Question: What is Zionism?
Answer: Zionism is the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in Zion.
Zion is the biblical name for the land of Israel. The origin of the word is the Jebusite fortress conquered by David (II Sam. 5:7).
The Zionist movement arose in response to the growing anti-Semitism of the late 19th century. The term "Zionism" was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum. Theodore Herzl, an Austrian journalist, formally organized the Zionist movement in 1897. Herzl believed that Jews could never be safe as a minority group in a foreign land due to anti-Semitism, and that security for Jews could only be achieved through gaining soveignty in a land of their own.
In 1948, the goal of political Zionism was achieved with the birth of the modern State of Israel. Modern Zionism is concerned with the support and development of the state of Israel. Some believe that modern Zionism should focus on attaining worldwide recognition of Israel as the Jewish state and others believe it should be concerned with achieving peace.