Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Zionism a hundred years ago...

Here's an interesting article on the dilemma's early Zionists like Theodore Herzl faced, in particular in relation to the 'Arab question', written by David Zarnett.

Two Zionist Approaches to the ‘Arab Question’, 1891-1907
During the early twentieth century, the ‘Arab Question’, although pressing and central for some, was only a secondary priority for most in the Zionist movement. The propagation of a Jewish national consciousness, raising funds, purchasing land, facilitating Jewish immigration to Palestine, reaching a deal with Ottoman and European authorities, and securing the Jewish presence in a hostile environment were issues that took up the majority of the deliberations and literature. Today the ‘Arab Question’ revolves around the place of the Arab minority in Jewish-Zionist society but a century earlier the debate revolved around the question of to what extent would the Arab presence in Palestine block the Zionist movement from achieving their ends. This is the result of the fact that the most fundamental Zionist goal of creating a Jewish home in Palestine had not yet been achieved. One hundred years ago that basic objective resembled at worst a pipe dream and at best a long-term goal, and therefore the ‘Arab Question’ had a much different focus. Full essay


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