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Zionism has never seriously posed this question: Why, during these two thousand years, have not the Jews really tried to return to this country?

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  • Essay length: 5995 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Philosophy and Theology

The first 200 words of this essay...

Zionism has never seriously posed this question: Why, during these two thousand years, have not the Jews really tried to return to this country? Why was it necessary to wait until the end of the Nineteenth Century for a Herzl to succeed in convincing them of this necessity? Why were all the predecessors of Herzl, like the famous Sabbatai Zebi, treated as false Messiahs. Why were the adherents of Sabbatai Zebi fiercely persecuted by orthodox Judaism?

Naturally, in replying to these interesting questions, refuge is sought behind religion. "As long as the masses believed that they had to remain in the Diaspora until the advent of the Messiah, they had to suffer in silence," states Zitlovski,i whose Zionism is moreover quite conditional. Nevertheless, this explanation tells us nothing. What is required is precisely an answer to the question of why the Jewish masses believed that they had to await the Messiah in order to be able to "return to their country." Religion being an ideological reflection of social interests, it must perforce correspond to them. Today religion does not at all constitute an obstacle to Zionism.ii

In reality just so long as Judaism was incorporated in the

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