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Word Count: 2,397
The Jews one of the most frequently persecuted and discriminated against groups in the world have possessed a strong desire to return to their Holy Land and create a homogenous state there since the first century The movement to return to the Holy Land Zionism was described in Hebrew religious texts and praised as a puritanical pilgrimage However executing the repatriation proved a much more difficult task than the holy books professed it to be The Muslim inhabitants of the region the vast majority of whom were opposed to a Jewish state and certainly against leaving their homeland adversely regarded Zionism In the struggle to establish a Zionist state the Arabs were eventually forced to leave their country beginning a cycle of conflict that characterized Palestine as a state since the beginning of the Zionist movement The Palestinian Arabs who felt their very existence was threatened by the Zionist movement waged official and unofficial wars against the Zionists as a means of liberation After fleeing Palestine in the first century the Jewish people sought a return to the Holy Land for centuries to come due to the strong religious significance of the location However until the 19th century Zionism was a small unorganized movement lacking leadership In Russia Jews were threatened by intense religious persecution in the form of pogroms While many Jews sought refuge in the United States Zionism also gained popularity as a result Led by Theodor Herzl the Zionist movement gained significant amounts of followers during the last four years of the 19th century and continued to grow in the 20th century The Zionist movement gained even more popularity when in 1917 the British announced the Balfour Declaration a document declaring that the British favored establishment of a Jewish state within Palestine After gaining control of Palestine a month later the British decided that negotiations between Chaim Weizmann the leading proponent of the Zionist movement and King Faysal of Syria the
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