Zionism, a term derived from Zion, a biblical word for Jerusalem, is based on the ancient nationalist attachment of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). As an ideology, Zionism holds that the Jewish people are a nation and should gather together in a single homeland. The first use of the term is attributed to Nathan Birnbaum, Austrian journalist and founder of the first Zionist student association in Vienna. Birnbaum coined the term in response to growing anti-Semitism directed at Jews in the late nineteenth century. Zionism was formally introduced as a nationalist movement by Theodor Herzl in 1897 at the first meeting of the Zionist Congress. Within the framework of a political organization, Zionists developed a plan to extend nationalist sentiment throughout the world’s Jewish population and promote Jewish development in Palestine.
The emergence of Zionism in the late nineteenth century can be understood only in the broader context of European and Jewish history....
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