10 Friday, February 21, 1986
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Israel's Radical Right
Seen As Growing Force
BY JULIE EDGAR
Special to The Jewish News
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Institute For Adult Jewish Studies
OF CONGREGATION SHAAREY ZEDEK
PROFESSOR ZVI GITELMAN
of the University of Michigan
and eloquent speaker,
who will lecture on:
"JEWISH IDENTITY IN THE MODERN WORLD:"
CHALLENGES AND REAPPRAISALS"
"THE EMANCIPATION: VISIONS & ILLUSION"
"AMERICAN JEWRY: MANY, ONE OR NONE?"
"SOVIET JEWRY: IDENTITY UNDER OPPRESSION"
"THE JEWS OF ISRAEL: 1 PLURIBUS UNUM?' "
An in-depth examination of the condition of Jewish life in our time.
WEDNESDAY EVENINGS — 8 P.M.
To insure seating, pre-registration is recommended.
ENDOWED BY The Ivan and Linda Bloch Heritage Fund of Congregation Shaarey Zedek
I wish to attend the Spring Mini-Series.
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Ehud Sprinzak'and Joel Aberbach are concerned by the rise of the
Radical Right in Israel.
What is the nature of the equally result in the withering of
right-wing movement that is cur- the Jewish state?
That "Jewish" and "demo-
rently gaining unprecedented
influence in Israeli political life? cratic" are contradictory terms is
Does rightist extremism pose an a perspective of groups char-
imminent threat to the demo- acterized as "extremist" by Dr.
cratic principles that presumably Sprinzak, a senior lecturer at He-
guide the actions of the Israeli brew University who has devoted
the last 15 years to studying radi-
Drs. Ehud Sprinzak and Joel cal movements in Israel. An im-
Aberbach disucssed these issues passioned speaker whose attitude
last week at a meeting of the De- alternated between optimism and
troit Chapter of the American bitter pessimism throughout the
lecture, Dr. Sprinzak (now a
Dr. Aberbach, a political sci- Woodrow Wilson Scholar in
ence professor in the Institute of Washington, D.C.) traced the
Public Policy Studies at the Uni- evolution of those factions in Is-
versity of Michigan, introduced rael.
the talk, "Extremism and the Fu-
Sprinzak's main proposition
ture of Israel," with several ob- was that in 1978, following the
servations culled from a recent Camp David accords, Israel's
educational junket to Israel with political right-wing underwent a
his wife. The Aberbachs were ex- major Flifferentiation with the
cited by the high social and intel- formation of the Israeli Radical
lectual vitality of Israeli society Right, a "new culture." These
and were impressed by the were people who regarded
thoughtful debates in progress.
Menachem Begin a champion of
Dr. Aberbach became acutely the nationalist cause until the
aware of a strong resurgence of moment of his ."treason" on Dec.
"religiosity" and its resulting ten- 18, 1978.
sion among Jews. In Jerusalem,
Dr. Sprinzak identified three
he spoke with residents who dis- slow beginnings (slow because the
cussed the conflicts between the peace talks were still presitigous
secular and Orthodox factions. and the economy fairly intact) of
Among other manifestations of the Israeli Radical Right: the for-
hostility, Dr. Aberbach cited the mation (from 1978 to 1979) of
dispute regarding the opening of Techiya, a movement comprised
swimming pools on Saturday and of elements from both the Labor
the Orthodox insistence upon and Likud factions that shares the
separate bathing areas for men traditional fundamentalism of
Gush Emunim and its devotion to
Aberbach spoke of the diver- a pre-state, Zionist common -
gent attitudes among Jews about wealth, and the resurgence of
the West Bank. Some advocate Meir Kahane's Kach Party, per-
the total expulsion of the Arabs haps the most radical in its advo-
from the West Bank, while others cation of the abolishment of the
suggest maintaining that popula- Israeli Declaration of Indepen -
tion with a suspension of all poli- dence (a document the radicals be-
tial rights. Still others felt that lieve is frought with contradic -
the Arab population could be fully tions).
integrated into the mainstream of
According to Dr. Sprinzak,
Israeli society, a resolution of- Kach appeals to the alienated and
fered with trepidation: If that disenfranchised of -Israel and
ojective were attained, could Is- gives vent to their frustration by
rael consider itself a Jewish frequent protest marches. Like
homeland any longer? Would the
risk of embracing all creeds Continued on Page 12