Religious Zionism has undergone a political transformation, but it is not to be understood as a linear development from moderation to extremism, neither is it the product of partisan considerations nor of a single dramatic event. Admittedly, the Six-Day War played a significant role in the political radicalization of religious Zionism, but it mainly precipitated a process of change that had begun before the War and went on after it. It was influenced by various factors, some of which paved the way to the rise of messianic ideology of a radical political kind. Rabbi Zvi Yehuda was preaching this ideology long before 1967, but only after the War did his disciples manage to propagate his ideas among the wider circles of religious Zionism. In this they were helped by the establishment and expansion of a new system of “nationalist Yeshivot”, in which many of them served as educators. The developments in religious Zionism have also been greatly influenced by the factor of leadership. The moderate policies pursued by the NRP before the Six-Day War reflected the political stance of its senior leadership, headed by Chaim Moshe Shapira, rather than the views of the wider ranks of the party. Even after the War, as long as Shapira continued to lead the NRP he managed to restrain the radicalized attitudes of its members and to prevent their implementation in the operative policies of the party.


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pp. 239-263
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