We’ve studied several critical moments in the past that transformed religious attitudes towards the Holy Land. Arguably, we are in one of those moments now. How has the development of the Zionist movement, the creation of the State of Israel, and the unfolding of the Arab-Israeli conflict served to transform religious attitudes towards the land in the 20th century?
Compose a four-page essay in response to the question. Your essay should be double-spaced and written in Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12. And don’t fiddle with the margins—it’s obvious. E-mail your essays to me by 10am on Wednesday, May 11 (our final exam time).
Relevant Primary sources we’ve used in class (BTW, sources that were part of the out-of-class readings will be on the “readings” page):
Jewish Religious Opposition to Zionism/State of Israel
- Rabbi Zadok HaCohen Rabinowitz, “The Zionists Are Not Our Saviors” – Rabinowitz was the Lublin Rebbe and an outspoken opponent of Zionism at the turn of the century.
Jewish Religious Support for Zionism/State of Israel
- R. Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, Seeking Zion – Kalischer was a 19th-century forerunner of the religious Zionists.
- R. Shmuel Mohilever, “Message to the First Zionist Congress” – Mohilever was a leading religious Zionist involved in the actual movement at the turn of the 20th century.
- Mizrahi Manifesto (1902) – Mizrahi was the religious party within Zionism.
- Rav Kook, Various Excerpts – Kook, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine during the Mandate era, was the first to systematize a supportive Jewish religious approach to Zionism.
- Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook, “19th Psalm of the State of Israel” – The soon of Rav Avraham Kook, the younger Rav Kook would be his father’s foremost interpreter as head of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva from the 1950s – 1970s. This was a sermon given on Yom HaEtzma’ut (Israeli Independence Day) in 1967–a few weeks before the Six Day War brought Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Sinai, and the Golan under Israeli control.
Islamic Opposition to Zionism/Israel:
- Palin Commission Report (1920) – A British report on the outbreak of violence at the 1920 Nabi Musa pilgrimage.
- Hamas Covenant (1988) – Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) formed out of the Muslim Brotherhood during the First Intifada.
Protestant Support for Zionism/Israel:
- Letter from Frank Norris to Harry Truman (1947) – Norris was a Fundamentalist pastor from Fort Worth who supported Zionism on theological and political grounds. He wrote this letter to Truman to urge the president in supporting the Zionist cause.