Religious Zionism in Israel: roots, rise and failure Religious Zionism in Israel: roots, rise and failure

Religious Zionism in Israel: roots, rise and failure

Religious Zionism in Israel: roots, rise and failure

The statements of Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu on Kol Bram radio in early November, in which he called for killing everyone who belongs to Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip, and rebuilding settlements there, were not These are mere passing statements driven by the heat of war, but they express a trend that has permeated Israeli society and has influence within political decision-making circles.

On December 29, 2022, Benjamin Netanyahu formed his new government of 37 ministers, including a number of his religious allies, led by Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the Religious Zionism Party, who assumed the position of Minister of Finance, in addition to being appointed Minister of an independent directorate within the Ministry of Defense in a position created specifically for him.

Itamar Ben Gvir, a follower of Rabbi Meir Kahane , was also appointed Minister of National Security, and both of them share with the Zionist right in adopting policies aimed at weakening and dismantling the Palestinian Authority, promoting settlement and annexing the West Bank to Israel.

The roots of religious Zionism
Religious Zionism was born at the beginning of the 20th century from the marriage of religion with political Zionism, and was supported by Avraham Kook, the chief rabbi of the Jewish community that existed in Palestine before 1948, where Kook argued that the Jewish secular nationalist movement constituted a divine tool and a step toward final salvation in the end times.

Before his death in 1935, he agreed to establish a secular Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in which Jews would live under complete self-sovereignty, which laid the foundations for cooperation between the religious and secular wings of the Zionist movement.

Religious Zionism contradicted the fundamentalist Jewish trend, which believes that the State of Israel should be established only when the Messiah the Savior appears, and considers that working to establish it before that violates Jewish law.

The 1973 war as a turning point
The 1973 war was a shock to Israel's future and undermined confidence in the left-controlled government, leading religious Zionist leaders to found the Gush Amunim group , which sought to preserve the gains of the 1967 war by promoting settlement in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

This contributed to the increase in the number of settlers in the West Bank from 2,800 settlers in 1977 to half a million settlers today, according to Hassan Al-Barari in his book translated into Arabic entitled “Zionism, Israel, and the Arabs: One Hundred Years of Conflict.” These developments coincided with the Zionist right's victory in the Knesset elections in 1977 for the first time.

Later, religious Zionism, with its various formations, opposed the Oslo Accords, and organized widespread protests in refusal to give up lands from the West Bank and Gaza under the slogan, “This is our land.”

Yigal Amir, a religious Zionist student at Bar-Ilan University, killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 under the pretext of his neglect of the Land of Israel. This happened after the extremist Baruch Goldstein carried out the massacre at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in 1994.

Withdrawal from Gaza
Religious Zionist groups were shocked when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank in 2005.

These groups discovered that the policy of imposing a fait accompli through settlement failed to prevent the evacuation of 8,600 settlers from Gush Katif in Gaza and 680 from the northern West Bank, which left them with two options: either to cling to the land and reject the decisions of the Israeli government, or to respect the government’s decisions and maintain internal unity to escape the specter of fighting. The Beni, which historically caused the destruction of the ancient Jewish kingdoms, chose the latter option.

After the withdrawal from Gaza, the leaders of religious Zionism saw that “the arena on which the fate of the Land of Israel is determined is politics and the media,” so they decided to focus on accumulating power within state institutions and political parties, as well as on launching popular campaigns to convince others of their political positions.

They saw an opportunity to infiltrate the Likud Party , in which only the hawks remained after Sharon withdrew from it to establish the Kadima Party. Consequently, the number of religious Zionists in the party increased until Netanyahu said, “It was usual to say that the Likud is the one who walks with his cap in his pocket, but now we find a group of Likudists walk with their hoods on their heads, we should be proud of them.”

Religious Zionists were also keen to join the Israeli army, as their percentage in officer training courses increased between 2000 and 2012 from 15% to 43%, and their number in the police also increased.

Reaching power and blowing up the situation
Religious Zionism represents heterogeneous groups that differ on religious, social and political issues, but they agree on rejecting the evacuation of settlements, annexing the West Bank, justifying violence against non-Jewish “gentiles” and expelling them from what they claim to be the Land of Israel or killing them, as well as striving to build the Temple.

Their numbers are estimated, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, at about 600 thousand people, or about 10% of the Israeli population.

Religious Zionists were not content with their increasing presence in the Likud Party, but rather formed several parties, such as the Jewish Home in 2008, led by Naftali Bennett, the Jewish Force in 2012, and Religious Zionism, led by Smotrich.

By forming a coalition government with Netanyahu in the 2022 elections, they succeeded for the first time in winning sensitive ministerial positions such as the Ministries of Finance and National Security, which guaranteed them two seats within the mini-security cabinet, and employed state institutions to implement their plans.

Within less than a year of the Netanyahu government assuming power, Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque several times, the first of which was in January 2023, a week after he assumed his ministerial position, while Minister Smotrich called last March for the eradication of the village of Huwwara near Nablus from existence. Following attacks against settlers, in addition to his statement that “the Palestinian people are an invention that is not more than 100 years old.”

In the same month, the Knesset approved the repeal of the disengagement law, which required the abolition of the ban on entry and residence in 4 settlements previously evacuated in the northern West Bank since 2005. Following the adoption of the law, Settlement Minister Orit Struck spoke about Gaza, saying, “Gaza is part of the Land of Israel, and the day will come when We come back to it."

Minister Smotrich also deducted more than 260 million shekels from the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues, under the pretext that they were paid to the families of prisoners and martyrs. He intensified his efforts with the aim of doubling the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank from half a million to one million settlers.

He gave legitimacy to the construction of 10 new settlement outposts, and allocated a quarter of the Ministry of Transportation’s budget to develop settlement in the West Bank, while the activities of Zionist “Hill Boys” groups increased their attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank by uprooting olive trees, plundering herds of livestock, and burning homes.

Religious Zionism after October 7
With the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza on October 7, the influence of religious Zionism suffered a major blow, as Netanyahu rushed to form a war government with figures of the left with military experience, such as Benny Gantz, the army chief of staff, the former defense minister, the head of the “Blue White” party, and the chief of staff. Ex-military Gadi Eizenkot.

The role of religious Zionist ministers in security decision-making declined due to their lack of military and security experience that would qualify them to lead the current war.

On the other hand, the activity of the religious Zionist Minister of National Security, Ben Gvir, focused on supporting the plan to displace Palestinians from the West Bank, as he distributed about 26 thousand automatic rifles to Israeli civilians, which was reflected in the increase in armed settler attacks in the West Bank since October 7, as it rose from 3 Attacks daily, reaching 7 attacks daily currently, according to a report by the International Crisis Group.

This led to the displacement of the residents of at least 16 Palestinian herding communities, with a total of close to 900 people, according to the Israeli organization B’Tselem, in addition to the martyrdom of 8 Palestinians at the hands of settlers in separate attacks. Which threatens to further aggravate the West Bank.

Minister Smotrich called for the inauguration of sterile buffer zones around the settlements, which means annexing more Palestinian lands and further restricting the movement of West Bank residents.

The policies of religious Zionist ministers have contributed to rapidly pushing the scene in Palestine towards explosion, just as they have contributed to increasing the sharp political polarization within Israel with the opposition forces regarding the package of legal amendments.

However, their political influence is likely to diminish after the end of the war against the backdrop of the Netanyahu government’s responsibility for the security and intelligence failure in confronting the October 7 attack, Netanyahu being forced to seek the assistance of former ministers and leaders with military experience from the left who represent the deep state and the sovereign agencies, and the proven failure of religious Zionist ministers to provide The security they were previously promised, and they caused one of the biggest security disasters for Israel.

India : Situation tense in West Bengal after murder of TMC leader, suspect beaten to death

TMC leader Saifuddin Laskar was shot dead outside his house in Joynagar on Monday morning. Laskar was the head of the Trinamool unit in Bamungachi area of ​​Joynagar and his wife is the panchayat head.

New Delhi : The situation remains tense after the murder of a TMC leader in South Pargana district of West Bengal. After this incident many houses were also set on fire. After this incident, a period of political rhetoric has also started between TMC and opposition parties. 
TMC leader murdered outside his house

Let us tell you that TMC leader Saifuddin Laskar was shot dead outside his house in Joynagar on Monday morning. Laskar was the head of the Trinamool unit in Bamungachi area of ​​Joynagar and his wife is the panchayat head. Soon after, Laskar's supporters captured a man they suspected of being involved in his murder and beat him to death. Supporters of the ruling party also set fire to many houses in the area.

TMC accused CPM
Amidst all this, Trinamool leaders have alleged that CPM supporters are behind the murder of Saifuddin Laskar. However, CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty has rejected the allegation and said the murder was "a result of internal strife within the Trinamool". He said that there is no use in blaming CPM. Chakraborty said that the police should conduct a proper investigation and expose the conspiracy.

The police have started their investigation regarding this incident. So far one person has been arrested in this case. Police is investigating this matter. 

Pakistan : Why is it necessary to hear the cipher case against Imran Khan in Adiala Jail?

The Caretaker Government says that Imran Khan's life has serious security concerns, so on the recommendation of the Interior Ministry and the special court judge, the trial was allowed in jail.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan is being tried in a special court in Adiala Jail under the Official Secrets Act for the crime of disclosing the American cipher .

Imran Khan 's lawyers have approached the Islamabad High Court for an open court trial, while the Ministry of Law has already approved the trial in jail from the supervising federal cabinet.

The supervising federal cabinet approved the summary of the law ministry for the jail trial and approved the jail trial of Imran Khan in the cipher case.

Reasons for prison trials?

In its request, the Law Ministry has taken a stand that Imran Khan's life has serious security concerns. Therefore, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Interior and the special court judge, permission was issued to prosecute the case in the jail.

In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Interior this month, the distinguished judge had said, "Due to security, the Cipher case is already being heard in the jail. In view of the danger to the life of the accused, it is appropriate that the hearing is allowed in the Adiala Jail." should be given.'

Explosives recovered near Adiala Jail

On November 7, a suspicious bag was reported in Gorakhpur, a suburb of Rawalpindi, near gate number five of Adiala Jail.

The bomb disposal squad confirmed to Independent Urdu that a bomb containing 1200 grams of explosives was found in the bag, which was 'defused'. The alleged bomb was planted near Dhaka Suite Gorakhpur, 100 meters away from Gate 5 of Adiala Jail.

Context and lessons of the case

Before his arrest in the cipher case, Imran Khan was detained in Attock Jail after being convicted in the Tosha Khana case, after which when the arrest warrant was issued in the cipher case, he was investigated in the cipher case in the Attock jail and initially. The special court went to Attock Jail and kept hearing. Despite the suspension of his sentence in Tosha Khana, he remained in Attock Jail because of the cipher.

On the request of Imran Khan, he was later transferred from Attock Jail to Adiala and the special court kept going to Adiala Jail for hearing.

Hearing of request for open trial of cipher case in Islamabad High Court

Imran Khan's legal team has approached the Islamabad High Court to keep the trial open. The single bench had on October 16 dismissed the petition against the jail trial. While on October 23, Imran Khan approached the Islamabad High Court again for an open trial of the cipher case and challenged the decision to reject the plea against the jail trial.

On the last hearing, Imran Khan's lawyer took a stand before the division bench of the High Court that 'Chairman PTI was summoned to F8 court, so we requested for change of venue, for the important political figure in F8 court. There were serious security concerns at the time of appearance, on our request the venue of the court was changed to the Judicial Complex, and now the jail trial was given as a mere reason for the security of Chairman PTI, a jail trial was given only because of security. Can not be done.'

While Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan sought time from the court for arguments, on which Justice Hasan Aurangzeb said that this court wants the decision of this case to be expedited and added that 'Listen to the Attorney General, now. will not issue an injunction.'

Now, the hearing on the intra-court appeal against the jail trial will be held on November 14, in which the court has called for arguments from the Attorney General, while on the other hand, the Cypher case hearing against Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also be held in Adiala Jail on November 14. Six witnesses will appear.

How is the court set up for the cipher case in Adiala Jail?

Prosecutor Shah Khawar told Independent Urdu that this room is not inside the jail but in the admin block of Adiala jail. While a part of this room is adjacent to the jail. There is a fair-sized room in which a large part of the room is reserved for the court, while a small screen is made in the middle of the room towards the opening towards the jail, through which one can see across.'

Shah Khawar said that lawyers, prosecutors and judicial staff enter the room from the admin block, while Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi come from inside the jail and sit on chairs across the net.

He added that 'Usually Imran Khan is dressed in a track suit and Shah Mehmood Qureshi is wearing a shalwar kameez.'
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