I) A Short Definition of Zionism
Zion, or Sion, is the name of the southeast hill of Jerusalem. It was the name of a Jebusite fortress conquered by David, and was later to be known as the hill where the temple devoted to Jahve, or God, was situated. To many people, Zion is a symbol of the Jews last stronghold, and also a symbol of the place where God can dwell among his people.
Zionists are people who have fought for the creation of a state for the Jews, and they still work for the expansion of it; a state that can act as a haven for Jews that are under persecution, or act as a place where any Jew can establish a new life, and contribute to the rebuilding of the Jewish state that existed during the days of the Old Testament. Zionists believe that this land is promised to them by God, and that they have, through the covenant they have made with God, a holy right of possessing this land.
This land is what was known as Palestine, before the creation of Israel took place. The movement of Zionism was formed in the late 19th century, by Theodore Herzl. Even though the Zionists goal is reached, it continues to exist as a movement today, defending Israeli interests worldwide, playing its role as a powerful lobby organisation.
II) The Rise of Zionism
The History of the Jews
To understand and discuss the matter of Zionism, it is necessary to have some background knowledge of the origins of the Jews. The Jews were originally a nomadic people, who roamed in the middle-east around two millennia before Christ. About 1700 B.C, they were taken as slaves by the Egyptians, where they were held for 450 years to work for the...