Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Geopolitical Genesis and Prospect of Zionism

Mohameden Ould-Mey.

Zionism, the State of Israel, and their supporters teach three central claims: (1) the Jews invented Zionism, (2) the Jews are a Semitic people, and (3) the State of Israel should and will remain an exclusively Jewish state. This paper takes issue with the first claim and raises critical questions about the others. Its central argument focuses on the geopolitical and non-Jewish origin of Herzlian Zionism and draws upon a geopolitical economy approach and the deconstruction of Zionist historiography. First, the paper examines the geopolitical emergence of the Jewish Question in Russia in light of successive partitions of Poland and the interference of British Zionism in Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire. Second, it discusses the role of the non-Zionist Jewish Colonization Association in reinforcing the medieval and Renaissance stereotypes of the “economic Jew” by shuffling Jewish capital and labor between Europe, Russia, the Americas, and the Middle East. Third, it presents how the British introduced Herzl to Zionism and then introduced both Herzl and Zionism to the Europeans, the Russians, and the Ottomans. Fourth, it outlines the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent change in Zionism’s custody from Britain to the United States in the aftermath of World War II. Fifth, the paper concludes with some remarks on the overall genesis and prospect of Zionism in light of new perspectives about the non-Jewish genesis of Zionism, the non-Semitic origins of contemporary Jews, and the non-Zionist future of Palestine.


Mohameden Ould-Mey  (United States)
Assistant Professor of Geography
Department of Geography, Geology and Anthropology
Indiana State University

Mohameden Ould-Mey is Assistant Professor of Geography at Indiana State University. His areas of research concentration include development policy and theory, Africa and the Middle East, and the development of geographic thought. His published works include Currency Devaluation and Resource Transfer from the South to the North, The New Global Command Economy, and Global Restructuring and Peripheral States. He is Associate Editor of the Arab World Geographer.

  • Zionism
  • Jewish Question
  • Palestine
  • Israel
  • Political Geography
  • Geopolitics

(Virtual Presentation, English)