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Zionism: Quotations on Zionism

EMMANUEL MACRON (French President)

"We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism."

Speech commemorating 75th anniversary of deportation of French Jews, 2017

YIGAL ALLON (Israeli General)

"Zionism is the modern expression of the ancient Jewish heritage. Zionism is the national liberation movement of a people exiled from its historic homeland and dispersed among the nations of the world. Zionism is the redemption of an ancient nation from a tragic lot and the redemption of a land neglected for centuries. Zionism is the revival of an ancient language and culture, in which the vision of a universal peace has been a central theme. Zionism is the embodiment of a unique pioneering spirit, of the dignity of labor, and of enduring human values. Zionism is creating a society, however, imperfect it may still be, which tries to implement the highest ideal of democracy - political, social and cultural - for all the inhabitants of Israel, irrespective of religious belief, race or sex. Zionism is, in sum, the constant and unrelenting effort to realize the national and universal vision of the prophets of Israel."

Speech to UN General Assembly, 1975

LOUIS BRANDEIS (U.S. Supreme Court Justice)

"Zionism finds in it, for the Jews, a reason to raise their heads, and, taking their stand upon the past, to gaze straightforwardly into the future."

Speech to the Conference of Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis, 1915

ABBA EBAN (Israeli Ambassador)

"There is no difference whatever between anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel's statehood. Classical anti-Semitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination."

New York Times, 1975

"Zionism is nothing more - but also nothing less - than the Jewish people's sense of origin and destination in the land linked eternally with its name. It is also the instrument whereby the Jewish nation seeks an authentic fulfillment of itself. And the drama is enacted in twenty states comprising a hundred million people in 4 1/2 million square miles, with vast resources. The issue therefore is not whether the world will come to terms with Arab nationalism. The question is at what point Arab nationalism, with its prodigious glut of advantage, wealth and opportunity, will come to terms with the modest but equal rights of another Middle Eastern nation to pursue its life in security and peace."

In Response to UN "Zionism is Racism" Resolution, 1975

ALBERT EINSTEIN (Physics Nobel Prize Laureate)

"Zionism springs from an even deeper motive than Jewish suffering. It is rooted in a Jewish spiritual tradition whose maintenance and development are for Jews the basis of their continued existence as a community."

Manchester Guardian, 1929

"Long before the emergence of Hitler I made the cause of Zionism mine because through it I saw a means of correcting a flagrant wrong ... The Jewish people alone has for centuries been in the anomalous position of being victimized and hounded as a people, though bereft of all the rights and protections which even the smallest people normally has ... Zionism offered the means of ending this discrimination. Through the return to the land to which they were bound by close historic ties ... Jews sought to abolish their pariah status among peoples ... Can Jewish need, no matter how acute, be met without the infringement of the vital rights of others? My answer is in the affirmative. One of the most extraordinary features of the Jewish rebuilding of Palestine is that the influx of Jewish pioneers has resulted not in the displacement and impoverishment of the local Arab population, but in its phenomenal increase and greater prosperity."

Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister of India), 1947

RECEP ERDOGAN (Turkish Prime Minister)

"Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity."

Speech to the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum, 2013

EMIR FAISAL (King of Iraq)

"We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement ... We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home ... We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East, and our two movements complement one another. The movement is national and not imperialistic. There is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a success without the other."

In Response to UN "Zionism is Racism" Resolution, 1975

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (U.S. Civil Rights Leader)

"When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism."

Response to a student question, 1968

GOLDA MEIR (Israeli Prime Minister)

"There is no Zionism except the rescue of Jews."

Quoted in Golda Meir (1969), 1943


"The United States ... does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."

In Response to UN "Zionism is Racism" Resolution, 1975

BERTRAND RUSSELL (Nobel Prize Laureate)

"I have come gradually to see that, in a dangerous and largely hostile world, it is essential to Jews to have some country which is theirs, some region where they are not suspected aliens, some state which embodies what is distinctive in their culture."

Zionism and the Peace Settlement in Palestine, 1943

SOLOMON SCHECHTER (Founder, Jewish Conservative Movement)

"Zionism has succeeded in bringing back into the fold many men and women, both here and in Europe, who otherwise would have been lost to Judaism. It has given them a new interest in the synagogue and everything Jewish, and put before them an ideal worthy of their love and sacrifice ... Zionism is the Declaration of Jewish Independence from all kinds of slavery, whether material or spiritual."


CHAIM WEIZMANN (President of Israel)

A member of the House of Lords asked Chaim Weizmann, "Why do you Jews insist on Palestine when there are so many undeveloped countries you could settle in more conveniently?"

Weizmann answered: "That is like my asking you why you drove twenty miles to visit your mother last Sunday when there are so many old ladies living on your street. I said, 'Mr. Balfour, if you were offered Paris instead of London, would you take it?' ... He looked surprised. He said: 'But London is our own!' I said, 'Jerusalem was our own when London was a marsh.' He said, 'That's true.'"

Quoted in Commentary Magazine (2009), 1915

WINSTON CHURCHILL (Future Prime Minister of England)

It is manifestly right that the Jews should have a National Home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in this land of Palestine, with which for more than 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated.

The cause of Zionism is one which carries with it much that is good for the whole world, and not only for the Jewish people; it will bring prosperity and advancement for the Arab population.

March 2021, quoted in Lee Pollock/National Library Of Israel, “Winston Churchill in Palestine – 100 years on,” Jerusalem Post, (March 28, 2021).