The Ideology of Jewish Messianism by Israel Shahak

The Ideology of Jewish Messianism


Israel Shahak


Race & Class

A Journal on Racism, Empire and Globalisation

Volume 37, Number 2
pages 81-91

At a time when so many politicians, political scientists and media pundits in the West are busily discussing the real or supposed dangers of Islamic fundamentalism, hardly anybody speaks of Jewish fundamentalism, which is growing in Israel and in the U.S. even more. I do not mean by that the negligible splinters of Kahanism, but the much more influential and dangerous messianic ideology of the religious settlers in the occupied territories, organisationally represented by the Gush Emunim. Unlike the Kahanist splinters, Gush Emunim is considered perfectly respectable. On some important issues, it is supported by the entire opposition in Israel, both right-wing and religious, as well as by some influential Jewish and Christian groups in the U.S. Although it has organised demonstrations against Yitzhak Rabin, some of its leaders remain his closest friends. The prospect of Gush Emunim either seizing power in Israel through a coup d'čtat or heavily influencing Israeli policies through a complacent government is by no means unlikely: nor should it be forgotten that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and intends to keep its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East. Contrary to what is usually believed, the ideology of Gush Emunim is, in my view, even more extremist than those attributed to the extremes of Islamic fundamentalism.

The ideology of Gush Emunim is traceable in its essentials to the 1920s. It was devised by rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, the chief rabbi of Palestine, the most prominent rabbinical supporter of Zionism and a prolific author, who died in 1935. His retinue considered him divinely inspired. His son and successor, rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who died childless at the age of 91 in the late 1980s, was treated with similar deference. To all intents and purposes, his followers became a sect within Orthodox Judaism. In 1974, this sect established a political arm of its own, the Gush Emunim. After T.V. Kook's death, the spiritual leadership of the sect, which controls the political leadership, devolved onto a "rabbinical council," whose members are selected by mysterious criteria from among his disciples. The innovative tenets of their theology are traceable to an interpretation of Jewish mysticism (the Cabbala). Since, however, the writings of both Kooks are (possibly deliberately) even more obscure than the invariably obscure Cabbalistic writings, understanding them demands a competence in Talmudic literature, in Cabbalistic literature and in modern interpretations of both. Unfortunately, the deeper implications of all those writings are theologically too intricate to lend themselves easily to a popular presentation to otherwise well-educated readers. Hence, such presentations are lacking, even in Hebrew.1

Before discussing the political implications, let me begin with some fundamentals of rabbi A. V. Kook's theology as interpreted by Gush Emunim. That theology is both eschatological and messianic, in that it assumes the imminence of the coming of the Messiah, when the Jews, aided by God, will triumph over the Gentiles and rule them (for the latter's own good) forever. Consequently, all current political developments can be interpreted by those in the know (i.e., the leaders of the sect) as destined to bring this end nearer, or to postpone it. Specifically, Jewish sins, particularly lack of faith (the worst of them), can postpone the coming of the Messiah. Not for long, though; even the worst sins of the Jews cannot alter the predestined course of Redemption. All they can do is to increase the sufferings befalling Jews beforehand. The two world wars, the Holocaust and other calamitous events of modern history serve as stock examples of such a curative punishment. Such explanations can go into much specific detail. One of the best known rabbis from the "rabbinical council" of Gush Emunim is Dov Lior (Lior also gave a eulogy at the funeral of Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish settler (and Israeli army major) who shot dead twenty-nine Palestinians in the Hebron mosque massacre on February 25, 1994.), who also serves as the rabbi of the Kiryat Arba settlement. He has attributed Israel's relative failure in its 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the lack of faith manifested in signing a peace agreement with Egypt and "returning the inheritance of our ancestors [Sinai] to strangers." The odder such explanations are, the more readily they tend to be accepted by the sect. In Cabbalistic doctrine, the nearer the Redemption is, the more incomprehensible its portents appear to the uninitiated. This is because the power of the Satan (of Gentiles) can be defeated only by acting bizarrely. (The Satan of the Cabbala is conceived of as rational and well-versed in logic.) The same logic was quite common in past Jewish movements of the same type, for example in the worldwide movement of the false Messiah, Shabbtay Zevi (1665-66), or in early Hassidism.

So far, these beliefs are derived from tradition. There are, however, some innovations as well. One concerns the concept of the Messiah. The Bible anticipated a single Messiah, Jewish mysticism anticipated two of them, but Gush Emunim anticipates a collectivity of Messiahs. According to the original Cabbalistic doctrine, the two Messiahs will differ in character. The first, a militant figure, called "the Son of Yoseph," will have the task of preparing the material preconditions for the Redemption. The second Messiah will be the spiritual "Son of David," redeeming the world by spectacular miracle-making. But both are still conceived of as individuals. Rabbi A.Y .Kook altered this notion by identifying "the Son of Yoseph" with a group, his own followers. In the same way, Gush Emunim perceives itself (or perhaps only its rabbis) as a collective incarnation of the first of the two divinely ordained Messiahs, though this fact cannot be revealed to the uninitiated until conditions are ripe. Therefore, Gush Emunim cannot err under its infallible divine guidance.

The second innovation concerns the relation of the first Messiah to the ignorant and unbelieving Jews. In this matter, rabbi A.Y. Kook's doctrine draws upon the biblical prophecy that the "salvation bringing" Messiah will be "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zachariah, 9, 9). In Cabbala, this verse was regarded as "proof that there will be two Messiahs: one riding upon an ass and the other upon a colt. But rabbi A.Y. Kook faced a problem: how can a collective Messiah ride upon a single ass? He solved it by identifying the ass with the secular and indifferent Jews. It is upon them that the collective Messiah will ride, which means that he will exploit them for material gains, while at the same time redeeming them, at least as far as they are capable of being redeemed. And, just as the messianic ass, given its low place in the hierarchy of beings, is and must remain ignorant of the noble purpose of its divinely inspired rider, so Gush Emunim matters more than the remainder of the Jewish nation by virtue of its exclusive access to divine truth. The rider leads the ass towards salvation: given this noble purpose, he may well deliver some kicks en route to make sure the ass does not stray from the path. In this way, Gush Emunim has to deal with ass-like Jews, stubborn enough to refuse to renounce their beastly habits and concerns and to embrace the true faith.

It is the last innovation of rabbi A.Y .Kook to be discussed here which has contributed most decisively to the growth of Gush Emunim's popularity. It concerns the conduct of the elect throughout the Redemption: in relation to other Jews, in relation to Gentiles and in relation to worldly concerns in general, Rabbi A.Y. Kook taught that the elect should not stand aloof from the rest of the world. True, the rest of the world was sinful and satanic in its nature. But the task of the elect was to bridge, to the extent possible, the gap between themselves and the rest of society by involving themselves in the latter and thus sanctifying it. This doctrine has, since the 1920s, deeply influenced the behaviour of Kook's followers and was reasserted with added vigour by Gush Emunim after 1974. Unlike the Orthodox Jews, rabbi Kook's followers began to dress like seculars, except for wearing a minimal skullcap. Today, they tend to dress in the Israeli fashions of the 1950s. Similarly, their schools introduced much secular teaching matter into their curricula. Rabbi Kook insisted that fighting and training oneself to fight was a religious duty. Faithful to this teaching, Gush Emunim includes large numbers of officers from select units of the Israeli army. Special army units comprised of the students of Gush Emunim's yeshivot are renowned for their excellent combat qualities, for their high levels of motivation and for bearing a relatively high casualty rate in the Lebanon war. In a society as militaristic as that of Israel, this attitude won Gush Emunim wide public sympathy.

Hence, Gush Emunim is highly respected by right-wing Israeli Jews. The Labour electorate once had some respect for Gush Emunim, but eventually Gush Emunim managed to antagonise it by demanding that Lebanon be annexed "as a part of the heritage of our ancestors, the tribes of Asher, Naftali and Zebulon" and, more generally, by supporting policies even more hawkish than those of Ariel Sharon. For example, Gush Emunim vehemently opposed Sharon's 1982 alliance with the Lebanese Falangists on the grounds that the latter were Christians and therefore "idolaters." Gush Emunim believes that in the messianic age the Jews should rely on God's help alone in their conquests. Alliances with infidels could incur the risk that God might withhold His help as a retribution. The apocalyptic nature of such beliefs was well-illustrated in the interrogation of a member of the Jewish underground, caught red-handed in spring 1984 by the Shabak (Israeli secret police) while laying bombs under Arab buses and planning to blow up the mosques on Temple Mount. As the man explained to his interrogators, "the demolition of these mosques would have infuriated the hundreds of millions of Muslims in the entire world. Their rage would inevitably lead to a war which, in all likelihood would escalate into a world war. In such a war the scale of casualties would be formidable enough to promote the process of Redemption of the Jews and of the land of Israel. All the Muslims would by then disappear, which means that everything would be ready for the coming of the Messiah." 2 Such doctrines, traceable to Gush Emunim, were unpalatable even to the worst Labour hawks.

But Gush Emunim is increasingly loathed by Labourites and left-wingers for other reasons. One of them, which emerged after the Oslo accords and the Hebron massacre, was the belated disclosure of the tight control the Gush Emunim rabbis exercise over the organisation and their contempt and hatred for secular Jews who dare disobey the divine will. Dov Elbaum, writing on the Association of Judea and Samaria Rabbis, which rules the Gush Emunim settlers, quotes rabbi Daniel Shilo from the Kedumim settlement:

Some Jews who lack faith even begin to ponder whether the whole idea of settlement might not be fundamentally wrong, or whether the process of Divine Redemption is not in its retrogressive stage, or whether the Almighty is not trying to signal to us that we halt the settling. In such a moment, the rabbis have a duty to provide the answers. This is why we, the rabbis, have now more power than any conceivable lay authority. By virtue of our spiritual influence.3

Elbaum goes on to show how the Judea and Samaria rabbis "are not satisfied with being vested with spiritual power only. They even began developing their own extensive intelligence network, using information gathered from religious or otherwise sympathetic officers from the army's high command. General Moshe Bar-Kochba (a member of the General Staff) who recently died after retiring from the army, was named by [them] . . . as one of their major informants . . . Rabin, whose top priority is to reach a dialogue with religious settlers, keeps summoning the Judea and Samaria Council members for intimate talks." 4

Rabin's servility notwithstanding, some Israeli Jews are well aware how busy the Judea and Samaria rabbis are in their advocacy of hate towards Jewish seculars—that ass which refuses to obey the commands of his divinely appointed rider. As Nadav Shraggai observes, these rabbis now inculcate a "two-fold hatred," against non-Jews and against secular Jews. For example, the religious settlers and their sympathisers renounced the traditional prayer for the State of Israel, said on every Sabbath and holiday since 1948. The plea to God to "radiate Your light and truth upon Israel's leaders, ministers and advisers" was found particularly offensive, since Rabin and all his ministers have begun to be regarded as traitors. Shraggai insists that "the personal, ideological and religious crisis in which the national-religious Jewish community in Israel has found itself generated doubts about the very foundations of religious Zionism: namely its historic alliance with secular Zionism and its wholehearted acceptance of the State of Israel. In the past, that alliance revolved around the perception of the secular State of Israel as a first stage in the process of Redemption. At present, even the moderates in that camp put this assumption in question." 5

For rabbi Yair Dreyfus, of whom Shraggai also writes, Israel will commit "apostasy the day the agreement with the PLO takes effect. That day will mark the end of the Jewish-Zionist era in the sacred history of the Land of Israel. Historians will record that the Jewish-Zionist era lasted from 1948 to 1993. It ended when most Jews turned into Canaanites . . . In that era of sin, Jewish political thought, cultural-educational thought included, will be polluted by—as he terms it—'speedy Arabisation'. The Jewish Left will continue its treacherous practices of dismissing Jews from key posts and replacing them with Arabs." 6

At a time when no Arab has held any major post in Israel, such fantasies resemble Nazi fears of being driven away by the Jews. When rabbi Dreyfus speaks about pollution, he apparently means the contact with Gentiles as its source, exactly as contact with Jews was supposed to "pollute" a German Nazi and "change his nature." Rabbi Dreyfus similarly accuses Jewish seculars of "wanting . . . to destroy authentic Judaism by blending it with alien elements, which would also spell the end of Jewish-Zionist motivation." Dreyfus denounces Israel as "the new sinful Canaanite-Palestinian state . . . It will not be a foundation of God's throne on earth . . . God may even go to a war against this polluted throne of His. The Jews who lead us into that sin no longer deserve any divine protection. We must fight those who cast themselves off from the community of true Israel. They have declared a war against us, the bearers of the word of God . . . We shall pursue a merciless struggle against the Canaanite-Palestinian entity." 7 All this resembles the ideology of the most extremist Islamic organisations, except that one would not find it mentioned in the New York Times.

But what are the political consequences of Gush Emunim's theology? Much discussed in the Hebrew press, there is little on this in English, apart from two books by Lustick and Harkabi,8 which, for the convenience of readers, I will mainly cite. I will begin with the fundamental tenet of Gush Emunim, the assumption that the Jewish people are "peculiar." Lustick discusses this in terms of Gush Emunim's denial of the classic Zionist claim that "Jewish life had been distorted on both the individual and the collective levels by the abnormality of diaspora existence" and that only by undergoing "a process of normalisation" by emigrating to Palestine and forming a Jewish state there could the Jews become like any other nation. Indeed, all secular Zionists were united in wanting the Jews thus to become "normal." Lustick maintains that, for Gush Emunim, this "was the original delusion of the secular Zionists." 9 Gush Emunim's argument is that the secular Zionist leaders measured that "normality" by applying non-Jewish standards. They took into account certain nations which they considered not only "normal" but advanced, and treated them as models for Jews to emulate for the sake of becoming both normal and advanced. But, according to Gush Emunim, "Jews are not and cannot be a normal people," because "their eternal uniqueness" is "the result of the covenant God made with them at Mount Sinai." Therefore, as rabbi Aviner, a Gush Emunim leader, explains, "while God requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of 'justice and righteousness', such laws do not apply to Jews." 10

The other English-language writer on the subject, Harkabi, discusses issues which Lustick fails to mention, for example the Halachic teachings on murder. The murder of a Jew, particularly when committed by a non-Jew, is considered by Jewish orthodoxy the worst of crimes. But Harkabi quotes a Gush Emunim leader, rabbi Israel Ariel, who, relying on "the code of Maimonides" and on the strict canon of the Halacha, states that "a Jew who killed a non-Jew was exempt from human judgment, and has not violated the prohibition of murder." 11 This, as Harkabi notes, should be borne in mind when "the demand is voiced that all non-Jewish residents of the Jewish state be dealt with according to Halachic regulations." 12 Indeed, Gush Emunim rabbis have often reiterated that Jews who have killed Arabs should go unpunished. This is why the religious settlers and their sympathisers dwell so much upon "shedding Jewish blood," while never showing the slightest concern about Arabs killed by the Jews.

A practical consequence of Gush Emunim's theology is its impact on the conduct of the Israeli authorities in the territories and on wide segments of Jewish society, in Israel and the diasporas alike. This subject is dealt with honestly by Harkabi, who quotes rabbi Shlomo Aviner, rabbi T.Y. Kook and rabbi Ariel extensively. All three define all Arabs living in Palestine as thieves because, since the land was once Jewish, all property to be found on that land "really" belongs to the Jews.13 The doctrine has other horrifying applications, indicated by the section headings in Harkabi's discussion of nationalistic Judaism: "From expulsion to annihilation"; "The status of non-Jews under Israeli rule: 'resident alien'"; "Idolaters"; "When Israel is stronger than the nations." Let me, however, quote one comment which I find particularly prescient: "Proponents of this view [that due to God's help Israel is stronger than all other nations] hold that Israel need have no fear of future wars, and can even provoke them at will. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has written: 'We must live in this land even at the price of war. Moreover, even if there is peace, we must instigate wars of liberation in order to conquer it.'" 14 It must be borne in mind that, for Gush Emunim, Sinai and Lebanon (and much else besides) have yet to be "liberated."

As Harkabi makes clear, and as Lustick somewhat less directly confirms, Gush Emunim also teaches that the reasons for Arab hostility towards the Jews (as perceived by it) are theological in nature, inherent in them as Gentiles. Hence the conclusion that the Arab-Jewish conflict is politically unresolvable. Lustick quotes a prominent Gush Emunim rabbi, Eli'ezer Waldman, the director of the Kiryat Arba's main yeshiva, who said that "by fighting the Arabs, Israel carries out its divine mission to serve as the heart of the world . . . while Arab hostility springs, like all anti-Semitism, from the world's recalcitrance" to being saved by the Jews.15 Lustick also quotes a Gush Emunim ideologue who believes that if Arabs resist Israel, their resistance can be attributed to their seeking "to fulfil their collective death wish." Hence, the Palestinians are routinely compared by Gush Emunim rabbis and ideological popularisers to ancient Canaanites, whose extermination or expulsion by ancient Israelites was, according to the Bible, predestined.

The principle of the inferiority of non-Jews is further exposed by Harkabi, who quotes from an article in Kivunim, the journal of the World Zionist Organisation. Its author, Mordechai Nisan, cites a passage from Maimonides (frequently referred to by Gush Emunim as an authoritative source) to argue that a Gentile permitted to reside in the Land of Israel "must accept to pay a tax and to suffer the humiliation of servitude." Furthermore, Nisan demands that such a Gentile "be held down and not raise his head against Jews." Non-Jews must not be appointed to any office or position of power over Jews. If they refuse to live a life of inferiority, then this will signal rebellion and the unavoidable necessity of Jewish warfare against their very presence in the Land of Israel." 16 In short, an "official publication of the World Zionist Organisation" has been publishing proposals no different from anything written by Hitler about the Jews before the Holocaust.

What makes matters worse is that the inferiority of non-Jews, albeit in a milder version than that of Gush Emunim, is an important tenet of Jewish Orthodoxy (and is accepted in the U.S. also by conservative Jews). The same belief still affects many secular Jews and is a major feature of Israeli policies towards the Arabs, especially in the territories, even if it is somewhat attenuated by pragmatic considerations. A case in point is reported by Israeli journalist Uzi Benziman. Benziman notes that "according to a law in force in the territories, a hostile action entitling its victim to claim compensation from the government is defined as an Arab riotous action against the Jews, but not vice versa." 17 Such open racism, whose examples could be cited again and again, surpasses anything ever contemplated by South African racism, but can be compared to the Nuremburg laws against the Jews.

As might be expected, once a segment of Israeli Jewish society became acquainted with Gush Emunim ideology, it became determined not to let Israel fall under Gush Emunim domination. Their motivation was to save themselves rather than the Arabs. As a result, the question "is a civil war between Israeli Jews likely?" began to be asked again and again in Israel. But a straightforward, clear-cut answer is not possible. The only thing which is certain is that premonitions of a civil war, setting one segment of Israeli Jews against another over irreconcilable differences on "Jewish issues," have abounded since the beginning of 1994, even before the Hebron massacre. Afterwards, as soon as the magnitude of the overt or covert approval of the massacre became apparent, the prospect of civil war and its prevention became the central issue in the Hebrew press and in political discussions of all kinds.

Outside Israel, where real knowledge of Jewish history and religion is sorely lacking, the very possibility of such a civil war appears extremely far-fetched. But in Israel, where Jewish history is taught in schools and studied seriously by many adults, and where the real nature of Jewish religion can be directly experienced, the prospect of such a civil war seems eminently plausible. After all, much of Jewish history is filled with civil wars, or with rebellions accompanied by civil wars, some of them glorified by a consensus of posterity, or at least by some influential centres of Jewish thought.

As Yoram Peri, co-editor of Davar, Labour stalwart and author of several books on Israeli politics, writes: "A serious danger exists that the divide between two irreconcilable Israeli Jewish political cultures may develop into a cleavage with mutual acrimony sufficient to spur a minor civil war. That civil war will be fought between 'Israel' and 'Judea.'" 18 The use of these terms emphasises the difference between loyalty to a modern state with secular laws and to a tribal tradition, fully or partly religious. The term "Judea" symbolises the primary adherence to Judaism rather than to the modern State of Israel and points to the historic Judea, which was a theocracy. But, continues Peri: "The most significant difference dividing Israeli Jewish society today into two hostile camps—and it is a recent phenomenon—is not that between the right and the left, but between the religious or part-religious and the seculars . . . The religious, who believe in the imminent coming of the Messiah, claim that the Knesset has no right to abandon a single inch of the territories, deny anyone the right to order an evacuation of a handful of Jewish crazies from Hebron, find religious justifications for murder, and, in effect, refuse to recognise any rules which would alone let us live together in Israel . . . As a result, the attendant corruptions and disruptions in our social fabric . . . equal, in their degree of risk, any threats to our security from outside." 19

A less sensational and profounder discussion of the potential for a civil war is by one of the leading social scientists of Israel, Baruch Kimmerling. He takes it for granted that an agreement with the PLO, followed by evacuation of some settlements, is imminent. But "it is not reasonable to expect that the settlement evacuation could avoid engendering very violent resistance among at least some Jewish settlers in the occupied territories, to the point of developing into a full-scale civil war, or at least coming close to it. Under such circumstances, some settlers together with their supporters in Israel . . . will fight both the Palestinians (as they already do) and the Israeli authorities, which will have no choice but to respond with counter-violence. There is no certainty that under such circumstances the whole army will, to the last man, stand on the side of the elected government. Nor is it clear which side will have more clout over its own followers, especially the marginal groups among them. Since this has happened in other nations, there are no grounds to take it for granted that 'it can't happen to us.'" 20

He goes on: "Strange as it may sound, a civil war may break out in Israel not necessarily because of the withdrawal from the occupied territories . . . The withdrawal may be a weighty factor, as a plausible excuse that would let both sides recruit supporters. But it is hardly likely to be the root of the problem. The rift is not to be between 'doves' and 'hawks', or between right and left . . . The fundamental issue over which a civil war may erupt is the rules of the game defining our collective identity . . . The Jewish citizens of the state are in consensus that Israel should be a ' Jewish state.' But practical interpretations of this concept vary widely. On the one hand, most Jewish citizens are prepared to recognise some tenets of Jewish tradition and religion as binding, and even bear some concomitant burdens of that recognition, like the religious marital status laws, as unifying symbols of Jewish nationality, in the way they were conceived of by secular Zionism. On the other hand, the opposite camp interprets the term 'Jewish state' as a religious state run according to the principles of Jewish Orthodoxy." 21

For Gush Emunim, the settlements aim "at absorbing the secular population of the State of Israel in their concept of Jewish identity as religious, ethnocentric and programmatically anti-liberal and anti-universalist. Within this concept, democracy can be tolerated only as long as it fosters the divine Jewish kingdom. Any values discrepant with 'Jewish values,' which alone have absolute validity, are to be suppressed . . . [Gush Emunim's] greatest achievement was its extensive influence on Israeli-Jewish culture and collective identity, whose concepts became, with time, more and more ethnocentric." 22 This could describe the majority of Israeli Jewish society as long as the Palestinians in the territories remained fairly docile. As Kimmerling puts it, "the price which Israel had to pay" for the conquest was, until the intifada, far from exorbitant. The intifada reversed the stakes by requiring the deployment of much larger numbers of Israeli soldiers in the territories. "The costs of occupying, to be borne by all Israeli Jews, became clarified," prompting the seculars at least to shrink from bearing them any more. "The newly redrawn boundary lines became clear-cut. On the one side, there stands a coalition of messianists, with or without a nationalist coating but invariably ethnocentric and xenophobic, whereas, on the other, stands a politically and socially heterogeneous mass, united only by . . . a distaste for a Jewish version of Iranian theocracy. The continuing domination of the territories will be a major issue in the coming struggle between the two camps which may or may not develop into a civil war. But it will not be its cause." 23

I concur with many points of Kimmerling's analysis, but I disagree with his expectation of Israeli withdrawal from the territories. Too many Hebrew press news items make it clear that the Rabin government not only has no intention of withdrawing or removing the settlements, but also that it has done much to reinforce them. The conflict between Rabin's government and the messianists is over matters of a symbolic nature, like the presence of the Palestinian police. For true believers, however, symbols can be a sufficient cause to start a civil war, and continuation of the Oslo-style "peace process," together with the increasing weakness of Rabin's government, provides them with plenty of such causes.

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1. On Gush Emunim, several good books have appeared in Hebrew. In English, there is I.S. Lustick, For the Land and the Lord: Jewish fundamentalism in Israel (New York, 1988). Originating from a paper for the U.S. Department of Defense, it concentrates on the political stance of Gush Emunim. It can be supplemented by Y. Harkabi, Israel's Fateful Hour (New York, 1988), particularly the chapter on "Nationalistic Judaism."

2. Quoted by Daniel Ben-Simon, Davar (February 27, 1994).

3. Dov Elbaum, Yerushalayim (January 7, 1994).

4. Ibid.

5. Nadav Shraggai, Ha'aretz (February 18, 1994).

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Lustick, op. cit., and Harkabi, op. cit.

9. Lustick, ibid., pp. 74-6.

10. Quoted in ibid.

11. Harkabi, op. cit., p. 50.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid., pp. 145-6.

14. Ibid.

15. Lustick, op. cit., pp. 77-9.

16. Kivunim (August 1984), quoted in Harkabi, op. cit.

17. U. Benziman, Ha'aretz (January 10, 1991).

18. Yoram Peri, Davar (March 25, 1994).

19. Ibid.

20. B. Kimmerling, Ha'aretz (January 21, 1994).

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid.

About the Author

Israel Shahak, scholar and author, most recently, of Jewish History, Jewish Religion (Pluto, 1994), has been at the forefront of campaigning over civil and human rights in Israel.

Further Reading on Gush Emunim

Gush Emunim—A False Messianism by Yigal Elam

Extreme Politics in Israel by Ehud Sprinzak

Gush Emunim: The Politics of Zionist Fundamentalism in Israel by Ehud Sprinzak

Gush Emunim: The Tip of the Iceberg by Ehud Sprinzak

Gush Emunim: Between Fundamentalism and Pragmatism by David Newman

The National Religious Party and the Religious Settlers in Israel by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky

The Nature of Gush Emunim Settlements by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky

Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel by Uriel Tal

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