Zionist Movement

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The Zionist Movement is a term that can be used to describe the organisations and groups that support the creation and maintenance of a Jewish state in the Middle East. It is an alternative to and broader than those usually referred to as part of the Israel lobby.

History of the Zionist Movement

Sagi describes the founding of the movement:

In August 1897, over two hundred Jews met in Basel, Switzerland to establish the World Zionist Congress and founded the Zionist Organization (ZO). This event marked the formal establishment of the Zionist movement. From its inception this transnational movement has worked to establish a sovereign state the Jewish people could call home. It finally achieved its primary goal on May 14, 1948 when the State of Israel was established as a sovereign Jewish homeland. [1]

Sagi concludes a short overview chapter by noting the trajectory of the movement after 1948:

When the Zionist movement succeeded in creating a sovereign Jewish homeland, their goals began to shift. Many of the organizations created by the Zionists became the foundational structures of the newly formed State of Israel. A great deal of the early political leaders in Israel were active members of the ZO. The initial goal of the movement was to create a sovereign Jewish state that all Jews living in the Diaspora would eventually migrate to. However, many Jews had found new homes in other areas, such as the United States, and were content to support the cause without immigrating to Israel. Today, the Zionist movement is a highly institutionalized, transnational movement that is significantly more diffuse than it once was. Though many Zionists today still feel all Jews should immigrate to Israel, others hold the belief that the goal of the Zionist movement is to support Israel as the Jewish homeland and assist Jews living in diaspora all over the world.[1]

International/Israeli structure

The National Institutions - Jewish Agency | Keren Hayesod | Jewish National Fund | World Zionist Organization

These are the core of the of the transnational Zionist movement. However there are a number of other transnational Zionist groups that operate outside this structure in the sense that they are not members of the the WZO or any of its national affiliates.

Other international/transnational elements

  • World Jewish Congress The WJC is a strongly pro-Israel organization and was started by committed Zionists in 1936. However, it styles itself the 'diplomatic arm of the Jewish people' and refers to itself as representing 'the plurality of the Jewish people', and as 'politically non-partisan.'[2]

Regional affiliates

WJC Israel | Latin American Jewish Congress | WJC North America | Euro-Asian Jewish Congress | European Jewish Congress[3]

National affiliates

Board of Deputies of British Jews | Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France / Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France |

Affiliated organisations

African Jewish Congress | Anti-Defamation League | B'nai B'rith International | Conference of European Rabbis | Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany | Hillel | International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists | International Council of Jewish Women | International Jewish Commitee on Inter-Religious Consultations | Jewish Agency for Israel | Maccabi World Union | World ORT | Women's International Zionist Organization | World Mizrachi Movement | World Union of Jewish Students | World Union for Progressive Judaism | World Zionist Organization[3]

National Structures

US movement

Member Organizations

Affiliated Organizations

B’nai B’rith International | Emunah of America | Jewish National Fund | TzofimFriends of the Israel Scouts | Women’s League for Conservative Judaism [5]

Non WZO/AZM member pro-Israel groups

AIPAC | American Jewish Committee | American Jewish Congress | Anti Defamation League | Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations | WINEP | Christians United for Israel

UK movement


Academic Friends of Israel | AJEX | Alyth | BBYO UK | Bromley Reform Synagogue | Christian Friends of Israel | Cockfosters and N Southgate Synagogue | Edgeware and District Reform Synagogue | European Friends of Israel | Emunah | Federation of Zionist Youth | Habonim Dror | Mosaic | Jewish Labour Movement | JLGB | Kenton Jewish Community | Kinloss | Likud-Herut UK | LJY Netzer | Manchester ZCC | Masorti Judaism | Mercaz | Meretz UK | Merseyside Jewish Representative Council | Mosaic Reform Synagogue | Reform Judaism | Noam Masorti Youth | North West Surrey Synagogue | Nottingham Liberal Synagogue | Progressive Religious Zionists | British Friends pf Rambam Medical Center | The Zionist Youth Movement for Reform Judaism | Share Tsedek | Share Zedek | south Hampstead Synagogue | WIZO UK | Woodside Park Synagogue[6]

Non ZF member pro-Israel groups

Board of Deputies of British Jews | BICOM | Jewish Leadership Council | Labour Friends of Israel | Conservative Friends of Israel | We Believe In Israel


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sagi, Rottem. The Zionist Movement. in D. McAdam (Ed) The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2013.
  2. WJC About. Accessed 22 June 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 World Jewish Congress WJC communities. Accessed 14 February 2014.
  4. American Zionist Movement The Member Organizations of the American Zionist Movement. Accessed 14 February 2014.
  5. American Zionist Movement Affiliated Organizations. Accessed 14 February 2014.
  6. Zionist Federation Affiliate Members. Accessed 15 June 2018.