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From the earliest nineteenth-century manifestos through the big, technology-rich development projects of Israel's recent history, science and technology have loomed large in Zionist ideologies. There were several reasons for this. From the start, science and technology fit snuggly with many aims, ideals, and ideologies of Zionism. Science and technology offered means to establish Jewish title to the land. They made plain that Jewish settlement of Palestine was a Western project imbued with Western ideals. Science and technology (and scientific industry) made plain the progressive nature of the Zionist undertaking. They informed arguments that Jewish settlement would even benefit those locals displaced by the Zionists, bringing them culture of universal value, and providing a bridge between these “backward” societies and the “advanced” West. More importantly, science and technology helped meet growing practical needs of Jews building a national infrastructure in Palestine. The imprint of these considerations has remained large and influential in Israeli society until today.

Keywords: Israel; Zionism; science; technology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Noah Efron is a Graduate Program in Science, Technology & Society, Bar Ilan University;, Email:

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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