The Jewish people were expelled from the Promised Land and this circumstance caused the diaspora, that is, the exile or dispersion of the Jews across the planet. In the nineteenth century, a political movement began in Europe with the intention that the Jews could definitively recover their territory and this movement was called Zionism, whose term comes from Mount Zion, a place very close to the city of Jerusalem.
The Origin of Jewish Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century
In political terms Zionism is understood as a form of nationalism. However, Jewish nationalism initiated in Europe in the 19th century has a peculiarity: the element that unifies the Jewish people is their religion. In this way, the national feeling of the Zionists is not just because of their language and territory.
On the other hand, Jewish communities were in a difficult situation, as until then Europe was experiencing a wave of anti-Semitism. The desire for a new nation created the need for institutions that drove the project and that is why the World Zionist Organization was formed at the beginning of the 20th century.
Zionism as a political movement did not arouse the interest of the entire international Jewish community, as for some the return to the Promised Land could only be accomplished through the divine will. In addition to the controversy between supporters and opponents of the Jewish nation , in 1948, the state of Israel was created and the Zionist dream came true .
Different ways to understand Zionism today
From the Palestinians’ point of view, the State of Israel establishes a new colonization. Consequently, Palestinians see Zionism as a threat and an imposition. From a Jewish point of view, Zionism goes beyond the creation of the State of Israel, as it is a movement of national freedom . In this sense, most analysts agree that Zionism should not be identified as Judaism, since the first is a political movement and the second is religious.
The debate over Zionism has several ramifications. For its critics it is a threat, since it presupposes an attempt to consolidate Jewish power in the international sphere. Other conceptions claim that there is a connection between Zionism and Freemasonry. On the other hand, not all Jews claim to be Zionists today and claim that Jewish nationalism is the source of political instability between Palestinians and Jews.