core of the Zionist idea appears in the Declaration of the Establishment
of the State of Israel (14 May 1948), which states, inter alia, that:
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
of the State of Israel marked the realization of the Zionist goal of
attaining an internationally recognized, legally secured home for the
Jewish people in its historic homeland, where Jews would be free from
persecution and able to develop their own lives and identity.
Since 1948, Zionism has seen its task as continuing to encourage the
"ingathering of the exiles," which at times has called for
extraordinary efforts to rescue endangered (physically and spiritually)
Jewish communities. It also strives to preserve the unity and continuity
of the Jewish people as well as to focus on the centrality of Israel
in Jewish life everywhere.
Down through the centuries, the desire for the restoration of the Jewish
people in the Land of Israel has been a thread binding the Jewish people
together. Jews everywhere accept Zionism as a fundamental tenet of Judaism,
support the State of Israel as the basic realization of Zionism and
are enriched culturally, socially and spiritually by the fact of Israel
- a member of the family of nations and a vibrant, creative accomplishment
of the Jewish spirit.
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Zionism
in the Twentieth Century:
20th cent., Arab leaders have attempted to form an Arab nation, which
would unite the whole Arabic-speaking world from Morocco on the west,
across the Middle East, to the borders of Iran and Turkey. Since 1945
most of the Arab nations have combined to form the Arab League, its
purpose being to consider matters of common interest, such as policy
regarding Israel and colonialism. With 22 member states in the Arab
League by the mid-1990s, attempts to forge a unity among the Arabs have
continued. Perhaps the most significant economic factor for the Arabs
has been the discovery and development of the petroleum industry. Since
World War II a continual problem for the Arab states has been their
relations with the Jewish state of Israel; hostility towards Israel
has resulted in four Arab-Israeli wars.
is the general term for the modern movement for political unification
among the Arab nations of the Middle East. Since the Ottoman Turks rose
to power in the 14th cent., there have been stirrings among Arabs for
reunification as a means of reestablishing Arab political power. At
the start of World War I, France and Great Britain, seeking allies against
the German-Turkish alliance, encouraged the cause of Arab nationalism
under the leadership of the Hashemite Sherif Husayn ibn Ali, a descendant
of Muhammad. As ruler of Mecca and a religious leader of Islam, he had
great influence in the Arab world, an influence that continued with
his two sons, Abdullah and Faisal (Faisal I of Iraq). From the 1930s,
hostility toward Zionist aims in Palestine was a major rallying point
for Arab nationalists.
found official expression after World War II in the Arab League and
in such unification attempts as the Arab Federation (1958) of Iraq and
Jordan, the United Arab Republic, the Arab Union (1958), the United
Arab Emirates, and the Arab Maghreb Union (see under Maghreb). The principal
instrument of Pan-Arabism in the early 1960s was the Ba'ath party, which
was active in most Arab states, notably Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt, who was
not a Ba'athist, expressed similar ideals of Arab unity and socialism.
of the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and the death (1970) of
Nasser set back the cause of Pan-Arabism. In the early 1970s, a projected
merger between Egypt and Libya came to nought. However, during and following
the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Arab states showed new cohesion in their
use of oil as a major economic and political weapon in international
affairs. This cohesion was fractured by the signing of the Camp David
Accords between Egypt and Israel and by the Iran-Iraq War. Pan-Arabist
rhetoric was used by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in an attempt to
stir opposition the UN coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War,
but many Arab nations joined the anti-Iraq coalition.
the end of the process [Camp David 2000], it is impossible not to
form the impression that the Palestinians don't want a solution
as much as they want to place Israel in the dock of the accused.
More than they want a state of their own, they want to denounce
our state. That is why, contrary to the Zionist movement, they are
incapable of compromising. Because they have no image of the future
society that they want and for which it is worth compromising. Therefore,
the process, from their point of view, is not one of conciliation
but of vindication. Of righting a wrong. Of undermining out existence
as a Jewish state."
an interview with former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami who was
part of the Israeli negotiating team at Camp