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Gush Emunim

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Gush Emunim (Hebrew: גוש אמונים‎, Block [of the] faithful) is an Israeli messianic and political movement committed to establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria).[1] The movement sprang out of the conquests of the Six-Day War in 1967, though it was not formally established as an organization until 1974, in the wake of the Yom Kippur War. It encouraged Jewish settlement of the land they believe God gave to the Jewish people in the six day war, which was promised to them in the book of Deuteronomy.[2]

Political affiliations

Gush Emunim was closely associated with, and highly influential in, the National Religious Party (NRP).These days they refer to themselves —and are referred to by the Israeli media as— Ne'emanei Eretz Yisrael נאמני ארץ ישראל (Hebrew: "Those who are loyal/faithful to the land of Israel").

History

In 1968, a group of future Gush Emunim members led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger founded the settlement Kiryat Arba in the Israeli-occupied territories on the outskirts of Hebron. In 1974, following the shock of the Yom Kippur War, the organization was founded more formally, by students of the younger Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who remained its leader until his death in 1982. In late 1974, an affiliated group named Garin Elon Moreh, led by Rabbi Menachem Felix and Benjamin (Beni) Katzover, attempted to establish a settlement on the ruins of the Sebastia train station dating from the Ottoman period. After seven attempts and six removals from the site by the Israeli army, an agreement was reached. According to the agreement, the Israeli government allowed 25 families to settle in the Kadum army camp southwest of Nablus/Shechem. The Sebastia agreement was a turning point which opened up the southern West Bank to Jewish settlement. The small caravan site with 25 families eventually became the municipality of Kedumim, one of the major settlements in the West Bank. The Kadum army camp settlement model was copied over the years, in Beit El, Shavei Shomron, and other settlements.

Ideology

Gush Emunim beliefs are based heavily on the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Kook and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook. The two rabbis taught that secular Zionists, through their conquests of Eretz Israel, had unwittingly brought about the beginning of the "messianic age", which would end in the coming of the Jewish messiah. Gush Emunim supporters believe that the coming of the messiah can be hastened through Jewish settlement on land they believe God has allotted to the Jewish people as outlined in the Hebrew Bible. In light of the mass eviction of Jews from Gaza by the Israeli government [1], the violent eviction of Jews from Amonah, and numerous other similar events on a smaller scale, in more recent years, many members of the community have been having second thoughts about this ideology. For a fuller discussion of this recent issue, see Hardal.

See also

External links

Notes

  1. [http://www.geocities.com/alabasters_archive/gush_underground.html Fundamentalism, Terrorism, and Democracy: The Case of the Gush Emunim Underground by Ehud Sprinzak], Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Last accessed: 9 August 2009.
  2. Analyses of Gush Emunim have been carried out by David Newman. See: D. Newman, `Gush Emunim', ', Encyclopaedia Judaica Decennial Yearbook, 1994, pp. 171-172. Keter Publishers: D. Newman, `Gush Emunim between fundamentalism and pragmatism', Jerusalem Quarterly, 39, 33-43, 1986: D. Newman, `From “hitnachalut” to “hitnatkut”: The Impact of Gush Emunim and the Settlement Movement on Israeli Society’, Israel Studies, Vol 10 (3, 2005: See also, T. Hermann & D Newman, `Extra Parliamentarism in Israel: A comparative study of Peace Now and Gush Emunim', Middle Eastern Studies, 28 (3), 509-530, 1992.

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