Zionism also known as the Balfour Declaration was a public declaration granted by the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, on November 2, 1917, in the structure of a letter written to Lionel Walter Rothschild. It conveyed British support for the innovation of a Jewish region in Palestine. The subject of the Balfour Declaration would have significant impacts on the politics of the Middle East, whose consequences are still felt in today’s life.

In this article, you will get to know everything about the Zionist movement for UPSC and its purpose, the aims of the Zionist movement and all the important dates to be remembered for the UPSC exam. So do have a glance till the end of the article to get a crystal clear idea of Zionism.

What is the Zionist Movement?

Zionism was a movement in the late 1800s which directed on the organization of a Jewish

homeland in the territory interpreted as the ancient Land of Israel. It was founded upon the writings of Theodor Herzl, who was instrumental in altering it into a political philosophy known today. Although fairly unseen, the Zionism movement obtained a much-needed gain when Britain affirmed and benefited it. This assistance came amid rising concerns about World War I was turning out for the Allied faction.

By 1917, France and Britain were shut in an impasse along the Western Front with Germany, while an allied campaign achieved in Gallipoli to smash Ottoman Turkey out of the war had emerged in a colossal failure.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the Russian Revolution had affected the involvement of Russia in World War I uncertainly.  Even though the United States had arrived the war on the wall of the Allies, it would not be until

much later would a sizeable group of its corps arrive to make a variation in the war.

It was against this background that the British government of David Lloyd George made the

judgment to publicly assist Zionism. The movement in Britain would be carried by Chaim

Weizmann, a Russian Jew relieved in England.

What was the Purpose of the Zionist Movement?

Below given are the purposes of the Zionist movement:

# Lloyd George thought that the Zionist movement was an honourable cause as it pledged for an organization of a homeland long-withheld due to several political and historical components. A sentiment shared by other significant leaders of the time.

# The assistance for Zionism would help achieve Jewish support  for Allies in impartial countries, which would be vital in turning the tide of World War I

# Although approval was made with France to split the former holdings of the Ottoman Empire upon its eventual downfall, Lloyd George anticipated a total British dominance in the Palestine area as it would confirm to be an essential bridge between two valuable British provinces India and Egypt.

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Important Dates to know for UPSC CSE IAS Examination


The First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, instructs “a publicly and legally secured home in Palestine” for Jews and organises the World Zionist Organization.

January 13, 1898

The French writer Emile Zola exposed the Dreyfus liaison to the general public in a famously volatile open letter to President Félix Faure.


The Fifth Zionist Congress organises the Jewish National Fund.


Uganda Proposal for concession in East Africa breaks the sixth Zionist Congress. A committee is established to look into it.


Antisemitic Zionist conspiracy theories associated with the Ottoman Young Turk ruling elite are fuelled within the British government via diplomatic equivalence from Gerard Lowther.

October 1915 – January 1916

McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, deciding to give Arabia to Arabs if Arabs will battle against the Turks. The Arab Revolt started in June 1916.

August 1917

The establishment of the Jewish Legion of the Zion Mule Corps, inaugurated in 1914 by Zeev Jabotinsky and Joseph Trumpeldor.

November 2, 1917

The Government of British issued the Balfour Declaration which was mainly based on three ideas.


Chaim Weizmann became the fresh President of the WZO at the 12th Zionist Congress (the initial since World War I)

What is the Aim of the Zionist Movement?

The huge-scale extermination of European Jews by the Nazis directed many Jews to strive for refuge in Palestine and many others, particularly in the United States, to conceal Zionism. As uncertainties grew among Zionists and Arabs, Britain resigned the Palestine problem first to Anglo-U.S. meeting for an outcome and later to the United Nations, which on November 29, 1947, recommended the partition of the country into distinct Arab and Jewish states. The invention of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, accelerated an incursion by the neighbouring Arab countries that were soundly conquered by the Israeli army.

By the time respite agreements were approved in 1949, Israel carried more land than had been allocated to it under the UN separation plan. About 800,000 Arabs had also left or been displaced from the region that became Israel. Thus, 30 years after the Balfour Declaration and 50 years after the first Zionist congress, Zionism accomplished its aim of founding a Jewish state in Palestine, but at the exact time, it became an armed camp enclosed by hostile Arab nations, and Palestinian organisations immersed in terrorism in and outside Israel.

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More to Know

During the following two decades, Zionist organisations in many countries proceeded to boost financial support for Israel and to motivate Jews to immigrate there. Most Jews, however, deny the view produced by some very Orthodox Jews in Israel that the Jews outside the Israel region were living in “exile” and could survive an entire life only in Israel.


The outcomes of the Balfour Declaration became shortly apparent following the edge of World War I. As per the “mandate system” established by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, Britain was required to be an impartial party, neither taking the perspectives of the Jewish or Arab citizens when it regulated Palestine. When the components of the Balfour Declaration became public, though, Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere felt that this was not to be the situation.

They were furious at the point that they had been rejected the liberty to nationhood and self-government that had been assured in recovery for their participation against the Ottoman Empire. The migration of the Jewish population towards Palestine would only boost violence among Arabs and Jews.

Know in Detail

The arising instability postponed Britain from making a valid decision about Palestine. However, the end of World War II and the Holocaust that was executed on the Jewish population at the period directed to international support for Zionism. The nation of Israel was announced as a result, on 14th May 1948. But that would not be the stop. Rather it would be the starting of a long and digressive war between Israel and the Arab states that goes on to this day.

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Hoping that the above article was useful for you to know everything about the Zionist movement in detail. The purpose of the movement aims and the results. All important dates of Zionism have enlisted above, do have look to remember all the important concepts for the UPSC exam.

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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