When Prophecy Fails? The Theology of the Oslo Process—Rabbinical Responses to a Crisis of Faith

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. Mordechai (Motti) Inbari, Assistant Professor of Religion (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library

Abstract: The Oslo process began with secret negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and led to the signing of a declaration of principles by the two sides in Washington, DC in 1993. Israel agreed to withdraw from territories in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, and to establish a Palestinian autonomous authority in the area for an interim period, with a view to reaching a permanent settlement between the sides. This process, and particularly the territorial compromise it entailed, created a profound crisis within those religious Zionist circles that have identified Israeli reality as part of a process of redemption. The political concessions threatened to disrupt their messianic expectations and required a response adapted to the new reality. Accordingly, the Oslo process provides a test case for the way in which the religious Zionist public as a whole faced this crisis of faith, and, more specifically, the manner in which the Halachic guides of this public—those responsible for shaping its religious behavior—responded to this crisis. This article examines the attitude of the rabbinical leadership of the settlers toward the Oslo Accords, and will present the distinct responses of two rabbis—Yehuda Amital and Zvi Tau. The case studies demonstrate how messianic believers face their prophetic failure and the modalities they apply in order to cope with it. Thus, the article shades a new light on what happens when prophecy fails.

Additional Information

Modern Judaism Volume 29, Number 3
Language: English
Date: 2009
Oslo Process, Oslo Accords, Israel, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Gaza Strip, Judea, Samaria, Zionism, Rabbinical Leadership, Territorial Compromise, Messianic Believers, Halachic Guides, Crisis of Faith

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