JEWISH FUNDAMENTALISM MARGINALIZATION OF RELIGION AND PATTERNS OF RELIGIOUS ACTIVISM
RESTORATION OF RELIGIOUS HEGEMONY • GUSH EMUNIM (THE BLOCK OF FAITHFUL) MILITANT JEWISH MOVEMENT CAME INTO PROMINENCE AFTER OCTOBER 1973 WAR • LEADERSHIP OF RABBI ABRAHAM COOK (1865-1935) AND HIS SON RABBI ZVI YEHUDA (1891-1982)
KOOKIST MYTHOLOGY • THE DAWN OF MESSIANIC ERA • The advent of Zionism • The return of Jews to Holy Land • The founding of the State of Israel • The state’s dramatic victories against Arabs • The central messianic event the Return and the end of long-suffering Jewish people
FULFILLING THE DIVINE PLAN • Critical to the Divine Plan: Settling Judaea and Samaria • 1983 plan to blow up the sacred Islamic shrine – Haram al-Sharif • Peace Process: negation of a central Kookist doctrine (the secular Zionist would never violate God’s will by abandoning the land) and “betrayal” by the secular govt.
RELIGIOUS ZIONISM • Attachment to the Holy Land • Religious Zionism: “It is a positive commandment [of Torah law] to move to the Eretz Yisrael, to settle there, to conquer it, and to take possession of it.” • Fighting for territories required by pikuach nefesh (threat to Jewish existence)
Secular Zionism • The Kookist belief: secular leaders of Zionism acting on behalf of God • Contrary interpretation of pikuach nefesh • Jewish law, according to haredi rabbis, commended territorial withdrawal if it could save even one Jewish life • The case of Oslo accord: internal pluralism in Jewish tradition
RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE RADICALIZATION OF WAR CULTURE • “We are willing to sacrifice our lives for every single Jewish custom….” • In 1993 a rabbinic psak (a binding judgement based on halakah) declared Oslo Accords null and void • Fear of assimilation and loss of Jewish identity
CRISIS OF AUTHORITY • Spiritual Guides and Secular Government • Religious obedience versus national duty of the soldiers when Oslo declared as “false peace process” • Were rabbis fomenting sedition? • Any Jew who authorized endangering Jewish life was a rodef (pursuer) • Was Rabin a rodef? Shot on Nov 4, ‘95