Friday, 24 July 2009

Crisis Group Report

Israel’s Religious Right and the Question of Settlements

Middle East Report N°89
20 July 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu is in a bind. Israel is facing arguably unprecedented pressure to halt all settlement activity, led by a new and surprisingly determined U.S. administration. But the prime minister also heads a distinctly right-wing coalition and faces intense domestic pressure from settlers and their allies. However important, what will emerge from current discussions between Washington and Jerusalem will only be step one in a long process designed to achieve a settlement freeze, settlement evacuation and a genuine peace agreement with the Palestinians. Understanding how Israel might deal with these challenges requires understanding a key yet often ignored constituency – its growing and increasingly powerful religious right.

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