While the dramatic episode that resulted in the removal of 7,500 settlers went off with those refusing to leave only employing passive resistance methods, the event further radicalized the settler camp and empowered the most extreme among them.
As part of a greater strategy to consolidate political power, the Religious Zionist movement aimed to take over the political structure, beginning with the ruling Likud party.
Abandoned by Benjamin Netanyahu, who as a member of the opposition rode a wave of anti-Oslo sentiment to become prime minister for the first time in 1996, Moshe Feiglin, a Glick ally, led an anti-Oslo civil disobedience campaign of the Zo Artzeinu (This is Our Land) in the 1990s.
100,000 Israelis staged sit-ins at highways and intersections, but failed to derail the Oslo Accords.
ore than two decades of the peace process have empowered Israel’s hardline elements, rendering the Labor Zionist camp irrelevant and struggling to maintain any appeal to the Israeli mainstream.
As Israel’s old guard has become mostly obsolete, the settler movement has positioned itself as the future, taking over key positions in the government, the military, police and Shin Bet, and winning public support through the Temple Movement.
“Religious Zionism is on its way to taking control of the State of Israel,” former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin warned in 2015.
The formula of “land for peace” at the center of the Oslo Accords was always considered antithetical to Religious Zionist doctrine which holds that Jewish redemption – the arrival of the king messiah – will be achieved through conquering and settling Thus the Oslo Accords, which established the Palestinian Authority, was perceived by Religious Zionists as a rollback in Jewish sovereignty, raising doubts about the sanctity of the State of Israel and its willingness to carry out the messianic plan.
Religious Zionism’s crisis of faith in the state originated with Israel’s withdrawal from the Egyptian Sinai and the evacuation of the settlement of Yamit in 1982.
Yisrael Ariel, then Chief Rabbi of Yamit and follower of Rabbi Meir Kahane, went on to become a leading figure in the Temple Movement.