Israel’s Holy Warriors: A Clear and Present Danger

Israel's Religious Right Warriors
Israel's Religious Right Warriors

Jonathan Guyer at the Washington Note has an item on Israel’s settlers’ religious nationalism.

Guyer’s piece includes links to Eyal Press’ feature on settler nationalism in the current issue of the New York Review of Books, [link appears broken for the moment] among other sources of information on this issue coming to the fore in the mind of the optimist.

Gurley takes a neutral view on the issue, a stance I reject out of a long-time disdain for militarists and racists, and a general commitment to facts that precludes portraying black as white and transforming a silk purse into a sow’s ear.

One cannot present a militarist as a peacemaker and a racist as a humanist.

Nevertheless the Note, Press and Gurley’s piece are worthy reads.

By Jonathan Guyer

Bernard Schwartz Fellow Eyal Press has published an in depth look at the explosive issue of settler religious nationalism in Israel’s army in the current issue of the New York Review of Books. “The refuseniks making noise today come from Israel’s religious right, and they want to preserve the occupation, not end it,” he writes.

Press continues, writing that the make-up of today’s IDF, with “30 percent of officers openly orthodox but an estimated 50 percent of soldiers in officer training colleges…now religious,” mirrors how Israel itself has changed over the last 63 years.

Wednesday morning from 9:00 am to 10:30 am, the New America Foundation/ Middle East Task Force will host a conversation with Press and Yoram Peri, who directs the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland. Task Force Director Daniel Levy will moderate.

Please tune in live to The Washington Note for what promises to be an enlightening discussion on the right-ward shift in Israel, the growing strength of the religious settler movement, how it is being reflected in Israel’s security establishment — and what it means for the prospects of regional peace.

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