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The Nature of Sacrifice in the History and Ideology


Submitted By begettriumph
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The Nature of Sacrifice In The History And Ideology Of The Gush Emunim

There can be no argument that by living in small settlements in the hostile and explosive West Bank and Gaza Strip, Gush Emunim settlers are making some sort of sacrifice. Surrounded no doubt by hostile Palestinians who feel that the Israelis are occupying their home, religious settlers face the potential for violence and death on a daily basis. In what is becoming a more perilous state of affairs in Israel with each suicide bombing, shooting spree, or IDF incursion into the Palestinian territories and refugee camps, perhaps no one on the Israeli side faces as constant a risk of danger than the Gush Emunim.

This paper will attempt to examine the very nature of sacrifice that the Gush Emunim are involved in, as well as the biblical justification for this sacrifice. I also mean to explore the biblical justification the Gush Emunim may use to support their willingness to resort to violence against the Palestinians in defending this sacrifice. Their attitude towards their hostile neighbors is the same attitude their ancestors held about the Canaanites: “you must be expelled, whether peacefully or violently, because this is our land according to God.” In the history and ideology of the Gush Emunim, examples of both Nancy Jay’s communion sacrifice as well as Hubert and Mauss’s contractual sacrifice are plenty. The sacred violence as a cultural foundation about which Gil Bailie writes can also be found. Furthermore, Girard’s mimetic desire is evident in the competition between Jews and Muslims over the sacred space that is Jerusalem. The history of the Gush Emunim is a highly complex one, yet it can be much more clearly understood when its sacrificial systems and propensity for violence are explained using some of the authors whom we have read in class. Settlement in a hostile environment is the

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