Image: Theodor Herzl (1860 -1904) Founder of the Zionist Movement
Zionism is the belief in a Jewish homeland for the Jewish people, in Israel.
Zionism is the Jewish people's instantiation of the human
right of self determination.
No more, no less.
Some people do not believe that Jews deserve human rights
-we call them antisemities. Anti-Zionism, i.e. being against the existance of the homeland
for the Jewish people and spreading hate about Israel is considered to be antisemitism
under the European Union definition of antisemitism.
Zionist and Israel History
Love of Zion in Jewish History, from the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE we trace the history of Zionism to the establishment
of the state of Israel and beyond.
Our history looks at Jewish Emancipation and the French Revolution, the connections of both Ashkenazy Jews and
Sephardic Jews with Israel while in exile, Zionists leaders such as Moses Hess, Leon Pinsker, Theodor Herzl and
Arthur Ruppin. We look at the history of Israel before, during and after Israel's war of independence. The history of the
British Mandate of Palestine is examined including the white paper. The first, second, third, fourth and fifth Aliya are
explained. We then look at the Holocaust and it's impact on Israel. The history of the Arab-Israeli wars and the rise
of Anti-Zionists is discussed.
Definition of Zionism
Zionism is the national revival movement of the Jews. It holds that the Jews are a people and therefore have the right to
self-determination in their own national home. It aims to secure and support a legally recognized national home for the
Jews in their historical homeland, and to initiate and stimulate a revival of Jewish national life, culture and language.
Are You a Zionist?
Every Jew has to decide for themselves if they are a Zionist. If you believe that the Jews are a people, and support the
right of the Jews to a national home, and you are willing to stand up for that right when it is challenged, then you can call yourself a Zionist, whether or not you belong to any organized Zionist group or accept any "official" definition of Zionism, and whether or not you live in Israel or plan to live in Israel.
"The 28th Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem 1968, adopted the five points of the "Jerusalem Program" as the
aims of Zionism today. They are:
1. The unity of the Jewish People and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life;
2. The ingathering of the Jewish People in its historic homeland, Eretz Israel, through Aliyah from all countries;
3. The strengthening of the State of Israel which is based on the prophetic vision of justice and peace:
4. The preservation of the identity of the Jewish People through the fostering of Jewish and Hebrew education and of
Jewish spiritual and cultural values;
5. The protection of Jewish rights everywhere."
Inspiration for Zionism
Before Zionism there was a Kingdom of Jewish people where Israel now stands. In it's center stood Mount Zion,
Jerusalem, The Temple. In 586 BCE the Babylonians invaded and the Jews were sent into exile for the first time.
It is here that Zionism, the longing to return to Zion begins.
"By the waters of Babylon there we sat and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our
lyres... How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land ?" (Psalm 137)
The desire to return was both to Israel in general and to the temple in particular: "If I forget you O Jerusalem ,
may my right hand forget its skills" (Psalm 137:5)
The Jews returned and life continued until the Romans invade. In 70 CE Rome destroyed The Temple. The Jews
revolt against Roman rule. In the Bar Kochba revolt of 132-135CE Roman forces killed an estimated half a million
Jews. In 136CE an atempt to erase Judaism from the globe was made. A Pagen temple was erected where
The Temple has stood, the Jews were exhiled from their homeland (becoming refugees), and part of the land was
renamed Palaestina to ensure people forgot about the Country of the Jews.
Zionism, the Jewish longing both to return to their homeland and for self determination i.e. to be a nation like any
other, continued. Jews maintained a connection with Israel, a few lived there and many went to the Holy Land when
they though they were reaching the end of their life. Zionism continued as a dream of the Jewish people until the
modern State of Israel was established in 1948. Zionism today is about strengthening the connection between Israel
and the Jewish people, and protecting and promoting Jewish cultural. Zionism today continues the tradition of
supporting Israel by providing aid for those who need it and to improve the environment.
Attacks on Zionism and the need for Zionism
Some try and make Zionism out to be something different, usually borrowing from such classic antisemitic texts as
"the Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (a Russian forgery used to inspire pogroms, and then reused by the Nazis and
more recently by Arab states to spread hate of the Jews). Unfortunatly these people are still intent on destroying
Jewish culture and the Jewish people. People have been doing this through out history. The Jews usually moved to
In todays global world this is no longer possible. The only defense is education so the public know the facts and are
not yet again incited to hate of the Jews. The final safety net is the existance of Israel - a country that has since it's
foundation been a safe haven for Jews being persecuted around the world. From Ethiopia to Russia, from the
expulsion of Jews from Arab states in 1948 to the extraction of the last few Jews in Iraq today... Israel has
consistantly welcomed the Jews home in times of crisis.
Source: Zionism on the web