** Zionism Jewish state

Zionism: Jewish State

Figure 1.--Jews at the time of World War II were trapped in NAZI occupied Europe. A major problem for Jews attempting to escape the NAZIs was the unwillingness of other countries to accept Jewish immigrants in numbers. THe creation of Israel meant that a permanent haven for Jews was created. And while anti-Semitism declined in Europe in the aftermath of the War, it reached a fever pitch in most Arab states. Tgese Israeli children are too young to undertand the vital importance of a Jewish state, but their parents know. They also know how Jewish children were a primary target of the NAZI Holocaust.

The Zionist Movement emerged from the Jewish experience in Western Europe. Great progress was made in emancipating Jews in Western Europe (throughout the 19th century). Jews became integrated into the national life, especially in Western European countries. Jews in Eastern Europe, especially the Russian Empire which included Poland were still denied extensive particiption in national life. And even pogroms contunued. It was thus in Eastern Europe that Zionism made its greatest progress. There was at the time an outlet, Jews could move to western Europe or emigrate to America. Only in America was Jewish emigration unlimited. Zionist debated the idea of a Jewish state. But even in Western Europe Jews found descrination as exemplified in the French Drefus Affair (1905). Only in America which was by no means free of decrimination did Zionism make no real headway. A call for a Jewish state thus gained support anong European Jews. It was, however, the NAZI Holocaust that created a steely determination among Jews that a Jewish state was indispensable. The NAZIs until 1939 had pursued a policy of dremigration. The NAZIs were willing to allows Jews to leave and in fact adopted policies to drive Jews out of Germany, even revoking their citizenship, confiscating property, and denying them all legal protections. In some cases they even expelled Jews. The problem was that Jews could not find countries willing to accept large numbers of Jews. Many Jews did leave Germany and more would have had they been able to find countries to accept them. American emigration policy became more restrictive after World War I. This was not directed specifically at Jews, but it did significantly limit the major haven for European Jews. And the problem of finding countries willing to accept Jews continued even at the Evian Confference (July 1938) when it was becoming increasingly clear where the NAZIs were headed. If a Jewish state had existed, millions of lives could have been saved. This was the idea that was on Jewish minds after World War II when partition and an independent Jewish state surfaced. Arab violence and the lack of a democratic tradition or the idea of minority rights only increased the determination of the Jews who had reached Palestine.


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Created: 4:44 AM 4/20/2016
Last updated: 4:44 AM 4/20/2016