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Holy War in JudaismThe Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea$
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Reuven Firestone

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860302

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860302.001.0001

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1967 to 1973

1967 to 1973

The Miracle of Conquest and the Test of Yom Kippur

(p.248) Chapter 14 1967 to 1973
Holy War in Judaism

Reuven Firestone

Oxford University Press

It was only after the extraordinary victory of the 1967 War that most religious Zionists acknowledged what they considered to be the truly messianic, redemptive nature of Zionism. Military success was often articulated in religious Zionist publications through such imagery as the “hand of God.” If it was God’s design, then was it not a holy war? The miraculous victory of the war was a clear sign to many that God intends for Jews to conquer and settle all of the Biblical Land of Israel, including those lands extending beyond the borders established by the United Nations Partition Plan and armistice agreements of 1947-48. The failure of the 1973 War actually caused an increase in rationalization and a resurgence of messianic, militant activism. Fear that the war would result in concessions of territories energized many to hold onto them. Revitalization efforts emerged among a generation of Orthodox youth disaffected with the ways in which their parents’ generation expressed its religiosity and Zionism, and the Settler Movement appropriated many of the classical symbols of classical secular Zionism that had since declined.

Keywords:   Six Day War, Yom Kippur War, 1967 War, 1973 War, Gush Emunim, Settler Movement, National Religious Party, Judea, Samaria, Gachelet

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