From Wikitia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

As an ideology and nationalist movement, Zionism advocated for and supported the establishment of an Israeli state centred in the region roughly equivalent to Canaan (also known as Israel), the Holy Land (also known as Palestine), or Eretz Israel (also known as Israel). Zionism was founded on the basis of a long-standing Jewish connection and attachment to the land.

Modern Zionism arose in Central and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century as a national revival movement, both in response to increasing waves of antisemitism and in response to Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, which had swept the continent. Soon after, the majority of the movement's leaders identified the creation of a desired state in Palestine, which was then under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire, as the movement's primary aim.

Until 1948, Zionism held that Jewish life in the diaspora was unimportant, and that its primary goal was the ideal reunification of exiles (kibbutz galuyot) in the ancient heartland of the Jewish people, as well as the liberation of Jewish people from the persecutions, humiliations, discrimination, and antisemitism to which they had been subjected throughout history. The primary purpose for Zionism has been the same since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948: to advocate on Israel's behalf and to confront challenges to the country's continuing existence and security.

Those who adhere to religious Judaism are considered to be practising Zionists, and assimilation of Jews into other communities is opposed. Zionism has campaigned for the return of Jews to Israel as a method of achieving Jewish majority status in their own country. A kind of Zionism known as cultural Zionism, which was developed and exemplified most famously by Ahad Ha'am, promoted a secular vision of Israel as a Jewish "spiritual centre" in the modern day. Ahad Ha'am, in contrast to Herzl, the father of political Zionism, fought for Israel to be "a Jewish state, not only a state of Jews," as the phrase goes.