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A person who believes that Jews have a right to a 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 Zionists initially were a minor part of the movement, but have grown in importance since the 1960s. After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, Zionists have concentrated on maintaining or expanding Israel's borders and/or influence. Zionists 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.
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