I admit not being well read in the writings of R' Shamshon Rafael Hirsch, but I was recently taken aback when someone suggested that he was anti-Zionist. Is this true, is it obvious in his writings (which one[s]), and why?
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Just to clarify the terms: we wouldn't be talking about Herzl's Zionist movement, since that was founded only in 1897, nine years after R. Hirsch's passing. The reference would be to the various "proto-Zionist" groups and ideologies of his time. (As YDK noted, a lot of the leaders of those movements were indeed secular Jews, although it is only fair to note that there were a number of religious Jews, including respectable rabbanim, who supported or even led such movements.)
The Artscroll biography of R. Hirsch, by R. E.M. Klugman, has a chapter mostly about this subject, titled "Exile and Redemption." To quote:
To summarize the next few paragraphs, his reasons included:
The author goes on to mention that R. Hirsch did approve of and assist efforts to improve the conditions of the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, and encouraged private associations for its resettlement.
To further Alex's answer: