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The wording[edit]

Making a new section since I can't follow this page's layout anymore. As for the wording of the definition of zionism- I agree that the simplest definition is the establishment of a jewish state in palestine--- but it can't be ignored that "palestine" is used differently now. Take for example the Blackstone memorial. "Why shall not the powers which under the treaty of Berlin, in 1878, gave Bulgaria to the Bulgarians and Servia to the Servians now give Palestine back to the Jews? … These provinces, as well as Romania, Montenegro, and Greece, were wrested from the Turks and given to their natural owners. Does not Palestine as rightfully belong to the Jews?" Ahem. So, yeah. It can't just say "palestine". But I also think re-establishment is problematic. Jewish sovereignty is objectively being reestablished. (heh it's funny my computer says that's not a typo) But the re-establishment of a jewish state.... well, that's anachronistic. The jews didn't have westphalian sovereignty. Anyway, here was my proposal: Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת Tsiyyonut IPA: [t͡sijo̞ˈnut] after Zion) is a nationalist political movement of the Jews that supports the establishment of a modern Jewish state in the historic Land of Israel (roughly corresponding to Palestine, Canaan or the Holy Land). Thoughts? --Monochrome_Monitor 04:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Palestine is the common English term for the region in scholarly sources. Land of Israel is a religious term that a. doesn't correspond with with the place that Israel came to be in, and b. isn't used nearly as often in scholarly sources. So, yeah, you can't say historic Land of Israel like that's the common English term. nableezy - 05:47, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Note that current stable version of the lead says "re-establishment of a Jewish homeland", which I understand as Jewish sovereignty and not a reference to the modern state. It goes on to say "the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel", which imo also does not carry any religious subtext. The mention in the second paragraph says " re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel". I think it's acceptable to change one of them to "Re-establishing Jewish sovereignty in Palestine", and remove redundant repetition. WarKosign 06:48, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
The current version, Id leave questions of stability out of it as it kind of obviously is not stable, doesnt make a whole lot of sense. re-establishment of a Jewish homeland ... the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. Whose definition of Land of Israel? The definition that includes Sinai and parts of Jordan? And why use a Jewish homeland? Because I dont think that was actually the aim, a homeland doesnt necessarily include a state with sovereignty and all its attendant privileges. An able army for example. Zionism's aims were very specifically the creation of a state, so say state. Which precludes the use of re in re-establish. And further, the argument of Land of Israel, this is the English Wikipedia. Eretz Israel may often be used in Hebrew history books for the time and place under discussion here, but in English the preferred term remains Palestine, something that has been repeatedly documented by much more able editors than me. nableezy - 07:39, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Eretz Israel has always been a religious term, and a religious concept, whose territorial bounds were vigorously disputed. It cannot be in the text. The simple solution is to define Zionism as its proponents defined it in the negotiated protocols regarding the purpose of the movement, both at the Zionist conventions, and the Balfour Declaration. By sticking to the letter of intent of Zionist, one avoids controversy and futile debates.Nishidani (talk) 08:02, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Eretz Israel is a religious term, "territory defined as the historic Land of Israel" is far less so. WarKosign 08:17, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
(a) no one can agree on its definition, there are endless rabbinical disputes over this (b) the 'historic land of Israel' itself is indefinite: what's it refer to? the putative land extent of The United Kingdom of Israel for which no archaeological evidence has been found in 5 decades of extensive study, and which itself is a religious construct beautifully illustrated in our wiki mapping as though it were an ascertained historical reality? Or was it the Hasmonean Kingdom, meaning Zionists intended establishing a homeland from Gaza to Syria and the Transjordan, beyond Palestine? All of this pointlessness can only be resolved by sticking to the explicit declarations, meaning Palestine without glosses, used in the foundational documents of the movement and accepted by the declarations made by the Great Powers at that time.Nishidani (talk) 08:35, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
The terms used in early Zionist statements were "restoration" and "return". The definition from the Oxford English Dictionary is "A movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel." In Brittanica it's "Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews (Hebrew: Eretz Yisraʾel, “the Land of Israel”)." None of this is controversial in any way despite some editors pretending it is due to WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT. Drsmoo (talk) 09:27, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
The Oxford Dictionary, like the Britannica, is now very responsive to reader input, of course. I'ìve even seen the latter's online version swiping stuff from Wikipedia. The Britannica is useless also because it seems have too interactive. The Oxford English Dictionary's full extended definition, the scholarly version, is:

A movement among modern Jews having for its object the assured settlement of their race upon a national basis in Palestine; after 1948 concerned chiefly with the development of the State of Israel.The Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1989 vol.XX, p.812 col.1

This means Zionism has 2 aspects, pre and post 1948. We should have no trouble accepting therefore part 2 of this definition. Part one is determinable from the official literature for the Zionist movement negotiating the settlement. MM accepted 'establishment' as do several others. Nishidani (talk) 09:35, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Both Oxford and Brittanica are highly reliable. One can see the authors of Brittanica articles btw. If one needed any confirmation of the IJUSTDONTLIKEIT quality of the argument I would say the attack on prominent sources serves as a good example. (Though the denial of Jewish reverence for Israel was hilarious as well) Drsmoo (talk) 09:45, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
(a) You should link to the articles, or give the page no. of a common reference book, if you wish to discuss this. (b) Encyclopædia Britannica Online, from the moment it adopted wiki procedures of accepting user contributions, lends itself, on sensitive topics, to manipulation. As I have noted, in some articles it sounds like Wikipedia, because external contributors pick stuff off this site, which is not reliable. (c) As to the OED, I cited it, and you ignored the citation. (d) Our best sources are academic works specializing in the history of Zionism. I cited 2 pages from a Zionist scholar, Walter Laqueur, who wrote a book on the topic, who said a 'Jewish state' was not the primary option of mainstream Zionists, and the edit was immediately reverted.Nishidani (talk) 10:34, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Your description of Britannica is incorrect. All information is vetted by experts in the field before being published. Both Britannica and Oxford are reliable sources on Wikipedia and the references are already in the article.Drsmoo (talk) 10:58, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
That doesn't stop it from lending itself to manipulation: if several readers complain and, citing sources that exist for their favoured language, succeed in convincing 'experts in the field' (who? - many experts in the field don't use this language and stick to the original texts of Zionism without adjusting their language) to alter the language, such changes may only reflect, as often as not, the need of an encyclopedia struggling to retain its market share to satisfy its readership. On the Oxford English Dictionary stop ignoring the problem. I have all 20 volumes. It's my bedside companion, and what I quoted is as I quoted it. Nishidani (talk) 15:30, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
That's a nice story, however Britannica is a reliable source and written by experts. As was noted, the attack on prominent sources is indicative of IJUSTDONTLIKEIT Drsmoo (talk) 16:44, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Youre acting as if eminent sources dont use establish instead of re-establish. I think you know that isnt the case. nableezy - 20:43, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

I changed my mind I would object to removing reestablished. ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA uses reestablished extensively. I included quotes from a few entries. Definition of Zionism: end of volume pictures, Moses Hess, Theodor Herzl, Music, Aliyah and Jewish philosophy

In his opening address to the Congress on August 23, 1903, Herzl assured the delegates that he had no other objective in mind than Palestine. “There is no change and there will be no change in our attitude toward the Land of our Forefathers,” he declared. The speech was greeted with great enthusiasm. Years later, Weizmann acknowledged in his Trial and Error that the British letter had reestablished the national and juridical identity of the Jewish people.[1]

The gifted orator and pamphleteer Gabriel *Riesser denied the existence of a distinct Jewish nationality, but Moses Hess, parting company with the Socialist doctrinaires, strongly affirmed Jewish nationalism in his Rom und Jerusalem (1862; Rome and Jerusalem, 1918), which called for the reestablishment of a Jewish state in Zion. [2]

It was aliyah that re-created the Jewish commonwealth in the Land after the Babylonian Exile, provided the community with some of its prominent spiritual leaders during the Second Temple and subsequent periods, preserved and repeatedly renewed the Jewish presence in Ereẓ Israel during the periods of Byzantine, Arab, Mamluk, and Ottoman rule, and reestablished the State of Israel in modern times.[3]

The term Zionism first appeared at the end of the 19th century to denote the movement to reestablish the Jewish homeland in Erez Israel. Over the past century, the nation of Israel has experienced one of the most miraculous transformations in human history. Nowhere is this more clearly revealed than in the vast developments in Israel’s architecture and urban landscape. Offered here are some stunning before-and-after views of the growth of Israel as well as some of the faces of Israel’s citizens, who hail from more than one hundred countries.[4][5]

A new leaf in national music was turned by the generation of composers who witnessed the reestablishment of the Jewish state in Israel (for the artistic problems to be overcome and the ideas and tracks followed by them, see *Israel, State of: Cultural Life). [6]

Antisemitism also produced in certain thinkers a despair of the promise of emancipation, which, together with the emergence of modern nationalism and classical

Jewish messianic expectations, produced Zionism which advocated the reestablishment of a Jewish state, preferably in Ereẓ Israel. In its philosophic component modern Jewish thought followed the main currents of modern and contemporary Western philosophy, rationalism, Kantianism, idealism, existentialism, and pragmatism. There were also influences derived from British empiricism and positivism.[7]

Jonney2000 (talk) 18:01, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 9 p64
  2. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 p512
  3. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 10 p329
  4. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 11 p830 end of volume, Zionism: photos of Israel
  5. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 21 p698 end of volume, Zionism: photos of Israel
  6. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 14 p687
  7. ^ ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 16 p92
Would it be too much to ask for a list, or a chart of reasons pro and con re-establishment? I, as well as others, would probably like to see them side by side and facilitate a conclusion on this issue that will make everybody happy. Is that a reasonable request? It might also be a nice short-cut to avoid long reiterations of old points. BabyJonas (talk) 18:31, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
I have a problem with "homeland". A homeland cannot be established or disestablished. Palestine was always the Jewish homeland- it's where the Jewish people originate. So, I think it should say "Jewish state".--Monochrome_Monitor 19:19, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Jonney, do you think my edit removing re was a revert? I don't think it was. I wasn't doing it to undo what anyone wrote. I was modifying the content on the page and deleted one prefix among other changes to the sentence. --Monochrome_Monitor 19:21, 3 July 2016 (UTC)────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

I'm jumping in here after a hiatus from the Project. We shouldn't seek to solve this issue, but to describe it. Therefore, we should state in Wikipedia's neutral tone what isn't in dispute, and then describe the dispute, such as it is. One option is to use "... to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine. Religious Zionists consider this a re-establishment of an ancient state, while critics of Zionism see it as a colonial project aimed at dispossessing the Palestinian inhabitants." --Dailycare (talk) 17:40, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Tentatively, I don't mind a solution in this vein. BabyJonas (talk) 22:06, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
It misrepresents the sources. Far more than only "religious Zionists" consider this a re-establishment. WarKosign 22:14, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Could we have a compilation of the various sources which support each interpretation? That would perhaps at least give us a bird's eye view of the evidence for each position. I say this as someone who sees merits and drawbacks for each choice. BabyJonas (talk) 02:34, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
This can be found in the section below Drsmoo (talk) 02:39, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Sources for Establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine

If so, how would we define who is a Zionist, starting from the emergence of the Zionist movement as inspired by Theodor Herzl and his associates? Here is the definition: A Zionist is a person who desires or supports the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, which in the future will become the state of the Jewish people. This is based on what Herzl said: “In Basel I founded the Jewish state.” A. B. Yehoshua, 'Defining Zionism: The Belief That Israel Belongs to the Entire Jewish People,' Haaretz 21 May 2013

    • Nota bene. he says it cannot be used for anything earlier than Herzl, like Moses Hess cited above from the EJ.
    • Note that for our sources on the page the first is not accessible. The second is false (Judenstaat All that text says is (a)'The Jewish state is a world need’ (Herzl) ‘one this point the practical men were united with the dreamers. Palestine alone came into the picture for a national concentration of the Jews (40.41)). This is the usual curse of Wikipedia. Editors all discuss at length a definition, defending it, without actually checking if the existing sources really justify the one we have.Nishidani (talk) 21:26, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Sources for Reestablishment/Restoration/Return in Zionist thinking and definitions of Zionism"

"Our return to the land of our fathers, foretold by Holy Writ, sung by poets, desired with tears by the poor of our people, and derided by pitiable mockers, is an event of the greatest political interest to all the powers concerned in the affairs of Asia. “ “It goes without saying that the Jewish people can have no other goal than Palestine and that, whatever the fate of the proposition may be, our attitude toward the land of our fathers is and shall remain unchangeable.”

  • (2) Ahad Ha'am - Anticipations and Survivals, 1891

“This national hope, as embodied in the idea of the return to Palestine, affords, in a much later age, an instance of a "survival.” “It was a long exile of much study and much prayer, in which the national hope for the return to Zion was never forgotten.” “For now that the religious ideal had conquered the national, the nation could no longer be satisfied with little, or be content to see in the return to Zion merely its own national salvation.”

Ahad Ha'am - The Jewish State and Jewish Problem, 1897

“And now Judaism finds that it can no longer tolerate the galuth form which it had to take on, in obedience to its will-to-live, when it was exiled from its own country, and that if it loses that form its life is in danger. So it seeks to return to its historic centre, in order to live there a life of natural development, to bring its powers into play in every department of human culture, to develop and perfect those national possessions which it has acquired up to now, and thus to contribute to the common stock of humanity, in the future as in the past, a great national culture, the fruit of the unhampered activity of a people living according to its own spirit.”

“With the nineteenth century we come to efforts which are neither strictly political nor yet miraculous. The Jew begins to return to Palestine, but to return as an individual.” “With Sir Moses Montefiore, whose journeys to Palestine began in the eighteen-thirties, Western Jewry began to occupy itself constructively with the Jewish restoration. There was established a fund for the cultivation of land in Palestine by the Jews. Sir Moses had the idea of obtaining extensive concessions, and so bringing about 'the return of thousands of our brethren to the lands of Israel.’”

"The origins of Political Zionism. This goal is not to be attained immediately. It lies in a near or a more distant future. It is an ideal, a wish, a hope, just as Messianic Zionism was and is. But the new Zionism, which is called political, is distinguished from the old religious Messianic Zionism in this, that it repudiates all mysticism, and does not rely upon the return to Palestine to be accomplished by a miracle, but is resolved to bring it about through its own efforts.” “The Jewish nationality - condition sine qua non. The one point that excludes the possibility of an understanding between Zionists and non-Zionistic Jews, probably for ever, is the question of Jewish nationality. Whoever maintains and believes that the Jews are not a nation, cannot in truth be a Zionist: he cannot attach himself to a movement which is only justified by its wish to create a normal condition of existence for a people living and suffering under normal conditions. But, on the contrary, he who is convinced that the Jews are a nation, must necessarily be a Zionist, as only the return to our own land can preserve the Jewish people, universally hated, persecuted, and oppressed, from physical and spiritual decay.”

"America. September 5th. Conference of Rabbis resolved to appeal to various powers, particularly President Wilson, asking them to give their consideration to the question of the Restoration of Palestine to the Jewish people." "England. In October, Zionist Demonstrations took place all over the country. In seventy-one synagogues, one hundred and twenty-three lodges and associations, and in fifty-four Zionist societies, resolutions were passed requesting the British Government to use its best endeavours to bring about a Restoration of Palestine as a National Home for the Jewish people" "The [Petrograd] Conference carried the following resolutions : — "Considering first that the Jewish people, in view of its disposition and dispersion all over the world, can recreate for itself conditions for the normal development of its national, cultural, and economic life, only through the restoration of a national autonomous centre in its historic home, Palestine. Secondly, that the Jewish nation has never severed its ties with its ancient home, and has always longed for it, and that its moral and historic right to Palestine is incontestable and irremovable"

  • (6) Jewish Encyclopedia, Zionism, 1906

“Historically, the hope of a restoration, of a renewed national existence, and of a return to Palestine has existed among the Jewish people from olden times. After the first Exile, the Jews in Babylonia looked forward continually to the reestablishment of their ancient kingdom. However much the Jews spread from land to land, and however wide the dispersion and consequent Diaspora became, this hope continued to burn brightly; and from time to time attempts were made to realize it. The destruction of the Temple by Titus and Vespasian (70 C.E.) was perhaps the most powerful factor in driving the Jews east, south, and west. Nevertheless, in a short time the hope of a restoration was kindled anew. The risings under Akiba and Bar Kokba (118) soon followed; and the Jews drenched the soil of Palestine with their blood in the vain attempt to regain their national freedom against the heavy hand of the Roman power. Despite these checks, the idea of the restoration persisted and became a matter of dogmatic belief; as such it finds expression in Jewish literature, both prose and poetic.”

  • (7) Encyclopedia Judaica, Zionism, 2007

"The modern term Zionism first appeared at the end of the 19th century, denoting the movement whose goal was the return of the Jewish people to Ereẓ Israel."

Encyclopedia Judaica, Land of Israel: Aliyah and Absorption, 2007

"The beginnings of the modern Jewish return to the Land of Israel, which laid the foundations for the establishment of the State of Israel, were due to a combination of three causes: the age-old devotion of the Jews to their historic homeland and the hope of messianic redemption; the intensification of the intolerable conditions under which Jews lived in Eastern Europe; and the efforts of an active minority convinced that the return to the homeland was the only lasting and fundamental solution to the Jewish problem (see *Zionism )."

  • (8) Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, Nationalism and Ethnicity: Zionism and Israel, 2013

"The goal of Zionism, with minor and temporary deviations, has been the resettlement of the Jewish people to historic Palestine (a term for most purposes coterminous with the Land of Israel) and the reconstitution there of a Jewish national polity. "

  • (9) Oxford English Dictionary, Zionism, 2016

"A movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. It was established as a political organization in 1897 under Theodor Herzl, and was later led by Chaim Weizmann.”

  • (10) American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2015

"A political movement that supports the maintenance and preservation of the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland, originally arising in the late 1800s with the goal of reestablishing a Jewish homeland in the region of Palestine." Drsmoo (talk) 04:57, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Zionism (n) 1.a political movement for the establishment and support of a national homeland for Jews in Palestine, now concerned chiefly with the development of the modern state of Israel 2. a policy or movement for Jews to return to Palestine from the Diaspora

That has both! (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition)--Monochrome_Monitor 12:39, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Note: I was wrong about the wording "jewish state". Zionism originally didn't necessarily want a state necessarily, just a national home in palestine. However I still think "homeland" is odd because it cannot be established, it just is.

Here's a gem of an article: [1] Note to Nish: "There are some who deny that there is such a thing as the Jewish people, but the denial is a modern innovation. Very rare is the non-Jew who thinks of Jews as merely a sect without national quality; and it is doubtful whether among the Jews themselves there could be found a single instance of such a denial much earlier than the second decade of the nineteenth century. The negation of Jewish nationality was first presented by German Jews as part of what is called the 'reform ' movement in German Jewry, which itself was hardly separable from the movement for Jewish political emancipation in that country. From Germany it spread to other lands, but it has never had much respect among any save a small minority of Jews, and it has never had any respect at all from non-Jews, except when political expediency made it convenient for a Gentile statesman or diplomat to invoke this strange dogma." Right now the sources imply that Zionism innovated the concept of the Jewish nation, but it actually revived it. I think that should be better reflected.--Monochrome_Monitor 12:39, 4 July 2016 (UTC)


Why is this in project conservatism? Zionism isn't left or right. Sure in the US it's more associated with conservatives, but it used to be a left-wing view until about 1970.--Monochrome_Monitor 07:04, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

As a national return to "the way things were" (back where) and as necessary for protecting cultural and ethnic identity (in long scale of exile), yes in those contexts Zionism can be seen as conservative. It's not question of political economic right/left. See Conservatism, National and traditional, Cultural conservatism and social conservatism.-Yohananw (talk) 11:39, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

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One sided view[edit]

"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" a naive statement that attempts to ignore all the opposing views and interpretations on this issue. Makeandtoss (talk) 14:46, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

This is described as the view of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Do you believe this to be incorrect? Epson Salts (talk) 00:01, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Which opposing view ? Is there a view that according to either of the religion Eretz Israel was *not* promised to the Jews ? If there is such a view and it's prevalent enough to be mentioned please provide sources and we'll include it. There is nothing dubious about the fact that according to many believes in these religions the land was promised. WarKosign 07:30, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
BTW, according to WP:BRD while the discussion is ongoing the article remains in the state it was before your change, not in the state you wish it to be. WarKosign 07:31, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think BRD includes "dubious" tags. So basically you are saying that every believer in the Abrahamic religion is supposed to be a Zionist? And every non-Zionist Abrahamic follower is someone who doesn't understand his own religion? Neturei Karta [2] Haredim and Zionism, Religious anti-Zionism Anti-Zionism#Outside the Jewish community [3]? Makeandtoss (talk) 08:28, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Please read Neturei Karta#Beliefs. "Neturei Karta believe that the exile of the Jews can only end with the arrival of the Messiah, and that human attempts to establish Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel are sinful". Believing in the fact that the promise was given is not the same as believing that one has to act to implement the promise.
Once again: do you have any sources contradicting the "dubious" statement ? WarKosign 09:31, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Well ok if you want to treat it that way, then this simple sentence needs to be clarified as this oversimplification is propagandic. As you mentioned the implementation part, there are other parts like how others believe that the promise was "cancelled"/etc.. --Makeandtoss (talk) 09:40, 13 September 2016 (UTC)