Zeal for Zion: Chris­tians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land

Shalom Gold­man
  • Review
By – August 25, 2011
Today, when we hear the term Zion­ism we think of a polit­i­cal phenomenon.Before it became a pure­ly polit­i­cal phe­nom­e­non, how­ev­er, Zion­ism was a polit­i­cal nation­al­ist move­ment, just like oth­er nation­al­ist move­ments of the late 19th cen­tu­ry, be they Alban­ian or Ital­ian. The big dif­fer­ence is that Zion­ism was Jew­ish nation­al-ism.
Shalom Gold­man, in his new book, Zeal for Zion, takes a fresh look at the move­ment that spawned the Jew­ish home­land. He looks at Zion from the Jew­ish per­spec­tive and he also exam­ines and explains the Chris­t­ian approach to the move­ment that brought about the cre­ation of the Promised Land.
Instead of purs­ing a more tra­di­tion­al, text­book-like study, Gold­man chose sev­er­al his­tor­i­cal char­ac­ters and views Zion through their eyes. He com­pares Her­zl to his Chris­t­ian friends, he pairs Oliphant with Imber and he dis­cuss­es the Popes’ vis­its to Israel. And final­ly, Gold­man com­pares ear­ly Jew­ish set­tlers to Chris­t­ian Zion­ists.
Gold­man com­pares and con­trasts seem­ing­ly dis­cor­dant points of view and shows what moti­vat­ed both reli­gions’ rela­tion­ship with Zion.
Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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