Zionism is the Jewish national movement of rebirth and renewal in the land of Israel, the historical birthplace of the Jewish people. The yearning to return to Zion, the biblical term for both the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, has been the cornerstone of Jewish religious life since the Jewish exile from the land two thousand years ago, and is embedded in Jewish prayer, ritual, literature and culture. Zionism originated in late 19th century Europe and is a form of nationalist irredentism (seeking to reclaim the rightful lost territories of Israel).1 One does not, of course, have to be Jewish in order to be a Zionist. Zionists are split into many factions, but are united by seeking to liberate, reunite and maintain the 'rightful' state of Israel. In so doing, it was inevitable that conflict would arise with the Arabs who had occupied the geographical territories of Palestine for many generations.
The Zionists (and other Jewish) movements sought to restore these geographical territories to Israel as well.
Anti-Semitic literally means prejudice against Semitic people, but in practice it has been directed only against Jews. Anti-Semitism became strong in Austria, France, and Germany, and from 1881, pogroms in Poland and Russia caused refugees to flee to the USA, to the UK, and to other European countries as well as Palestine. In the 20th century, fascism and the Nazi Party's application of racial theories led to organized persecution and genocide. Less dramatic forms of anti-Semitism were also common, such as the routine exclusion of Jews from academic posts in US universities prior to 1945 . After World War II, the creation of Israel in 1948 provoked Palestinian anti-Zionism, backed by the Arab world. Anti-Semitism is still fostered by extreme right-wing groups, such as the National Front in the UK and France,