In the years following the First World War, two extreme streams of thought took control of the youth of Europe: Fascist nationalism and revolutionary Marxism.
Fascism promised nations glory and conquest at the price of the development of xenophobia (hatred of foreigners). Among the first to be branded foreigners were the Jews. In this way the fire of anti-Semitism was reignited, spreading at an alarming extent, leading to brutal outbreaks of violence. Revolutionary Marxism aspired to the creation of a world without borders, at the price of the elimination of the 'non-productive classes'. The Jews, most of which were found amongst the middle classes, were threatened as individuals due to the threat to their livelihoods, and as a national group due to the danger of total assimilation
Picture Below : A Russian Jewish women watching her house burn down circa. 1926
These ideological foundations also found expression among the Jewish youth. The social and political thinking of the age conquered the hearts of the youth, who represented a vibrant reward-seeking group. A handful of enlightened young people, under great criticism, expressed the belief that these extreme standpoints and slogans did not stand up to reality, whilst acknowledging the danger hidden in the crumbling and splitting of the nation between the opposition camps, at odds with one another.
These young people saw the immediate necessity of a youth movement that would principally express the centripetal forces within Judaism, and place Zionism as the supreme value.
In 1926, the idea was crystallised with the founding of the HANOAR HATZIONI MOVEMENT. Right from the dawn of our existence we appeared o the scene as an educational movement drawing its values from the Jewish, Zionist and pioneering foundations. These 3 principles enriched and shaped, stage by stage, the world view of our members.
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