Zionism(redirected from Sionism)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Sionism: Judaism
The political view that Jews have a right to national homeland in Palestine roughly corresponding to the borders of Biblical Israel. Zionism emerged as a nationalist movement in 19th-century Europe as secular and assimilated Jews did not find wide acceptance in European society. Many, though not all, early Zionists were socialists; this led to the establishment of communal farms in Palestine. Religious Zionism was initially a minor part of the movement, but has grown in importance since the 1960s. After the establishment of the States of Israel in 1948, the Zionist movement has concentrated on maintaining or expanding Israel's borders and/or influence. Proponents of Zionism believe a Jewish homeland is the only place Jews can be perfectly safe from persecution, while critics contend that Palestinian Arabs have been displaced and discriminated against since the early 20th century.