Zionism - Israeli Flag

Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary


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1. The doctrine that the Jews are a nation without a country and should have a country of their own in their ancient homeland.

2. The world Zionist political movement that was founded as an official organization by Theodore Herzl in Basle in 1897

3. Ideology of organizations with the aim of Jewish revival in the land of Israel, that existed for some twenty or thirty years before the foundation of the Zionist movement: Hibbat Tziyon, BILU and Hovevei Tziyon movements and groups.

4. The wish to return to the homeland, a sentiment that existed continuously in Jewish literature and liturgy since the fall of Jerusalem. The term "Zionism" was coined in 1891 by Nathan Birnbaum, and refers to the Zion hill in Jerusalem.

Zionism does not necessarily hold to specific doctrines that have been attributed to it by others, though some Zionists may hold these views. For example, the basis of Zionism is not necessarily religious belief, though Christian Zionists and Jewish Religious Zionists believe in the restoration of Israel as part of a divine plan. The Zionist movement did not set absolute territorial borders, nor, in some cases, did it even insist that the Jewish national home be centered around Zion. Zionism is not related to the "Iron Wall" thesis of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, though some Zionists are militaristic.

See Definitions of Zionism  for further detailed definitions of Zionism.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: Definitions of Zionism   History of Zionism Definition and Brief History of Zionism


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

Definitions of Zionism  General History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel   History of Israel and Zionism   Historical Source Documents of Israel and Zionism

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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


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