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Nationalism, Religion, and Archaeology: The Civilizational Populism of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud

Version 2 2024-06-02, 14:47
Version 1 2024-03-26, 03:59
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posted on 2024-06-02, 14:47 authored by Ihsan YilmazIhsan Yilmaz, Nicholas MoriesonNicholas Morieson
This paper examines civilizational populism in Israel and focuses on the largest and most powerful party in Israel since the 1980s, National Liberal Movement (Likud), and its most significant leader of the past twenty years, the populist politician Benjamin Netanyahu. We show how Netanyahu incorporates ‘civilizationism’ into his populist discourses by, first, using the notion that Jewish civilization predates all others in the region to establish the legitimacy of the state of Israel, the hegemony of Jewish culture within Israel, and at times his own political decisions. Second, through his portrayal of the Arab-Muslim world as an antisemitic and barbaric bloc that, far from being a civilization, threatens Western civilization through its barbarism. Equally, this paper shows how Netanyahu argues that Israel is akin to protective wall that protects Western Civilization from the Islamist barbarians who wish to destroy it, and therefore on this basis calls for Europeans and North Americans to support Israel in its battle for civilization and against “the forces of barbarism.”

History

Pagination

1-28

Language

eng

Research statement

Background - Contribution - Significance -

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper

Publisher

European Center for Populism Studies (ECPS)

Place of publication

Brussels, Belgium

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