ABSTRACT

The peace-building activities of several dozens peace and human rights activists from Israeli-Jewish religious and traditional milieus1 has not received enough attention either from the Israeli and international media or in the academia. Actually, following the Six-day war and the beginning of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a certain number of Orthodox Israelis committed to peace and justice founded a Jewish religious peace movement called ‘Oz Ve Shalom’ (‘Strength and Peace’). A few years later, another peace movement called ‘Netivot Shalom’ (‘Paths of Peace’) was founded by Israeli yeshiva students and young new immigrants from the United States. At the end of the 1980s, in the wake of the first Intifada, a small circle of religious and traditional Israeli rabbis committed to the respect of human rights came to the fore and, more recently, a group of Hasidic settlers inspired by the teachings of Rabbi Menahem Froman has created a peace group called ‘Eretz Shalom’ (‘Land of Peace’). This essay, mainly based on primary sources such as periodicals, bulletins, newsletters, monographs, leaflets and other diverse material published by these movements, and on oral testimonies collected by the Author, retraces the history of these religious peace groups in a cohesive framework.

issue 05 / July 2013 by Cristiana Calabrese