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Albert Einstein on Israel: How Famed German Physicist Felt About Creation of Jewish State

By    |   Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 10:04 PM

German-born physicist Albert Einstein often shared his views on Zionism, yet there remains some controversy about exactly what the scientist felt about the creation of a Jewish state.

Einstein was a pacifist who favored a Jewish homeland but was against a sovereign entity, with an army, interests, and endless strife, according to the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. Instead, he favored a bi-national formula with Arabs and Jews sharing a common state.

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Einstein said that he was against nationalism but in favor of Zionism, according to the Zionism Israel Information Center.

In 1919, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist wrote: “Zionist cause is very close to my heart…. I am very confident of the happy development of the Jewish colony and am glad that there should be a tiny speck on this earth in which the members of our tribe should not be aliens,” according to the Zionism Israel Information Center.

Einstein helped establish the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and spoke at the university in 1923, saying, “This is a great age, the age of liberation of the Jewish soul, and it has been accomplished through the Zionist movement, so that no one in the world will be able to destroy it,” according to the Zionism Israel Information Center.

A 2005 article by Benny Morris in The Guardian described Einstein as a “somewhat reluctant Zionist,” saying that the scientist’s “praise of Zionism was peppered with unease.”

A 2010 article in the Canadian Charger said the notion that Einstein supported a Jewish state in Israel began with his obituary in The New York Times, which said Einstein championed the establishment of the Jewish state, despite records to the contrary.

“I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state,” Einstein said in 1938, according to The Charger. “Apart from the practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain - especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight without a Jewish state.”

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German-born physicist Albert Einstein often shared his views on Zionism, yet there remains some controversy about exactly what the scientist felt about the creation of a Jewish state.
albert einstein, israel, physicist
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2014-04-14
Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 10:04 PM
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