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Difference Between Zionism and Judaism

While Judaism and Zionism are both intertwined, they are not the same things. Also, some Jews may be Zionists, not all of them are. Both Judaism and Zionism are closely related to the Jewish faith, which means that the follow the same religious teachings. 

However, Zionism is more than just religious, as it also involves aspects of political aspirations to create a sovereign Jewish homeland. There are some important distinctions to make between Zionism and Judaism, so let’s figure out what these are. 

What is Judaism?

We then have Judaism, which is a religion, and in fact the world’s number one oldest religion that is monotheistic in nature, which means that its believers only believe in one single God. To be specific, this is the God of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. Abraham is known as being the patriarch of Judaism, as he was visited by an Angel in 1800 BCE, which instructed him to spread the word of God. 

One of the most notable texts in the Jewish tradition is the Torah, otherwise known as the Hebrew Bible. One of the main tenants of the Jewish faith is that the covenant between the Jewish people and God. 

Moreover, there are also various aspects of Jews’ life that are spiritual, like daily practices, eating customs, and the family life and community. A good Jewish person is one who is considered to follow the commandments of the Torah as closely as possible. Unlike Zionism, which has political aims, Judaism is simply religious.

What is Zionism?

As mentioned above, Zionism has political aims. The important aspect to take note of here is that Zionism is also closely related to the Jewish faith. All Zionists are Jewish in nature. Zionism first got its start during the 19th century, specifically among the Jews living in Europe. 

This idea of Zionism especially took hold after the persecution which the Jewish people suffered during World War Two. Zionism refers to the movement advocating that the Jews should go back to Zion, a sacred word, which stands for Jerusalem and Israel, referring to the land of Israel to the Jews.

The Zionist movement is a direct reaction to harsh antisemitism and persecution that the Jews had to endure throughout the centuries, which ultimately resulted in the Holocaust. The main goal of Zionism is to create a sovereign Jewish state, and it is therefore political in nature.

Similarities Between Zionism and Judaism

How are they in some ways similar – Zionism and Judaism?

They’re Connected to Israel

Perhaps the most common similarity shared between both Judaism and Zionism is that Israel holds significance. In Zionism, it’s seen as the national homeland of the Jewish people, whereas in Judaism, it’s considered to be given to the Jewish people by God, and known as the promised land.

Both Follow the Same Religion

Although Zionism does have political goals, its roots lie in the Jewish faith, which is exactly what Judaism is. Without Judaism, Zionism would not exist either.

Preservation of Judaism

Although Judaism itself is just religious in nature, and Zionism also has political aims, you main similarity shared here is that the goal of both is to preserve Jewish life and culture. Judaism does so by spreading the faith and ensuring that practicing jews follow the teachings of the Torah, and more so, Zionism has an emphasis on national identity as well. 

Differences Between Zionism and Judaism

These are two separate entities. One is an ethnic nationalist movement, and the other is a religion.

Political vs Religious

The main difference between Zionism and Judaism is that Judaism is only religious in nature, whereas Zionism also has political aims. Zionism is a political movement with the goal of creating a sovereign Jewish homeland, a goal which Judaism itself does not have.

The Focus

The main focus of Judaism is to be a good practicing Jew and to follow the teachings of the Torah as closely as possible. While Zionists also share this view, their focus is more on a political agenda, a nationalist movement to create a sovereign state that is self-determined.

Zionism May Be Secular 

Interesting to note is that although Zionism promotes a Jewish national homeland, many Zionists are actually secular in nature, which means that they do not believe that the state and religion should be mixed, a view which many practicing Jews may not share.

Judaism vs Zionism

Summary of Differences Between Judaism and Zionism 

Has one can see, the main difference between Judaism and Zionism is quite simple, with Judaism being a religion devoted to practicing the faith, whereas Zionism is a national and political movement based on the Jewish faith.


What’s the difference between Zionists and Jews?

Being Jewish is a purely religious aspect, one of faith. Jews follow one God and have various practices that define their religion. Jewish people can consist of various ethnicities and can come from all over the world. Zionists on the other hand, while all being Jewish, are specifically motivated by political aspirations. Their goal is to create a political Jewish homeland. 

What is the difference between Zionism and Israeli Jews?

Israeli Jews are simply Jewish people that live in the country of Israel. On the other hand, Zionism is a Jewish political movement, with the main goal being to create a political state run by and dedicated to the Jewish faith. One is geographical and religious in nature, whereas the other also involves political goals. 

What is the difference between Zionism and Judaism?

Judaism is a very old religion, one that includes many different spiritual practices. It has been around for thousands of years and may incorporate a wide variety of ethnicities. Although related, Zionism is a political movement with the aim of creating a Jewish-run homeland specifically for the gain of the Jewish people. 

What is the fundamental goal of Zionism?

The number one goal of Zionism is to create a Jewish state, a sovereign state, specifically in Israel, which by Jews and Zionists alike, is viewed as the homeland of the Jews. The goal is to promote Jewish security and to further the religion. 

What is the historical context that led to the emergence of Zionism?

Zionism first started due to the many threats faced by the Jewish people. Zionism first began after World War II, when the Jewish people were in search for a safe-haven from all of the persecution that they had experienced up until that point. 

Is it accurate to say that all Jews are Zionists?

No, not all Jews are Zionists. Jewish people are characterized by their faith, whereas Zionists are characterized by their political goals. Not all Jewish people have political aspirations. Many just want to practice their faith without any political ends. 

Can one be a practicing Jew without supporting the goals of Zionism, or vice versa?

Yes, a Jew can practice the religion without supporting Zionism or its goals. One can simply practice a religion without having political motivation. However, Zionism is a Jewish political movement, and therefore all Zionists must be of the Jewish faith. 

What are the main criticisms or debates within the Jewish community regarding Zionism?

One of the main concerns among Jews who do not support Zionism is that Zionism automatically results in the mistreatment and displacement of the Palestinian people. 

How do the religious teachings of Judaism align or conflict with the political aspects of the Zionist movement?

Some think that the political goals of Zionism are in direct conflict with the teachings of peace and justice, whereas others in the Jewish faith believe that creating a Jewish state is a part of some kind of larger religious prophecy. 


The bottom line is that while both are connected, Judaism is purely religious, whereas Zionism also involves political ambitions. 

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  1. Great Article. I never knew what a “Zionist” was but have been hearing the term used alot lately. I thought all Jews were Zionists. I’m glad I found your article.

  2. All practicing Jews believe in the Messiah, and that the land of Israel will be returned to them, eventualy. Jews have prayed to God for thousands of years to return them to their land and to rebuild the temple.

    Zionism, is the movement to take back the land without waiting for the Messiah to do so. Zionists can be either religious or non religous.

    That is the whole story. This article, unfortunately, includes a lot of unnecessary bias.

    • I’m not an authority, however I want to tell you that I agree only with your 1st & 2nd sentence.

      • Why?

        If you cannot justify your response, why then would you imagine that ANYBODY would be interested in your unqualified opinion?

        Nobody is taking a survey here!

    • The thing brother HaLeivei is that the Messiah (Jesus peace be upon him) will take back the land of Israel, but with the Muslims. He will also kill the False Messiah.

    • I agree Zionism is not racism they are under the belief that they are to reinhabit the land promised to Abraham Isaac and Jacob which by the way was changed from Jacob to Israel for his name… has nothing to do with racism God even said that he would gather his people from the four corners of the Earth… that article sounded bias

  3. One does not have to be Jewish to be zionist.

    • No they would only need to be a cunt to be a Zionist, Zionism is not some grand movement to take back land, it’s to kill and terrorise the current inhabitants.

  4. This article was obviously written by 1) a non-Jew 2) a non-Zionist 3) a person with distorted views on both subjects. In fact, their prejudice is painfully transparent. Zionism is the movement to rebuild the Jewish homeland in their ancestral land – a land from which they never relinquished their claim, and in fact, there have always been Jews living there.

  5. hi, just as a ortodhks jew, i was happy to read this dissociation, we and almost all jews who are “doing jedisem’, agreeing to this facts. its simple, jews are not a race, everyone, from anywhere, from any sact can get jewish and do the 613 laws g-d gave to the sons of abraham issec and jacob on mount seini. ”jewdisam is a religios. ”if you see a man, who is not practicing the jewish law. dont see him as a jew, just like i dont see president obama as a muslem even his grandma is…

    • Thank you Efra for telling out the truth. The Zionist are NOT jews and the State of “Israel”
      is NOT a jewish state! One and for all!!

  6. All Zionists are jews? I am totally opposed!
    According to the halacha someone who does’nt belive in the thirteen principles of the jewish faith posted by Maimonides (known as the “13 IKKRIM” ) is considered as a heretic and is excluded from judaism, that means that all zionists becouse of their heresy are not jewish people although they have also many religious people, that makes no difference.
    (look in rambam pirush hamishnayos sanhedrin perek cheylek)

  7. A very poorly written article.

    “All Zionist are Jews”
    False. Many Christians and Muslims are Zionists too.

    “Now all of them certainly believe in Judaism”
    False. Jews are often secular (Jewish atheist)

    “A Zionist on the other hand would have very little factual information about his people, but a fanciful notion about the origin of his race.”

    An unqualified sweeping assumption, especially considering its contradictory nature. Zionism is rooted in the Hebrew Bible, which is in itself factual information about the Jewish people.

    Correct your mistakes and rewrite your article, maybe even read a book about the religion before you try to misrepresent it every again.

    • Perhaps you should read @orthodox jew one more time, you might avoid missing the point:
      “All Zionists are jews? I am totally opposed!
      According to the halacha someone who does’nt belive in the thirteen principles of the jewish faith posted by Maimonides (known as the “13 IKKRIM” ) is considered as a heretic and is excluded from judaism, that means that all zionists becouse of their heresy are not jewish people although they have also many religious people, that makes no difference.
      (look in rambam pirush hamishnayos sanhedrin perek cheylek)

      Besides which loving God which ever advocate the killing on innocent people, Guess history repeats itself and you Zionists will be expelled from the holy land by god one more time, this time for good.

    • No mention of Talmoud? Hmmmm

    • I think the author was helping to give a modern historical account and had some valid points. I suggest that only those Jews who actually practice live and breathe their religion are those whom God is interested in saving. The intentions of the heart is what matters. Thats how i perceive of the written Word.

  8. This article is wrong on many levels. The blanket statement made that all Zionists are Jews but not all Jews are Zionists, is incorrect. Many Christians and Muslims live, work and play as Israeli citizens and even serve in Israeli government. Next fallacy is Zionism is racism. The previous statement directly refutes that along with the proof of Ethiopian Jews and their return to the Jewish homeland. Many Muslims and Christians support Israel, usually the most educated ones. If you even read the Quran, you would see the fact that Israel is indeed the land of the Jews. You ignore your own religion. Your religion obviously doesn’t mean much to you.

  9. The article begins with slander: “Zionism defines the philosophy behind an *exclusive* Jewish state which is the physical and spiritual homeland meant *exclusively* for the Jewish people,” which shows the author lack of honesty and biased against Israel (the direct result of Zionism). Even Wikipedia has it right: “Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת, translit. Tsiyonut) is the national movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel.” There are millions of non Jews living in Israel (or the “Zionist Entity” as Islamo-fascism calls it). The author also shows a complete ignorance of Judaism. Don’t believe a word he writes.

  10. There is no differences between two, their agenda is to grabbed the land of Arabs by hook or crooks in order to established their own homeland by depriving
    real owners the Palestinians forcefully with the help of mighty US military.

    • This is wrong. I am Jewish and at least half of all Jews live outside Israel/Palestine, if we wanted to be Israeli we could automatically be according to the country’s rules – but we don’t want to be. Only when the Messiah comes and restores the Temple will it have a connection to all Jews. In that time there is no reason for any people to be excluded from living there, since all humans are the children of G-d.

  11. This article is incredibly biased and incorrect.

  12. What drivel. Of course all zionists are not Jews. If you ever read any prayers from the Torah or seen any Jewish service you’d know that every other sentence mentions Israel.

    I want a 2 state solution but one of those states should be a Jewish state, does that make me a Zionist? Is that a bad thing?

    If it is we better tell the “Palestinians” (please remind me what the letter “P” in Arabic was again) they can’t have a Muslim state because it’s racist. Also we need to say the same thing to all Muslim countries.

    Also what is this luddites problem with advancing technology and having a good military when historical precident shows attempted invasions by ALL of your neighbours!!

  13. Wow!
    As a non Jew and not what you could call a practicing Christian, I am surprised at the conflict present in what I thought to be the most homogenous group of people on the planet.
    i now understand why in my country it seems that Jews tend to lean to the left politically which seems to me a form of suicide based on what has happened in the past when countries go too far to the left. The Jews are usually some of the first to be persecuted. Not so much as their religion, but more because Jewish people tend to have higher IQ’s which makes them instant enemies of totalitarian governments.
    If the chosen people of God cannot agree on basic principles, how can the rest of the world have any hope of peace?

  14. Zionist were called the worlds first terrorists (re: the murderous stein gang), that fact is true even today, zionist are thieves, racists, their aparthied system is about hatred for all non zionists, Netanyahu has even created laws based on the Nazi Nuremberg Laws, he is a right wing fascist who reaches out to others of similar belief. He is the new Hitler and the Israel army are his gestapo fiends.

  15. Not all Jews “certainly believe in Judaism”. I know at least two Jewish people who are atheists.

  16. How can the author say, “All Zionist are Jews, but not all Jews are Zionists”? I am a Zionist and I am a goy.

  17. What about the Noahide Laws the Zionists are trying to enforce in all the gentile (goy) nations? What about the Noahide Law stating basically, “Thou shalt not have any idols” (although the Christian Bible states that commandment as “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” which has a different connotation)? The Zionist Jews consider the Christian worship of Jesus Christ as the physical incarnation of God as idol worship punishable by beheading. These Zionists have infiltrated the governments of the world, sneaking their Noahide laws into the laws of countries the world over and subverting the right to Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion as stated by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. See a description of the Noahide Laws . As a believer in Jesus Christ as the Messiah who has already come and who has already established the Third Temple (“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Cor. 6:19.). A true Christian does not support the building of a Third Temple in Jerusalem, that is blasphemous. A Zionist Christian is busy buying Trump coins to hurry it along. 🙁

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References :


[1]Divine, D. R. (2014). Zionism and the Politics of Authenticity. Israel Studies, 19(2), 94–110. https://doi.org/10.2979/israelstudies.19.2.94

[2]Raz-Krakotzkin A. Religion and Nationalism in the Jewish and Zionist Context. In: Rouhana NN, Shalhoub-Kevorkian N, eds. When Politics Are Sacralized: Comparative Perspectives on Religious Claims and Nationalism. Cambridge University Press; 2021:33-53

[3]Judaism Or Zionism? What Difference for the Middle East?. (1986). Switzerland: EAFORD.

[4]Image credit: https://canva.com/photos/MAEEUIifFeU-zionism-dictionary-definition/

[5]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAED2IbDwOU-judaism-and-faith-concept/

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