What is Zionism?
Zionism refers to the belief that Jews have a right to their own independent state. It is also a political movement founded by Austrian Jew Theodor Herzl in 1896 with the aim of returning European Jews (and all Jews for that matter) to Jerusalem, thus Herzl is recognized as the founder of modern Zionism. Zion refers to the Jewish holy land Jerusalem, also known as the ‘promised land’. Proponents of Zionism are known as ‘Zionists’
The Zionist Movement was successful in claiming an independent state for Jews in 1948, through the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. This independent state is the state of Israel. Today, the Zionist Movement exists to protect the interests of the State of Israel, to maintain its sovereignty and to address national security threats.
The Zionist Congress has designated five main points as the aims of modern Zionism. Foremost is the unity of Israel and its centrality in a Jew’s life. Second is the return of Jews to the promised land from other countries. Third is the strengthening of the State of Israel. Fourth is the preservation of Jewish and Hebrew culture
and tradition. Fifth and final is the protection of the rights of the Jewish people.