What does Zionist mean?


A Zionist is a follower of Zionism, a movement that created and supports Israel as the official state for Jewish people in Palestine. The term can be a neutral, positive, or offensive term for a Jewish Israeli nationalist.

Examples of Zionist


Examples of Zionist

Of course. See the litany of U. S politicians who have sworn allegiance to zionist apartheid occupation regime. They are more loyal to Israel than their own country the U.S

@haloefekti, September, 2010
Zionists … clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. They needed two lessons, which we could perhaps help them with.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, August, 2018

Where does Zionist come from?


Zionist and Zionism are based on Zion, from a Hebrew name for a hill in Jerusalem, associated with the biblical City and Temple of David, central to Jewish history and religion.

Both Zionist and Zionism are credited to a Viennese Jewish nationalist university student, Nathan Birnbaum, in the 1890s. Well before him, a number of groups worked to encourage Jews to immigrate to Palestine—site of the historic Jewish Holy Land and its central Zion hill—to avoid anti-Semitism in Europe and return to their homeland. These groups collectively came to call themselves the Lovers of Zion.


Zionism was cemented as the term for Jewish nationalism—as opposed to Judaism, for the just religion—in 1897 when activist Theodor Herzl helped create the World Zionist Organization, credited with starting the push that established the state of Israel in 1948. The organization declared its goal of securing a legal homeland for the Jews in the country of Palestine.

Zionist activism continued into the 20th century. The word Zionist became so closely associated with Jewish politics that antisemites weaponized up the term. The 1903 Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for instance, notoriously fear-mongered a Jewish state in Palestine as just the first step toward their masterplan of world domination. 

World War II and the Holocaust galvanized the Zionist movement, and in 1948, Zionism succeeded in the creation of Israel by the United Nations, who partitioned Palestine and created a Jewish state. Although this marked the completion of the principal Zionist goal, Zionism has evolved as a term for supporting Israel, especially in the context of the extremely fraught and complex conflict between the country and Palestine and neighboring Arabic states.

Who uses Zionist?

Zionist is a very loaded and complicated term. In line with its development, it can more generally refer to and be used by Jews, both secular and religious, who support a Jewish state in their historic Holy Land. However, some people use Zionist when denouncing Israeli actions in Palestine.


Others may use Zionist as an offensive, antisemitic blanket term for Jewish people more generally, often implying extreme nationalism or racial separatism.

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