Jewish nationalism movement with the goal of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. In the 16th–17th century, a number of messiahs tried to persuade the Jews to return to Palestine, but by the late 18th century interest had largely faded. Pogroms in Eastern Europe led to formation of the Lovers of Zion, which promoted the settlement of Jewish farmers and artisans in Palestine. In the face of persistent anti-Semitism, Theodor Herzl advocated a Jewish state in Palestine. He held the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897. After World War I the movement picked up momentum with the issuing of the Balfour Declaration. The Jewish population in Palestine increased from 90,000 in 1914 to 238,000 in 1933. The Arab population resisted Zionism, and the British tried unsuccessfully to reconcile Jewish and Arab demands. Zionism achieved its goal with the creation of Israel in 1948. See also Alliance Israélite Universelle, David Ben-Gurion, Hagana, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Irgun Zvai Leumi.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Zionism, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Zionism? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.