Lecture Outline 19: Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel key terms

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Lecture Outline 19: Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel


Political Zionism

Theodor Herzl

Revisionist Zionism

Great Arab Revolt


Labor Zionism

Hajj Amin al-Husayni


  1. Origins and Growth of Zionism

  • Ancient Israel; Diasporas (Exiles) – Assyrian (8th BC), Babylonian (6th BC); Return to land; Revolt against Rome (66-73 AD) and destruction of Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (70AD); Bar Kochba Revolt against Rome (132-135 AD); Diaspora; Waiting for redemption, Messiah will bring Jewish people back to land

  • Modern Secular Zionism: 19th century, racial and ethnic national identities become emphasized in Europe (Greek, German, Italian nationalist movements), anti-Semitic persecution, Zionism is secular political movement seeking to actively create a Jewish national homeland; in Western Europe was less popular due to prevalence of assimilationism; in Eastern Europe more popular due to Russian persecution

  • Religious Zionism: most of the religious establishment rejected Zionism because it went against waiting for Messiah to deliver; minority saw secular Zionism as God’s hidden plan to bring about redemption

  • Theodor Herzl: assimilated Viennese Jew felt only solution to anti-Semitism was creation of Jewish state; began to mobilize movement to achieve this, publication of Der Judenstaat (1896); creation of World Zionist Organization (1897); attempted to get permission from Ottoman Sultan for settlement

  • Aliyah (plural aliyot); waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine; the first ones came from Russia and Eastern Europe; later waves included committed socialist Zionists emphasizing a Jewish state based upon a socialist agricultural foundation (kibbutzim were collective agricultural settelements); in the 1930s a large wave of German immigration brought more bourgeois population with more capital; later waves of migration brought Sephardic (Mizrachi) Jews after independence who had lived in Muslim countries (Iraq, Morocco, etc.) and fled to Israel (325,000)

  • Jewish National Fund (1901); purpose was to buy land in Palestine to be own exclusive by Jews

  • Political Strategy of Zionism: debate about gaining official approval from Ottomans or creating facts on the ground; desire to get Great Power sponsorship of project; debate about exclusive focus on Palestine (other possibilities included Argentia, Kenya, etc.); success in getting sponsorship in convergence of British imperial strategic interests during WWI with the Balfour Declaration

  • Labor Zionism: grew out of the socialist immigrants from Russia and eastern Europe, formed Hagana (defense milita); Histadrut (labor union); sought to cooperate with British during Mandate; took power for first 30 years of independence; the Avoda or Labor party of today is its descendant

  • Revisionist Zionism: led by Vladimir Jabotinksy; stressed need for Jewish army in Palestine; pushed for Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan; came to power with election of Menachem Begin (1977), descendant is Likud of today.

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