How did the the Zionist movement lead to the creation of the State of Israel?

1 Answer
Oct 11, 2017

It formalised a political goal to create a homeland for the Jews.


When the Zionist movement was formed by Chaim Weizmann and Theodore Herzl in 1897, their aim was to achieve a recognised state for the Jewish people who had been scattered throughout the world since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

At that time what was Palestine in Roman times was now part of the Ottoman Empire. Events accelerated with the outbreak of World War 1. The Turks (who controlled the Ottoman Empire) allied with Germany. In return for Jewish financial support for the war, the British Foreign Secretary Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration in which the British government committed itself to establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Unfortunately they made similar promises to the Palestinians in return for their support in fighting the Turks.

When the war ended Palestine was handed to the British as a League of Nations Mandate. With both Palestinians and Jews fighting the British and each other, and the increasing pressure brought to bear by the rise of Hitler the situation deteriorated.

After the end of World War 2 the British handed over Palestine to the UN who divided into a Jewish state, Israel and a Palestinian state.

Israel was immediately attacked by her Arab neighbours but they were defeated and virtually all the land given to the Palestinians was lost.

Throughout this entire period the Zionist movement was central in pressing the claims for a Jewish state and this was reflected in the fact that Weizmann became the first President of Israel.