In 1896, Theodor Herzl conceived and founded the Zionist movement in Basel, Switzerland. Herzl and his associates then proceeded to define who and what a Zionist is. They declared that “a Zionist is a person who desires or supports the creation of a Jewish state in the land of Israel, which in the future will become the state of the Jewish people”. So even if a Zionist believes in creating a Jewish state in Israel, that Zionist does not necessarily have to live in Israel. The secular Jews form the majority of believers in Zionism, that is, those who believe in the separation of the Jewish state and the Jewish religion.
Zionism before the world war 2
In 1919, David Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel’s first Prime Minister in later years, saw that the Arabs would not choose to cede any of the Palestinian lands to the Jewish people. In 1923, the Russian Jewish intellectual Ze’ev Jabotinsky also wrote that it was impossible to reach an agreement with the Arabs. Furthermore, the question of a separate defensive force for the Jewish community against the uprisings in Palestine was rejected by the British authorities which then had jurisdiction over the region. As a result, a series of revolts in 1930 prompted the Zionists to form an underground force for their defense. The split had been so enlarged between the two communities and the Arabs refused to support Jewish representation within the local government. Other revolts have occurred, largely instigated by the Arab Mufti and the spread of false and controversial rumors on both sides. At the same time, schools and services have been created, and trade unions have been established on both sides.
1948: a new Jewish state
In May 15th, 1948, in the midst of the fighting in Palestine, the Jews declared the state of Israel in what was previously the British possession of Palestine that had just received its independence. The fighting increased as Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt invaded Palestine, an action that subsequently led to the expulsion of the 800,000 Arabs by the new Jewish powers. Anti-Zionist Jews made accusations that the Zionists were responsible for the mass expulsions, as well as the noisy massacres of Arabs, to which they were violently opposed. The Zionists replied that their preferred policy was voluntary transfer and even requested the Arabs to stay. They claimed that their plan was to buy land from the Arabs, although this proved difficult as the local Arabs were not enthusiastic about selling. Furthermore, the lands that were held by the Arabs were often still under Turkish contract, dating back to Ottoman rule in the region before the British took over after the First World War. Even the Greek Orthodox Christian Church possessed vast tracts of land in the area not even selling its lands. As a result, the Jewish community held only 6% of the land in Palestine at this time. Even the Greek Orthodox Christian Church possessed vast tracts of land in the area not even selling its lands. As a result, the Jewish community held only 6% of the land in Palestine at this time. Even the Greek Orthodox Christian Church possessed vast tracts of land in the area not even selling its lands. As a result, the Jewish community held only 6% of the land in Palestine at this time.
Zionists around the world
The Zionist organization founded in 1897 was renamed the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in January of 1960. It has under its direction the contemporary Zionist movement that believes in the creation of the Israeli state in Palestine. In May 14th, 1948, the state of Israel was founded in Palestine. The World Zionist Organization allows membership only to other organizations, unlike before when it was open to Jewish individuals. However, the WZO recognizes and honors the people who contributed and volunteered for Israeli and Zionist causes. Nevertheless, some of its activities have been judged by the Israeli Supreme Court as thefts, especially in the case of houses demolished on land that were owned by Palestinians and given to Jewish settlers in the West Bank region.
Criticism, threats and territorial disputes
There were many Jewish organizations and religious groups that were, and still are, opposed to the Zionists. Clearly, this was due to the fact that the Zionists claimed to represent all Jews. However, the reformed Jewish Movement has changed their liturgy by removing the sources that speak of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Furthermore, ultra-orthodox Jews (or haredi) were not in favor of the secular opinions of the Zionists. Even the Jewish communists are generally opposed to Zionism. Noam Chomsky was also against Zionism and the ultra orthodox Neturei Karteh.The United Nations General Assembly in 1975 branded Zionism as a racist, but this position was subsequently revoked in 1991. Many considered Zionism a colonialist movement that regarded Jews as a superior race but, in reality, Zionist theorists they claim to have always considered Jews as a unique group due to their long absence of a homeland, especially before World War II.