Being right wing is the most important commandment for Israel’s Religious-Zionists, says Dr. Moshe Hellinger of Bar Ilan University. Unlike past generations of religious-Zionist Israelis, today’s are right wing not just when talking and thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also when thinking about economic issues.
About a fifth of all Israeli Jews self-identify as religious-Zionist in some way according to findings of surveys conducted by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI). Dr. Hellinger attempts to explain how and why this group moved from center-left to right, and describes the main challenge it is now facing, alongside other Israeli groups.
The dialogue with Hellinger is the fifth in a series of conversations conducted with Israeli intellectuals to discuss the findings and analysis presented in a new book: #IsraeliJudaism, Portrait of a Cultural Revolution. This book is based on the work of JPPI, and was coauthored by Shmuel Rosner, a senior fellow at JPPI and Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University. The English version of the book was published recently and provides us with an opportunity to both present the unique nature of Israeli Judaism to the broader world, and to discuss its future and the implications for world Jewry.
The discussion with Hellinger focuses on religious-Zionist (Dati) Israelis, their beliefs and culture.