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 escape persecution. 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.
Zionism History†- A detailed history
Self Determination for the Jewish and Palestinian peoplesIsrael's thoughts on self determination for the Jewish an Palestinian peoples, as express in the debate on Self-Determination of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.
YAAKOV LEVY (Israel) said the story of the modern State of Israel was to a large extent the story of defending the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland, and the right to live in peace and security. Israel respected the right of her neighbours, the Arab States and the Palestinians, to self-determination. Israel expected equal and mutual recognition, not only of the de facto existence of the State of Israel but of her right to self-determination. Israel recognized more than 20 years ago, in the framework of the Camp David Accords negotiated in 1978, the Palestiniansí right to self-determination. The Oslo Peace Process was in fact both a recognition and a realization of the Palestinian's right to self-determination. It was only through such a process that both Israelis and Palestinians could hope to realize their legitimate rights to live side by side in peace and security.
At Camp David in July 2000, these issues had been discussed and an agreement with Israel's Palestinian brothers had been so close. An agreement would have given genuine expression to the aspiration of both peoples to live peacefully side-by-side. Unfortunately, as the record clearly showed, it was the Palestinian Authority's leadership's choice not to consummate these negotiations, neither at Camp David nor later at Taba in January 2001, but instead to resort to a course of continuous violence in order to force Israel's hand to make further concessions, contrary to every agreement negotiated and signed between Israelis and Palestinians. Agenda item No.5 on self-determination must not be a cause within the Commission for continuous attacks on Israel and its policy. Israelís position remained that self-determination must be achieved through direct, peaceful negotiations between two sides.
Zionism and Israel Commentary†- In depth opinion
Zionism definitions†- Lots of definitions on Zionism
Zionism is not a monstrous plot. It is not Nazism or Fascism or Communism or Colonialism. It is just the national movement of the Jewish people. It has been vilified by anti-Semitic and Marxist ideologues as well as by Islamist extremists. You owe it to yourself to find out the truth.† We present articles and historical resources, discussion of the issues and maps that help you understand what it is about.
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