Movement supporting a Jewish homeland / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת Tsiyyonut [tsijoˈnut] after Zion) is a nationalist[fn 1] movement that espouses the establishment of, and support for a homeland for the Jewish people centered in the area roughly corresponding to what is known in Jewish tradition as the Land of Israel on the basis of a long Jewish connection and attachment to that land.
Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe as a national revival movement, both in reaction to newer waves of antisemitism and as a response to Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired homeland in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire. This process was seen by the Zionist Movement as a "ingathering of exiles" (kibbutz galuyot), an effort to put a stop to the exoduses and persecutions that have marked Jewish history by bringing the Jewish people back to their historic homeland.
From 1897 to 1948, the primary goal of the Zionist Movement was to establish the basis for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and thereafter to consolidate it. In a unique variation of the principle of self-determination, The Lovers of Zion united in 1884 and in 1897 the first Zionist congress was organized. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of Jews immigrated to Palestine, and at the same time, diplomatic attempts were made to gain worldwide recognition and support. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism has continued primarily to advocate on behalf of Israel and to address threats to its continued existence and security.
Zionism has never been a uniform movement. Its leaders, parties, and ideologies frequently diverged from one another. Compromises and concessions were made in order to achieve a shared cultural and political objective as a result of the growing antisemitism and yearning to return to the ancestral country. A variety of Zionism, called cultural Zionism, founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha'am, fostered a secular vision of a Jewish "spiritual center" in Israel. Unlike Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, Ahad Ha'am strived for Israel to be "a Jewish State, and not merely a State of Jews".[better source needed] Others have theorized it as the realization of a socialist utopia (Moses Hess), as a need for survival in the face of social prejudices by the affirmation of self-determination (Leon Pinsker), as the fulfilment of individual rights and freedoms (Max Nordau) or as the foundation of a Hebrew humanism (Martin Buber). Religious Zionism focuses on the religious aspects of Jewish identity and sees the effort to establish a state for Jews in the Land of Israel as an obligation arising from the Torah.
Advocates of Zionism view it as a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a persecuted people to its ancestral homeland. Critics of Zionism view it as a colonialist, racist or exceptionalist ideology or movement.