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Zionism is a political movement and ideology that supports a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, where the Jewish nation originated over 3,200 years ago and where Jewish kingdoms and self-governing states existed up to the 2nd century. While Zionism is based in part upon religious tradition linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, the modern movement was originally secular, beginning largely as a response to rampant antisemitism in Europe and in many parts of the Muslim world during the 19th Century. After a number of advances and setbacks, and after the Holocaust had destroyed much of the existing Jewish society in Europe, the Zionist movement culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Since the founding of the State of Israel, the term Zionism is generally considered to mean support for Israel. However, a variety of different, and sometimes competing, ideologies that support Israel fit under the general category of Zionism, such as Religious Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, and Labor Zionism. Thus, the term is also sometimes used to refer specifically to the programs of these ideologies, such as efforts to encourage Jewish emigration to Israel. The term Zionism is also sometimes used retroactively to describe the millennia-old Biblical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, which existed long before the birth of the modern Zionist movement.
Certain individuals and groups have seized on the term Zionism and misuse it to justify attacks on Israel. In some cases, the label "Zionist" is also used improperly as a euphemism for Jews in general by those wishing to whitewash anti-Semitism (as in the Polish anti-Zionist campaign).