Thesis

From the margins to the center : religious-nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict : a comparative approach

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

This dissertation examines in a comparative approach the similar shift made by Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian-Muslim national-religious movements since the 1990s, from the political and social margins to center-stage. This shift was generated on both sides by an objection to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and territorial and ideological compromise. This work examines this transformation from its historic and ideological roots through its institutional and political manifestations, by an ideological and thematic analysis of its contemporary discourse.The work is divided into three parts. In the first part, Chapter 1 lays down a theorical infrastructure on Strong Religious-Nationalism (SRN), a form of Religious-Nationalism in which both elements are equal, intertwined and interdependent. In Chapter 2 the theory of SRN is applied to the Israeli-Palestinian case by reexamining the conflict’s historical roots. This highlights both the special role of SRN in the mainstream national narrative and its centrality in the conflict. The second part of the dissertation deals with the shift from the margins towards hegemony through the process of politicization and institutionalization. It includes two chapters, examining first Hamas and then religious-Zionism (RZ) with a comparative reference to the previous chapter.The third part exemplifies how SRN becomes hegemonic through a dialectic of ideological discourse. Both RZ and Hamas advanced to center stage by posing a comprehensive ideological worldview. These SRN worldviews interact. The main interlocutors surveyed are Jewish and Muslim RN clergy, public intellectuals and politicians.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Zionism has always displayed a complicated relationship with the Temple Mount. While secular socialist Zionism wanted little to do with the site for pragmatic reasons, right-wing and guerilla Zionist groups considered it, before the founding of the state, as the embodiment of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land. And although Religious Zion-ism, until very recently, shied away from the site, over the past decade tremendous changes in this public's attitude have taken place, leading to intense interest and activity concerning it. This article surveys past and present attitudes toward the Temple Mount, studying its recent rise as a focal point for ethnonational yearnings, and analyzing these developments vis-à-vis the secularization process.
Book
Full-text available
This project is a rare combination of anthropological fieldwork and political science analyses. In order to master the issue of "Hilltop Youth," the author lived among these groups of Jewish youngsters in their tiny villages on South Mount Hebron, and meticulously deciphered their human, social and ideological environment. Presenting a first-hand testimony about the social periphery of Jewish settler society within the wild regions of Judea, this study also challenges distorted myths often shaped by local and international reporters. Friedman's research, the first of its kind concerning this specific social group, is necessary for anyone who wishes to establish further knowledge of the subject, beyond its stereotypical manifestations in mass media. Hence, this book is essential for those who study the Arab-Israeli conflict and are honestly curious to deepen their comprehension of the various protagonists within the complex Middle Eastern vicinity.
Article
Full-text available
The Six Day War in 1967 profoundly influenced how an increasing number of religious Zionists saw Israeli victory as the manifestation of God's desire to redeem God's people. Thousands of religious Israelis joined the Gush Emunim movement in 1974 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 2005, 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: What supreme religious significance could be attributed to these events? Was the State of Israel no longer to be considered a divine tool for the redemption of the Jewish people? This book explores the internal mechanism applied by a group of religious Zionist rabbis in response to their profound disillusionment with the behavior of the state, reflected in an increase in religious radicalization due to the need to cope with the feelings of religious and messianic failure.
Book
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is one of the most important yet least understood Palestinian armed factions, both in terms of its history and ideology. Labelled a terrorist organization by the US and the EU, it has grown to become the second largest armed movement in the Gaza Strip and the third largest in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Using a wealth of primary sources, this book traces the history of PIJ from its origins in the early 1980s to today. By looking at how the group was established, how it has developed in theory and practice, and how it understands religion and politics, Skare seeks to answer the key question of why the PIJ still exist despite the presence of its more powerful sister movement Hamas. In doing so, he fills an important empirical gap in the literature on Palestinian Islamism.
Article
This article presents an innovative sociological framework to discuss recent social, ideological, and religious trends within the Religious-Zionist sector in Israel. The article challenges the prevalent conceptualization of Religious-Zionism as a sui generis ideology. Contrary to researchers who emphasize the synthesis of religion and Zionism in the Religious-Zionist ideology, the author argues that the Religious-Zionist identity is based primarily on social connections (kinship, geographical, institutional) between the members of the group. The author uses this approach to make sense of recent Religious-Zionist trends: post-Zionism, the ‘religious-lite’, Orthodox feminism, and neo-liberalism.
Book
Since the end of the Cold War, religion has been systematically brought to the fore of American foreign policy. US foreign policymakers have been increasingly tasked with promoting religious freedom globally, delivering humanitarian and development aid abroad through faith-based channels, pacifying Muslim politics and reforming Islamic theologies in the context of fighting terrorism, and engaging religious actors to solve multiple conflicts and crises around the world. Across a range of different domains, religion has progressively become an explicit and organized subject and object of US foreign policy in ways that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. If God was supposed to be vanquished by the forces of modernity and secularization, why has the United States increasingly sought to understand and manage religion abroad? In what ways have the boundaries between faith and state been redefined as religion has become operationalized in American foreign policy? What kind of world order is emerging in the twenty-first century as the most powerful state in the international system has come to intervene in sustained and systematic ways in sacred landscapes around the globe? This book addresses these questions by developing an original theoretical framework and drawing upon extensive empirical research and interviews. It argues that American foreign policy and religious forces have become ever more inextricably entangled in an age witnessing a global resurgence of religion and the emergence of a postsecular world society.
Book
Since the Six-Day War, Israelis have been entrenched in a national debate over whether to keep the land they conquered or to return some, if not all, of the territories to Palestinians. In a balanced and insightful analysis, Micah Goodman deftly sheds light on the ideas that have shaped Israelis' thinking on both sides of the debate, and among secular and religious Jews about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Contrary to opinions that dominate the discussion, he shows that the paradox of Israeli political discourse is that both sides are right in what they affirm-and wrong in what they deny. Although he concludes that the conflict cannot be solved, Goodman is far from a pessimist and explores how instead it can be reduced in scope and danger through limited, practical steps. Through philosophical critique and political analysis, Goodman builds a creative, compelling case for pragmatism in a dispute where a comprehensive solution seems impossible.
Book
'Imagined Communities' examines the creation & function of the 'imagined communities' of nationality & the way these communities were in part created by the growth of the nation-state, the interaction between capitalism & printing & the birth of vernacular languages in early modern Europe.
Book
Over the last twenty years, there has been a growing understanding that conflicts in or over holy places differ from other territorial conflicts. A holy site has a profound meaning, involving human beliefs, strong emotions, "sacred" values, and core identity self-perceptions; therefore a dispute over such land differs from a "regular" dispute over land. In order to resolve conflicts over holy sites, one must be equipped with an understanding of the cultural, religious, social, and political meaning of the holy place to each of the contesting groups. This book seeks to understand the many facets of disputes and the triggers for the outbreak of violence in and around holy sites. It analyses fourteen case studies of conflicts over holy sites in Palestine/Israel, including major holy sites such as Al-Haram al-Sharif/the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Cave of the Patriarchs/Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, in addition to disputes over more minor sites. It then compares these conflicts to similar cases from other regions and provides an analysis of effective and ineffective conflict mitigation and resolution tools used for dealing with such disputes. Furthermore, the book sheds light on the role of sacred sites in exacerbating local and regional ethnic conflicts. By providing a thorough and systematic analysis of the social, economic, and political conditions that fuel conflicts over holy sites and the conditions that create tolerance or conflict, this book will be a key resource for students and scholars of conflict resolution, political science, and religious studies.
Article
A joint publication of The Jewish Publication Society and the Jewish Theological Seminary The definitive work on the subject of Jewish liturgy, Ismar Elbogen's analysis covers the entire range of Jewish liturgical development-beginning with the early cornerstones of the siddur, through the evolution of the medieval piyyut tradition, to modern prayer book reform in Germany and the United States.
Book
The book sets out to explore the history of Palestinian nationalism by asking if there were historical antecedents of this identity prior to the twentieth century, and whether this nationalism existed on every social level. It argues that such identity, or a kind of popular nationalism, did exist, aroused by the memory of the Crusades, the Holy Land, and the term Palestine.
Article
This article examines the gradual conversion of the areas surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem and spaces overlooking the Temple Mount into national symbolic landscape. Within this space, ancient Jewish sites function as national monuments, tied together through landscaping. A continuum of space and time is gradually being created in the shadow of Muslim and Christian monuments, in stark contrast to the Palestinian neighborhoods. The visual and textual symbolism and imagery that accompany the space emphasize the memory of the absent Jewish Temple. Thus, the creation of national symbolic landscape is simultaneously the creation of a new ‘Holy Geography’ and the replacement of traditional forms of Jewish memory by tangible and visual memory. The absent Temple serves as a meta-image of this symbolic national landscape and as the missing national monument, thus reflecting and promoting the rise of a symbiosis between religious and national aspirations.
Book
Nations and Nationalism since 1780 is Eric Hobsbawm's widely acclaimed and highly readable enquiry into the question of nationalism. Events in the late twentieth century in Eastern Europe and the Soviet republics have since reinforced the central importance of nationalism in the history of the political evolution and upheaval. This second edition has been updated in light of those events, with a final chapter addressing the impact of the dramatic changes that have taken place. Also included are additional maps to illustrate nationalities, languages and political divisions across Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Chapter
Any attempt to clarify the relationship between nationalism and religion presents considerable difficulties. How can one do justice, in a few pages, to the historically complex overlap between the two? A quick look at the last two centuries of European history shows a number of experiences, ranging from complementarity to bitter conflict or mutual instrumentalisation.1 From West to East, the Irish, French and Polish examples reveal instances of the religious reconstruction of national movements, or, depending on the case and the period, the nationalist appropriation of religious trends. Occasionally, nationalists have made use of the religious sphere, and sometimes the religious sphere has taken advantage of nationalism. Some examples demonstrate the doctrinal tension between national particularism and religious universalism.2 Conversely, other examples show that these tensions are sociologically inherent in both national identities and religious identities. And finally, on some occasions, religion has crystallised national sentiment, and served to reinforce both cultures and vernacular languages. By smashing the unity of Christianity (already divided by the schism with Eastern Christendom), the Protestant Reformation allowed part of Europe to escape the authority of Rome, and thus to constitute itself in national churches and eventually in nations. Lutheranism was German, and spread in the wake of Germanic influence; Hussitism was Czech, while Anglicanism became the English state religion.3
Book
This book presents a collection of essays on institutional theory written by the German sociologist and Weber-expert M. Rainer Lepsius. Based on Weber’s work, the author develops concepts of institutional theory, which he subsequently applies to topics such as National Socialism, democratization processes, German unification, and the institutionalization of the European Union. By showing how charismatic leadership can under certain circumstances threaten democratic structures and curtail individual freedoms, and by analyzing the structural and cultural conditions under which people develop trust in political and social structures and ultimately come to support and comply with them, the author provides a sound analytical understanding of the development of democratic institutions and a democratic political culture. This collection of essays was edited, translated and commented on by Claus Wendt.
Book
The book deals with the role of Jerusalem as a central religious-political symbol, and with the processes by which symbols of faith and sanctity are being employed in a political struggle.
Book
This book gathers together French-language authors who in the last decade have played a part in the renewal of interest in the question of nationalism. This volume organized along thematic lines and with a genuine transversal approach, seeks to give audiences a glimpse of some of that research, whether related to theoretical, normative or analytical questions. (From the editor)
Chapter
Every nationalist seeks to provide what any nation is in need of: a suitable and dignified past. No aspirant ethnic group can be without its particular myth of descent if it is to secure recognition.1 Anthony Smith’s insights are particularly apposite to the Palestinians, who are still engaged in a struggle for the realization of their national aspirations against a rival national movement, Zionism, and against the State of Israel. Palestinian nationalism serves as a valuable case study of how, in order to forge a “nation” in the present, it is vital to create and crystallize ethnic components of the past; failure to do so is likely to constitute a serious impediment to nation building.2 The present study therefore explores the evolution and changes in the myths of common ancestry in Palestinian nationalism. More specifically, the conception or reconstruction of a national history among Palestinians and the changes this process underwent over three distinct periods of time will be examined: from the 1920s to 1967, which favored a pan-Arab narrative; from 1967 to 1994, which marked the revival and crystallization of a distinct Palestinian identity within a broader context of Arab nationalism, that is, up to the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA); and from 1994 onward, under PNA auspices.
Article
This article analyzes the struggle of the Women of the Wall (WoW), a minority group of religious, activist, and feminist women challenging the Orthodox, male, hegemonic status quo at Judaism's holiest site: the Western Wall. Since 1988, the group has been holding prayer services every Rosh Hodesh at the Wall with and without interruptions according to its custom—wrapped in colorful tallitot and reading aloud from the Torah. This article, based on interviews with the major political actors involved and content analysis of primary documents and publications, presents the action strategies of the various parties involved and analyzes the dispute's conflict resolution methods. It explores a series of questions: first, what has enabled legal and public recognition of a minority group's local custom that challenges the hegemonic status quo at the Western Wall? Second, how has a small group of women succeeded over more powerful forces in breaking the status quo in favor of a gender-oriented, pluralisticreligious agenda? Third, what are the implications of these achievements for arrangements at the Wall and other contentious holy places? This case contributes to existing scholarship on religious feminism as well as on shared and divided holy spaces, as the controversy exists not between two religions, but between different streams within Judaism.
Thesis
The critical gap in scholarship on power-seeking insurgent groups is to understand whether those groups adapt violent expression as a function of popular support. If such a relationship does exist, how does it work and under what conditions do violent acts increase or decrease? To understand these questions, one must understand that the ideals that make up power-seeking insurgent groups are malleable, requiring stratagem and guile in the face of internal and external violent and non-violent influence. To sustain the capacity to project violence, a power-seeking insurgent group must maintain the support of a significant portion of its host population. Without the populace’s tolerance or acceptance of violence, this agenda would not be supported over time. This reality creates a dynamic between the insurgent group and its host population, which is bi-directional, and creates profound implications for the nature of violent expression and is largely based upon environmental conditions. This research delves into these questions about insurgent groups by developing a case study on the power-seeking insurgent group Hamas and its host population, the Palestinian people. The empirical examination begins with the group’s formation in 1987 (and refers to foundations much earlier) and ends with the events of June 2014. During this period, the group, like other insurgent groups, has been suspended between its quest to achieve the values of its ardent supporters and the desire to grow popular support. By slightly modifying Max Weber’s theoretical premise that political groups must balance values with responsibilities, we can better understand how Hamas has managed the tension between supporters who demand continued violence against Israel and those that do not. With newly assembled datasets constructed by the author on Hamas’s violent acts and public statements, Israeli Targeted Killings, historical measures of popular support and extensive field interviews, the thesis offers a unique theoretical perspective on the nature of insurgent group violence by demonstrating under what conditions the group exercises violent resistance or refrains from doing so. For example, the research shows that Hamas violence against Israel follows Palestinians’ support for violence, countering the commonly held idea that Hamas acts as a vanguard of the Palestinian people. It also shows that the nature and method of Hamas violence against Israel changed once it had territorial control of Gaza. Finally, the methodological approach used in this case study can serve as a model to better understand the origins and dynamics of powerseeking insurgent groups elsewhere.
Article
This book examines Palestinian politics in Jerusalem since 1967, and in particular since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, focusing on the city’s decline as an Arab city and the identity crisis among the Jerusalemite Palestinians. Principally concerned with Palestinian politics and how they have evolved over time from the grass roots upwards, it covers issues such as the separation wall, military activity and terror, planning regulations, the joint Jewish-Arab struggle against the occupation, and efforts to remove Palestinians from the city.