From Religion to Pragmatism: Habayit Hayehudi’s Attitude toward Judea and Samaria
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Judea and Samaria became a really important element in Israeli right-wing and religious debate following the Six Day War because the State of Israel began to control it militarily and politically and started settling in this area. Nonetheless, Judea and Samaria had a deeper meaning within Religious Zionist ideology and its main representative Mafdal (NRP). After 1967 Religious Zionists were also influenced by the Messianic ideology, thus biblical territories accelerate Redemption. Hence, the NRP insisted on creating and developing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, both in leftist and rightist governments. The situation has changed since the Oslo Accords and Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza. Both were shocking for the Religious Zionism camp, the state was no longer a steady defender of Jewish settlements. In 2008 the Mafdal was absorbed by the newly created Habayit Hayehudi (the Jewish Home) which was treated as a hope for Religious Zionism to restore its former glory. The head of the Jewish Home – Naftali Bennett – called his party a real right-wing camp. He is thought to be a representative of settlers but he also tries to widen his electorate with secular citizens. Habayit Hayehudi is the best example of a party which wants to achieve ideas of Religious Zionism in the new political reality after Oslo. The article will analyze the attitude of the Jewish Home party towards Judea and Samaria and the party’s ideological course.
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