Messianic Religious Zionism Confronts Israeli Territorial Compromises

Dr Mordechai (Motti) Inbari
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Messianic Religious Zionism Confronts Israeli Territorial Compromises

Popular Features. New Releases. Description The Six Day War in profoundly influenced how an increasing number of religious Zionists saw Israeli victory as the manifestation of God's desire to redeem God's people.

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  • Messianic religious Zionism confronts Israeli territorial compromises.

Thousands of religious Israelis joined the Gush Emunim movement in to create settlements in territories occupied in the war. However, over time, the Israeli government decided to return territory to Palestinian or Arab control. This was perceived among religious Zionist circles as a violation of God's order.

The peak of this process came with the Disengagement Plan in , in which Israel demolished all the settlements in the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the West Bank. This process raised difficult theological questions among religious Zionists. This book explores the internal mechanism applied by a group of religious Zionist rabbis in response to their profound disillusionment with the state, reflected in an increase in religious radicalization due to the need to cope with the feelings of religious and messianic failure.

Table of contents 1.

Gush Emunim and the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement; 3. The statist approach confronted with the Oslo Accords; 4. Post-Zionism in the religious-Zionist camp: the 'Jewish leadership' movement; 6. The activist messianic approach of Religious Zionism, which was fueled by the vision of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook , mandated the goal of the re-establishment of the Temple as a key Zionist objective. Secular reality was perceived as Netanyahu Needs Herzog in His Coalition. After the Israeli election came to an end with a strong victory to the right, it makes sense for Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a right wing coalition with his natural partners from the right and the ultra-Orthodox parties These reasoning were used by prominent settler rabbis, as Shlomo Aviner and Zvi Tau that argued that redemption continues in heaven, or that God is testing his followers.

A third way or rationalization can be with blaming failure on human errors like miss interpretation, or blaming others for misunderstanding or interfering with the fulfillment of prophecy.

Six Days/Five Decades: 1967 and Its Significance for Israeli Security, Politics and Society

Therefore, they may argue that since messianic failure is definitely not certain, nothing should be changed in their theology and practice Zvi Tau and Shlomo Aviner ; Finally, they may acknowledge the failure of their original messianic prophecy, and yet still be strengthened in their religious zeal in order to prevent complete collapse. Since the end vision is political, with the establishment of a theocratic regime, they may be involved in political action, in order to fulfill prophecy The Jewish Leadership Movement.

My book discusses the messianic stream of religious Zionism.

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I do not argue that all religious Zionists are messianic. Fundamentalism is a useful term that comes to describe a trend of religious militancy that emerges as a response to the rise and dominance of secularity in society and politics. The term was used first in an American Christian context, but it was borrowed also to describe other movements in other faiths. This is a common term in research, but there are many critics against the use of it. After I wrote two articles based on the materials, I had found very interesting information regarding his biography, his dynamic relationship with Zionist activist, and more.

One of the chapters of this new research discusses messianic tension that developed in the Munkacz court in Hungary, under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapira. The First World War caused considerable psychological shock to the rabbi. After his death, Shapira continued with additional activities to force the end. In my book I did make a comparison of messianic religious Zionism with other religious movements in the spectrum, namely the American evangelical movement, and I studied the Christian response to Israeli territorial compromises, as a comparative case study.

Whereas Judaism and Islam share many similarities, Gush Emunim and the Muslim Brotherhood do not share much in common. Most of the radical Islamist movements are anti-secular and antigovernment.

They propose a religious alternative to the secular state. Indeed, Gush Emunim has a religious ideal for a Jewish government, which is theocratic, like the Islamists; however, Gush Emunim is not an anti-statist movement, and this is a big difference. Islamic movements are revolutionary and violent, even if sometimes they will tactically moderate themselves. Gush Emunim, by contrast, sanctified the state, which is viewed as a holy institution. It is important to mention that the growing tension between the state and the movement over territorial compromises does push some activists into a radical response which is post-statist or even anti-statist, which is more inline with the Islamist response.

Both American fundamentalism and Gush Emunim share an admiration to the state the US and Israel simultaneously , and they both see themselves as patriotic movements. They both try to forward their political agenda through the political institutions, while accepting the legitimacy of these institutions unlike the Islamists. However, their messianic perspectives are different: Religious Zionism developed a natural messianic ideology, in which God is bringing the redemption through human effort in a mundane process.

Therefore the State of Israel is viewed as a step toward redemption, but many more steps are required in order to achieve the final goal.

Edited by John J. Collins

Evangelical Christianity, in contrast, believes in the Dispensational theory, by which mankind is moving toward the last dispensation, but we still did not get to that point, and the events of the End of Days would be miraculous and supernatural. This position also influences views on the question of land for peace. For messianic religious Zionism, messianic time has already begun, and accordingly no territorial compromises are possible.

Christian Zionism believes that Jerusalem must be held by the State of Israel as a precondition for the eruption of the End of Days events. For Christian Zionism, Jerusalem constitutes a red line; on other issues, it is more flexible. When Yoel Bib-Nun and Hanan Porat were looking for a leader for the newly established Gush Emunim, they approached Amital, because he was well know for his messianic beliefs.

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View on mj. As the fate of the Oslo process shows, peacemaking that prescribes only political, military and economic arrangements is doomed to fail; leaders on both sides must take into account the feelings, attitudes, yearnings, and symbolic images that Israelis and Palestinians harbor. I am a Jew, so I cannot shoot Jews. Scritti politici e filosofici di un ebreo scettico nella Venezia del Seicento. The article discusses messianic tension that developed in the Hasidic court of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapira — , the Munkaczer Rebbe. As they themselves understood: Since surveys show that a sizable percentage of Kach supporters have religious backgrounds, it is vital that we reach traditionally observant neighborhoods, with our arguments from Biblical and Rabbinic sources. Remember me on this computer.

For Amital, the sanctity of human life was more important than the sanctity of the Land of Israel. Therefore, when it came to the prospects of peace, he supported peace over territory.

Motti Inbari

However, over time, the Israeli government decided to return territory to Palestinian or Arab control. This was perceived among religious Zionist circles as a. Cambridge Core - Middle East History - Messianic Religious Zionism Confronts Israeli Territorial Compromises - by Motti Inbari.

At a later stage he also rejected the linkage between the State and redemption. In the book, I explain the transformation of his views, which led him to publicly support the Oslo Accords. You seem to make everything cognitive dissonance without any internal theological development. These are major questions that are being debated even today. The rabbis had to respond to a pressing issue that threatened to destroy not just their homes in case of the eviction of settlements but also their entire theological infrastructure. Territorial retreats were viewed as messianic retreats.

Therefore I disagree with your statement that my research seems to make everything about cognitive dissonance without any internal theological development. I think that the urgent situation from their part forced them to respond, and you cannot ignore effects of the surrounding conditions on their decisions. Personally, I would like to see a good study of the settler journal Nekudah with its diverse elements of realism, apocalypticism, piety, and political theory.

Jews throughout the generations yearned for the rebuilding of the Temple.