Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Future of Religious Zionism

Here's a great article in Ha'aretz which does a pretty good job of explaining the mind-set and goals of the Religious Zionist camp today, in comparion to the direction and mindset of the Secular Zionist movement.

The article is entitled At Kfar Maimon the State of the Faithful was founded by Kalman Neuman.

"The public that gathered last week at Kfar Maimon - almost entirely from religious Zionism (apart from representatives of the messianic stream of Chabad) - does not see the future of the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria (West Bank) as a strictly political issue. It sees the disengagement plan as an expression of a value vacuum, mental tiredness and a loss of the dedication that characterized the generation of the state's founders".

"To them the source of the collapse is clear: There are those who stress the prime minister's personal responsibility, but all of them see in the plan an expression of a crisis in Jewish identity, with respect to the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and the adoption of Western mass culture. As opposed to these, they describe the masses who gathered at Kfar Maimon as an idealist public that is sure of itself and prepared to take the reins from those who have grown tired. There is no need to convince the convinced. But the explanation touches the root: The struggle for Gush Katif is only the tip of the iceberg of the struggle for the State of Israel."

"If this is the ultimate aim, how is religious Zionism supposed to perceive its appropriate place at the head of the camp? In conversations with many people the reply comes up again and again: "face to face." The idea of the unmediated encounter can lead to a breakthrough of the siege on those who feel that there voice is not heard, and as Rabbi Shlomo Aviner puts it: "The engagement movement is traveling on a road that bypasses the media, bypasses politics and bypasses demonstrations." Rabbi Tau says that "it is necessary to meet with our brother Jews, to enable them to leave the television for a moment and encounter a different spirit, a pure spirit, and one with clear, true and eternal beliefs. A bit of light will dispel much of the darkness and everything will begin to flow in a different direction."


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