The Jews as a nation.

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The other struggle which the Zionists had to face resulted from their political and territorial aims. They had to fight for international recognition and for acceptance as a factor of consequence, however small, by the relevant powers. In the course of time they have had to contend with the political and, eventually, armed hostility of the inhabitants and neighbors of the particular territory where virtually all Zionists desired to re‑establish the Jewish people as a free nation: Palestine, or in Hebrew, Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.

They were more successful in the broader international arena than on the local front. Ottoman opposition hobbled the movement almost totally in its early years, and the violent opposition mounted by Arab states and peoples has to this day shaped the physical and political landscape in which Zionism has implemented its ideals. In the final analysis, it is nonetheless the reluctance of the majority of Jews worldwide to subscribe to its program in practice that has presented the strongest challenge to Zionism, and has proved the greatest obstacle to its ultimate triumph.

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Eli Barnavi is the Director of the Morris Curiel Center for International Studies and a Professor of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University