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Zionism Explained

Zionism and its relationship to Israel, Palestine and the wider Middle East

Zionism Defined

Zionism is the belief in a Jewish homeland for the Jewish people, in Israel.

It is the Jewish people's instantiation of the basic human right of self determination.

What is Zionism?

There are many definitions of Zionism, but the key point remains that expressed in the box above; a homeland for the Jewish people in Israel.

Some try and paint Zionism as evil incarnate, claiming a Jewish homeland is a racist concept and involves a country for one ethnic group / religion. This is nonsense, at least as far as Zionism and Israel and concerned (Saudi Arabia by contrast DOES insist no religion but Islam can be practised and Jews are not allowed in the country). Since it's earliest days leaders of the Zionist movement have called for the integration of Arab population in Israel. About 20% of the Israeli population is not Jewish, putting an instant lie to this claim.

The only reference "supporting" this view is charter of Hamas, which is at the end of the day a terrorist organisation. The HAmas charter claims that the goal of Zionism was to expand and slowly take over all of the Arab countries in the Middle East. They base this on the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", an antisemitic forgery used by the Nazis and others to justify killing Jews. When you see these sorts of claims made about Israel you can have a fair idea of their source and the huge impact such propoganda has had in the past and in some places continues to have. Read more about anti-Zionist groups and their propoganda

The roots of Zionism

The roots of Zionism go back to the first exile when the Babylonians invaded Israel in 586 BCE. The Jews returned, but in 70 CE the Romans invaded. The Jews, seeking their independance staged a revolt against Roman rule. In the Bar Kochba revolt of 132-135 CE about half a million Jews were killed by the Romans. The Jews were again exiled, though they continued to yearn for Zion (Jerusalem), pray facing the site of the temple, and include Israel in their hope dreams and prayers.

You can read more in our brief into, or look at our History of Zionism.

Human Rights

While there is always opposition to government policies (from any government, in any age), and this is right and proper, some people when it comes to Israel take this a huge step further.

These people do not believe that Jews deserve human rights. These people are against the very existance of Israel, the homeland for the Jewish people. These people spend their time spreading hate.

We call these people antisemites. This is not just our definition, but consistent with the European Union definition of antisemitism. You can see more in our resources on antisemitism.

Resources at this site

Jewish People - a religion or a nation
Zionism Explained in brief
Definition of Zionism - definitions from a variety of sources
Zionism Time Line
Zionism History
Photos of Zionism and Israeli leaders
Historical Documents Sources, Texts, agreements etc
How the land was bought
Moses Hess, Socialism and Zionism - The first book calling for Jewish national liberation

Articles on Zionism

Commemorating November 29, 1947 The role of the UN vote and Zionism in creating Israel - by Benjamin Netanyahu
Zionism explained from a UK left perspective - Forums
Reclaiming Zionism's Good Name and Proud History: A Challenge for the Jewish Intelligencia - Gil Troy
The Zionist-Nazi "alliance" lie
Why I am a Zionist - by Gil Troy
Anti-Zionism is Racism - Judea Pearl
Zionism is Beautiful - Forums
Zionism and Israel - word association - Forums
Zionism is not a 'settler-colonial undertaking' - By David Hoffman
A Forum Explanation of Zionism
Zionism and Race By Fred E. Foldvary
Needed: Real Zionist Education, Not Hasbara - By Gil Troy
Urban Kibbutz Socialist-Zionist Pioneering in Israeli Cities
Jerusalem is a Jewish Issue: Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish State not just Israel - Ted Belman
A history of Muslim antisemitism and anti-Zionism

External Sources

Recommended sources on Zionism

On the subject of Zionism we recommend the following sites:

Wikipedia article about Zionism - A comprehensive article including the history of Zionism as well as links to specific topics and articles about anti-Zionism.
Zionism - Table of contents at the Jewish Virtual Library
Zionism article at Infoplease
Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.
Zionation - Progressive Zionism and Israel Web Log A community blog updated regularly
Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.
Essential Texts of Zionism
Jewish Agency Zionism pages - Links to basic information about Zionism from the Jewish Agency
Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN

US Library of congress on Zionism
The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:
Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress
Political Zionism - US Library of Congress
Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress
Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress
Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Zionism advocacy sites
Active Zionism - A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links
Realistic Religious Zionism - moderate religious Zionist Web site
Zionism- 100 Years - Selected Materials - Israel Ministry of Information


This menu provides links to content on general Zionism else where on this site.

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Further Information

Zionism Sources

Know what Zionism is, or only the propoganda?

When talking about people's political views the best bet is to ask them.

Articles Our collection on Zionism, Israel, and Anti-Zionism

Definitions A collection of definitions of Zionism

Zionism in brief A brief into to Zionism

Zionism Blog Discussion and commentary

Zionism On The Web Directory

Learn more about this site at our Zionism Main page. Comment and add your thoughts to our Zionism and Israel discussion forums. See our Resource Centers on the British Academic Boycott of Israel, and the Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism Resource Center, and the special section on the Palestinian state. Learn more from our articles on Zionism in the commentary collection. Extend your learning through out links about Zionism or at our Zionism links directory.

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