26 Feb There is More Than One Way to Define Zionism
When we attempt to come up with a Zionist definition, we tend to think of it as applying exclusively to those Jews for whom the Land and State of Israel are an important part of their lives and interest. Whether or not they actually live in Israel, Zionists care deeply about the country and its people, devoting to it their fiscal, moral and political support.
But, many people – probably even most of those who define themselves as Zionists – are mostly unaware that Zionism is not exclusively a movement that is supported only by Jews. Millions of Christians around the world are ardently devoted to the Zionist cause, offering prayers and contributions to the strengthening of the Jewish state.
This devotion is not something that was “born yesterday.” Over the generations, Christian believers in the words of the Bible, promising the Land of Israel to the people of Israel, have directed their prayers and their efforts to the fulfillment of this promise.
At the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, the stories of many of these true Christian Zionist believers over the past 200 years are told in graphic fashion, applying the latest in high technology techniques to do so. When one goes through the galleries of the museum and hears and witnesses their stories, he comes away with a new and broader understanding of a different and emotional way to define Zionism.
Through the means of film projection, animation, special lighting, giant touch screens, an original sound track and even three-dimensional presentation, we meet those who preached, cajoled and took an active part in the restoration of the Jews to their historic homeland. From such intellectuals (and doers) as Prof. George Bush in America and John Henry Dunant of Switzerland in te 19th century to military figures such as Lt. Col. John Patterson and Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate in the 20th century, we learn of how they and many other Christians devoted themselves to the cause of resettling Jews in the Holy Land.
After a one-hour tour of this unique museum — unlike any other in Israel or the world — we emerge with a new awareness of how, what and why the Zionist cause was given major impetus in world events by Bible-believing non-Jewish activists. And we begin to achieve a new understanding as to how we define Zionism on a much broader scale than we have known until now.