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Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics'A Salutary Moral Influence'$
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Richard Crockatt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785491.001.0001

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Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel

Chapter:
(p.77) 4 Zionism and Israel
Source:
Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics
Author(s):

Richard Crockatt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785491.003.0005

Einstein has been depicted as both a critic and a champion of Zionism and the state of Israel, according to the agendas of those wishing to claim Einstein for their own cause. Neither conclusion, taken on its own, is tenable. Einstein’s participation in a Zionist fund-raising trip to America in 1921 shows that he was a supporter of the idea of a Jewish homeland, even if a Jewish state was not his preferred goal. The guiding thread in Einstein’s Zionism was his identification with his Jewishness, coupled with his dismissal of the assimilationist philosophy favoured by many German Jews. A key ingredient of Einstein’s approach to Zionism was his commitment to a wider framework of values, above all his hatred of nationalism and his devotion to internationalism, which operated always as a limit on his Zionism and subsequently his stance towards Israel.

Keywords:   Zionism, Israel, Jewishness, assimilationist philosophy, internationalism, state of Israel, fund-raising trip, German Jews, hatred of nationalism

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