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Zionism originally referred to a nationalist political movement dedicated to reestablishing the Jewish state in the land of Israel, which at the time was part of the British Mandate of Palestine; since this movement realised its aim in 1948 the term now connotes political support for the continued existence of this Jewish State. Although Jews have been returning to their homeland throughout the last two thousand years, the movement in its modern guise was started in the late nineteenth century by Theodor Herzl, and in 1948 the modern state of Israel was established on a piece of land granted by the United Nations with the support of Great Britain, the nation which had formerly controlled the land under a League of Nations mandate.

Opposition to Zionism

The Palestinian Arabs, many of whom fled during the unrest that followed the reestablishment of the Israeli state are among those opposed to its existence, as are many other Arabs who are allied with them. A very small minority of religious Jews, most prominently the Neturei Karta sect, are anti-Zionist for theological reasons. Zionism was formerly opposed by some European Jews who feared that the creation of a Jewish state would cause them to lose their influence (such as ownership of newspapers and real estate), as such control could not be exercised if many Jews migrated from Europe to Israel. Opposition also comes from some claiming to be "anti-racists", saying that they oppose Zionism's promotion of Jewish national identity.

Zionism is also opposed by those who believe that pro-Israeli interest groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have an excessive amount of influence over US policy, although many who are opposed to the Israel Lobby have a problem with the power of interest groups and lobbying organizations in general, not just the Israel Lobby.

In the often tendentious debates over the Arab-Israeli question many of these so called "anti-Zionists" claim that there is a distinction between opposition to Israel and Anti-Semitism. In practice, however, outside of a very small minority of Orthodox Jews who oppose Zionism for religious reasons, anti-Zionism almost always goes hand in hand with anti-Semitism.

List of Christian Zionists

  • Sir Henry Finch (1558-1625) [1]
  • Lewis Way (1772-1840) [2]
  • John Nelson Darby (1800 - 1882)
  • Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801 - 1885) [3]

See also