Zionism's Change from a Passive Notion to an Active Ideology During the Nineteenth Century

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Zionism's Change from a Passive Notion to an Active Ideology During the Nineteenth Century Although it has been a precondition of Jewish consciousness to believe that the emergence of a Modern political Zionist movement can be attributed to the rampant anti-Semitism suffered by the European Jews, this does not provide an adequate explanation. The entire history of the Jews can be defined by the way in which they suffered persecution under the oppressive hands of others, proving that anti-Semitism was not a phenomenon unique to the Jews of the nineteenth century. Thus, and exploration of the transformation of the Jewish world in lieu of the invention of the modern world as we know it is imperative to the understanding of the development of Zionism from a passive consciousness and yearning to the emergence of the first political Zionist writings marking the beginning of an active ideological movement advocating mass immigration to Eretz Israel. The nineteenth century was a dynamic climate in European politics. The Enlightenment, a Western movement celebrating man's rationality, centrality, and equality, began in France in the last decades of the eighteenth century; however it was not until the nineteenth century that grants of emancipation proliferated across Europe. With the emancipation of German Jewry by 1871 every European country except Russia had emancipated its Jews, and the face of "Jewish identity" was challenged. For centuries the Jews of Europe were locked in their ghettoes and shtetls, insulated from outside influences by rampant anti-Semitism. However, with emancipation came the breaking down of barriers both imprisoning ... ... middle of paper ... ...R) Vital, D. THe origins of Zionism, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975. --------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] "Seeking Zion", by Rabbi Z.H Kalischer 1862 in A. Hertzberg (ed.) The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader, New York: Anthenum, 1984 Hertzberg [2] S. Avineri, The making of Modern Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State (London: Weidenfeld and Nicoldon, 1981) p. 34. [3] Ibid. pg 33 [4] Ibid. 37 [5] Avineri, p. 11. [6] Hertzberg p. 125 [7] Avineri, "Modern Zionism", p 38. [8] Hertzberg pg. 169 [9] Ibid. p.174 [10] Ibid. p. 177 [11] Ibid p. 176 [12] J. Katz., The Forerunners of Zionism', in Reinharz. Y. and Shapira A. Essential Papers on Zionism, (New York: New York UniversityPress, 1996.) p. 33

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