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Zionism is an old concept. It is related to the ancient hill in the Bible:
Zionism, movement to unite the Jews of the Diaspora (exile) and settle them in Palestine; it arose (as a secular movement) in the late 19th century and culminated in 1948 in the establishment of the state of Israel. The movement's name is derived from Zion, the hill on which the Temple of Jerusalem was located and which later came to symbolize Jerusalem itself.
In pre-Christian times, the Jews were made slaves by the Babylonians. Zion became a symbol of hope. They looked forward to the time when the Messiah would deliver them from bondage and return them to the "promised land".
Zionism became an organized movement in the late 1800's.
- Theodor Herzl was the main proponent spearheading the movement.
- Herzl wrote a book called "The Jewish State".
- Herzl organized the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.
- The Congress established a World Zionist Organization.
All of these efforts were done with the precise purpose of establishing a country exclusively for Jews in the region of Palestine.
Herzl even presented his idea to the German Kaiser and the Ottoman Turkish Sultan. Both rejected the idea. He then presented it to the British. They only offered him opportunities to develop a colony in British East Africa. This split the Zionist movement into splintered factions. Herzl was consequently discredited among Zionist and he faded into history.
After World War I, the Zionist got their first big break. Turkey was defeated in the War and Britain took over Palestine, formerly controlled by Turkey. The Zionist petitioned the British government for their own country in Palestine. They found sympathetic ears. The Balfour Declaration promised Britain's aide in this endeavor.
After World War II, the sympathy for the Jew rose to new international heights due to Nazi persecution of the Jews. Britain submitted a request to the United Nations for a partition of Palestine into two parts: one Arab and one Jewish. The United Nations passed the resolution and in 1948 Israel declared independence.
Now here is where things get good. There is a large group individuals and nations that believe that the entire Zionist movement is a shady fraud. Accusations made of the Zionist range from a racist movement to a scheme for world domination.