Seminar set to tackle recent changes in the impact of religious Zionism on “Israel”

On October 14, the Master's Program in Israeli Studies at Birzeit University and the Arab Center for Applied Social Research, Mada al-Carmel, held a seminar addressing shifts occurring in the Zionist movement, and their implications on the religious, societal, and political communities in Israel.

Dean of Graduate Studies Talal Shahwan talked about the dialectical relation of religion, society and state, especially inside "Israel." "We can no longer neglect the increasing role of religion and its implications on politics in ’Israel.’ Therefore, it is vital to analyze and critically learn te changing dynamics that are taking place the societal and institutional levels, and the implications it has for politics, culture, education, and demography."

General Director of Mada al Carmel Mohanad Mustafa said that this symposium comes amid the increase in violence against Palestinians. This escalation, according to Mustafa, is a direct result of the expanding role of religion in the Israeli' state’s affairs. "There is an overlap between religion and nationalism in Israel; this intersection has directly affected the way that Israel is dealing with Palestinians and the Palestinian cause in general."

The symposium included three sessions. Each session featured academics, researchers, and master's and PhD students in panel discussions on topics such as "The sociological approaches to religion and politics in Israel"; "Religion, politics and the society in Israel: tension and adaptation"; and "The effects of religion and Israel's security doctrine on the Zionist colonial project.