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Colonialism and Imperialism: Zionism


Article/book #: 75434
Title: Colonialism and Imperialism: Zionism
By: Smadar Lavie  
Date of issue: 2007
Topic(s) addressed: Journals mentioned in this item:

Cross-reference(s):
  1. An entry in this multi-volume encyclopaedia
  2. Reprinted in this book
Commentary

Abstract:

Zionism is a European ideology of Jewish nationalism whose main goal was to colonize Palestine in order to establish a Jewish state. It can be seen as an ethnic by-product of the rise of modernist nationalism in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. The Jewish state in Palestine was to redeem the persecuted Eastern European Jews through importing European cultural technology. Concurrently it planned to reinforce its conception of European superiority through primitivization of the native Palestinians. From the late nineteenth century on, Zionism was what motivated most of those Ashkenazim (European Jews from Yiddish-speaking countries) who immigrated to Palestine. In Zionist historiography, this period is termed the Yishuv (Hebrew, settling). Its motto: Palestine was a land without people that was to be settled by a people without a land.

This entry focuses on pre-1948 Zionism’s colonial ideology and imperialist practices toward Mizrahi women in Palestine. The Mizrahìm (easterners, orientals; Arabic, sharqìyùn) are the Jews not of Yiddish-speaking countries. They already resided in Palestine or immigrated to it mainly from the Arab world, and also from Persia, Turkey, the Balkans, Greece, and India. Mizrahim is a coalitional term. Culturally translated, it might be conceived as Jewish “people of color,” originating mostly in the Muslim world. The period covered is from the late nineteenth century, just on the eve of the British colonization of Palestine, until its end in 1948, with the establishment of the State of Israel, and the nakba (Arabic, catastrophe, the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes after the 1948 founding of the state of Israel).




Quotations from this item:
Smadar Lavie:  "The Zionist mother was called upon to raise a baby with a lucid mind, tough stom... "
 






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