Modern Zionism

Robert Eisen

in The Peace and Violence of Judaism

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751471
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894833 | DOI:
Modern Zionism

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According to the first reading, Zionism represents the revival of violent tendencies in Judaism now that Jews once again have a state. In religious Zionism, the endorsement of violence is due to the belief that Jews are chosen, that God promised them the land of Israel, that the messianic period is approaching, and that non-Jews are evil. Secular Zionism does not subscribe to the literal meaning of these premises, but it has translated them into nationalist ideals that have also inspired violence. According to the second reading, the violence of Zionism has been inspired by factors having little to do with Judaism, such as secular nationalism, Jewish fears of Arabs engendered by centuries of persecution, and the desperation of Jews who believed that Zionism represented the only chance for Jews to survive. Furthermore, much of the violence by Zionists has been defensive in nature.

Keywords: Zionism; religious Zionism; secular Zionism; non-Jews; Israel; Arabs; nationalism; persecution

Chapter.  31456 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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