Journal Article

Enduring Technological Optimism: Zionism's Environmental Ethic and Its Influence on Israel's Environmental History

Alon Tal

in Environmental History

Published on behalf of American Society for Environmental History and Forest History Society

Volume 13, issue 2, pages 275-305
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 1084-5453
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1930-8892 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/envhis/13.2.275
Enduring Technological Optimism: Zionism's Environmental Ethic and Its Influence on Israel's Environmental History

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Abstract

When Zionism emerged in Europe as the Jewish people's national movement at the advent of the twentieth century, its political leaders and ideological visionaries were concerned about defining an appropriate relationship between Jewish settlement in Palestine and the “Land of Israel.” Just as it sported a rich variety of political camps and philosophies, Zionism did not embrace a monolithic “environmental ethic.” The perceptions and attitudes toward the natural world and the role of human intervention in the reclaiming of Jewish people's ancient homeland evolved dramatically as the pioneering community became more familiar with the country's physical realties and the agrarian economy became more industrialized. Yet, the initial “technological optimism,” which informed the European founders' strategy for settlement in the Middle East, persisted and influences responses to growing environmental challenges in Israel today.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945)

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