is a Middle East researcher with the Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, Oslo. His research interests focus on ideological currents and discourses in the Arab world, with special reference to Islamism. Among his recent publications are Islamist Rhetoric: Language and...
is a Middle East researcher at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. Her
principal research interests lie in the field of collective identity formation, with particular focus on Israeli Jews from the Middle East
and North Africa and Palesti...
Hanne Eggen Røislien
is a researcher on Israel at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies in Oslo. Her main research interests are civil-military issues and military culture, with a particular focus on the Israeli Defence Forces and the radical Jewish settler movement. Her recent publication...
Religion, territory and violence: exploring emerging religious-political groups in Israel and Palestine
Jacob Høigilt, Tilde Rosmer, Hanne Eggen Røislien, 3 November 2011
This report is the result of fieldwork carried out by the authors in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza in November 2010. Written sources were consulted and key actors were interviewed on three tendencies and their role in terms of religious ideology, territory and violence: 1) the Islamist Movement in Israel (IMI); 2) the changing nature of Islamist activism in the West Bank; and 3) the presence of members of the Jewish settler movement in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
Conclusions in each area are as follows: 1) the IMI represents a trend that increases the internal Jewish-Palestinian divide and decreases the distance between Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories; 2) a strong Islamic identity – especially among the young – is increasingly expressed in ultra-conservative religious trends, and specific trends that need to be watched are the evolution of Salafism and the growing influence of the secretive Hizb al-Tahrir; and 3) the claims of a growing presence of radical Jewish settlers in the IDF need to be analysed in terms of the wider issue of to what extent extremist national-religious trends are gaining a greater foothold and exerting greater influence in Israeli society as a whole. In all three areas, more research is needed.