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Zionism – Wikipedia

Posted By on October 20, 2016

Zionism (Hebrew: Tsiyyonut IPA:[tsijonut] after Zion) is a nationalist political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel (roughly corresponding to Palestine, Canaan or the Holy Land).[2][3][4] Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in central and eastern Europe as a national revival movement, in reaction to anti-Semitic and exclusionary nationalist movements in Europe.[5][6] Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.[7][8][9]

Until 1948, the primary goals of Zionism were the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, ingathering of the exiles, and liberation of Jews from the antisemitic discrimination and persecution that they experienced during their diaspora. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism continues primarily to advocate on behalf of Israel and address threats to its continued existence and security.

A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity defined as adherence to religious Judaism, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies, and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority nation in their own state. A variety of Zionism, called cultural Zionism, founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha’am, fostered a secular vision of a Jewish “spiritual center” in Israel. Unlike Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, Ahad Ha’am strived for Israel to be “a Jewish state and not merely a state of Jews”.[10]

Advocates of Zionism view it as a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a persecuted people residing as minorities in a variety of nations to their ancestral homeland.[11][12][13]Critics of Zionism view it as a colonialist,[14]racist[15] and exceptionalist[16] ideology that led advocates to violence during Mandatory Palestine, followed by the forced exodus of Palestinians, and the subsequent denial of their human rights.[17][18][19][20]

The term “Zionism” is derived from the word Zion (Hebrew: , Tzi-yon), referring to Jerusalem. Throughout eastern Europe in the late 19th century, numerous grassroots groups were promoting the national resettlement of the Jews in their homeland, as well as the revitalization and cultivation of the Hebrew language. These groups were collectively called the “Lovers of Zion” and were seen to encounter a growing Jewish movement toward assimilation. The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian Nathan Birnbaum, founder of a nationalist Jewish students’ movement Kadimah; he used the term in 1890 in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation).[21]

The common denominator among all Zionists is the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews and as the legitimate focus for Jewish national self-determination.[22] It is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.[23] Zionism does not have a uniform ideology, but has evolved in a dialogue among a plethora of ideologies: General Zionism, Religious Zionism, Labor Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, Green Zionism, etc.

After almost two millennia of the Jewish diaspora residing in varied countries without a national state, the Zionist movement was founded in the late 19th century by secular Jews, largely as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to rising antisemitism in Europe, exemplified by the Dreyfus affair in France and the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire.[24] The political movement was formally established by the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl in 1897 following the publication of his book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).[25] At that time, the movement sought to encourage Jewish migration to Ottoman Palestine.

“I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity.”

Although initially one of several Jewish political movements offering alternative responses to assimilation and antisemitism, Zionism expanded rapidly. In its early stages, supporters considered setting up a Jewish state in the historic territory of Palestine. After World War II and the destruction of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe where these alternative movements were rooted, it became dominant in thinking about a Jewish national state.

Creating an alliance with Great Britain and securing support for some years for Jewish emigration to Palestine, Zionists also recruited among European Jews to immigrate there, especially in areas of the Russian Empire where anti-semitism was raging. The alliance with Britain was strained as the latter realized the implications of the Jewish movement for Arabs in Palestine but the Zionists persisted. The movement was eventually successful in establishing Israel on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyyar 5708 in the Hebrew calendar), as the homeland for the Jewish people. The proportion of the world’s Jews living in Israel has steadily grown since the movement emerged. By the early 21st century, more than 40% of the world’s Jews live in Israel, more than in any other country. These two outcomes represent the historical success of Zionism, and are unmatched by any other Jewish political movement in the past 2,000 years. In some academic studies, Zionism has been analyzed both within the larger context of diaspora politics and as an example of modern national liberation movements.[27]

Zionism also sought assimilation of Jews into the modern world. As a result of the diaspora, many of the Jewish people remained outsiders within their adopted countries and became detached from modern ideas. So-called “assimilationist” Jews desired complete integration into European society. They were willing to downplay their Jewish identity or even to abandon traditional views and opinions in an attempt at modernization and assimilation into the modern world. A less radical form of assimilation was called cultural synthesis.[citation needed] Those in favor of cultural synthesis desired continuity and only moderate evolution, and were concerned that Jews should not lose their identity as a people. “Cultural synthesists” emphasized both a need to maintain traditional Jewish values and faith, and a need to conform to a modernist society, for instance, in complying with work days and rules.[28]

In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that designated Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination”. The resolution was repealed in 1991 by replacing Resolution 3379 with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/86. Within the context of the ArabIsraeli conflict, Zionism is viewed by critics as a system that fosters apartheid and racism.[29] Opposition to Zionism in principle has also been charged as racist and as fostering the segregation of peoples that should seek peaceful coexistence.[30][31]

Zionism was established with the political goal of creating a Jewish state in order to create a nation where Jews could be the majority, rather than the minority they were in a variety of nations in the diaspora. Theodor Herzl, the ideological father of Zionism, considered Antisemitism as an eternal feature of all societies in which Jews lived as minorities, and that only a separation could allow Jews to escape eternal persecution. “Let them give us sovereignty over a piece of the Earth’s surface, just sufficient for the needs of our people, then we will do the rest!” he proclaimed exposing his plan.[32]:p.27 (29)

Herzl proposed two possible destinations to colonize, Argentina and Palestine. He preferred Argentina for its vast and sparsely populated territory and temperate climate, but conceded that Palestine would have greater attraction because of the historic ties of Jews with that area. [32] He also accepted to evaluate Joseph Chamberlain’s proposal for possible Jewish settlement in Great Britain’s East African colonies.[33]:pp.5556

Aliyah (migration, literally “ascent”) to the Land of Israel is a recurring theme in Jewish prayers. Rejection of life in the Diaspora is a central assumption in Zionism.[34] Supporters of Zionism believed that Jews in the Diaspora were prevented from their full growth in Jewish individual and national life.[citation needed]

Zionists generally preferred to speak Hebrew, a Semitic language that developed under conditions of freedom in ancient Judah, and worked to modernize and adapt it for everyday use. Zionists sometimes refused to speak Yiddish, a language they thought had developed in the context of European persecution. Once they moved to Israel, many Zionists refused to speak their (diasporic) mother tongues and adopted new, Hebrew names. Hebrew was preferred not only for ideological reasons, but also because it allowed all citizens of the new state to have a common language, thus furthering the political and cultural bonds among Zionists.[citation needed]

Major aspects of the Zionist idea are represented in the Israeli Declaration of Independence:

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses.[35]

Since the first centuries CE, most Jews have lived outside the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel, better known as Palestine), although there has been a constant minority presence of Jews. According to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Eretz Israel is a land promised to the Jews by God according to the Hebrew and Greek Bibles and the Quran, respectively.[37][38] The Diaspora began in 586 BCE during the Babylonian occupation of Israel. The Babylonians destroyed the First Temple, which was central to Jewish culture at the time. After the 1st century Great Revolt and the 2nd century Bar Kokhba revolt, the Roman Empire expelled the Jews from Judea, changing the name to Syria Palaestina. The Bar Kokhba revolt caused a spike in antisemitism and Jewish persecution. The ensuing exile from Judea greatly increased the percent of Jews who were dispersed throughout the Diaspora instead of living in their original home.[citation needed]

Zion is a hill near Jerusalem (now in the city), widely symbolizing the Land of Israel.[39]

In the middle of the 16th century, Joseph Nasi, with the support of the Ottoman Empire, tried to gather the Portuguese Jews, first to migrate to Cyprus, then owned by the Republic of Venice, and later to resettle in Tiberias. Finally, Nasi was forced by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV to visit him. To the surprise of his followers, in the presence of the Sultan, Nasi converted to Islam.[40] Between the 4th and 19th centuries, Nasi’s was the only practical attempt to establish some sort of Jewish political center in Palestine.[41] In the 17th century Sabbatai Zevi (16261676) announced himself as the Messiah and gained many Jews to his side, forming a base in Salonika. He first tried to establish a settlement in Gaza, but moved later to Smyrna. After deposing the old rabbi Aaron Lapapa in the spring of 1666, the Jewish community of Avignon, France prepared to emigrate to the new kingdom. The readiness of the Jews of the time to believe the messianic claims of Sabbatai Zevi may be largely explained by the desperate state of Central European Jewry in the mid-17th century. The bloody pogroms of Bohdan Khmelnytsky had wiped out one-third of the Jewish population and destroyed many centers of Jewish learning and communal life.[42]

In the 19th century, a current in Judaism supporting a return to Zion grew in popularity,[43] particularly in Europe, where antisemitism and hostility toward Jews were growing. The idea of returning to Palestine was rejected by the conferences of rabbis held in that epoch. Individual efforts supported the emigration of groups of Jews to Palestine, pre-Zionist Aliyah, even before 1897, the year considered as the start of practical Zionism.[44]

The Reformed Jews rejected this idea of a return to Zion. The conference of rabbis, at Frankfurt am Main, July 1528, 1845, deleted from the ritual all prayers for a return to Zion and a restoration of a Jewish state. The Philadelphia Conference, 1869, followed the lead of the German rabbis and decreed that the Messianic hope of Israel is “the union of all the children of God in the confession of the unity of God”. The Pittsburgh Conference, 1885, reiterated this Messianic idea of reformed Judaism, expressing in a resolution that “we consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community; and we therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning a Jewish state”.[45]

Jewish settlements were established in the upper Mississippi region by W.D. Robinson in 1819. Others were developed near Jerusalem in 1850, by the American Consul Warder Cresson, a convert to Judaism. Cresson was tried and condemned for lunacy in a suit filed by his wife and son. They asserted that only a lunatic would convert to Judaism from Christianity. After a second trial, based on the centrality of American ‘freedom of faith’ issues and antisemitism, Cresson won the bitterly contested suit.[46] He emigrated to Ottoman Palestine and established an agricultural colony in the Valley of Rephaim of Jerusalem. He hoped to “prevent any attempts being made to take advantage of the necessities of our poor brethren… (that would)… FORCE them into a pretended conversion.”[47]

Moral but not practical efforts were made in Prague to organize a Jewish emigration, by Abraham Benisch and Moritz Steinschneider in 1835. In the United States, Mordecai Noah attempted to establish a Jewish refuge opposite Buffalo, New York on Grand Isle, 1825. These early Jewish nation building efforts of Cresson, Benisch, Steinschneider and Noah failed.[48][pageneeded][49]

Sir Moses Montefiore, famous for his intervention in favor of Jews around the world, including the attempt to rescue Edgardo Mortara, established a colony for Jews in Palestine. In 1854, his friend Judah Touro bequeathed money to fund Jewish residential settlement in Palestine. Montefiore was appointed executor of his will, and used the funds for a variety of projects, including building in 1860 the first Jewish residential settlement and almshouse outside of the old walled city of Jerusalemtoday known as Mishkenot Sha’ananim. Laurence Oliphant failed in a like attempt to bring to Palestine the Jewish proletariat of Poland, Lithuania, Romania, and the Turkish Empire (1879 and 1882).

The official beginning of the construction of the New Yishuv in Palestine is usually dated to the arrival of the Bilu group in 1882, who commenced the First Aliyah. In the following years, Jewish immigration to Palestine started in earnest. Most immigrants came from the Russian Empire, escaping the frequent pogroms and state-led persecution in what are now Ukraine and Poland. They founded a number of agricultural settlements with financial support from Jewish philanthropists in Western Europe. Additional Aliyahs followed the Russian Revolution and its eruption of violent pogroms, as well as the Nazi persecution of the 1930s. At the end of the 19th century, Jews were a small minority in Palestine.[citation needed]

In the 1890s, Theodor Herzl infused Zionism with a new ideology and practical urgency, leading to the First Zionist Congress at Basel in 1897, which created the World Zionist Organization (WZO).[50] Herzl’s aim was to initiate necessary preparatory steps for the development of a Jewish state. Herzl’s attempts to reach a political agreement with the Ottoman rulers of Palestine were unsuccessful and he sought the support of other governments. The WZO supported small-scale settlement in Palestine; it focused on strengthening Jewish feeling and consciousness and on building a worldwide federation.[citation needed]

The Russian Empire, with its long record of state-organized genocide and ethnic cleansing (“pogroms”), was widely regarded as the historic enemy of the Jewish people. The Zionist movement’s headquarters were located in Berlin, as many of its leaders were German Jews who spoke German. Given Russia’s anti-semitism, at the start of World War I, most Jews (and Zionists) supported Germany in its war with Russia.[citation needed]

Throughout the first decade of the Zionist movement, there were several instances where Zionist figures supported a Jewish state in places outside Palestine, such as Uganda and Argentina.[51] Even Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism was initially content with any Jewish self-governed state.[52] However, other Zionists emphasized the memory, emotion and myth linking Jews to the Land of Israel.[53] Despite using Zion as the name of the movement (a name after the Jebusite fortress in Jerusalem, which became synonymous with Jerusalem), Palestine only became Herzl’s main focus after his Zionist manifesto ‘Judenstaat’ was published in 1896, but even then he was hesitant.[54]

In 1903, British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain offered Herzl 5,000 square miles in the Uganda Protectorate for Jewish settlement.[55] Called the Uganda Scheme, it was introduced the same year to the World Zionist Organization’s Congress at its sixth meeting, where a fierce debate ensued. Some groups felt that accepting the scheme would make it more difficult to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, the African land was described as an “ante-chamber to the Holy Land”. It was decided to send a commission to investigate the proposed land by 295 to 177 votes, with 132 abstaining. The following year, congress sent a delegation to inspect the plateau. A temperate climate due to its high elevation, was thought to be suitable for European settlement. However, the area was populated by a large number of Maasai, who did not seem to favour an influx of Europeans. Furthermore, the delegation found it to be filled with lions and other animals.

After Herzl died in 1904, the Congress decided on the fourth day of its seventh session in July 1905 to decline the British offer and, according to Adam Rovner, “direct all future settlement efforts solely to Palestine”.[55][56]Israel Zangwill’s Jewish Territorialist Organization aimed for a Jewish state anywhere, having been established in 1903 in response to the Uganda Scheme, was supported by a number of the Congress’s delegates. Following the vote, which had been proposed by Max Nordau, Zangwill charged Nordau that he will be charged before the bar of history, and his supporters blamed the Russian voting bloc of Menachem Ussishkin for the outcome of the vote.[56]

The subsequent departure of the JTO from the Zionist Organization had little impact.[55][57][58] The Zionist Socialist Workers Party was also an organization that favored the idea of a Jewish territorial autonomy outside of Palestine.[59]

As an alternative to Zionism, Soviet authorities established a Jewish Autonomous Oblast in 1934, which remains extant as the only autonomous oblast of Russia.[60]

Lobbying by Russian Jewish immigrant Chaim Weizmann together with fear that American Jews would encourage the USA to support Germany in the war against communist Russia, culminated in the British government’s Balfour Declaration of 1917.

It endorsed the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, as follows:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[61]

In 1922, the League of Nations adopted the declaration, and granted to Britain the Palestine Mandate:

The Mandate will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home … and the development of self-governing institutions, and also safeguard the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.[62]

Weizmann’s role in obtaining the Balfour Declaration led to his election as the Zionist movement’s leader. He remained in that role until 1948, and then was elected as the first President of Israel after the nation gained independence.

Jewish migration to Palestine and widespread Jewish land purchases from feudal[citation needed] landlords contributed to landlessness among Palestinian Arabs, fueling unrest. Riots erupted in Palestine in 1920, 1921 and 1929, in which both Jews and Arabs were killed.[63] Britain was responsible for the Palestinian mandate and, after the Balfour Declaration, it supported Jewish immigration in principle. But, in response to the violent events noted above, the Peel Commission published a report proposing new provisions and restrictions in Palestine.[citation needed]

In 1927, Ukrainian Jew Yitzhak Lamdan, wrote an epic poem titled Masada to reflect the plight of the Jews, calling for a “last stand”.[64] Upon the German adoption of the swastika, Theodore Newman Kaufman, bent on provoking a race war and eliminating his perception of “inbred Germanism”, published Germany Must Perish! Anti-German articles, such as the Daily Express calling for an “Anti-Nazi boycott”, in response to German antisemitism were published prior to Adolf Hitler’s rise, as well. This has lent to the conspiracy theory that Jews started the holocaust, although Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was largely responsible for ignoring the patriotic Jew, and instead promoting anti-German materials as “evidence” that the Jews needed to be eradicated.

In 1933, Hitler came to power in Germany, and in 1935 the Nuremberg Laws made German Jews (and later Austrian and Czech Jews) stateless refugees. Similar rules were applied by the many Nazi allies in Europe. The subsequent growth in Jewish migration and the impact of Nazi propaganda aimed at the Arab world led to the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine. Britain established the Peel Commission to investigate the situation. The commission did not consider the situation of Jews in Europe, but called for a two-state solution and compulsory transfer of populations. Britain rejected this solution and instead implemented the White Paper of 1939. This planned to end Jewish immigration by 1944 and to allow no more than 75,000 additional Jewish migrants. This was disastrous to European Jews already being gravely discriminated against and in need of a place to seek refuge. The British maintained this policy until the end of the Mandate.[citation needed]

The growth of the Jewish community in Palestine and the devastation of European Jewish life sidelined the World Zionist Organization. The Jewish Agency for Palestine under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion increasingly dictated policy with support from American Zionists who provided funding and influence in Washington, D.C., including via the highly effective American Palestine Committee.[citation needed]

During World War II, as the horrors of the Holocaust became known, the Zionist leadership formulated the One Million Plan, a reduction from Ben-Gurion’s previous target of two million immigrants. Following the end of the war, a massive wave of stateless Jews, mainly Holocaust survivors, began migrating to Palestine in small boats in defiance of British rules. The Holocaust united much of the rest of world Jewry behind the Zionist project.[65] The British either imprisoned these Jews in Cyprus or sent them to the British-controlled Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. The British, having faced the 19361939 Arab revolt against mass Jewish immigration into Palestine, were now facing opposition by Zionist groups in Palestine for subsequent restrictions. In January 1946 the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry was a joint British and American committee set up to examine the political, economic and social conditions in Palestine as they bore upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement and the well-being of the peoples living there; to consult representatives of Arabs and Jews, and to make other recommendations ‘as necessary’ for ad interim handling of these problems as well as for their eventual solution.[66] Ultimately the Committee’s plans were rejected by both Arabs and Jews; and Britain decided to refer the problem to the United Nations.[citation needed]

In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended that western Palestine should be partitioned into a Jewish state, an Arab state and a UN-controlled territory, Corpus separatum, around Jerusalem.[67] This partition plan was adopted on November 29, 1947 with UN GA Resolution 181, 33 votes in favor, 13 against, and 10 abstentions. The vote led to celebrations in the streets of Jewish cities.[68] However, the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states rejected the UN decision, demanding a single state and removal of Jewish migrants, leading to the 1948 ArabIsraeli War.

On May 14, 1948, at the end of the British mandate, the Jewish Agency, led by David Ben-Gurion, declared the creation of the State of Israel, and the same day the armies of seven Arab countries invaded Israel. The conflict led to an exodus of about 711,000 Palestinian Arabs,[69] known in Arabic as al-Nakba (“the Catastrophe”). Later, a series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented Palestinians from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees.[70][71] The flight and expulsion of the Palestinians has since been widely, and controversially, described as having involved ethnic cleansing.[72][73] According to a growing consensus between Israeli and Palestinian historians, expulsion and destruction of villages played a part in the origin of the Palestinian refugees.[74]Efraim Karsh, however, states that most of the Arabs who fled left of their own accord or were pressured to leave by their fellow Arabs, despite Israeli attempts to convince them to stay.[75][76]

Since the creation of the State of Israel, the World Zionist Organization has functioned mainly as an organization dedicated to assisting and encouraging Jews to migrate to Israel. It has provided political support for Israel in other countries but plays little role in internal Israeli politics. The movement’s major success since 1948 was in providing logistical support for migrating Jews and, most importantly, in assisting Soviet Jews in their struggle with the authorities over the right to leave the USSR and to practice their religion in freedom, and the exodus of 850,000 Jews from the Arab world, mostly to Israel. In 1944-45, Ben-Gurion described the One Million Plan to foreign officials as being the “primary goal and top priority of the Zionist movement.” The immigration restrictions of the British White Paper of 1939 meant that such a plan could not be put into large scale effect until the Israeli Declaration of Independence in May 1948. The new country’s immigration policy had some opposition within the new Israeli government, such as those who argued that there was “no justification for organizing large-scale emigration among Jews whose lives were not in danger, particularly when the desire and motivation were not their own” as well as those who argued that the absorption process caused “undue hardship”. However, the force of Ben-Gurion’s influence and insistence ensured that his immigration policy was carried out.

The multi-national, worldwide Zionist movement is structured on representative democratic principles. Congresses are held every four years (they were held every two years before the Second World War) and delegates to the congress are elected by the membership. Members are required to pay dues known as a shekel. At the congress, delegates elect a 30-man executive council, which in turn elects the movement’s leader. The movement was democratic from its inception and women had the right to vote.[83]

Until 1917, the World Zionist Organization pursued a strategy of building a Jewish National Home through persistent small-scale immigration and the founding of such bodies as the Jewish National Fund (1901 a charity that bought land for Jewish settlement) and the Anglo-Palestine Bank (1903 provided loans for Jewish businesses and farmers). In 1942, at the Biltmore Conference, the movement included for the first time an express objective of the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.[84]

The 28th Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem in 1968, adopted the five points of the “Jerusalem Program” as the aims of Zionism today. They are:[85]

Since the creation of modern Israel, the role of the movement has declined. It is now a peripheral factor in Israeli politics, though different perceptions of Zionism continue to play roles in Israeli and Jewish political discussion.[86]

Labor Zionism originated in Eastern Europe. Socialist Zionists believed that centuries of oppression in antisemitic societies had reduced Jews to a meek, vulnerable, despairing existence that invited further antisemitism, a view originally stipulated by Theodor Herzl. They argued that a revolution of the Jewish soul and society was necessary and achievable in part by Jews moving to Israel and becoming farmers, workers, and soldiers in a country of their own. Most socialist Zionists rejected the observance of traditional religious Judaism as perpetuating a “Diaspora mentality” among the Jewish people, and established rural communes in Israel called “kibbutzim”. The kibbutz began as a variation on a “national farm” scheme, a form of cooperative agriculture where the Jewish National Fund hired Jewish workers under trained supervision. The kibbutzim were a symbol of the Second Aliyah in that they put great emphasis on communalism and egalitarianism, representing to a certain extent Utopian socialism. Furthermore, they stressed self-sufficiency, which became an important aspect of Labor Zionism. Though socialist Zionism draws its inspiration and is philosophically founded on the fundamental values and spirituality of Judaism, its progressive expression of that Judaism has often fostered an antagonistic relationship with Orthodox Judaism.[citation needed]

Labor Zionism became the dominant force in the political and economic life of the Yishuv during the British Mandate of Palestine and was the dominant ideology of the political establishment in Israel until the 1977 election when the Israeli Labor Party was defeated. The Israeli Labor Party continues the tradition, although the most popular party in the kibbutzim is Meretz.[88] Labour Zionism’s main institution is the Histadrut (general organisation of labor unions), which began by providing strikebreakers against a Palestinian worker’s strike in 1920 and until 1970s was the largest employer in Israel after the Israeli government.[89]

General Zionism (or Liberal Zionism) was initially the dominant trend within the Zionist movement from the First Zionist Congress in 1897 until after the First World War. General Zionists identified with the liberal European middle class to which many Zionist leaders such as Herzl and Chaim Weizmann aspired. Liberal Zionism, although not associated with any single party in modern Israel, remains a strong trend in Israeli politics advocating free market principles, democracy and adherence to human rights. Kadima, the main centrist party during the 2000s that is now defunct, however, did identify with many of the fundamental policies of Liberal Zionist ideology, advocating among other things the need for Palestinian statehood in order to form a more democratic society in Israel, affirming the free market, and calling for equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel. In 2013, Ari Shavit suggested that the success of the then-new Yesh Atid party (representing secular, middle-class interests) embodied the success of “the new General Zionists.”[90]

Dror Zeigerman writes that the traditional positions of the General Zionists”liberal positions based on social justice, on law and order, on pluralism in matters of State and Religion, and on moderation and flexibility in the domain of foreign policy and security”are still favored by important circles and currents within certain active political parties.[91]

Philosopher Carlo Strenger describes a modern-day version of Liberal Zionism (supporting his vision of “Knowledge-Nation Israel”), rooted in the original ideology of Herzl and Ahad Ha’am, that stands in contrast to both the romantic nationalism of the right and the Netzah Yisrael of the ultra-Orthodox. It is marked by a concern for democratic values and human rights, freedom to criticize government policies without accusations of disloyalty, and rejection of excessive religious influence in public life. “Liberal Zionism celebrates the most authentic traits of the Jewish tradition: the willingness for incisive debate; the contrarian spirit of davka; the refusal to bow to authoritarianism.”[92][93] Liberal Zionists see that “Jewish history shows that Jews need and are entitled to a nation-state of their own. But they also think that this state must be a liberal democracy, which means that there must be strict equality before the law independent of religion, ethnicity or gender.”[94]

Revisionist Zionists, led by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, developed what became known as Nationalist Zionism, whose guiding principles were outlined in an essay The Iron Wall (1923) . In 1935 the Revisionists left the World Zionist Organization because it refused to state that the creation of a Jewish state was an objective of Zionism.

Jabotinsky believed that,

Zionism is a colonising adventure and it therefore stands or falls by the question of armed force. It is important to build, it is important to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else I am through with playing at colonization.'[95][96]

and that

“Although the Jews originated in the East, they belonged to the West culturally, morally, and spiritually. Zionism was conceived by Jabotinsky not as the return of the Jews to their spiritual homeland but as an offshoot or implant of Western civilization in the East. This worldview translated into a geostrategic conception in which Zionism was to be permanently allied with European colonialism against all the Arabs in the eastern Mediterranean.”[97]

The revisionists advocated the formation of a Jewish Army in Palestine to force the Arab population to accept mass Jewish migration.

Supporters of Revisionist Zionism developed the Likud Party in Israel, which has dominated most governments since 1977. It advocates Israel’s maintaining control of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and takes a hard-line approach in the Israeli-Arab conflict. In 2005 the Likud split over the issue of creation of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. Party members advocating peace talks helped form the Kadima Party.[citation needed]

Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and observant Judaism. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Religious Zionists were mainly observant Jews who supported Zionist efforts to build a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

After the Six-Day War and the capture of the West Bank, a territory referred to in Jewish terms as Judea and Samaria, right-wing components of the Religious Zionist movement integrated nationalist revindication and evolved into Neo-Zionism. Their ideology revolves around three pillars: the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the Torah of Israel.[98]

Green Zionism is a branch of Zionism primarily concerned with the environment of Israel. The only environmental Zionist party is the Green Zionist Alliance.[citation needed]

During the last quarter of the 20th century, classic nationalism in Israel declined. This led to the rise of two antagonistic movements: neo-Zionism and post-Zionism. Both movements mark the Israeli version of a worldwide phenomenon:

Neo-Zionism and post-Zionism share traits with “classical” Zionism but differ by accentuating antagonist and diametrically opposed poles already present in Zionism. “Neo Zionism accentuates the messianic and particularistic dimensions of Zionist nationalism, while post-Zionism accentuates its normalising and universalistic dimensions”.[100] Post-Zionism asserts that Israel should abandon the concept of a “state of the Jewish people” and strive to be a state of all its citizens,[101] or a binational state where Arabs and Jews live together while enjoying some type of autonomy.[citation needed]

Zionism is opposed by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. Among those opposing Zionism are some secular Jews,[102] some branches of Judaism (Satmar Hasidim and Neturei Karta), the former Soviet Union,[103] some African-Americans,[104] many in the Muslim world, and Palestinians. Reasons for opposing Zionism are varied, and include the perceptions of unfair land confiscation, expulsions of Palestinians, violence against Palestinians, and alleged racism. Arab states in particular strongly oppose Zionism, which they believe is responsible for the 1948 Palestinian exodus. The preamble of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which has been ratified by 53 African countries as of 2014[update], includes an undertaking to eliminate Zionism together with other practices including colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, “aggressive foreign military bases” and all forms of discrimination.[105][106]

Zionism had also been opposed by some Jews for other reasons even before the establishment of the state of Israel because “Zionism constitutes a danger, spiritual and physical, to the existence of our people.’.”.[107][pageneeded] The book also states “The booklet which we are publishing here, ‘Serufay. Ha Kivshbnim Maashimim’ (‘The Holocaust Victims Accuse’), serves as an attempt to show, by means of testimonies., documents and reports, how Zionism and its high-level organizations brought a catastrophe upon our people during the era of the Nazi holocaust.”[pageneeded]

The initial response of the Catholic Church seemed to be one of strong opposition to Zionism. Shortly after the 1897 Basel Conference, the semi-official Vatican periodical (edited by the Jesuits) Civilta Cattolica gave its biblical-theological judgement on political Zionism: “1827 years have passed since the prediction of Jesus of Nazareth was fulfilled… that [after the destruction of Jerusalem] the Jews would be led away to be slaves among all the nations and that they would remain in the dispersion [diaspora, galut] until the end of the world.” The Jews should not be permitted to return to Palestine with sovereignty: “According to the Sacred Scriptures, the Jewish people must always live dispersed and vagabondo [vagrant, wandering] among the other nations, so that they may render witness to Christ not only by the Scriptures… but by their very existence”.

Nonetheless, Theodore Herzl travelled to Rome in late January 1904, after the sixth Zionist Congress (August 1903) and six months before his death, looking for some kind of support. In January 22, Herzl first met the Secretary of State, Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val. According to Herzl’s private diary notes, the Cardinal agreed on the history of Israel being the same as the one of the Catholic Church, but asked beforehand for a conversion of Jews to Catholicism. Three days later, Herzl met Pope Pius X, who replied to his request of support for a Jewish return to Israel in the same terms, saying that “we are unable to favor this movement. We cannot prevent the Jews going to Jerusalem, but we could never sanction it… The Jews have not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize the Jewish people.” In 1922, the same periodical published a piece by its Viennese correspondent, “anti-Semitism is nothing but the absolutely necessary and natural reaction to the Jews’ arrogance…Catholic anti-Semitism – while never going beyond the moral law – adopts all necessary means to emancipate the Christian people from the abuse they suffer from their sworn enemy”.[108] This initial attitude changed over the next 50 years, until 1997, when at the Vatican symposium of that year, Pope John Paul II rejected the Christian roots of antisemitism, expressing that “…the wrong and unjust interpretations of the New Testament relating to the Jewish people and their supposed guilt [in Christ’s death] circulated for too long, engendering sentiments of hostility toward this people.”[109]

Zionism has been characterized as colonialism, and Zionism has been criticized for promoting unfair confiscation of land, involving the expulsion of, and causing violence towards, the Palestinians. The characterization of Zionism as colonialism has been described by, among others, Nur Masalha, Gershon Shafir, Michael Prior, Ilan Pappe, and Baruch Kimmerling.[14]

Others, such as Shlomo Avineri and Mitchell Bard, view Zionism not as colonialist movement, but as a national movement that is contending with the Palestinian one.[110]David Hoffman rejected the claim that Zionism is a ‘settler-colonial undertaking’ and instead characterized Zionism as a national program of affirmative action, adding that there is unbroken Jewish presence in Israel back to antiquity.[111]

Noam Chomsky, John P. Quigly, Nur Masalha, and Cheryl Rubenberg have criticized Zionism, saying it unfairly confiscates land and expels Palestinians.[112]

Edward Said and Michael Prior claim that the notion of expelling the Palestinians was an early component of Zionism, citing Herzl’s diary from 1895 which states “we shall endeavour to expel the poor population across the border unnoticed the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”[113] This quotation has been critiqued by Efraim Karsh for misrepresenting Herzl’s purpose.[114] He describes it as “a feature of Palestinian propaganda”, writing that Herzl was referring to the voluntary resettlement of squatters living on land purchased by Jews, and that the full diary entry stated, “It goes without saying that we shall respectfully tolerate persons of other faiths and protect their property, their honor, and their freedom with the harshest means of coercion. This is another area in which we shall set the entire world a wonderful example Should there be many such immovable owners in individual areas [who would not sell their property to us], we shall simply leave them there and develop our commerce in the direction of other areas which belong to us.”[115][116]Derek Penslar says that Herzl may have been considering either South America or Palestine when he wrote the diary entry about expropriation.[117] According to Walter Lacquer, although many Zionists proposed transfer, it was never official Zionist policy and in 1918 Ben-Gurion “emphatically rejected” it.[118]

Ilan Pappe argued that Zionism results in ethnic cleansing.[119] This view diverges from other New Historians, such as Benny Morris, who accept the Palestinian exodus narrative but place it in the context of war, not ethnic cleansing.[120] When Benny Morris was asked about the Expulsion of Palestinians from Lydda and Ramle, he responded “There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”[121]

Saleh Abdel Jawad, Nur Masalha, Michael Prior, Ian Lustick, and John Rose have criticized Zionism for having been responsible for violence against Palestinians, such as the Deir Yassin massacre, Sabra and Shatila massacre, and Cave of the Patriarchs massacre.[122]

In 1938, Mahatma Gandhi rejected Zionism, saying that the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine is a religious act and therefore must not be performed by force, comparing it to the Partition of India into Hindu and Muslim countries. He wrote, “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs… Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home… They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart.”[123] Gandhi later told American journalist Louis Fischer in 1946 that “Jews have a good case in Palestine. If the Arabs have a claim to Palestine, the Jews have a prior claim”.[124]

David Ben-Gurion stated that “There will be no discrimination among citizens of the Jewish state on the basis of race, religion, sex, or class.”[125] Likewise, Vladimir Jabotinsky avowed “the minority will not be rendered defenseless…[the] aim of democracy is to guarantee that the minority too has influence on matters of state policy.”[126]

However, critics of Zionism consider it a colonialist[14] or racist[15] movement. According to historian Avi Shlaim, throughout its history up to present day, Zionism “is replete with manifestations of deep hostility and contempt towards the indigenous population.” Shlaim balances this by pointing out that there have always been individuals within the Zionist movement that have criticized such attitudes. He cites the example of Ahad Ha’am, who after visiting Palestine in 1891, published a series of articles criticizing the aggressive behaviour and political ethnocentrism of Zionist settlers. Ha’am wrote that the Zionists “behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency” and that they believed that “the only language that the Arabs understand is that of force.”[127] Some criticisms of Zionism claim that Judaism’s notion of the “chosen people” is the source of racism in Zionism,[128] despite, according to Gustavo Perednik, that being a religious concept unrelated to Zionism.[129]

In December 1973, the UN passed a series of resolutions condemning South Africa and included a reference to an “unholy alliance between Portuguese colonialism, Apartheid and Zionism.”[130] At the time there was little cooperation between Israel and South Africa,[131] although the two countries would develop a close relationship during the 1970s.[132] Parallels have also been drawn between aspects of South Africa’s apartheid regime and certain Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, which are seen as manifestations of racism in Zionist thinking.[133][134][135]

In 1975 the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, which said “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. According to the resolution, “any doctrine of racial differentiation of superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous.” The resolution named the occupied territory of Palestine, Zimbabwe, and South Africa as examples of racist regimes. Resolution 3379 was pioneered by the Soviet Union and passed with numerical support from Arab and African states amidst accusations that Israel was supportive of the apartheid regime in South Africa.[136] The resolution was robustly criticised by the US representative, Daniel Patrick Moynihan as an ‘obscenity’ and a ‘harm …done to the United Nations’.[137] ‘In 1991 the resolution was repealed with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/86,[138] after Israel declared that it would only participate in the Madrid Conference of 1991 if the resolution were revoked.[139]

The United States …does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelmingly clear truth is that it is not.

Arab countries sought to associate Zionism with racism in connection with a 2001 UN conference on racism, which took place in Durban, South Africa,[140] which caused the United States and Israel to walk away from the conference as a response. The final text of the conference did not connect Zionism with racism. A human rights forum arranged in connection with the conference, on the other hand, did equate Zionism with racism and censured Israel for what it called “racist crimes, including acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing”.[141]

Supporters of Zionism, such as Chaim Herzog, argue that the movement is non-discriminatory and contains no racist aspects.[142]

Many Haredi Orthodox organizations oppose Zionism; they view Zionism as a secular movement. They reject nationalism as a doctrine and consider Judaism to be first and foremost a religion that is not dependent on a state. However, some Haredi movements (such as Shas since 2010) do openly affiliate with the Zionist movement.

Haredi rabbis do not consider Israel to be a halachic Jewish state because it has secular government. But they take responsibility for ensuring that Jews maintain religious ideals and, since most Israeli citizens are Jews, they pursue this agenda within Israel. Others reject any possibility of a Jewish state, since according to them a Jewish state is completely forbidden by Jewish religious law. In their view a Jewish state is considered an oxymoron.

Two Haredi parties run candidates in Israeli elections. They are sometimes associated with views that could be regarded as nationalist or Zionist. They prefer coalitions with more nationalist Zionist parties, probably because these are more interested in enhancing the Jewish nature of the Israeli state. The Sephardi-Orthodox party Shas rejected association with the Zionist movement; however, in 2010 it joined the World Zionist Organization. Its voters generally identify as Zionist, and Knesset members frequently pursue what others might consider a Zionist agenda. Shas has supported territorial compromise with the Arabs and Palestinians, but it generally opposes compromise over Jewish holy sites.

The non-Hasidic or ‘Lithuanian’ Haredi Ashkenazi world is represented by the Ashkenazi Agudat Israel/UTJ party. It has always avoided association with the Zionist movement and usually avoids voting on or discussing issues related to peace, because its members do not serve in the army. The party works to ensure that Israel and Israeli law are in tune with the halacha, on issues such as Shabbat rest. The rabbinical leaders of the so-called Litvishe world in current and past generations, such as Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach and Rabbi Avigdor Miller, are strongly opposed to all forms of Zionism, religious and secular. But they allow members to participate in Israeli political life, including both passive and active participation in elections.

Many other Hasidic groups in Jerusalem, most famously the Satmar Hasidim, as well as the larger movement they are part of, the Edah HaChareidis, are strongly anti-Zionist. One of the best known Hasidic opponents of all forms of modern political Zionism was Hungarian rebbe and Talmudic scholar Joel Teitelbaum. In his view, the current State of Israel is contrariwise to Judaism, because it was founded by people who included some anti-religious personalities, and were in apparent violation of the traditional notion that Jews should wait for the Jewish Messiah.

Teitelbaum referred to core citations from classical Judaic sources in his arguments against modern Zionism; specifically a passage in the Talmud, in which Rabbi Yosi b’Rebbi Hanina explains (Kesubos 111a) that the Lord imposed “Three Oaths” on the nation of Israel: a) Israel should not return to the Land together, by force; b) Israel should not rebel against the other nations; and c) The nations should not subjugate Israel too harshly. According to Teitelbaum, the second oath is relevant concerning the subsequent wars fought between Israel and Arab nations.

Other opponent groups among the Edah HaChareidis were Dushinsky, Toldos Aharon, Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, Spinka, and others. They number in the tens of thousands in Jerusalem, and hundreds of thousands worldwide.

The Neturei Karta, an Orthodox Haredi religious movement, strongly oppose Zionism, considering Israel a “racist regime”.[143] They are viewed as a cult on the “farthest fringes of Judaism” by most mainstream Jews;[144] the Jewish Virtual Library puts their numbers at 5,000,[145] but the Anti-Defamation League estimates that fewer than 100 members of the community actually take part in anti-Israel activism.[144] The movement equates Zionism to Nazism,[146] believes that Zionist ideology is contrary to the teachings of the Torah,[147] and also blames Zionism for increases in antisemitism.[148] Members of Neturei Karta have a long history of extremist statements and support for notable anti-Semites and Islamic extremists.[144]

The Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement traditionally did not identify as Zionist, but has adopted a Zionist agenda since the late 20th century, opposing any territorial compromise in Israel.[citation needed]

Some critics of anti-Zionism have argued that opposition to Zionism can be hard to distinguish from antisemitism,[149][150][151][152][153] and that criticism of Israel may be used as an excuse to express viewpoints that might otherwise be considered antisemitic.[154][155]Martin Luther King Jr. condemned anti-Zionism as antisemitic.[156] Other scholars consider certain forms of opposition to Zionism to constitute antisemitism.[152] A number of scholars have argued that opposition to Zionism and/or the State of Israel’s policies at the more extreme fringes often overlaps with antisemitism.[152] In the Arab world, the words “Jew” and “Zionist” are often used interchangeably. To avoid accusations of antisemitism, the Palestine Liberation Organization has historically avoided using the word “Jewish” in favor using “Zionist,” though PLO officials have sometimes slipped.[157]

Some antisemites have alleged that Zionism was, or is, part of a Jewish plot to take control of the world.[158] One particular version of these allegations, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (subtitle “Protocols extracted from the secret archives of the central chancery of Zion”) achieved global notability. The protocols are fictional minutes of an imaginary meeting by Jewish leaders of this plot. Analysis and proof of their fraudulent origin goes as far back as 1921.[159] A 1920 German version renamed them “The Zionist Protocols”.[160] The protocols were extensively used as propaganda by the Nazis and remain widely distributed in the Arab world. They are referred to in the 1988 Hamas charter.[161]

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Anti-Zionism and non-Zionism

Achievements and prospects


Zionism may be summarily defined as the Jewish nationalist movement whose endeavors to solve the Jewish problem led to the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel.

The aims of Zionism were those of many nationalist liberation movements: to revive a national language (Hebrew or Yiddish) and culture; to repossess and develop the resources of the national territory; and to achieve sovereignty for a national state. But the nation to be liberated lived in exile from its ancestral home, with its members scattered all over the globe. Accordingly, Zionist objectives also included removing Jews from the countries of their dispersion and colonizing them in Zion, the ancient homeland.

Upon the successful execution of its program, Zionism anticipated that anti-Semitism, rooted according to Zionist theory in Jewish homelessness, would disappear. The Jews remaining in the Diaspora would be reduced to a number susceptible of assimilation (Herzl [1894-1904] 1955, pp. 241-242). Another theory held that a free Jewish community in Zion, not dominated by the milieu of the Gentile majority, would unfold the full potentialities of the Jewish historic individuality. It would produce a national cultural revival and advanced social institutions of universal significance, whose influence would enable Diaspora Jewries to sustain their collective existence even under modern conditions of equal citizenship and acculturation tending to dissolve their identity.

Thus, like other national liberation movements, Zionism developed a rationale that was Utopian, or even messianic, in tone. But its strategic situation also dictated a tactical approach of pragmatic reasonableness.

Palestine in the nineteenth century was neither controlled nor in any large measure occupied by Jews. Zionism could not hope to negotiate its aims unless it defined them in a way compatible with the interests of the suzerain power, Turkey, and other powers concerned with the Eastern Question. Hence, at the first Zionist Congress in Basle, 1897, Theodor Herzl, 1860-1904, obtained a resolution demanding not a Jewish state but an oeffentlich-rechtlich gesicherte Heimstaette a term subsequently translated in the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, by the vague expression national home.

The Zionist position in the Jewish community was equally weak. Unlike other nationalist liberation movements, which could appeal to massive and powerful popular resentments focused on a single, concrete foreign oppressor so that all ideological opposition was often swept out of the field, Zionism was only one of many rival Jewish ideologies (Halpern 1961, pp. 22-23). Moreover, it was divided by a wide diversity of internal factions. The objectives it could agree on had to be compromises, capable of uniting rival Zionist parties on a common denominator and attracting essential support from the non-Zionists in the Jewish community. Hence, the broad formulas of the 1897 program and of the statute of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, formed in 1929.

The idea that the Jewish position in the Gentile world presented a problem to be rationally solved, one of the basic Zionist principles, first became current in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. A Jewish movement to achieve this solution, beginning in western Europe in the late eighteenth century, produced campaigns for enlightenment and general humane culture among Jews; for their civic emancipation; and eventually for religious reform, discarding many traditional practices and beliefs. In Russia, the pogroms and repressive laws of the 1880s thoroughly disillusioned some Jewish intellectuals who until then had favored reforms similar to those advocated by their western European counterparts. They turned in revulsion and humiliation against the Western principle of accommodating to a general humanism and insisted that the Jews themselves, and not benevolent Gentiles, must actively and militantly solve their own problemand solve it by returning to their own sources. These new Lovers of Zion (Hovevei-Zion) dedicated themselves not to the aim of emancipation but to the counterposed aim of auto-emancipation, a slogan provided by the title of an 1882 brochure written by Leo Pinsker, 1821-1891, a physician who in 1884 became the chosen leader of the movement.

In spite of ideological opposition, the Hovevei-Zion were compelled to cooperate with Western Jews. Since the 1840s the emancipated and enlightened Western Jewish communityincluding many who no longer believed in redemption in Zion had introduced rational objectives and methods into the traditional support extended by the Diaspora to pious Jews in Palestine. At first, outstanding individuals like the British Sir Moses Montefiore, 1784-1885, and, since 1860, a major French-led organization, the Alliance Isralite Universelle, had sought to obtain political and legal security for the Jewish settlement, to provide vocational training and secular culture, and to place Jews on farm-holdings, instead of maintaining a community in Palestine almost exclusively devoted to prayer, study, and penance (Sokolow 1919, vol. 1, pp. 115-120, 176-183). Dr. Pinsker, like Theodor Herzl after him, found it natural to appeal to such Jewish benefactors for support in their projected work in Palestine, even though it was conceived in a different spirit. The Hovevei-Zion, based on a poor membership and not permitted to work freely under Russian law, were rebuffed in their attempt to obtain political concessions from the Sublime Porte for colonization and checked in their spontaneous immigration to Palestine by legal and administrative obstacles swiftly set up against European Jews by the Turks. They were driven back on slow, more or less surreptitious methods of colonization and had to rely for political and financial support on Western philanthropists, notably Baron Edmond de Rothschild, 1845-1934. The consequence was the emergence of a faction in the movement, led by the writer Ahad Haam, 1856-1927, which severely criticized Rothschild paternalism and, above all, the settlers dependency in all those sphereseconomic, cultural, communal where the Zionist ideal had hoped to build a nucleus of national independence in Palestine.

The positive doctrine of this group centered on the desire of disillusioned eastern European intellectuals to recapture traditional attitudes and cultural motifs that Western modernists had abandoned. Against the Reform thesis that the Jewish dispersion was a divine mission, not a penance, they declared that the exile of the Jews was a fact. Against the liberal notion of civic emancipation as the Messianic redemption of the Jews, they reasserted the restoration to Zion as the solution of the Jewish problem. As a result the young Zionist intellectuals were welcomed back into the fold by many traditionalistsand the new Zionist movement was constituted as much by the latter as by the former.

The seeds of difference were inherent in this union. Traditionalist Jews who became Hovevei-Zion soon began to demand that the prodigal sons make their return complete by submitting fully to the yoke of tradition. The new Zionists, although penitents, rather like the Russian Slavophile radicals who were their contemporaries, were not ready to abandon modernistic and rational standards because of their rebellion against Western values. They saw their Jewish situation not as a divinely decreed election and a penance to be borne but as a social historical problem that urgently required a rational solution. They became lovers of Zion, of the Hebrew language, and of the tradition but wished to free all of these values from the dead hand of sacramentalism. In consequence, the Hovevei-Zion movement in Russia developed traditionalist and modernist factions. The former re-emerged, at a later date, as a distinct party called the Mizrachi in the World Zionist Organization created by Theodor Herzl. The modernist school worked toward the ends of a cultural Zionism, seeking a secular revival of the Hebrew language and culture and of an active national will and consensus. While cultural Zionism did not continue as an organized faction after the Hovevei-Zion were absorbed by the World Zionist Organization, it was a pervasive influence thereafter in the movement, especially in the practical Zionist faction.

Theodor Herzl entered the Zionist movement as a sharp critic of colonization in Palestine, as conducted by Baron de Rothschild and the Hovevei Zion together. He developed in his 1896 booklet Der Judenstaat, and in his conduct of the World Zionist Organization from 1897 to his death in 1904, the doctrine of political Zionism. As conceived by him, and his successors and supporters Max Nordau, 1849-1923, and David Wolffsohn, 1856-1914, and, in a later generation, the self-styled Herzlian Zionists led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1880-1940, the Zionist strategy must concentrate on achieving adequate political conditions for its nationalist aim before beginning other subsidiary activities, such as colonization. An opposing faction, generally called the practical Zionists and led after World War i by Chaim Weizmann, 1874-1952, insisted that other nationalist aims, such as the cultural revival and continuing resettlement in Palestine, must be pursued simultaneously with the Zionist diplomatic campaign. Indeed, achievement of the nationalist political goals, they felt, would be most effectively advanced by building up the Jewish settlement in Palestine and thus adding the rights of occupation to the rights of historic connection and present Diaspora needs to bolster the Zionist claim.

Until the death of Herzl in 1904, the views of political Zionism prevailed. Herzl also maintained an entente with the religious Zionists, restricting at the congress sessions discussion of projects to revive a secular Hebraic culture because of their objection. The failure of Herzls diplomatic campaign for a charter to resettle Zion frustrated the movement; and his one major successthe British proposals in 1903 to resettle Jews not in Palestine or its environs but in east Africasplit it. After the definitive rejection of this proposal, some Zionists, led by Israel Zangwill, 1864-1926, left the organization to form their own Jewish Territorialist Organization. Within the Zionist organization the practical Zionists grew increasingly strong, until they took over the leadership fully in 1911. The new policy that was initiated strengthened the tendency, already marked since 1908, to pursue the colonization of Palestine under existing political conditions, setting aside the quest for a charter (Boehm 1935-1937).

It also introduced new stress on the nationalist cultural revival. As a side effect, some religious Zionists left the congress and joined with earlier anti-Zionists in Orthodox Jewry to form a new ultra-Orthodox world organization, Agudat Israel. The Mizrachi who remained Zionists developed a set of minimum demands, requiring respect for tradition in general Zionist facilities and support for autonomous religious cultural activities by Mizrachi paralleling any general cultural activity. Granted this, they proposed to fight for acceptance of Jewish tradition in Orthodox interpretation as binding on all Zionists and, ultimately, as constitutional in the Jewish state.

At the outbreak of World War i, any uniform policy of an international organization divided between the warring nations became virtually impossible. Leading Zionists in the German headquarters of the organization and in England pursued Zionist diplomacy independently in a form consonant with the war aims of their respective countries. Major responsibility was vested in new Zionist leaders residing in neutral countries, notably Louis D. Brandeis, 1856-1941. Toward the end of the war the practical Zionist Chaim Weizmann, aided by Nahum Sokolow, 1859-1936, secured from Britain the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, and parallel statements from Britains allies (Stein 1961). This declaration of sympathy for Zionist aspirations, with its pledge to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, was embodied in the San Remo agreement of April 26, 1920, assigning Palestine as a mandate territory to Britain, and also in the mandate instrument approved by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.

The Balfour Declaration and the mandate represented in form the charter which Herzls diplomacy had sought in vain, but in practice it did not make possible the orderly, relatively rapid mass transfer of Jews to Palestine that Herzl had envisaged. Consequently, Herzlian Zionists like Max Nordau and Vladimir Jabotinsky regarded the mandate instrument as inadequate for Zionist purposes and called for political action to obtain more precise commitments toward the ultimate creation of a Jewish state. Nordau demanded in 1920 the immediate transfer to Palestine of enough Jewish immigrants to form a Jewish majority.

A diametrically opposed view was pressed in 1920 by Justice Brandeis. He regarded the diplomatic phase of Zionist history as closed with the San Remo treaty. The world Zionist organization should resolve itself into a federation of philanthropic societies, each with autonomy in its own country, and a central executive agency devoted chiefly to practical colonization. The latter body should be made up not of political leaders but of technicians and administrators, not necessarily committed to the whole Zionist doctrine but ready to work under the conditions laid down in the mandate for developing the Jewish national home.

Chaim Weizmann, who succeeded in winning control of the movement, followed a line which, in the Zionist congress of 1907, he had defined as synthetic (Weizmann 1949, p. 157). He accepted the existing legal framework of the mandate and pursued practical work under its terms. However, far from allowing the political functions of the world Zionist organization to lapse, he developed and tightened them in the running battle with the mandatary over the precise meaning of the mandate instrument. The co-option of experts and enlistment of supporters from among non-Zionist Jews, suggested by Brandeis, was carried out by Weizmann through the Jewish Agency for Palestine, formed in 1929 in agreement with such men as Louis Marshall, 1856-1929, and Felix Warburg, 1871-1937. Weizmanns immigration and colonization policy was one of gradualism not merely because Winston Churchill in a 1922 white paper had imposed upon Jewish labor immigration into Palestine the limit of economic absorptive capacity but also because such an approach was in accord with his own beliefs, as a disciple of the prudent Ahad Haam.

After an initial period of opposition, the labor Zionist factions became Weizmanns reliable and consistent allies in this strategy and finally the dominant force in the coalition. They concentrated on what they regarded as the primary, critical task both of Zionist and Jewish socialist strategy: to create in Zion a Jewish farmer-worker class and thus eliminate the fundamental cause of the dependency of the Jewish people in the Diasporatheir lopsided, unproductive occupational distribution.

Although firmly united by a strong workers federation with unusually wide powers and functions, labor Zionist factions differed on numerous issues and were organized and acted independently. Most prominent politically were the three major federations of collective settlements or kibbutzim (communes), which had the greatest immediate influence on labor immigrants. They differed not only in their plans of village organization but also in their attitudes toward the second and third socialist internationals, the proper Zionist policies vis-a-vis the Arabs, and the definition of the ultimate Zionist aim.

The question of the final political status of Palestine became increasingly acute. Arab riots of increasing violence and magnitude broke out in 1920, 1921, and 1929, culminating in the outright revolt of 1936-1939. Owing also to mounting pressure from the emerging Rome-Berlin Axis, Britain sought to gain Arab support, or at least mitigate Arab hostility, by an increasingly anti-Zionist interpretation of its obligations as mandatary. A White Paper in 1939 proposed to freeze the Jewish community at the one-third proportion of the Palestine population which it had virtually reached; and in the following year land regulations banned or rigorously restricted Jewish land purchase in all but a tiny part of Palestine. At this time Nazi oppression had made the Jewish refugee problem unbearably acute and the omens of the deliberate extermination of European Jewry were becoming manifest.

The pressure to redefine Zionist policy became overwhelming. Some left wing and pacifist Zionists favored a binational Arab-Jewish state, with a provisional limit of 40 per cent of Jews in the population and additional immigration to be permitted by majority decision. Jabotinskys Revisionist group wanted a militant Zionist policy demanding a Jewish majority in the whole mandate territory, including Transjordan, which had been excluded from the Jewish national home area by Churchills 1922 White Paper. The Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern group arose as more or less autonomous Revisionist paramilitary formations, and the latter, even during the war against the Axis, demanded an immediate Jewish uprising against the British. Non-Zionists associated with the Jewish Agency proposed to restore the original criterion of economic absorptive capacity as the sole principle governing Jewish immigration. The dominant group among Zionists, headed by the labor leader David Ben-Gurion, opposed an outright Jewish revolt against the mandate itself, but it undertook active resistance to the restrictions on Jewish immigration. Opposing both binationalism and a demand for a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan, as well as mere restoration of the status quo ante the 1939 White Paper, it was prepared to consider solving the Palestine problem by partition.

The world war was victoriously concluded and a Labour government came to power in Britain, but the 1939 White Paper policy was not rescinded. The limited resistance of the major Zionist paramilitary force, the Jewish Agency-controlled Haganah, escalated into a phase of attacks on government installations and, for a period, was combined in a joint assault with the two Revisionist-oriented bands. British repressive measures, directed both at the armed Zionist resistance and the refugee ships that sought to run the British blockade, raised violence to such a pitch that recourse to outside arbiters was essential. Beginning with an attempt to resolve the issue by joint action with the United States, through an Anglo-American Inquiry Committee in 1946, England was forced to refer the Palestine problem to the United Nations.

A United Nations Special Committee on Palestine turned in a majority proposal for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with a UN-supervised economic union between them and with UN administration of an internationalized corpus separatum including Jerusalem and Bethlehem. With certain revisions this proposal was passed by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947. Accepted by the Jews of Palestine, it was rejected by the Arabs and immediately opposed with violence. The British refused to aid the implementation of the UN resolution in any way and made haste to leave the country. The fighting, restricted in the final months of the mandate to areas no longer garrisoned by British troops or essential to their departure, extended to the whole land after the British withdrawal on May 15, 1948, and, with the invasion by regular Arab armies from across four frontiers, turned into a full-scale war. UN action availed only to interrupt the hostilities with ill-observed truces, until the growing Jewish strength forced the Arab states to enter into armistice negotiations.

Thus the state of Israel, proclaimed on May 14, 1948, as the British departed and immediately recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union, maintained its integrity in war and secured its present boundaries under armistice agreements. In this way and to this degree were the political aspirations of Zionism realized.

The Zionist idea had ideological opponents in the Jewish community even before it crystallized in an organized movement and even after it culminated in the creation of Israel. But the anti-Zionist groups were always opposed to one another in many crucial attitudes where one or another such group found itself in agreement with the Zionists. This led to parallel efforts toward similar goals or to cooperation in a common task between Zionists and some of their ideological foes. Those anti-Zionists who shared in the major practical Zionist activities in Palestine identified themselves (at least for the duration of that effort) as non-Zionists (Halpern 1961, chapters 3-7).

Opposition to the idea of nationalism as a solution to the Jewish problem dominated Western Jewry for a century before Zionism arose. It was argued that only illiberal enemies of freedom and equality still believed that Jews were a nation or that Jews hoped to see a Davidic kingdom restored in Zion. On the other hand, long before Zionism, Western Jewish organizations had devoted themselves to what became characteristic Zionist concerns: aid to Jewish emigration from eastern Europe and other trouble spots, general and vocational education, and support of the growing Jewish community in Palestine. Cooperation in such projects began in the 1880s, after the rise of Zionism, with the non-Zionist sponsors holding the main responsibility and control; but the position was reversed after the mandate became effective. Alternating with long periods of cooperation were episodes of ideological conflictin 1897, from 1914 to 1917, and intermittently from 1937 to 1947when major political issues arose, evoking sharper definitions of Zionist demands and, in reaction, more elaborate defenses of anti-Zionist views by erstwhile non-Zionists, among others.

Only a minor group of privileged Jews, relatively detached from the main community, represented the type of Western anti-Zionist in eastern Europe. Traditionalist Jews, who dominated the communal consensus until late in the nineteenth century, continuously supported the settlement of some Jews in Palestine as a religious duty; but, long before Zionism, they considered sacrilegious and pseudomessianic any resettlement of Palestine in a deliberate plan to hasten the end of the Exilelet alone a rational secular design to solve the Jewish problem. In 1911 traditionalist anti-Zionism achieved a modern form of organization through the founding of Agudat Israel.

Socialist, radical anti-Zionism arose as a significant force in eastern Europe more or less simultaneously with Zionism. It condemned the plan to solve the Jewish problem by immigration to Palestine as desertion from the barricades where the battle to solve the whole social problem, and the Jewish problem as part of it, would be fought eastern Europe. In 1897, the year the World Zionist Organization was founded, the Bund (General Jewish Workers Union in Poland and Lithuania) was established.

Both radical anti-Zionism and traditional eastern European anti-Zionism were thus primarily opposed to the very aspect of Zionism which made cooperation in western Europe possible: the Zionist practical endeavors in Palestine. On the other hand, they shared in general the Zionist view that Jews were not a mere denomination but an ethnic, cultural group in Europe. Accordingly, eastern European Zionist and anti-Zionist Jewish organizations worked on parallel lines to promote Jewish languages and culture, each in its favored mode, and occasionally joined in common struggle for the political prerequisites to all their aims (Vlavianos & Gross 1954).

In the years following World War i, opportunities open to Jewish migrants were sharply reduced by the American immigration acts, while nationalist and anti-Semitic pressures against the Jews reached unprecedented heights of ferocity. Pales tine became the pre-eminent refuge legally assigned and, until 1939, open with the least onerous restrictions for Jews. The extensive sympathy this won for the national home project from Jews of widely different ideologies was converted by the catastrophes of the war period into organized, institutional support of the community as a whole (Halperin 1961).

These circumstances made the major prewar anti-Zionist organizations moderate the substance and tone of their opposition. The Bunds conception of Jews as a national cultural entity had focused primarily on Poland and Lithuania, and the destruction of the bulk of eastern European Jewry destroyed basic assumptions of their ideology. The Bund survives as a minor group devoted to Yiddish culture throughout world Jewry; and it accepts Israel, while criticizing some of its policies from an internationalist, socialist point of view. The main body of Agudat Israel gave up its opposition in principle to the creation of a Jewish state during World War II. Like Mizrachi, it now works within Israels political system, trying to bring it fully under traditional religious law.

Two small organizations, the ultra-Orthodox Natorei Karta (wardens of the city) of Jerusalem and the American Council for Judaism, Inc., became prominent during and since World War II because of their militant, irreconcilable anti-Zionism. The Natorei Karta, while living in Israel, refuse on religious grounds to recognize the authority of the state. The American Council for Judaism, Inc., alleges that Israel in conjunction with the World Zionist Organization seeks, by constituting a form of political allegiance for all Jews, to confuse the sharp line of distinction which, they argue, separates Jewish religious adherence from any ethnic bond. Both organizations stand outside the Jewish consensus and in defiance of it. Within the consensus, the Zionist achievement of a Jewish state has blurred the differences between ideological Zionism and non-Zionism, since the organized Jewish community as a whole, without reference to these labels, extends moral and material support to Israel.

Israel is not only the specific realization of Zionist political aims, but its culture, economy, and social structure bear clear traces of their origins in the ideologies of Zionist factions. The revival of the Hebrew language, the most generally supported aim of Zionism, owes a particular debt to the school of cultural Zionists. Israels labor settlements, its producers cooperatives, and its broad and powerful labor federation are an outgrowth of labor Zionism. The Mizrachi movement has a dominant influence over the religious courts and chief rabbinate, which act in the tradition of religious Zionism.

The creation of the Jewish state, a triumph of the policy of the World Zionist Organization, relieved the organization of some of its major functions, but Zionist aims are such that the creation of a state does not completely fulfill them. If all Jews who cannot or would not live in Diaspora countries are to be brought to Zionas Zionist doctrine requiresthe state itself must be a means to this end. This Zionist task is shared by Diaspora Jews through their contributions to the Jewish Agency and membership in the World Zionist Organization, organizations that still play a major role in immigrant resettlement and land reclamation in Israel.

Another continuing responsibility is based on the Zionist prediction that the Jewish problem would be solved through the return to Zion. The Zionist movement feels a particular responsibility to stimulate or sponsor educational activities by which Diaspora Jewish communities can share the values created by the revived Hebrew culture in Israel. Thus, Jewish nationalism remains, in a restricted sphere of activities, a continuing organized force in the Diaspora after the rise of the state of Israel.

Ben Halpern

[See alsoanti-semitism; Judaism; Nationalism; near eastern society, article onisrael; social movements.]

Boehm, Adolf 1935-1937 Die Zionistische Bewegung. 2 vols. Berlin: Jdischer Verlag.

Brandeis, Louis D. 1942 Brandeis on Zionism: A Collection of Addresses and Statements. Washington: Zionist Organization of America.

Cohen, Israel (1945) 1946 The Zionist Movement. Edited and revised, with a supplementary chapter on Zionism in the United States, by Bernard G. Richards. New York: Zionist Organization of America.

Esco Foundation FOR PALESTINE, Inc. 1947 Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab and British Policies. 2 vols. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

Halperin, Samuel 1961 The Political World of American Zionism. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press.

Halpern, Ben 1961 The Idea of the Jewish State. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Hertzberg, Arthur (editor) (1959) 1964 The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader. Cleveland: World.

Herzl, Theodor (1894-1904) 1955 Theodor Herzl: A Portrait for This Age. Edited with an introduction by Ludwig Lewisohn and a preface by David Ben-Gurion. Cleveland: World. A selection of Herzls writings.

Herzl, Theodor (1895-1904) 1960 The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl. 5 vols. New York: Herzl Press. First published in German. The English edition con tains material left out of the original German collection.

Nordau, Max 1941 Max Nordau to His People. New York: Scopus.

Pinsker, Leo S. (1882-1886) 1944 Road to Freedom: Writings and Addresses. With an introduction by B. Netanyahu. New York: Scopus. First published in German.

Sokolow, Nahom 1919 History of Zionism: 1600-1918. 2 vols. London: Longmans.

Stein, Leonard J. 1961 The Balfour Declaration. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Vlavianos, Basil J.; and Gross, Feliks (editors) 1954 Struggle for Tomorrow: Modern Political Ideologies of the Jewish People. New York: Arts.

Weizmann, Chaim 1949 Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weizmann. New York: Harper.

Zionism facts, information, pictures | …

Contact Us Congregation B’nai B’rith

Posted By on October 16, 2016

Congregation Bnai Brith is located at 1000 San Antonio Creek Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93111. Our Phone number is 805-964-7869. Our fax is 805-683-6473. Listed below are the individual staff members and their contact information. Please feel free to contact any of us!

View Larger Map

From Highway 101, take the Turnpike exit. If coming from the south, turn right; if coming from the north, turn left. You will be on Turnpike, heading toward the mountains.

Continue until Turnpike ends at Cathedral Oaks road (Turnpike dead ends here at a park). At the stoplight, turn left onto Cathedral Oaks Road.

Continue on Cathedral Oaks to the first stoplight. This is San Marcos Road; turn right.

Continue one block on San Marcos Road to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Via Los Santos.

Stay on Via Los Santos, which gently winds and climbs through a residential area. About 3/4 of a mile ahead, this road takes a sharp curve to the left, becoming San Antonio Creek Road (youll see a road sign with an arrow pointing to the left). Do not follow the curve. Turn into the driveway on your right and you will be in the Temple parking lot.


Rabbi Steve Cohen | ext: 115 |

Rabbi Suzy Stone | ext: 123 |

Cantor Mark Childs | ext: 116 |


Audrey Okaneko: Office Manager | ext: 113 |

Ben Mazur: Youth and Education Manager | ext: 228 |

Dusty Heist-Levine: Director of Development | ext:104 |

Elizabeth Gaynes: Executive Director | ext: 111 |

Jennifer Lewis: Religious School Administrator | ext: |

Jessica Glick: Clergy Administrative Assistant | ext: 101 |

Julie Ehrnstein: Directory of Early Childhood Education | ext: 336 |

Paul Zakrewski: Manager, Program and Community Outreach | ext: 128 |

Rebekah Lovejoy: Communications Manager |

Stephen Turner: Facilities Manager|

Terry Grimes: Bookkeeper | ext: 119 |

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Contact Us Congregation B’nai B’rith

Jewish American Heritage Month – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted By on October 16, 2016

Jewish American Heritage Month

President Obama welcomes guests to 2010 JAHM White House reception.

Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is an annual recognition and celebration of Jewish American achievements in and contributions to the United States of America. Efforts are underway to encourage the annual observation of JAHM in the U.S. during the month of May.[1]

President George W. Bush issued a ceremonial Proclamation on April 20, 2006, inviting the nation to recognize JAHM in May 2006. In the United States, a Presidential proclamation does not have the force of law, and is considered to be largely symbolic in nature. In April 2006, President Bush also made proclamations pertaining to the following for the year 2006: National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, Education and Sharing Day, National D.A.R.E. Day, Pan American Day and Pan American Week, Thomas Jefferson Day, National Park Week, National Volunteer Week, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, National Charter Schools Week, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Law Day, Loyalty Day, Older Americans Month, and the National Day of Prayer.

This is the achievement of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), as well as the Jewish Museum of Florida and the South Florida Jewish Community.[2] A similar month exists in Florida as Florida Jewish History Month but it occurs in January.[3]

In April 2006, President George W. Bush announced that May 2006 would be considered Jewish American Heritage Month. The announcement was an achievement in the lobbying effort of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders for a celebration of Jewish Americans and Jewish American Heritage.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) urged the president to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to America and the American culture. On February 14, 2006, Congress issued House Concurrent Resolution 315 which stated:

Resolved … that Congress urges the President to issue each year a proclamation calling on State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe an American Jewish History Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

The concurrent resolution (i.e., a non-binding legislative measure that lacks the force of law, appropriate when a law is not necessarysuch as awards or recognitions) was passed unanimously, first in the United States House of Representatives in December 2005 and later in the United States Senate in February 2006.[4]

The Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition states that, “JAHM also enables the exploration of the meaning of religious pluralism, cultural diversity, and participation in American civic culture.”[5]

According to Library of Congress hosted website,, May was chosen as the month of Jewish American Heritage Month because of the successful 350th Anniversary Celebration of Jews in America.[6]

The theme for the 2016 Jewish American Heritage Month is An American Journey.[7]

JAHM has been recognized in Madison Square Garden in New York City. It has also been recognized in some Jewish museums. Additionally, some institutions, including the Library of Congress, have included shorter periods within the month for special lectures, programs, or displays, such as the Library of Congress “Jewish Heritage Week” lecture series.

On May 10, 2010, the White House issued a press release[8] noting that on Thursday, May 27, 2010,

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the first ever White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. The reception serves as an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the range and depth of Jewish American heritage and contributions to American culture, with guests representing the many walks of life that have helped weave the fabric of American history. Invitees include a range of community leaders and prominent Jewish Americans from Olympians and professional athletes to members of Congress, business leaders, scholars, military veterans, and astronauts.

At the May 27, 2010, reception, President Obama welcomed the invited guests, which included “members of the House and Senate, two justices of the Supreme Court, Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, Rabbinical scholars”, and he made special mention of Sandy Koufax, famous in the Jewish community for refusing to play baseball on Yom Kippur. He praised “the diversity of talents and accomplishments” that the Jewish community had brought to the United States since pre-Revolutionary times, saying that, “Even before we were a nation, we were a sanctuary for Jews seeking to live without the specter of violence or exile,” from the time “a band of 23 Jewish refugees to a place called New Amsterdam more than 350 years ago.”[9][10]

President Obama scheduled a second White House reception in honor of JAHM for May 17, 2011.[11] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported that it was “less formal than the inaugural one last year, with brief remarks and a small Marine Corps band playing klezmer music.”[12] The President noted the presence, among others, of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, newly appointed as Chair of the Democratic National Committee.[12]

In his remarks, President Obama noted that Jewish Americans “persevered despite unspeakable discrimination and adversity at times.”[13] Despite the challenges these American Jews faced, the President noted their achievements in “the arts, science, the military, business and industry, and in public and community service.”[13] In his remarks, he said:

“This month is a chance for Americans of every faith to appreciate the contributions of the Jewish people throughout our history – often in the face of unspeakable discrimination and adversity. For hundreds of years, Jewish Americans have fought heroically in battle and inspired us to pursue peace. Theyve built our cities, cured our sick. Theyve paved the way in the sciences and the law, in our politics and in the arts. They remain our leaders, our teachers, our neighbors and our friends. Not bad for a band of believers who have been tested from the moment that they came together and professed their faith. The Jewish people have always persevered. And thats why today is about celebrating the people in this room, the thousands who came before, the generations who will shape the future of our country and the future of the world.”[14]

In addition, a Marine Corps band playing klezmer music, and the “Maccabeats,” a Yeshiva University a cappella group, provided entertainment.[12]

In addition to signing the proclamation[15] marking May 2015 as the annual Jewish American Heritage Month, the White House shared plans for an address by President Obama on May 22, 2015 at Adas Israel Congregation, a large Washington, D.C. synagogue.[16] The date of the visit coincides with Solidarity Sabbath, a Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice initiative asking world leaders to show support for the fight against anti-semitism.[16]

Since 2006, JAHM programs have taken place across the country, but in March 2007 the JAHM Coalition was formed and convened by United Jewish Communities (now The Jewish Federations of North America), The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA), (AJA) and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), to encourage and support future programs. The JAHM Coalition is composed of the directors of major national Jewish historical and cultural organizations including the AJA, AJHS, JWA, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), Jewish Museum of Florida, and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. In 2009, the Coalition named a national coordinator.[17]

(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies Bolded text indicates major holidays that are commonly celebrated by Americans, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.[1][2]

Originally posted here:
Jewish American Heritage Month – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gun Review: Remington ADL .243 – The Truth About Guns

Posted By on October 11, 2016

Yes, you read that correctly this is a review of the Remington ADL. Im not talking about that dusty, walnut-stocked bargain gun your grandfather bought back in the 1970s. Im talking about the cheapest Remington 700 that you can buy today. A Model 700 so cheap that Remington barely acknowledges its existence. You cant find these ADLs in any Remington catalogue or website listing. Nope, these cheaper-than-cheap guns are available in limited areas and only in limited stores mainly big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Dicks, Sportsmans Warehouse, and a few others. That said . . .

Recently Ive been making friends at the local range and I finally found someone to take me coyote hunting out here in the desert (yay!). When going through my inventory, I realized that there was a gun hole a gap in my firearm selection if you will. Everything small was either too small, (such as the Savage 93R17 .17HMR I reviewed in November) or, if the caliber was right, it was too heavy (namely all my ARs) for this type of hunting (stalking, sitting, calling, stalking, sitting, calling, etc).

I love buying used guns and have literally bought dozens of them over the past few years. With the exception of the S&W 629 Mountain Gun that wouldnt shoot worth a damn, I have had nothing but the best of luck with them and at a significant price savings. I tried my hardest to find a used .223 or .243 every gun and pawn shop within 50 miles has been thoroughly searched each week for the last two months. So I got frustrated to the point of looking into a new gun and quickly spotted a potential candidate.

At my local Wal-Mart, there was a Remington .243 ADL for a whopping $399.97. I didnt even realize they still made the ADL but apparently in an attempt to sell rifles at Savage-like price points, Remington still offers the ADL to a few big-box retailers. For the record, both ADL and an equivalent Savage .243 were the exact same price. I went with Remington because I have an extra BDL trigger guard for a short-action and an adjustable OEM trigger hanging around if I should so desire.

After looking around, at less than four bills, the ADL is actually a pretty good deal after all, youre getting the same M700 action that all other 700s get, the X-Mark Pro trigger, and a 3-9x scope. Since the SPS is nothing more than an ADL with a hinged floorplate, I couldnt justify spending $200 more (or more, considering you are getting a 3-9x scope) for the trigger guard that I already had.

Out of the box

The barrel has a 1-9.125 twist rate which should be sufficient enough to send 100 grain projectiles down range sufficiently stabilized. Since Ill be using this for coyotes and coyote food (i.e. ground squirrels for bait), Ill be working up some handloads in the 50-85 grain range. For those of you who live in whitetail country, the .243 with 100-grain Core-Lokt rounds have proven to be quite effective for many hunters. Since I also will be putting in for a javelina tag, I picked up a couple of boxes of the previously mentioned 100-grain Core-Lokts for testing purposes.

The scope comes mounted and bore-sighted and from what I can tell, is nothing more than a Tasco World Class 3-940 available elsewhere for $50-60 except that this scope has a Remington R on each of the turret caps. Like previous ADL models, there is no floorplate, simply an internal box magazine that holds 4+1 in the short-action calibers. The trigger is an X-Mark Pro trigger but is adjusted from the factory and has no provision for any external adjustments. Surprisingly enough, the trigger breaks cleanly at 5 pounds and has no perceptible slack or creep. Certainly not a target trigger, but it works well enough for coyote hunting.

At the range

Unfortunately, the wind was gusty on the only day I could give the gun a test 10 mph was the normal wind speed and gusts up to 25 mph werent uncommon. I figure if I could shoot between gusts and swells, I could at least test the action and check pressure tolerances of my handloads.

Apparently when Remington says that the scope is bore-sighted they mean that the scope is pointed in the general direction that the muzzle is. As it turned out, the first couple of rounds downrange couldnt even hit paper on a 2×3 board. After pulling the bolt out and bore-sighting by eye, I found paper and was only a little off. After a couple of clicks here and there, I was centered and ready to begin testing for real.

Since getting my Beta Chrony from Brownells a few months ago, I seem to be using it all the time, even when testing factory ammunition. I started with the 100-grain Remington Core-Lokt PSP rounds and as expected, they shot fine and showed moderate accuracy. Trying my best to deal with the wind, I was able to keep a 10-shot group under 2-1/2. Not great, but not bad for the conditions. The Core-Lokts clocked in at an average speed of 2942 f.p.s. (10 from the muzzle) with an SD of 15 and an ES of 51.

I did some handload testing to see how the ADL held up to high pressures and was happy to find that I could get the velocity that I wanted without any signs of pressure. I tested the 75 and 87-grain versions of the Hornady VMAX rounds loaded in fully-prepped R-P brass. Velocity measurements were as follows:


IMR 4064


75-gr VMAX

Charge Wt

Velocity Measurements @ 10 ft




























IMR 4064


87-gr VMAX

Charge Wt

Velocity Measurements @ 10 ft



























The best group I was able to squeak out was a 1 (3-shot) group from the 75-grain VMAX (with 40-grains of IMR 4064) and 1-3/8 (3-shot) group with the 87-grain VMAX (using 34.8-grains of IMR 4064). Again, remember that 10 mph wind and 20+ mph gusts were making things difficult.

For my handloads, I was using 2x and 3x used brass that I picked up alongside a set of dies off of I have some more load development to do mainly I want to try a few lighter bullets and some new brass, but was overall happy with my results. The 75-grain bullets will certainly be enough for coyote, so I at least have a go to round in the mean time.


Anyone who has tried to squeeze accuracy out of an SPS stock with a bipod knows that theyre better used as a boat paddle. The ADL stock is no different and its on top of my list of things to upgrade. The Remington-badged Tasco scope is a close second. It works, but suffers from only having around 2 of eye-relief, blurred edges, and a very stiff magnification knob.

However, despite the pitiful stock and a scope that leaves much to be desired, the Remington ADL still represents a great value for the money. Remington 700s are easily modified and tuned into any gun you want. For me, this gun will be dragged through scrub desert, leaned against Golden Barrel cacti, and likely bungee-strapped to an ATV mounted gun-rack.

For those who may be just getting into hunting or are trying to find a back up gun for the occasional friend or relative that comes to shoot/hunt with you, the ADL is a great choice. At my local store, they are available in .223, .243, and 30-06 three calibers that should cover almost every game animal in North America.


Brand: Remington Arms Model: ADL Synthetic Package Caliber: .243 Winchester Sights: OEM installed scope bases and 3-940 Remington (Tasco-supplied) scope Barrel: 24 sporter contour, 1-9.125 twist rate O/A Length: 44 Weight: Around 8 lbs. with scope MSRP: $ Unknown, retails for $399.97 at Wal-Mart in the Phoenix Metro area

Ratings (out of five stars)

Remember all of these ratings are both subjective and relative to the class of firearms they are in. A 5-star budget rifle is not on the same playing field as a 5-star custom 1911.

Style * * * I wouldnt call it stylish, but it certainly looks better than a Sporterized Mosin-Nagant in an ATI stock.

Ergonomics * * * Like most stocks, I have a problem with my cheek-weld most end up being chin welds. I need to pay attention to solid and repeatable placement, which is why I prefer adjustable comb stocks on my target guns. Overall, the ADL handles just like any SPS so use that as a reference.

Reliability * * * * Two boxes of factory ammo and 50 handloads that approached maximum loads with no problems to speak of. The barrel cleaned easily but required some Hoppes 9 to get all the copper out. A few good soaks and it was as clean as new. Ill add the 5th star after taking it through the desert a few times. Maybe.

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Gun Review: Remington ADL .243 – The Truth About Guns

Federal Register :: Jewish American Heritage Month, 2016

Posted By on October 8, 2016

Proclamation 9431 of April 28, 2016 A Proclamation

At America’s birth, our Founders fought off tyranny and declared a set of idealsincluding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinessthat would forever guide our country’s course. For generations since, Jewish Americans, having shared in the struggle for freedom, have been instrumental in ensuring our Nation stays true to the principles enshrined in our founding documents. They have helped bring about enduring progress in every aspect of our society, shaping our country’s character and embodying the values we hold dear. This month, as we pay tribute to their indelible contributions, we recommit to ridding our world of bigotry and injustice and reflect on the extraordinary ways in which Jewish Americans have made our Union more perfect.

Many of the Jewish people who reached our Nation’s shores throughout our history did so fleeing the oppression they encountered in areas around the world. Driven by the possibility of charting a freer future, they endeavored, on their own and as a community, to make real the promise of Americain their individual lives and in the life of our country. Determined to confront the racism that kept this promise from being fully realized, many Jewish Americans found a cause in the Civil Rights Movement thatin its call for freedom and justiceechoed the timeless message of Exodus and the Jewish people’s journey through the ages. Reflecting on the march in Selma, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once noted, I felt my legs were praying. From the fight for women’s rights to LGBT rights to workers’ rights, many in the Jewish American community, drawing on lessons from their own past, have trumpeted a clarion call for equality and justice.

We cannot pay proper respect to the legacy of Jewish Americans without also reflecting on the rise of anti-Semitism in many parts of the world, and in remembering the lessons of the Holocaust, we recognize the imperative need to root out prejudice. Subjecting men, women, and children to persecution on the basis of their ancestry and faith, the scourge of anti-Semitism demands that we declare through action and solidarity that an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths. That is why the United States is leading the international effort to combat anti-Semitismwe helped organize the first United Nations General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism last year, and we are asking countries around the world to join us in giving this challenge the focus it demands. In celebrating Jewish Americans’ contributions to our country, we also reaffirm our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and the close bonds between our two nations and our peoples. Throughout my Administration, the multifaceted relationship between our countries has grown and strengthened to an unprecedented degree, particularly with regard to U.S.-Israeli security assistance and cooperation.

The Jewish American experience and our Nation as a whole have always been held together by the forces of hope and resilience. During Jewish American Heritage Month, as we reflect on our past and look toward the future, let us carry forward our mutual legacy, grounded in our interconnected roots, and affirm that it is from the extraordinary richness of our bond that we draw strength. And let us renew our dedication to the Start Printed Page 26662work of building a fully inclusive tomorrowone where a great diversity of origins is not only accepted, but also celebratedhere at home and around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as Jewish American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to visit to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

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Federal Register :: Jewish American Heritage Month, 2016

Disabled Persons Protection Commission – Mass.Gov

Posted By on October 2, 2016

The Awareness and Action curriculum was developed by persons with disabilities in partnership with the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative (BPI). The curriculum, film and accompanying materials were created to educate persons with disabilities and others about the difficult subject matter of abuse committed against persons with disabilities.

The Awareness & Action curriculum, taught by persons with disabilities and others, introduces the abuse of persons with disabilities through five powerful video vignettes, a PowerPoint slide presentation, group activities, skits and worksheets. The comprehensive three-hour training closely examines how to recognize, report and respond to five different types of abuse physical, sexual, neglect, verbal and financial. At the end of the three-hour training, participants take home reporting and learning materials which include a backpack, state and local resources and more. An Awareness & Action DVD of Abuse Stories and participant workbook are also provided to agencies and individuals interested in follow-up training.

The Awareness & Action training is intended for persons with disabilities, support staff, family members, social service agencies working with people with disabilities, health care professionals, educators and other professionals

For more information or to schedule training, please contact Jennifer Edwards-Hawkins: email: Jennifer.Edwards-Hawkins@State.MA.US phone: 617-727-6465 x211

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Disabled Persons Protection Commission – Mass.Gov

B’nai B’rith Camp | BB Breaks

Posted By on October 2, 2016

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Each registration must be accompanied with full payment. Clicking submit will take you to our payments page. Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made in writing to the Associate Camp Director ( 25% of the total camp fee is non-refundable. Refunds will be available only if cancellation is received 7 days prior to program day. B’nai B’rith Camp reserves the right to cancel any camp program due to insufficient enrollment or unforeseen circumstances. Families will be notified and refunded. B’nai B’rith Camp reserves the right to dismiss a child or family whose behavior is deemed inappropriate, in which case, no refunds will be given.

BNAI BRITH CAMP AND BBYO ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP Bnai Brith Camp has assumed management of the BBYO program inthePortland-Metro area. This expands a 3-year old partnership where BB Camp shared the BBYO position. Thenewpartnershipwillnowincludesupervision of all local programming, finances, andfundraising. The goal of this partnership is to strengthen programs for local Jewish teens, increase thenumberRead More

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B’nai B’rith Camp | BB Breaks

Worship | Temple B’nai B’rith

Posted By on October 2, 2016

Rabbi Roger Lerner


Rabbi Roger Lerner has been spiritual leader ofTemple Bnai Brith since July 2008, Rabbi Lerner has sought to exemplify not only some ofthe basic tenets of Reform Judaism, which includes a pluralistic and egalitarian approach to community, but also has heeded the prophetic call heralded on the front of our building; Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with thy God. Under Rabbi Lerners leadership and in concert with our vibrant Social Action Committee, we have taken this message to the heart of our congregation, expressing it in a varity of community-wide social action projects that truly make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in our small community. In September of 2010, Rabbi Lerner became President of the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council and has been integral in having spear-headed panel discussions on hate and compassion with the hope of inspiring our community.

Among his many responsibilities, he is also the father of three beautiful children, Lily, Noah, and Ziva. They are beacons of light who continually remind him of the Native American proverb that teaches us, We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. Rabbi Lerner also enjoys a variety of activities that include, hiking, rafting, cycling, crocheting, movies, books, sports and more. Healso spends time at the JCC Day Camp during the summer leading services as well as facilitating games on the JCCs Holiday House ropes course.

Prior to rabbinic school, Rabbi Lerner was an outdoor adventure therapist in Georgia where he worked with students and adults in a variety of settings. He states, The skills that I learned have proven to be an asset in my life and in my work. I enjoy bringing outdoor experiences to groups wherever I am. A graduate of Brandeis University in 1994, he earned his MA in Hebrew Letters in 2005 and was ordained by Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, OH in 2007.

Rabbi Lerner is thrilled to be at Temple Bnai Brith. When I interviewed at Temple Bnai Brith, I knew it was the right place for me. The congregation is warm and welcoming and the community is a great place to raise a family. I respect the great history and traditions of Temple Bnai Brith and the Jewish community of Wilkes-Barre and look forward to growing and changing with the congregation, as well.

Rabbi Lerner hopes that those interested in Temple Bnai Brith will join us in the synagogues many activities and share in the warmth of our community. Those who are interested in meeting with the Rabbi are invited to email him at or call him at 287-9606 ext. 104to set up an appointment. Of course you are always more than welcome to stop in for a chat.

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Worship | Temple B’nai B’rith

ADL Adds ‘Pepe the Frog’ Meme to Hate Symbol Database …

Posted By on September 28, 2016


In recent years, with the growth of the alt right segment of the white supremacist movement, a segment that draws some of its support from some of the above-mentioned Internet sites, the number of alt right Pepe memes has grown, a tendency exacerbated by the controversial and contentious 2016 presidential election, wrote the ADL on their Pepe page.Though Pepe memes have many defenders, not leastthe characterscreator, MattFurie, who has called the alt right appropriation of the meme merely a phase, the use of racist and bigoted versions of Pepe memes seems to be increasing, not decreasing.

The ADLs entry of Pepe the Frog into the Hate Symbol Database is accompanied with various modified images, portraying the cartoon frog as a Nazi, a Ku Klux Klan member, a negative stereotype of aJew, and a black person.

Hate on Display, otherwise known as the Hate Symbol Database, was launched as a definitive collection of some of the worlds most hateful icons and symbols. It currently includes such entries as the Nazi swastika, the burning cross, 1488, the Blood Drop Cross, the Confederate flag, the iron cross, Ku Klux Klan robes, anoose, the apartheid-era South African flag, SS lightning bolts, and Stormfronts logo.

It is unknown as to why Pepe the Frog, a cartoon frog meme whose minimal links to white supremacism have been proven to be the result of two notorious trolls, is listed among the other symbols on the site, but it is likely to do with thedebunked recent reports from both the mainstream media and the Clinton Campaignthat claim Pepe to be a new symbol for white supremacy.

Hillary Clinton, George Stephanopoulos, Katy Tur, and even Louise MenschsHeat Street have all branded the cartoon frog as a symbol for white supremacy, seemingly basing their claims on a Daily Beast article that interviewed two notorious trolls, Jared Taylor Swift (who has PARODY ACCOUNT in his Twitter bio) and Paul Town.

During the interview, Swift and Town attempted to link the meme with white supremacy, with Swift boasting that he had managed to trick the media afterwards. Pepe has since been used as a scapegoat by the left to brand internet-dwelling conservatives, libertarians, and even Donald Trump Jr., who happened to post a fan image including the popular meme, as racist.

Charlie Nash is a reporterforBreitbart Tech. You can follow himon Twitter@MrNashingtonorlike his page at Facebook.

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ADL Adds ‘Pepe the Frog’ Meme to Hate Symbol Database …

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