Article Library / 2016

2016 Annual Assessment

As is the case in other countries (e.g. India, Algeria) religious nationalism is on the rise.32

Israel’s regime and public discourse has become more visibly Jewishly nationalist in recent years. The increasing prominence of Religious Zionists in the government and in central institutions has been an important contributing factor to this. Despite the fact that Religious Zionists, in general, wish to advance religious and religious nationalist interests, they have also, on occasion, exhibited a more open and inclusive policy toward both Jewish and non-Jewish groups in Israel. This was exemplified in Naftali Bennett’s (as Minister of Religious Affairs) attempt to erect a prayer space for liberal Jewish groups at the Western Wall, and his continuing support for such a space, along with that of Ayelet Shaked. It appears that this openness and inclusiveness is related to the decline of conservative, strictly Orthodox and sectarian religious orientations among certain Religious Zionist groups.