THE ASCENDANCE OF ISRAEL'S RADICAL RIGHT by Ehud Sprinzak

THE ASCENDANCE OF ISRAEL'S RADICAL RIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A thorough study of the roots, convictions, and significance of Israel's radical right-wing parties and movements. Sprinzak (Political Science/Jerusalem's Hebrew Univ.) leaves no stone unturned here--from the ancient stones of archaeology to the contemporary ones thrown by the Intifada to the cornerstone-in- waiting of the Temple Mount Faithful messianists. He underlines the irony of the Radical Right's emergence in a land of passionate secular democracy, yet convincingly places phenomena like the Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful) settlers' movement at the strategic high country of Israel's political and geographic heartland. With all the old enthusiasm and influence of the kibbutzniks, the Radical Right, he argues, must be seen as the ``new Zionists'' who have penetrated the establishment Likud and National Religious Party and not just as the fringe groups behind the small ultranationalist parties. While the ``quasi-fascist'' groups like Meier Kahane's Kach party are given points for their biblically oriented ideological consistency, Sprinzak is more critical of the secular ultranationalist parties that evoke Ben Gurion's own shrill calls for settling everywhere and ``transferring'' disloyal Arabs. Born of the euphoric Six-Day War and the traumatic ``retreat'' of the Camp David accords, the Radical Right's fixation on keeping and settling Judea and Samaria is the author's pivotal issue here. Sprinzak provides unprecedented coverage of the movement that he believes will either be pushed painfully to the sidelines or will slowly and legally transform Israel into a theocratic constitutional monarchy.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-19-505086-X
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991




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