Sunday, November 27, 2005

Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel

<>Jewish fundamentalists in Israel are divided into two groups, the Haredim "the religiously more extreme group" and the "religious-national Jews," who constitute the "religiously more moderate" group. While the first group is itself divided into two groups, Yahadut Ha'Torah (for Ashkenazi Jews) and Shas (for the Mizrahim), the "moderate" religious-nationals are organized in the National Religious Party (NRP) (p. 7). The colonial-settler group Gush Emunim belongs to this second group. The two groups together constituted in 1996 almost a quarter of the Israeli Jewish electorate, winning 23 seats in the Knesset. Whereas the Haredim are non- or anti-Zionist, the religious-nationals are ultra-Zionist. The Haredim emerged in European Jewish history in response to "enlightenment" and have thus kept their circa-1850 dress (black hats and coats). The NRP Jews, who dress "in the more usual Israeli fashion" (p. 7), "made their compromises with modernity" (p. 8). These two groups, however, are not necessarily a united bloc as they fight with each other and among themselves.


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