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May 14, 1948 – Zionism and the birth of Israel

17 0 0
14.05.2022

At the beginning of the 20th century, anti-Semitism was pandemic and Jews found themselves persecuted and unwanted everywhere. In Europe the ruling classes incited the mobs against the Jews to provide a scapegoat for the misery of the masses, and discrimination and pogroms against Jews were rampant. In the Arab world, from North Africa to the Middle East, the Jews suffered for centuries the chronic condition of “dhimmis”, a status of legal, social and psychological submission to the Muslim majority accompanied by bursts of physical violence. On top of this, the surge of nationalism in Eastern Europe and the Arab countries found the Jews as an easy target for scapegoating, rioting and pogroms.

A small group of Jewish intellectuals came to the conclusion that the problem needed a radical solution: the return of the Jews to Zion (the Land of Israel) and the reconstitution of the Jews as a normal people in their own land. A trickle of ideologically motivated Jews (the “Zionists”) began returning to the Land of Israel, then a neglected far away province of the Ottoman Empire.

Life was extremely difficult for the Zionists: they came to the Land of Israel to become farmers, but swamps were usually the only places available for them. Diseases like malaria became common. They were poor and........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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