionist institutions and organizations

Types of Zionism

See also

Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Michael Marder, and Tariq Ali have suggested that the characterization of anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic is inaccurate, sometimes obscures legitimate criticism of Israel's policies and actions, and is sometimes a political ploy to stifle criticism of Israel.[151]

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." 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,[149] even though these are all religious items used by Jews for thousands of years.[150]

Some anti-semites have alleged that Zionism was, or is, part of a Jewish plot to take control of the world.[145] 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. 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.[146] A 1920 German version renamed them "The Zionist Protocols".[147] The protocols were extensively used as propaganda by the Nazis and remain widely distributed in the Arab world. They are referred to in the 1988 Hamas charter.[148]

Some critics of anti-Zionism have argued that opposition to Zionism can be hard to distinguish from antisemitism,[138][139][140][141][142] and that criticism of Israel may be used as an excuse to express viewpoints that might otherwise be considered antisemitic.[143][144] Other scholars consider certain forms of opposition to Zionism to constitute antisemitism.[141] A number of scholars have argued that opposition to Zionism and/or the State of Israel's policies at the more extreme fringes often overlaps with antisemitism.[141]


Some supporters of Zionism, such as Chaim Herzog, argue that the movement is non-discriminatory and contains no racist aspects.[137]

Arab countries sought to associate Zionism with racism in connection with a 2001 UN conference on racism, which took place in Durban, South Africa,[135] which caused the United States and Israel to walk away from the conference as a response. The final text of the conference did not connect Zionism with racism. A human rights forum arranged in connection with the conference, on the other hand, did equate Zionism with racism and censured Israel for what it called "racist crimes, including acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing".[136]

[134] if the resolution were revoked.Madrid Conference of 1991 after Israel declared that it would only participate in the [133],UN General Assembly Resolution 46/86 'In 1991 the resolution was repealed with [132] as an 'obscenity' and a 'harm ...done to the United Nations'.Daniel Patrick Moynihan The resolution was robustly criticised by the US representative, [131], which said "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination". According to the resolution, "any doctrine of racial differentiation of superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous." The resolution named the occupied territory of Palestine, Zimbabwe, and South Africa as examples of racist regimes. Resolution 3379 was pioneered by the Soviet Union and passed with numerical support from Arab and African states amidst accusations that Israel was supportive of the apartheid regime in South Africa.Resolution 3379 passed UN General AssemblyIn 1975 the

In December 1973, the UN passed a series of resolutions condemning South Africa and included a reference to an "unholy alliance between Portuguese colonialism, Apartheid and Zionism."[125] At the time there was little cooperation between Israel and South Africa,[126] although the two countries would develop a close relationship during the 1970s.[127] Parallels have also been drawn between aspects of South Africa's apartheid regime and certain Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, which are seen as manifestations of racism in Zionist thinking.[128][129][130]

However, critics of Zionism consider it a colonialist[11] or racist[12] movement. According to historian Avi Shlaim, throughout its history up to present day, Zionism "is replete with manifestations of deep hostility and contempt towards the indigenous population." Shlaim balances this by pointing out that there have always been individuals within the Zionist movement that have criticized such attitudes. He 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. Ha'am wrote that the Zionists "behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency" and that they believed that "the only language that the Arabs understand is that of force."[122] Some criticisms of Zionism claim that Judaism's notion of the "chosen people" is the source of racism in Zionism,[123] despite, according to Gustavo Perednik, that being a religious concept unrelated to Zionism.[124]

David Ben-Gurion stated that "There will be no discrimination among citizens of the Jewish state on the basis of race, religion, sex, or class."[120] Likewise, Vladimir Jabotinsky avowed "the minority will not be rendered defenseless...[the] aim of democracy is to guarantee that the minority too has influence on matters of state policy."[121]

Characterization as racist

In 1938, Mahatma Gandhi rejected Zionism, saying that the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine is a religious act and therefore must not be performed by force. He wrote, "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs ... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home ... They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart."[119]

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.[118]

Ilan Pappe argued that Zionism results in ethnic cleansing.[116] This view diverges from other New Historians, such as Benny Morris, who accept the Palestinian exodus narrative but place it in the context of war, not ethnic cleansing.[117]

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."[110] This quotation has been critiqued by Efraim Karsh for misrepresenting Herzl's purpose.[111] He describes it as "a feature of Palestinian propaganda", writing that Herzl was referring to the voluntary resettlement of squatters living on land purchased by Jews, and that the full diary entry stated, "It goes without saying that we shall respectfully tolerate persons of other faiths and protect their property, their honor, and their freedom with the harshest means of coercion. This is another area in which we shall set the entire world a wonderful example … Should there be many such immovable owners in individual areas [who would not sell their property to us], we shall simply leave them there and develop our commerce in the direction of other areas which belong to us."[112][113] Derek Penslar says that Herzl may have been considering either South America or Palestine when he wrote the diary entry about expropriation.[114] According to Walter Lacquer, although many Zionists proposed transfer, it was never official Zionist policy and in 1918 Ben-Gurion "emphatically rejected" it.[115]

Noam Chomsky, John P. Quigly, Nur Masalha, and Cheryl Rubenberg have criticized Zionism, saying it unfairly confiscates land and expels Palestinians.[109]

Others, such as Shlomo Avineri and Mitchell Bard, view Zionism not as colonialist movement, but as a national movement that is contending with the Palestinian one.[107] 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.[108]

Zionism has been characterized as colonialism, and Zionism has been criticized for promoting unfair confiscation of land, involving the expulsion of, and causing violence towards, the Palestinians. The characterization of Zionism as colonialism has been described by, among others, Nur Masalha, Gershon Shafir, Michael Prior, Ilan Pappe, and Baruch Kimmerling.[11]

Characterization as colonialism or ethnic cleansing

Nonetheless, Theodore Herzl travelled to Rome in late January 1904, after the sixth Zionist Congress (August 1903) and six months before his death, looking for some kind of support. In January 22, Herzl first met the Secretary of State, Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val. According to Herzl's private diary notes, the Cardinal agreed on the history of Israel being the same as the one of the Catholic Church, but asked beforehand for a conversion of Jews to Catholicism. Three days later, Herzl met Pope Pius X, who replied to his request of support for a Jewish return to Israel in the same terms, saying that "we are unable to favor this movement. We cannot prevent the Jews going to Jerusalem, but we could never sanction it ... The Jews have not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize the Jewish people." In 1922, the same periodical published a piece by its Viennese correspondent, "anti-Semitism is nothing but the absolutely necessary and natural reaction to the Jews' arrogance...Catholic anti-Semitism - while never going beyond the moral law - adopts all necessary means to emancipate the Christian people from the abuse they suffer from their sworn enemy".[105] This initial attitude changed over the next 50 years, until 1997, when at the Vatican symposium of that year, Pope John Paul II rejected the Christian roots of anti-Semitism, expressing that "... the wrong and unjust interpretations of the New Testament relating to the Jewish people and their supposed guilt [in Christ's death] circulated for too long, engendering sentiments of hostility toward this people."[106]

The initial response of the Catholic Church seemed to be one of strong opposition to Zionism. Shortly after the 1897 Basel Conference, the semi-official Vatican periodical (edited by the Jesuits) Civilta Cattolica gave its biblical-theological judgement on political Zionism: "1827 years have passed since the prediction of Jesus of Nazareth was fulfilled ... that [after the destruction of Jerusalem] the Jews would be led away to be slaves among all the nations and that they would remain in the dispersion [diaspora, galut] until the end of the world." The Jews should not be permitted to return to Palestine with sovereignty: "According to the Sacred Scriptures, the Jewish people must always live dispersed and vagabondo [vagrant, wandering] among the other nations, so that they may render witness to Christ not only by the Scriptures ... but by their very existence".

Catholic Church and Zionism

Zionism had also been opposed by some Jews for other reasons even before the establishment of the state of Israel because "Zionism constitutes a danger, spiritual and physical, to the existence of our people.'.".[104] The book also states "The booklet which we are publishing here, 'Serufay. Ha Kivshbnim Maashimim' ('The Holocaust Victims Accuse'), serves as an attempt to show, by means of testimonies., documents and reports, how Zionism and its high-level organizations brought a catastrophe upon our people during the era of the Nazi holocaust."

Zionism is opposed by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. Among those opposing Zionism are some secular Jews,[99] some branches of Judaism (Satmar Hasidim and Neturei Karta), the former Soviet Union,[100] some African-Americans,[101] many in the Muslim world, and Palestinians. Reasons for opposing Zionism are varied, and include the perceptions of unfair land confiscation, expulsions of Palestinians, violence against Palestinians, and alleged racism. Arab states in particular strongly oppose Zionism, which they believe is responsible for the 1948 Palestinian exodus. The preamble of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which has been ratified by 53 African countries as of 2014, includes an undertaking to eliminate Zionism together with other practices including colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, "aggressive foreign military bases" and all forms of discrimination.[102][103]

Opposition to Zionism

Garvey helped inspire the Rastafari movement in Jamaica, the Black Jews[98] and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem who initially moved to Liberia before settling in Israel.

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."[97] 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.

Marcus Garvey and Black Zionism

An international opinion survey has shown that India is the most pro-Israel country in the world.[94] In more current times, conservative Indian parties and organizations tend to support Zionism.[93][95] This has invited attacks on the Hindutva movement by parts of the Indian left opposed to Zionism, and allegations that Hindus are conspiring with the "Jewish Lobby."[96]

After Israel's creation in 1948, the Indian National Congress government opposed Zionism. Some writers have claimed that this was in order to get more Muslim votes in India (where Muslims numbered over 30 million at the time).[92] However, conservative Hindu nationalists, led by the Sangh Parivar, openly supported Zionism, as did Hindu Nationalist intellectuals like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Sita Ram Goel.[93] 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.

Hindu support for Zionism

Some Indian Muslims have also expressed opposition to 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".[91]

During the Palestine Mandate era, British Mandate, publicly rejecting Mohammad Amin al-Husayni's use of Islam to attack Zionism.[89]

On occasion, some non-Arab Muslims such as some Kurds and Berbers have also voiced support for Zionism.[85][86][87]

[84], a Pakistani-American scholar, journalist, and author.Tashbih Sayyed and [83], Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community,Abdul Hadi Palazzi Sheikh Prof. [82] Muslims who publicly defended Zionism include Dr.

Muslims supporting Zionism

Some Arab Christians publicly supporting Israel include US author Nonie Darwish, and former Muslim Magdi Allam, author of Viva Israele,[80] 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".[81]

The founder of Latter Day Saint movement, 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.[79]

Some Christians have actively supported the return of Jews to Palestine even prior to Zionism, as well as subsequently. Anita Shapira, a history professor emerita at Tel Aviv University, suggests that evangelical Christian restorationists of the 1840s 'passed this notion on to Jewish circles'.[72] It was common among the Puritans to anticipate and frequently pray for a Jewish return to their homeland.[73] One of the principal Protestant teachers who promoted the biblical doctrine that the Jews would return to their national homeland was 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. According to Charles Merkley of Carleton University, Christian Zionism strengthened significantly after the Six-Day War of 1967, and many dispensationalist and non-dispensationalist evangelical Christians, especially in the United States, now strongly support Zionism.

Christians supporting Zionism

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.[71]

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."

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,[70] 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.

Non-Jewish support for Zionism

Since the creation of the State of Israel, the [66] as well as those who argued that the absorption process caused "undue hardship".[67] However, the force of Ben-Gurion's influence and insistence ensured that his immigration policy was carried out.[68][69]

On May 14, 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 Palestinian Arabs,[57] known in Arabic as al-Nakba ("the Catastrophe"). Later, a series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented Palestinians from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees.[58][59] The flight and expulsion of the Palestinians has since been widely, and controversially, described as having involved ethnic cleansing.[60][61] According to a growing consensus between Israeli and Palestinian historians, expulsion and destruction of villages played a part in the origin of the Palestinian refugees.[62] Efraim Karsh, however, states that most of the Arabs who fled left of their own accord or were pressured to leave by their fellow Arabs, despite Israeli attempts to convince them to stay.[63][64]

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.[55] 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.[56] 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.


During World War II, as the horrors of the Holocaust became known, the Zionist leadership formulated the One Million Plan, a reduction from Ben-Gurion's previous target of two million immigrants. Following the end of the war, a massive wave of stateless Jews, mainly Holocaust survivors, began migrating to Palestine in small boats in defiance of British rules. The Holocaust united much of the rest of world Jewry behind the Zionist project.[53] The British either imprisoned these Jews in Cyprus or sent them to the British-controlled Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. The British, having faced the 1936–1939 Arab revolt against mass Jewish immigration into Palestine, were now facing opposition by Zionist groups in Palestine for subsequent restrictions. In January 1946 the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry was a joint British and American committee set up to examine the political, economic and social conditions in Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein; to consult representatives of Arabs and Jews, and to make other recommendations 'as may be necessary' to for ad interim handling of these problems as well as for their permanent solution.[54] Ultimately the Committee plans was rejected by both Arabs and Jews; and Britain decided to refer the problem to the United Nations.

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

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.

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. 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.

The Rise of Hitler

Jewish migration to Palestine and widespread Jewish land purchases from feudal landlords led to landlessness among Palestinian Arabs and fueled unrest. There were riots in 1920, 1921 and 1929, in which both Jews and Arabs were killed.[52] Britain was responsible for the Palestinian mandate and, after the Balfour Declaration, it supported Jewish immigration in principle, but in reaction to the violent events that followed, the Peel Commission published a report proposing new provisions and restrictions.

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.

The Mandate will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home ... and the development of self-governing institutions, and also safeguard the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.[51]
: Palestine Mandate adopted the declaration, and granted to Britain the League of NationsIn 1922, the
His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[50]
of 1917, which endorsed the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, as follows: Balfour Declaration would encourage the USA to support Germany culminated in the British government's American Jews and fear that Chaim WeizmannIn 1903, the Zionist congress declined an offer by the British to establish a homeland in Uganda. Lobbying by a Russian Jewish immigrant,

The Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate

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.

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. Ottoman was to initiate necessary preparatory steps for the attainment of a Jewish state. Herzl's attempts to reach a political agreement with the aim Herzl's [49]

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