The existence of a current of Jewish fundamentalism among the settlerâ€™s movement in Israel has been known for quite some time. The recent political events connected with Mr. Sharonâ€™s failed disengagement plan, have resulted in exposing it more clearly in the light of Israeli public opinion. Jewish fundamentalism, in common with its Islamic counterpart, represents an attempt to formulate the Israel-Arab conflict as a conflict between two religions: Judaism and Islam. The practical implications of such an approach are extremely dangerous: while conflicts between states or nations may be resolved by the mutual acceptance of pragmatic considerations, conflicts between religions cannot; at the most mutual tolerance could prevail. Sadly, tolerance is not a virtue of fundamentalists of any religion.
It may be argued that Jewish fundamentalism in Israel is not worthy of attention since it represents only a fringe faction inside the political right. However, given the looming confrontation between the State of Israel and the settlers, inherent in any agreement initiative that may be undertaken, this fringe faction may well turn into the vanguard force of the political movement opposing the dismantling of settlements. Accordingly, Jewish fundamentalists should be exposed and denounced whenever the idea shows its ugly face and not blindly ignored as a group of lunatics.
One of the central tenets of Jewish fundamentalism in Israel is the conviction that the Stateâ€™s paramount role is to uphold the Land of Israel or Greater Israel cause. As long as it continues to do so it deserves allegiance but, if the said State â€œbetraysâ€ that cause by, for instance, dismantling settlements, it will loose its legitimacy. The following quotes are enlightening:
â€œ If a government of Israel is allowed to implement an expulsion, a transfer, and to uproot Jews from their soil in the land of their forefathers, then the Zionist State will loose its prerogatives as the representative and spokesman of the Jewish peopleâ€ (Adir Zik,Hatzofeh, 16.4)
â€œ My arrangement with the State of Israel is that as long as they donâ€™t undermine my faith, my path, I am a law-observing citizen, and I educate toward that. But when someone contradicts the Halakha, then the Torah is above the laws of the Stateâ€ (Hagi Ben Hartzi, Haharetz, 30.4)
The Halakha that Ben Hartzi refers to is not of course the whole building of the Halakha, but the statement that the uprooting of settlements in Eretz Israel is one of those situations when it is commanded than one should die rather than transgress them ( as sentenced (pozeked) by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook)
To be continuedâ€¦