Albert Einstein supported the Zionist movement but often clarified his position. Here are five quotes about Zionism from the theoretical physicist.
Einstein was recruited to Zionism in 1919, according to the Zionism Israel Information Center, and he worked toward the founding of the Jewish University in Jerusalem.
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- “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,” Einstein said.
- “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. …Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein 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. … I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain,” Einstein said in 1938, according to The Guardian.
- “The state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with many difficulties and narrow-mindedness. I believe it is bad,” Einstein said to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946, according to The Canadian Charger.
- “I am in favor of Palestine being developed as a Jewish Homeland but not as a separate State. It seems to me a matter for simple common sense that we cannot ask to be given the political rule over Palestine where two thirds of the population are not Jewish. What we can and should ask is a secured bi-national status in Palestine with free immigration. If we ask more we are damaging our own cause and it is difficult for me to grasp that our Zionists are taking such an intransigent position which can only impair our cause,” Einstein said in a letter in 1946, according to the Shapell Manuscript Foundation.
Einstein was among 28 prominent Jews who sent a letter to the New York Times in 1948 warning of Zionist facism in Israel.
“Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the ‘Freedom Party’ (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties,” the letter began, according to Harvard University.
The letter went on to describe Menachem Begin’s party: “Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority.”
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