Chapter: 5. Zionism: 'Next Year, in Jerusalem' - but Whose Jerusalem?
You might think that Zionism was initially
embraced by Jews worldwide. But this was not
so. The early Zionists such as Theodor Herzl
constituted a tiny minority. In The Jewish State
(1896), Herzl argued that Jews will never be safe
in the lands where they live. The solution to the
problem of Jew-hatred is for the Jewish people to
have their own country.
The vast majority of Jews, however, remained
indifferent to this plea. Strictly Orthodox Jews
viewed Zionism as a pernicious heresy. According
to traditional Judaism, they insisted, Jews must
wait for the Messiah to arrive to lead the Jewish
people to their ancient homeland. Throughout the
world, Orthodox leaders denounced the Zionists
and branded Zionism a heresy.