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Title: Neo-Zionism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Zionism, Aliyah, Types of Zionism, Jerusalem in Judaism, Jew (word)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Neo-Zionism is a right-wing, nationalistic and religious ideology that appeared in Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967 and the capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Neo-Zionists consider this land part of Israel and thus advocate the transfer of Jewish Settlers to these territories in accordance with their Zionist beliefs. This ideology evolved in parallel with, and in opposition to, Post-Zionism and Labor Zionism. Neo-Zionism developed during the "fundamental shaking of the dominant national ethos, Zionism, that generate[d] the historical revision and debate in Israel".[1]


Neo-Zionism emerged in the 1970s.[2] It is mainly constituted of members of the pro-settler movement and members of the "national camp" in Israel. It is currently politically represented by the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu coalition government of Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as other parties including The Jewish Home, the parties of the National Union (Moledet, Tkuma) and Otzma LeYisrael (Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, Hatikva) and other small parties such as the Jewish National Front, Tehiya and Tzomet,[2] as well as the non-parliamentary Movement for Greater Israel and the banned Kach or Kahane Chai and the Jewish Defense League. The ideology is represented in the media by Arutz Sheva.[3]

Neo-Zionists consider that "secular Zionism", particularly the labor version, was too weak on nationalism and never understood the impossibility of Arabs and Jews living together in peace. They claim that the Arab attitude to Israel is inherently rooted in anti-Semitism and that it is a Zionist illusion to think living in peace and together with them is possible. They consider Arabs in Israel to be a fifth column and pose a demographic threat to the Jewish majority in Israel. From their point of view, the only solution to achieve peace is through "deterrence and retaliation"[4] or the downright expulsion of Israeli Arabs and the Palestinian population of the occupied Palestinian Territories, to neighboring Arab states.

For Neo-Zionism, "the weakness of Israeli Nationalism derives from his alienation of Jewish sources and culture (...). Only a new national-religious and orthodox coalition [could] cure Zionism of this moral bankruptcy".[4] Neo-Zionists view the land of Israel as the natural and Biblically mandated home of the Jewish people and assert that the goal of Jewish statehood is not only about creating a safe refuge for Jews but also about the national-historic destiny of the people of Israel in the land of Israel.

For Chan & al., "Neo-Zionism (...) is an exclusionary, nationalist, even racist, and antidemocratic political-cultural trend, striving to heighten the fence encasing Israeli identity."[2]

Further reading

Academic views about Neo-Zionism

  • Steve Chan, Anita Shapira, Derek Jonathan: Israeli Historical Revisionism: from left to right. Routledge, 2002, ISBN 978-0-7146-5379-2.
  • Uri Ram: The Future of the Past in Israel - A Sociology of Knowledge Approach. In: Benny Morris: Making Israel. The University of Michigan Press, 2007.

Journalistic views about Neo-Zionism

  • Neo-Zionism 101 by Kobi Ben-Simhon, Haaretz, June 5 2009 (Internet archive)
  • Zionism isn't what it used to be by David Breakstone, The Jerusalem Post, June 21 2009
  • Neo-Zionism -- Israel's True Threat] by Dana Agmon, Huffington Post, October 12 2010.

Neo-Zionist authors

  • (English) Eliezer Don-Yehiya: Memory and Political Culture: Israeli Society and the Holocaust. Studies in Contemporary Jewry 9, 1993.
  • (Hebrew) Eitan Dor-Shav: Israel Museum and the Loss of National Memory. Tkhelet, 1998.
  • (Hebrew) Avraham Levit: Israeli Art on the Way to Somewhere Else. Tkhelet 3, 1998.
  • (Hebrew) Hillel Weiss: Defamation: Israeli Literature of Elimination. Beit El, 1992.


  • Amos Oz: In the Land of Israel. -The Finger of God ?-, Harverst, 1993, pp.49-73.


  1. ^ Jeffrey K. Olic, States of Memory Continuities, Conflicts, and Transformations in National, Duke University Press, 2003, p.241.
  2. ^ a b c Steve Chan, Anita Shapira, Derek Jonathan, Israeli Historical Revisionism: from left to right, Routledge, 2002, pp.57-58.
  3. ^ We Need To Put The Spirit Back Into The People: An Interview with Arutz Sheva’s Yishai Fleisher, The Jewish Press, February 2010.
  4. ^ a b Uri Ram, The Future of the Past in Israel - A Sociology of Knowledge Approach, in Benny Morris, Making Israel, pp.210-211.

See also

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