Understand the Dream

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by 2cents, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishA...ty/Connecting+to+Community/Zionist+Dreams.htm

    Zionist Dreams

    We have introduced the idea of mythical and real pictures of Israel and Jerusalem in general terms. We have seen how people in each generation have constructed their own images that often have little - or nothing - to do with the concrete reality prevailing at that particular time.

    Before we proceed to the reality of contemporary Israel, we wish to introduce a related and relevant subject: the idealized and partly mythical view of the Land of Israel developed by classic Zionism. The fact is that the early Zionist movement performed its own process of mythologization, presenting the physical land and its past in a way that suited the ideological messages that the movement wished to develop. Moreover, different streams within Zionism created their own idealized visions of what the new Jewish society or state should be like in the future. In other words the past, the present and the future were all seen in mythical or idealized terms that distorted reality, and set up a series of expectations about the future that were, perhaps, impossible to realize.

    Let us examine both of these subjects.

    How did Zionism envisage the past of the land?
    Zionism saw the land as a wilderness. Eretz Israel was seen as a land that belonged to the Jews, which - through an accident of history or through Divine decree (depending on the religious orientation of the Zionist stream in question) - was emptied of its Jewish population. At that point, according to many Zionist thinkers, the land started to disintegrate and lose its fruitfulness, turning into a virtual wilderness. The reason for this, according to some of the main Zionist thinkers, was that there existed between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel a relationship of love that could never be equaled by any other people’s feeling for the land. In the past, the Jewish people had showed their special relationship with the land by investing enormous effort and energy in it, creating something of a paradise of fruit and crops. Since no other people could feel the same for the land, the decline in the physical condition of the land began simultaneously with the Jews’ departure. According to some, the land played a part in the process. In an almost mystical manner, the land languished for its beloved people: it did not respond to the touch of other peoples but rather awaited for the return of its lover, Israel.

    The truth is that there were many historical errors in this view of the country. The land was certainly in a bad physical state: it was a poor and neglected outpost of a distant foreign empire (the Ottoman Empire) based in Constantinople. Nevertheless it experienced many fruitful periods after the departure of the majority of the Jewish population in the early centuries of the Common Era. However, in this instance the past was seen in ideological terms and there was relatively little research - at that time - into the real history of the land. In this way, the Zionist view developed apace.

    How did Zionism envisage the present of the land?
    Most Zionists’ view of the land in its present state was conditioned by the previously-mentioned view of the past. The early Zionist movement tended to present the physical land as one of historical ruins, waiting for the Jews to return and fill it, making the wilderness fruitful once again, after thousands of years of neglect. It was clear to them that the land was essentially empty: it was full of sand dunes and swamps where the majority of the people who were there, Arabs, were basically nomadic Bedouin who had put down few roots and who, as a result, had little stake in or concern for the land’s future.

    The historical ruins that most of the Zionists saw were, of course, Jewish ruins: the remains of old synagogues and Jewish tombs littered the landscape. They saw it as a Jewish land, and sought to reconnect to it by seeking out the old Biblical names, many of which were disguised under the names that Arabs or other residents had given the places over the centuries. What Zionism tended to ignore was the reality of the large Arab population living in the towns and villages, whose families had lived in the land for centuries. They were by no means all Bedouin, transient nomads. There was a whole history to the land - a non-Jewish history - that had been created over thousands of years. It was not only a land of destroyed ancient synagogues: it was also a land of living churches and mosques.

    How did Zionism envisage the future of the land?
    All streams of the Zionist movement were united in the idea that the future of the land would - and should - be Jewish. However, the specific way in which the future was envisaged depended on the ideological orientation of each particular stream. Let us examine this through the eyes of three main streams of Zionism: socialist or labor Zionism, cultural Zionism and religious Zionism. There were other important schools of Zionism such as political Zionism (Herzl) and revisionist Zionism (Jabotinsky), but the three streams of socialist (labor), cultural and religious Zionism had perhaps the clearest and most distinct visions of the future of the land. Let us now see who the groups were, and examine their visions of the future of the Jewish people in its own land.

    By World War I, socialist Zionists or labor Zionists had become the leading activists in the Zionist world and in Palestine. A host of settlements had been set up on a communal basis, and thousands of workers were beginning to work the land and to build up its infrastructure. The significance of these workers - from the viewpoint of our program - is that they consciously took upon themselves the task of changing the reality of the Jewish people. As far as this can be said of secularists, it seems no exaggeration to state that these people saw that their work as having almost cosmic implications. They considered themselves revolutionaries: they had not come here just to change the condition of the land, but also to change themselves. In so doing, they were aiming for a revolution in the character of the entire Jewish people. (we have come to the land to build and to be built) was one of their slogans. It is strong and meaningful: we have come to this country to transform it, but in so doing we will transform ourselves.

    They had a vision of a new Jew, diametrically opposed to the old ghetto Jew bowed down by millennia of living in galut. This new Jew would be a type never before seen in Jewish history: he/she would be strong rather than weak; brave rather than cowardly; active rather than passive; rooted in nature rather than alienated from it. In addition to all of these things, the new Jew would not be a slave of the Halacha, of the old theological form of Judaism: the new Jew would be free, relying only on his/her own abilities or strengths.

    By their own strength and work they would bring their own salvation. The concept is Utopian, but it is a Utopia that would be created by the efforts of the people themselves. They took the activist tradition in messianic thought - the concept that believed that Jewish actions themselves could hasten the coming of the Messiah - and secularized it. They would be responsible for bringing about a better world for themselves, for the Jewish people and even perhaps for the wider world. They would be their own Messiah.

    Perhaps the greatest of all the labor or socialist thinkers of the time was A.D. Gordon. He rejected the label ‘socialist’ because it smacked too much of the cold ‘scientific’ socialism of Marx. Marx had believed that the world was moving in the direction of socialism because of its own economic tensions. Gordon rejected this, but his ideas put him right at the center of the camp of the labor Zionists. The new society, the new world, could only be built up by the efforts of the people within it. He saw the basis of the great society of the future in the relationships and the way of life created by the workers. In laboring to build up their society, they would create the foundations of the new way of life. Gordon was a moralist. He saw all people as being endowed with potential for good. In the service of the nation, in their work on the land, this potential would be realized. The power of the land would work on the soul of the individual Jew. A moral society would come into being.

    Many of the pioneers saw the settlements that they created as the seeds from which would grow the better future that they envisaged. The new society of equality and morality would spread out from the settlements and would ultimately encompass the whole of the country. There were those who dreamed of turning the country into one big communal enterprise, one whole kibbutz. Indeed when it became clear to many in the late 1920s that this would not happen, some socialist-Zionists left the country and returned to Stalin’s Russia believing that this would prove a more viable road to Utopia.
    The second group are the cultural-Zionists, traditionally associated with their great intellectual leader, the fascinating Ahad Ha’am. A deeply learned Jew from a Hassidic family, he left the religious framework and became completely secular. Of all the thinkers of the Zionist movement, he perhaps represents the best model of secularization of traditional Jewish thought.

    Ahad Ha’am used religious language and injected it with secular content. He believed that there was a unique Jewish concept of values that had developed throughout Jewish history. For the religious these values were, of course, transcendent: that is to say, the source of the values was God. It was hard for Ahad Ha’am, without a concept of an external transcendental source of values (God), to explain where these values had come from, how they had actually arisen; but he was sure that they existed.

    When thinking of the autonomous society that he hoped would be established in Eretz Israel, he thought, first and foremost, of a society based on these values. The state as a political framework had no value for him: a state was a neutral organism. If it had value, it was in its ability to safeguard culture and the way of life of a particular society. What was important to him was the way of life lived within the framework of the society or state. For him, there could be no compromise here: if the new Jewish society in Eretz Israel had any value, any raison d’être, it could only come from the moral value of the life that would be lived within that social framework.

    It was from the Prophets, those moral geniuses with their extraordinary sensitivity to the human condition, that he derived his yardstick for the social value of a society. His aim was no less than a perfect moral society based on their moral values: the aim of Zionism - the only conceivable aim of Zionism for him - was the creation of a society of total righteousness. Political power was not a value. He looked back to the past, to the time that the Jews had political power and he saw the corruption, the power politics, that had consumed the nation like a disease. This was not what the Jews needed.
    Only a restoration of values at the heart of a reborn culture could possibly deal with the contemporary sickness of the Jewish people. He believed, moreover, that any Herzlian hope of bringing the majority of the world’s Jews to the new Jewish center was foolish and unrealistic: the country would only attract - could only attract - a minority of Jews. He called instead for a small group of dedicated Jews to come to the new society and to dedicate themselves towards the most important task that they could possibly take on. They should see it as their mission to build the essence of the new Jewish culture based on the prophetic ideas of righteousness. He believed that, having established its base in its own soil, the new society could then start to radiate out its effect on the Jewish communities of the world. This he felt was realistic.

    The idealized conception of a society based on justice and righteousness recalls a secularized version of the Prophets themselves. Heaven on earth - without the theological framework of traditional messianic thought - was the aim here. This is clearly a secularization of the traditional messianic idea in its prophetic incarnation. Once again, as in the case of the socialist-Zionists, the work of creating the messianic society would be taken on by the Jews themselves, or to be more precise, by a small elite within the Jewish people. Again, the Jews would be their own Messiah.

    The third group is the religious-Zionists, and we will represent them here through their greatest thinker, Rav Abraham Isaac Kook. Rav Kook is unquestionably one of the most challenging and deep of all Zionist thinkers. Indeed to call him a Zionist thinker is to do him a certain injustice for, in truth, he was far more than that. Nevertheless, for our purposes here, we will regard him as such. From one point of view, he needs to be put on the opposite side of the spectrum from Ahad Ha’am or the labor-Zionists. He was, of course, a religious thinker whose understanding of the world was deeply religious. Nevertheless, certain of his ideas echo aspects of the thinking of the deeper Zionist thinkers such as Ahad Ha’am and A.D. Gordon.

    Rav Kook was a messianist and had a very conscious idea of the redemption of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel. To him, such a redemption was part of the divine plan - not just for the Jews but for the whole world. Indeed, he saw that, ultimately, there could be no redemption for the Jewish people without redemption for the entire world. The converse was also true. World redemption depended on the redemption of the Jews.

    It was clear to Rav Kook that such redemption could only be carried out within the framework of a Jewish state. The Jewish people needed a state of their own, for only there could they return to the divine and national way of life that God had willed to them. The true glory of God’s name could not be expressed when it was confined to the study houses and synagogues of the Diaspora and limited to the world of the spirit: it needed to expand to the full dimensions of national life.

    Moreover, Judaism itself needed to reflect every corner of that national life. Rav Kook’s Judaism was not one that was limited to prayer and study: it was a fully three-dimensional way of life that would penetrate to every corner of national existence, the physical and the spiritual together, as one. He emphasized the need for religious youth to develop their bodies physically. It was a perversion of Judaism to limit Judaism to the world of study. Judaism should be unlimited in the world of life: this, he believe, could only happen in a Jewish state.
  3. However, there are dangers inherent in a Jewish state: political life leads easily to all the abuses that come from using power. The Jewish people are not immune from this descent into the world of political dirt and corruption. The two previous attempts by the Jews to live a fully political life within their own state had ended in failure. In both instances, various abuses had crept into the lives of the people, causing a perversion of the healthy national life that the Torah demands. The second Jewish state had fallen because the Jews had not learnt how to use power responsibly without its corrupting the fabric of relationships within the country. According to Rav Kook, this was why the exile had lasted so long: the Jews had to be purified from the influence of the abuses of power and cured of their lust for power. Only when they had become an ethical people once again, had the national impulse arisen in the people. For Rav Kook, this was tantamount to a sign from God.

    The need for the exile had finished: the time for the beginning of redemption was at hand. Now was the time for Jews to leave the lands of exile as quickly as possible, lands which were by their very nature ‘unclean’, unholy. It was time for Jews to take themselves to the only land that was intrinsically holy, the land in which they could build their holy national life once again. Here they would be free of the limitations and of the ‘uncleanness’ of life in exile. Here, too, they would be free of the need for power for power’s sake which had characterized them in their previous state in Eretz Israel.

    What was the pure, holy national life that they were called on to lead in their own state? We have already stressed that it must be a fully three-dimensional life, one in which all aspects of Torah in the widest sense would be expressed. Now we must emphasize the implications of this idea.

    Just as Ahad Ha’am had believed, Rav Kook believed that the Jews’ life in the Jewish state must be one of the highest standards of morality. The same obligations that bound the Jewish individual in his/her relations with the world around - both people and things - also obligated the Jewish national state. Other nations and states were not obligated in the same way, however, and this was a source of great concern to Rav Kook. He knew well that it would be impossible, in reality, for a Jewish state to behave in a substantially different manner from other states. He thus linked the fate of the Jewish state to that of other countries.

    The Jewish state could only exist in the way that God demanded if it was part of a world which God was redeeming. Jewish redemption, which could only occur in the framework of a Jewish state, was part of universal redemption: the two could not be separated. They were both part of God’s plan. God had given the Jews the task of redeeming the world, of guiding the rest of the world towards righteousness and the acceptance of God: it was this that would lead to their redemption by God.

    Unlike the Reform movement, however, which also stressed the mission of the Jews in the world, Rav Kook was certain that the Jews needed to separate themselves from the other nations in order to do so. They must turn themselves and their state into a stage for God’s glory and for God’s rule on earth. This was the path that would ultimately lead to world redemption. In this version of messianism, the Jews themselves had a vital role: they must show the will, resolve and ability to rebuild their national life. This was part of God’s plan; this was what He was waiting for. He would bring redemption but it was up to the Jews to supply the pre-conditions.

    It is not for nothing that the secular streams of Zionism - ultimately the dominant streams --were often called messianic. No less than religious Zionism, although in a very different way, they created ideas of the future that flew in the face of reality. All of these Zionist streams had strong, distinct visions of what should happen to the country and of the society that should be established there.

    Perhaps strong Utopian visions were needed to galvanize the Jewish masses, both religious and non-religious, into supporting the Zionist movement and finding the determination to move to a new country and trying to develop a new life in very difficult circumstances. Perhaps without such glorious visions of the future, the whole Zionist enterprise would have come to nothing and we would be living today without a Jewish state. Nevertheless, we must ask today if those visions were realistic and if we are not paying a high price for holding on to them.

    One contemporary Israeli thinker who thinks that the latter is the case is novelist Amos Oz. In 1982, a time when Israeli society was under severe stress partly because of the difficult Lebanon war in which Israel was engaged, Oz traveled to different parts of the country to talk to a variety of different Israelis; he tried to put his finger on the pulse of what was happening in Israeli society. He turned the results into a series of newspaper articles that ultimately became a book, - [in English, In the Land of Israel].

    Perhaps predictably, he started off in Jerusalem, examining the dynamics of Haredi society, which thrives in the area of Jerusalem where Oz was born. In subsequent chapters he proceeded to examine many other aspects of Israeli society, each from a different physical place in Israel. When he reached the last chapter, he made what seemed to be a very surprising and perhaps anti-climactic choice: instead of coming back to Jerusalem in order to bring things full-circle, he chose to finish in Ashdod, a small town on the coast. Having described a number of scenes and conversations there, he showed what that city represented for him, thus explaining his choice of ending for the book.

    Perhaps it was a lunatic promise: to turn, in the space of two or three generations, masses of Jews, persecuted, frightened, full of love-hate toward their countries of origin, into a nation that would be an example for the Arab community, a model of salvation for the entire world. Perhaps we bit off too much. Perhaps there was, on all sides, a latent messianism. A messiah complex. Perhaps we should have aimed for less. Perhaps there was a wild pretension here, beyond our capabilities - beyond human capabilities…

    Are we gradually learning, or perhaps not? But we should learn.

    And what is, at best, is the city of Ashdod.

    A pretty city and to my mind a good one, this Ashdod. And she is all we have that is our own. Even in culture and in literature: Ashdod. All those who secretly long for the charms of Paris or Vienna, for the Jewish shtetl, or for heavenly Jerusalem; do not cut loose from those longings - for what are we without our longings? But let’s remember that Ashdod is what there is. And she is not quite the grandiose fulfillment of the vision of the Prophets and of the dream of generations; not quite a world premiere, but simply a city on a human scale. If only we try to look at her with a calm eye, we will surely not be shamed or disappointed.

    Ashdod is a city on a human scale on the Mediterranean cost. And from her we shall see what will flower when peace and a little repose finally come. Patience, I say. There is no shortcut.

    Amos Oz

    For Oz, Ashdod - “a city on a human scale” - is what is attainable. Israel and Zionism need to cut down the size of the dream and learn to settle for a human-sized reality. Dreams and utopias are good - “for what are we without our longings” - but it is important to remember that they are not necessarily the most practical program for building a society. This is a concept that needs to be considered.

    Let us now examine all of these ideas together with our students.


    Utopias - The Different Visions Of Classic Zionism.
    The aim of this activity is to examine Zionist visions and their feasibility before we start to examine the reality of Israel today.
  4. now regarding the relationship between Zionism and Judaism:


    The History of Zionism & Judaism

    This text is from an article called "An Open Letter" published in the Jewish magazine, "Hachoma". We think it provides a good historical overview of the history of Zionism and why the Zionist ideology is opposed by religious Orthodox Jews.

    The Jewish people, from its inception, has been unique by its identity as a religious entity. Through the centuries its religious character had been a premise agreed upon by Jews and non-Jews alike. Our faith demands as the fundamental condition for recognition as a Jew, belief and adherence to the word of G-d, as was revealed to our forefathers on Mount Sinai. This is in itself, according to the tenets of the Jewish religion, sufficient to fulfill the definition of a Jew. Our religious and traditional history bears no aspect of racism. Hence, one of non-Jewish origin is capable of being proselytized and attaining the same status as a born Jew. Conversely, one of Jewish birth who does not recognize his being bound to the Jewish Torah, is by Jewish law a heretic, and therefore forfeits his spiritual birthrights as a Jew.

    The purpose of the Jew is to bear witness to the existence of G-d, through his adherence to the Torah. The Al-mighty granted the Jews the land of Israel as the particular setting which would serve as the most conducive atmosphere to their performance of their duties to G-d.

    The Jews in ancient times were banished from the land of Israel because they had failed to fulfill their obligations to the Al-mighty. Every Jew acknowledges this in his prayers (Umipnei Chatoeinu Golinu Meiartzeinu). They accepted the penalty of exile and were at that time expressed sworn by the Al-mighty not to accelerate their redemption on their own, and especially not to rebel against the nations under whose rule they were found. To the contrary, every Jew is commanded to pray for the peace and well being of the government of which he is the subject.

    Through all the years of exile, pious Jews as individuals were attracted to reside in the Holy Land because of its innate holy character and the opportunity it offered for the observance of various precepts bound in the land. Jews as a whole continue to pray that the Al-mighty return his Divine presence to the Land of Israel, by the coming of the Messiah, who will build His Temple, from whence will emanate Divine Wisdom and ultimate spiritual fulfillment of the entire human race.

    Through the many years that Jews resided in the Holy Land for this purpose, they enjoyed tranquil and cordial relations with the non-Jewish population there.

    The Zionist movement which was formed at the latter part of the last century, sought to endow the Jews with a nationalistic character which was heretofore strange to them. It sought to deprive them of their historically religious character and offered in substitution of faith in G-d and adherence to the Torah, and belief in their ultimate redemption by the coming of the Messiah, a nationalistic ideology and the possibility of establishing through political media, a Jewish national homeland.

    During the period of the British Mandate, the Balfour Declaration, which recognized the eventual possibility of founding a Jewish national homeland, in Palestine, was affirmed to be the British government. The Jewish Agency, who then was the Chief representative of Zionist interests in the Holy Land, was entrusted with the issuance of visas to the Holy Land, thus resulting in an increased Zionist immigration from various parts of the world, which ultimately succeeded in superceding in numbers, the veteran Orthodox dwellers.

    Orthodox Jewry all over the world and the Orthodox Community in the Holy Land in particular, immediately sensed in this stage of Zionist success, the threat of grave danger for the religious future of Jews. The Arab inhabitants began to exhibit open hostility to their Jewish neighbors. The British government failed to distinguish between the Orthodox community, who for generations in habited the Holy Land, and the newly arrived Zionist immigrants.

    With the acquisition by the Zionist nationalists of the power to organize communities in Palestine, they formed the Vaad Haleumi Leknesset Yisroel (National Jewish Council Committee). This committee ignored the rights of the Orthodox veteran dwellers who did not recognize this validity of Jewish nationality, and whose identification as Jews was solely with their loyalty to their religious heritage. The religious inhabitants, on the other hand, shuddered at the prospects of spiritual disintegration of World Jewry, with the new rise to power of the Zionist nationalists.

    The Orthodox inhabitants actively objected to being subject to the authority of the secularists. They appealed their cause to the League of Nations, who consequently granted them a "Right of exclusion" to the subjugation to the Vaad Haleumi, which rights provided that any Jew wishing not to be incorporated into the Vaad Haleumi, may remain lawfully independent if he so stated his wish in writing. Thousands of Jews did so.

    Such was the case until November 1948, when the United Nations finally sanctioned the establishment of a Zionist State. We do not doubt that their success in finally realizing their goal was due in great measure to their having misled the world into viewing the Zionist cause as the Jewish cause. The formation of the Zionist state resulted in the automatic deprivation of the autonomy heretofore possessed by the Orthodox inhabitants of the Holy Land.

    The Zionists grasped in the acquisition of their new powers, the opportunity to openly disassociate themselves from any identification with Jews as a religion. They systematically began to orient the minds of their generations according to the tenets of Zionist nationalism. Through the Ministry of Religions they employed part of the Rabbinate to assist them in their aims.

    The religious Jews who by virtue of their faith, clearly contradicted Zionist nationalism, and who had lived peacefully with their Arab neighbors for generations, became unwillingly identified with the Zionist cause and their struggle with the Arabs. They requested the United Nations that Jerusalem be designated as a defacto international city. They appealed to the diplocatic corps assigned to Jerusalem -- but to no avail. They were hence confronted with the choice of either becoming a part of the Zionist State, which diametrically opposed the interests of Jews as a religion, or abandoning the land of which their forefathers were the first Jewish settlers.

    We find it of supreme importance to emphasize that we are fearful of the consequences of the Zionist rebellion against the Creator, as stated expressly in Jeremich, "For it is bad and bitter your renunciation of G-d..." We wish not to be affected by the behavior of this government who in the name of Israel, persist in their renunciation and utter disregard of religious Judaism such as is clearly attested by their laws expressly permitting wanton autopsies (Law of Anatomy and Pathology, 1953), forcible desecration of the Sabbath (Law of Emergency Labor Draft 1967: PPS 1, 19; 27, 36), profanation of Holy Sites by retaining non-religious custodians, desecration of Holy Cemetaries by Safed, Beth Shearim and elsewhere, and countless more examples, proof of which is readily available.

    Insofar as all human being find necessary the protection of their rights as human beings, we hereby request all those that find it within their power, to aid us in reacquiring the rights we possessed prior to the formation of the Zionist State*, to remain lawfully independent of the Zionist authority.


    * The Laws of Palestine -- Robert Drayton -- Volume 3, Page 213B -- Chapter 126, Paragraph 17(4) -- January 1, 1928.

    Any person who desires his name to be struck off the register shall, within one month of the publication or the relevant portion thereof, give notice, either personally or by an agent duly authoised in writing, to the General Council (Vaad Leumi) which shall acknowledge the receipt of the notice and strike off his name accordingly; he may send a copy of such notice to the office of the district commissioner.
  5. http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/zionism/ZionistState/historical.cfm

    Historical Progression of Zionism

    18th century: The German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn initiates a Jewish secularism, which focused on Jewish national identity.

    1862: The German Jew Moses Hess publishes the book Rome and Jerusalem where he called for a return of Jews to Palestine. He also said that Jews would never succeed by assimilating into European societies.

    1881: Pogroms of Russia result in heavy emigration to USA. Some few Jews even emigrates to Palestine, as they are motivated by religious ideas of Palestine as Jewish homeland.

    1893: Nathan Birnbaum introduces the term 'Zionism'.

    1896: The Austrian Jew Theodor Herzl publishes the book The Jewish State, where he declares that the cure for anti-semitism was the establishment of a Jewish state. As he saw it, the best place to establish this state was in Palestine, but this geography was no precondition.

    1897: The 1st Zionist Congress is held in Basel in Switzerland. 200 delegates participates. The Basel Program is formulated, which calls for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, where Jews could live safely under public law. The World Zionist organization is also established, and establishes its head quarters in Vienna, Austria.

    1903: Britain offers an area of 15,500 km² in Uganda in Africa, an area of virgin land to the Jews of the world, where a Jewish homeland could be established.

    1905: 7th Zionist Congress refuses Britain's Uganda proposal. Israel Zangwill forms the Jewish Territorial organization, which sought to find territory for a Jewish state, no matter where this would be. His organization got only few supporters. — After the Russian revolution is defeated, many young Jews emigrate from Russia.

    1917: The Balfour Declaration, issued by the British foreign secretary, gives official British support to the work on establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    1922: Britain gives The World Zionist organization the mandate to administer Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine. This immigration and settlement was funded by American Jews.

    1939: The British 'White Paper' gives the Arabs of Palestine de facto control over Jewish immigration.

    1942: A call is issued from Zionist leaders for the establishment of a Jewish state in all of western Palestine, when World War II ends.

    1948 May 14: The State of Israel is founded. The World Zionist organization continues to back Jewish immigration to Israel.

    1970s: The World Zionist organization puts its muscles into helping Jews in the Soviet Union to emigrate to Israel.

    1975 November 10: UN General Assembly passes Resolution 3379, in which Zionism is declared "racist", with 72 votes to 35 (32 abstentions).

    1991 December 16: UN General Assembly revokes Resolution 3379, with 111 votes to 25 (13 abstentions).


    "Zionism" by Tore Kjeilen, article in the Encyclopaedia of the Orient, Oslo, Norway. Last modified Aug. 22, 2004.