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Intel - Terrorism
Gush Emunim

"In God we trust.
All others we monitor."

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Leadership
  • Rabbi Kook
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Name
  • Gush Emunim means "Block of the Faithful"
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Beliefs
  • Gush Emunim supporters believe that building Jewish settlement on land God has allotted to the Jewish people as outlined in the Hebrew Bible, is an important step in the process of redemption.
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Yom Kippur War

 

Yom Kippur War
October 6-26, 1973
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1973 Yom Kippur War Accelerated the Gush Enumin Movement
  • The near-disaster of the Yom Kippur War had shown that it was essential to act immediately in order to hasten the redemptive process, which the policies of the "false" secular Zionism had retarded. It would take over a year for the Gush Enumin to develop fully, but eventually it provided its members with a total way of life. (The Battle for God, p. 281)
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Rabbi Kook Calls Yom Kippur Confrontation a "War Against the Forces of Evil" - We Must Take Action if Government Will Not
  • We have seen that after the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Kookists in Israel had been convinced that the Jewish people were engaged in a war against the forces of evil. The war had been a warning; redemption was under way, but if the government was determined to promote policies that would impede the messianic process, they themselves must take the initiative. (The Battle for God, pp. 279-280)
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General Rafael Eitan


Yuval Ne'eman

Secularists Join Rabbi Kook's Call for Redemption, To His Surprise
  • Somewhat to their surprise, they had found secularist allies, who did not share the vision of Rabbi Kook, but who were equally determined to hold on to every inch of occupied territory. People who were neither Kookists or observant Jews, such as the army chief of staff, Rafael Eitan, or the nuclear physicist and ultranationalist Yuval Ne'eman, were willing to work with the religious Zionists to secure the occupied territories for Israel. (The Battle for God, p. 280)
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Gush Enumin Viewed Jews Not Only As "Chosen" But Exempt from Laws of Non-Jews
  • Where Labor Zionists had sought to normalize Jewish life and make Jews "like all the other nations," the Gush Emunim emphasized the "uniqueness" of the people of Israel; because Jews had been chosen by God, they were essentially different from all other nations and were not bound by the same rules. The Bible made it clear that as a "holy" people, Israel was set apart, in a category of its own. (The Battle for God, p. 281)
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Gush Emunim attire

Gush Enumin Developed Its Own Exclusivist and "Superior" Culture, Almost a Vanguard of Sorts
  • There would be a Gush style of dress, music, decor, books, and choice of children's names, and even a particular style of speech. Over the years, the Gush created a counterculture that enabled members to withdraw, in time-honored fundamentalist style, from secular Israel. There was a certain aggression, however, in the way religious members of the Gush flaunted their piety and Torah observance. In the early years of the state, secular Israelis had ridiculed Jews who wore traditional skullcaps; now these pious activists sported the knitted kipa, which became an item of radical religious chic. (The Battle for God, p. 281)
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King David

Gush Emunim Identified with Jewish Holy Warriors of the Torah
  • The cadres of the Gush saw themselves as more authentically Jewish and Zionist than the Laborites, linking themselves not only with such holy warriors of ancient times as Joshua, David, and the Maccabees, but also with such Zionist heroes as Theodor Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and the early pioneers, who were also possessed by a mystical vision of sorts, and had sometimes been regarded as madmen in their own day. (The Battle for God, p. 281)
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Mass Circulation Journal: Bible Calls for a Plague Upon the Palestinians and Holy War
1974
  • Such pronouncements are by no means novel, and since 1973 at least, they have been taken seriously in significant circles. In the mass-circulation journal Yediot Ahronot in 1974, Menahem Barash wrote with much admiration about the teachings of Rabbi Moshe Ben-Zion Ushpizai of Ramat-Gan, who used biblical texts and traditional commentary to explain how Israel should deal with the Palestinians, “a plague already written in the Bible.” (The Fateful Triangle, p. 154)
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Rabbi Moshe Ben-Zion Ushpizai Calls for Expulsion of Amaleks
1974
  • “With a sharp scalpel and convincing logic” the Rabbi uses the writings of the “greatest sages” to elucidate the commandments, still binding today, as to how to “inherit the land” that was promised by God to Abraham. We must follow the doctrines of Joshua, he explains, referring to the genocidal texts that appear in the book of Joshua and elsewhere. “The biblical commandment is to conquer the land of Israel in its detailed borders, to take possession of it and to settle it.” It is “forbidden” to “abandon it to strangers” (Gentiles). “There is no place in this land for the people of Israel and for other nations alongside it. The practical meaning of [the commandment to] possess the land is the expulsion of the peoples who live in it” and who try to prevent the Jews of the world from “settling in our land.” (The Fateful Triangle, p. 154)
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Rabbi Moshe Ben-Zion Ushpizai Declares Holy War on Arabs and Anyone Else in the World Who Oppose Us
1974
  • It is “a holy war, commanded in the Bible,” and it must be fought against Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, or any other people in the world” who seek to block the divine commandment. (The Fateful Triangle, p. 154)
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Rabbi Moshe Ben-Zion Ushpizai "No Compromise, No Treaties, You Must Destroy Them"
1974
  • There can be no compromises, no peace treaties, no negotiations with “the peoples who inhabit the land.” “You shall destroy them, you shall enter into no covenant with them, you shall not pity them, you shall not intermarry with them,” the divine law dictates. Whoever stands in our way must be annihilated, the rabbi continues with his “convincing logic,” citing numerous traditional authorities. All of this is reported quite seriously, and with much respect. (The Fateful Triangle, p. 154)
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Rabbi Kook and Secularists Founded Gush Emunim
February 1974
  • Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook founded the organization in 1974
  • In February 1974, a group of rabbis, hawkish young secularists, Kookists and other religious Zionists who had served in the IDF and fought in Israel's wars formed a group which they called Gush Emunim, the "Bloc of the Faithful." (The Battle for God, p. 280)
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Judah Halevi
  • To Professor Naeh, Judah Halevi's twelfth-century writings reinforce the Jewish ethnocentrism found in the Old Testament. "It's very dangerous," said Naeh of the Halevi thesis on the inferiority of Ishmael. "I'm not sure that in his time this theory had a very big influence with Jews, but it has in the last centuries, especially in Eastern Europe, in Russia, in Poland, etc. The Gush Emunim people see Halevi as their big prophet. They study each word, and they live with his ideas, the chosen people." (Arab and Jew, p. 152)
  • Wiki
  • The Kuzari is written as a dialogue between the king of the Khazars, who is searching for a religion, and a rabbi, who defends Judaism against the attacks of other faiths. In the end, the king finally converts from paganism to Judaism. And to help him toward that decision, the rabbi makes a number of arguments offensive to a tolerant mind...By omission, Ishmael is condemned. Halevi's rabbi also denigrates Christianity and Islam, issuing the following denunciation: "...any gentile who joins us unconditionally shares our good fortune, without, however, being quite equal to us.

 

Gush Enumin Releases a "Position Paper" That Also Appealed to Secularists, Focused on Redemption
1974
  • Shortly afterward, they put together a position paper outlining their objectives. The Gush would not be a political party, competing for seats in the Knesset, but a pressure group, working to bring about "a great awakening of the Jewish people towards full implementation of the Zionist vision, realizing that this vision originates in Israel's Jewish heritage, and that its objective is the full redemption of Israel and the entire world." (The Battle for God, p. 280)
  • From the start, Gush Emunim posed a challenge to secular Israel. Even though Jews were engaged in a fierce struggle for survival in their land, "we are witnessing a process of decline and retreat from the realization of the Zionist ideal, in word and deed. Four related factors are responsible for this crisis: mental weariness and frustration induced by the extended conflict; the lack of challenge; preference for selfish goals; the attenuation of Jewish faith." (The Battle for God, p. 280)

 

Gush Enumin Rooted the Movement in Religion, Not Secularism - Zionism Inseparable from Judaism
1974
  • Where the early Zionists had cast religion aside, the Gush insisted on rooting their movement in Judaism.  (The Battle for God, p. 280)
  • Where Labor Zionism had tried to incorporate the liberal humanism of the modern West, Gush Emunim believed that Judaism and Western culture were antithetical. There was, therefore, for Kookists, no way that secular Zionism could ever have worked. Their task was to reclaim Zionism for religion, correct the mistakes of the past, and make history right again. (The Battle for God, p. 281)
  • It was the last clause - the weakening of religion - which, in the view of the religious members of the Gush, was crucial. Divorced from Judaism, Zionism made no sense. (The Battle for God, p. 280)

 

Gush Enumin Viewed Western Culture as the Enemy
  • Where Labor Zionism had tried to incorporate the liberal humanism of the modern West, Gush Emunim believed that Judaism and Western culture were antithetical. (The Battle for God, p. 281)
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Gush Enumin's Secular Members Understood "Redemption" in a Political Sense, Winning Broad Support
1974
  • Where secular members of the Gush could interpret the word "redemption" in a looser, more political sense, (The Battle for God, p. 280)
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Gush Enumin Believed Messianic Redemption Already Underway
1974
  • the religious activists who had adopted Rabbi Kook's holistic vision were convinced that messianic redemption had already begun, and that unless the Jewish people were settled in the whole of Eretz Israel there would be no peace for the rest of the world. (The Battle for God, p. 280)
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Gush Enumin Believed Settling into Eretz Israel the Only Way to Achieve World Peace
1974
  • the religious activists who had adopted Rabbi Kook's holistic vision were convinced that messianic redemption had already begun, and that unless the Jewish people were settled in the whole of Eretz Israel there would be no peace for the rest of the world. (The Battle for God, p. 280)
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Yitzhak Rabin Elected Prime Minister, Succeeds Golda Meir
1974
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Rabin's First Administration Hostile to Palestinian Self-Determination, Not-Hostile to Gush Emunim
1974
  • Instead of recognizing the Palestinian right to self-determination alongside of Israel, however, "the Rabin [Labor] government opened the door to Gush Emunim," the fanatic relgious-chauvinist settlers in the occupied  territories. (The Fateful Triangle, p. 55).
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Gush Enumin's Yeshivas Teach Children Arabs are the Amalek, and Must Be Exterminated
  • Gush Enumin activists take what they wish from the contradictory sources. As the eleven and twelve year old boys in Kiryat Arba explained, they are learning in their yeshivas that the Arab is Amalek, the enemy tribe that God instructed the Jews to fight eternally and destroy: "Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever." (Numbers 24:20) (Arab and Jew, p. 153)
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Building of Illegal Settlements, in Defiance of Israeli Prime Minister Rabin
1974-1977
  • ...Rabin's leniency toward Gush Emunim, which openly defied him by setting up illegal settlements on the West Bank. Rabin was infuriated when a group of these religious zealots set up a camp in Sebastia, near Nablus. But his efforts to evict them were undermined by the active support they received from Peres and the passive support of other ministers. Success at Sebastia encouraged Gush Emunim to sponsor more settlements in Samaria in defiance of the divided government. (The Iron Wall, p. 329)
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Rabbi Moshe Levinger Led Settlement Initiatives in Nablus
  • ...veteran settler Moshe Levinger, attempted to create a garin (a "seed," or nucleus, for a small settlement) in a railway depot near the Arab town of Nablus on the West Bank. This was a sacred area for Jews: Nablus occupied the Biblical city of Shechem, associated with Jacob and Joshua. The settlers were attempting to re-sacralize land which, in their view, was profaned by the Palestinians. They called their settlement Elon Moreh, one of the city's other biblical names, and tried to run their railway depot into a yeshiva for the study of sacred texts. (The Battle for God, pp. 281-282)
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Rabbi Moshe Levinger Led Settlement Initiatives in Nablus
  • ...veteran settler Moshe Levinger, attempted to create a garin (a "seed," or nucleus, for a small settlement) in a railway depot near the Arab town of Nablus on the West Bank. This was a sacred area for Jews: Nablus occupied the Biblical city of Shechem, associated with Jacob and Joshua. The settlers were attempting to re-sacralize land which, in their view, was profaned by the Palestinians. They called their settlement Elon Moreh, one of the city's other biblical names, and tried to run their railway depot into a yeshiva for the study of sacred texts. (The Battle for God, pp. 281-282)
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Gush Refused to Acknowledge UN Restrictions on Israeli Settlements, Not Abiding By Non-Jewish Laws
  • The government tried to dislodge the settlers, since the garin was illegal, but the Gush felt no need to comply with the declaration of the United Nations that demanded Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories, since Jews were not bound by the laws of other people. The settlers won considerable support in Israel, while the government seemed feeble and hesitant. (The Battle for God, p. 282)
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Israeli Defense Minister Shimon Peres

 

Rabbi Moshe Levinger Leads Gush Into a Showdown with Rabin Government Over Settlements
April 1975
  • In April 1975, Moshe Levinger led a march of twenty thousand Jews into the West Bank. From his tent in Elon Moreh, which he called his "war situation room," he negotiated with Israeli defense minister Shimon Peres. There was a battle with soldiers of the IDF: no shots were fired, but rocks were hurled and rifle butts used. Eventually, Peres was flown in by helicopter, confronted Levinger in his tent, and after the meeting, the  rabbi stormed out, tearing his white shirt in the traditional sign of mourning. (The Battle for God, p. 282)
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Levinger carried by celebrating youths, December 1975

 

Shimon Peres Finally Gives Into Pressure from Gush Emunim, Rabbi Levinger an Instant Hero, Even Among Secularists
December 1975
  • As elections were looming and Peres feared to lose the religious vote, he finally caved in and in December 1975, he agreed to accommodate thirty of the Elon Moreh settlers in a nearby army camp. Levinger was carried in a triumphal procession on the shoulders of cheering youths...He also won the support of secularists. Levinger had become a new kind of Jewish hero... "Levinger symbolizes the return of Zionism," maintained the veteran and self-confessed terrorists Geula Cohen. "He is standing like a candle in Judea and Samaria [the Biblical names for the West Bank]. He is the leader of the Zionist revolution. (The Battle for God, p. 282)
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Government Acceptance of Settlements Happened During Hanukkah, Therefore It Took On A Messianic, Religious Meaning
December 1975
  • Elon Moreh, now renamed Kedamim, was finally established during the season of Hanukkah, the festival that celebrates the liberation of Jerusalem by the Maccabees from the Seleucids in 164 BCE and the rededication of the Temple. In the mythology of Gush Emunim, the garin became a new Hanukkah, a divine breakthrough, and a victory for God. It was a formative moment: the tide seemed to have turned; secular Zionism had been forced to submit to the divine will. Levinger had put history back on track. (The Battle for God, p. 282)
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Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg Ruled that Non-Jews Should Be Expelled from Israel
May 9, 1976
  • Some Rabbis, such as Eliezer Waldenberg, winner of the 1976 Israel Prize, declared that Halakha, Jewish Law, required strict separation of Jews from Arabs, preferably an apartheid system or, better yet, the expulsion of the "goyim," all non-Jews, from Jerusalem. An American correspondent and his family became targets of some of this chauvinism in the Jerusalem neighborhood where they lived; the word "goy" was scratched into the paint of their car, and the children were hassled by Israeli youngsters on the street. (Arab and Jew, p. 154)
  • NOTE: It is not apparent from either of these two sources that Waldenberg was a member of Gush Emunim, this needs to be studied in further detail.

 

Golden Years for Gush Emunim Marked Massive Expansion, Outreach
1974-1977
  • The years 1974-1977 marked the golden age of the Gush. Members toured the country, giving lectures and recruiting young men and women, secularists as well as religious, who were prepared to settle in the territories. Gush branches opened up all over the country. (The Battle for God, p. 282)
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Levinger Accused Israeli Government of Acting Like British, When Coming to Remove Settlers
1974-1977
  • Squatters, often led by Levinger, would drive their old, battered trailers to a desolate West Bank hilltop in the dead of night. When the army arrived to expel them, the right wing parties in the Knesset accused the Labor government of behaving exactly the same way as the British in the pre-state days. It was a clever stratagem. The Israeli government was now cast in the role of oppressor, and it was the Gush settlers who seemed to embody Israel's heroic past. (The Battle for God, pp. 282-283)
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20,000 Armed Jews Attend Independence Day "Picnic"
in West Bank
May 14, 1976
  • On Independence Day 1976, nearly twenty-thousand armed Jews attended a West Bank "picnic," marching from one part of Samaria to another. These militant hikes and demonstrations were often timed to coincide the establishment of a new settlement or with another illegal squat. (The Battle for God, p. 283)
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Newly Elected Prime Minister, and Irgun Terror Leader Menachem Begin Kneels Before Gush Emunim Leader Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook
1977 (June or July?)
  • ...the Likud government of Menachem Begin. Amongst the new prime minister's first official engagements was a meeting with Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, spiritual leader of Gush Emunim, at which Begin kneeled with respect and paid tribute to the contributions of the ideological settler movement to his victory. (Absence of Peace, p. 9)
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Car Bomb Attack on Muslim Mayors of Nablus and Ramallah
May 1980
  • The Gush Emunim Underground also carried out car bomb attacks against Palestinian officials.
  • As a result of these attacks, Bassam Shakaa, the mayor of Nablus lost both of his legs and Karim Khalaf, the mayor of Ramallah lost one of his legs.
  • The bombings (Mayor Karim Khalef of Ramallah was also seriously injured; both were subsequently dismissed by the Milson administration) were praised in the journal Nekudah, of the religious West Bank settlers, and the spokesman for American Rabbi Kahane;s Kach party announced at a press conference that they were in retaliation for the murder of Israeli settlers in Hebron a few weeks earlier. (The Fateful Triangle, p. 57)

 

Attempted Bombing of Dome of the Rock with Meir Kahane's Kach Organization
May 1980
  • In May 1980 the police uncovered a plot to blow up the el-Aksa Mosque.
  • A large cache of explosives was discovered on the roof of a yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • The conspirators were two soldiers with links to Kach and to Gush Emunim.
  • Roni Milo, a leading Herut politician, defended them at their trial.
  • It was at this time that Meir Kahane and one of his lieutenants were arrested and held for six months in administrative detention.
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Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook Dies
1982
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UN Security Council Resolution to Reinstate Injured Mayors Vetoed by US
April 2, 1982
  • The US veto of an April 2, 1982 Security Council resolution calling on Israel to reinstate the ousted elected mayors Bassam Shak'a of Nablus , Karim Khalef of Ramallah, and Ibrahim Tawil of El Bireh, recent targetrs of terrorist attack. The US, which stood alone in voting against the resolution (Zaire abstained), regarded it as "one-sided". (The Fateful Triangle, p. 114)
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Gush Emunim: A Religious Duty to Destroy the Amaleks
May 1982
  • The settlers, he [a staff writer for Ha’aretz (essentially, the Israeli New York Times)] adds, are “Religious Jews who follow a higher law and do whatever their rabbis tell them. At least one of the Gush Emunim rabbis has written that it is a mitzvah [religious duty] to destroy Amalek [meaning, the non-Jewish inhabitants], including women and children. The Ha’aretz journalist adds that his journal has “a file of horror stories reported to us by soldiers returning from occupation duty in the West Bank. We can refer to them in general terms — we can rail against the occupation that destroys the moral fibre and self-respect of our youth — but we can’t print the details because military censorship covers actions by soldiers on active duty. (The Fateful Triangle, p. 12)
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Gush Emunim Likens Lack of Support for Eretz Israel as "Sinning"
July 1982
  • Two months before, Rabbi Elazar Valdam of Gush Emunim wrote in the journal Nekudah of the religious West Bank settlers: "We will certainly establish order in the Middle East and it in the world. And if we do not take this responsibility upon ourselves, we are sinners, not just towards ourselves but towards the entire world. For who can establish order in the world? All of those western leaders of weak character? (The Fateful Triangle, p. 155)
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Support to Gush Emunim Intensifies Following Lebanon Massacres
September 1982
  • After the Beirut massacres of September 1982 there was a renewed outpouring of militant support for the war in religious circles. The influential Gush Emunim group, which spearheads West Bank settlement, published a statement praising Begin, Sharon, and Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, describing the war as a "great act of sanctification of God's name." The statement also spoke of "the return of the territory of the tribes of Naftali and Asher to the boundaries of Israel," and of Israel's "responsibility to act to the limits of its ability to destroy the foundations of evil in the entire world." (The Fateful Triangle, pp. 154-155)
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Gush Emunim Calls for Expansion of Borders Into Syria and Turkey
October 1982
  • Gush Emunim....One of the founders of the movement, Yehuda ben-Meir, sharply denounced it, stating that "according to Gush Emunim, we must conquer not only Syria and Turkey but with the blood of our children we must become the guardian of the entire world." (The Fateful Triangle, p. 155)
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Gush Emunim Declares "Humanistic Jews" Are Selectively Reading Torah
September 3, 1982
  • The settlers are quite open about the measures they take towards Arabs and the justification for them, which they find in the religious law and the writings of the sages. In the journal of the religious West Bank settlers we find, for example, an article with the heading “Those among us who call for a humanistic attitude towards our [Arab] neighbors are reading the Halacha [religious law] selectively and are avoiding specific commandments.” (The Fateful Triangle, pp. 123-124)
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Gush Emunim: Amaleks Are Like Donkeys, God Regrets Making Them, Only Submission Will Lessen Their Punishment
September 3, 1982
  • The scholarly author cites passages from the Talmud explaining that God is sorry he created the Ishmaelites, and that the Gentiles are “a people like a donkey.” the law concerning “conquered” peoples is explicit, he argues, quoting Maimonides on how they must “serve” their Jewish conquerors and be “degraded and low” and “must not raise their heads in Israel but be conquered beneath their hand ... with complete submission.” Only then may the conquerors treat them in a “humane manner.” (The Fateful Triangle, p. 124)
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Gush Emunim: God's Law and Humanistic Atheism are Completely Polar Opposites
September 3, 1982
  • “There is no relation,” he claims, “between the law of Israel [Torat Yisrael] and the atheistic modern humanism,” citing again Maimonides, who holds, “that in a divinely-commanded war [milhemet mitzvah] one must destroy, kill and eliminate men, women and children” (the rabbinate has defined the Lebanon war as such a war). “The eternal principles do not change,” and “there is no place for any ‘humanistic’ considerations.” (The Fateful Triangle, p. 124)
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Gush Emunim: We Are the Guardians of the Entire World, and Will Spill Blood to Achieve It
October 1982
  • Gush Emunim....One of the founders of the movement, Yehuda ben-Meir, sharply denounced it, stating that "according to Gush Emunim, we must conquer not only Syria and Turkey but with the blood of our children we must become the guardian of the entire world." (The Fateful Triangle, p. 155)
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Gush Emunim Clashes with Israeli Peace Movement "Peace Now", Attacks with Hand Grenade
1983
  • The Likud and Gush Emunim supporters fought openly with Peace Now and some members of Labour, a dispute which itself descended into violence with a grenade attack on a Peace Now march in 1983. (Absence of Peace, p. 13)
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School Attack at Islamic College of Hebron in July 25, 1983
  • In 1983, three of its members were involved in a retaliation attack following the murder of a yeshivah student in Hebron.
  • In broad daylight, two men entered the Islamic College of Hebron, spraying bullets and tossing a grenade.
  • They murdered three students and wounded thirty-three.
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Failed Bombing of the Dome of the Rock April 27, 1984
  • The group was also known for masterminding a failed attempt at destroying the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Shin Bet agents arrested the members during an attempted bus bombing in 1984 and during interrogation discovered the group's plot to blow up the pillars of the Dome of the Rock.
  • Details of this conspiracy were uncovered after the arrest, on April 27, 1984, of twenty-five Gush activists, mostly West Bank settlers, who were charged in connection with the placement of bombs under five Arab buses. The police had thwarted the bombings at the last minute. During the interrogation and trial of the accused, their responsibility for the attacks on the Arab mayors and the Islamic College was established. Several among this group were also charged and convicted in connection with the 1978-1982 plot to destroy the Temple Mount.

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Israeli President Chaim Herzog Releases Three Gush Emunim Killers from College Attack 1990
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