Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of Tkuma and a member of the new Union of Right-Wing Parties, which represents the national religious camp, addresses the Maariv/Jerusalem Post Election Conference on April 10.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
In today’s Israel, so heavily under the influence of identity politics, is there still a need for a religious Zionist party, which, even as it extols the virtues of placing country above party and ideology, remains very much a sectoral phenomenon?The ultra-Orthodox and the Arabs seek to disengage from Israeli society and maintain their separate identities (religious and national, separately). So it’s easy to understand why, from their perspective, a sectoral political entity is essential, and why most Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews vote overwhelmingly for “their” parties. But there is a crucial difference between these two groups and the religious Zionists. Religious Zionism does not want to isolate itself, but rather to integrate. This has been its banner from the very start. If so, why should there be a separate religious Zionist political party?
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