"Realistic Religious Zionism" was established by religious young men and women who call for a change in the present character of the Religious Zionist camp in Israel and in the course its leaders are taking it.
Today, in its present state, the religious Zionist camp lacks vision. All its religious thought and most of its agenda revolves around a single axis - the struggle for the territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. It is on the altar of this struggle that the religious Zionist camp has been neglecting urgent, internal problems facing this public and overlooking difficult moral issues affecting the religious-Zionist individual today. All these should be a main concern of this public, whose main goal should be the concerted effort to live a life of Torah in the current reality of the Jewish state.
The identification of the whole essence of Religious-Zionism with a specific ideological-political stance has eroded this public's powers for sound reasoning, its ability to contain different opinions within its ranks, as well as has forestalled the awareness of many of its members to other issues
The present religious-Zionist leadership continues, with much effort, to hold on to a political stance that no longer stands the test of reality. Because of its obsessive attachment to a non-realistic vision, it fails to act as a responsible and educationally conscious agent that would criticize and condemn extreme phenomena taking place in its sphere. It fails to prepare its public in a responsible way for dealing with the crisis which will come about as a result of the expected political developments. It fails to call attention to the other crucial problems facing our society today. It overlooks the entire array of problems arising from our domination of the territories: moral, social, cultural, economic problems - problems that have been tearing at Israeli society for quite some time
Members of "Realistic Religious Zionism" believe that the attempt to realize the ideals of religious Zionism requires a sober view of reality, together with the promotion of critical thinking. The religious-Zionist leadership should know how to face the challenges of reality. It should strive to make of the religious-Zionist public, with its religious and Zionist values, a leading factor in Israeli society, rather than leading them away into becoming the marginal and detached sector of society they are today.
It is clear to us that despite the terrible acts of terror and the current mutual distrust between us and the Palestinians, the cessation of our rule over 3 million citizens without civil rights is, nevertheless, a definite Israeli interest. That Israel, in its present circumstances, will not be able to continue to exist as a Jewish and democratic country, one that can focus properly on its social, economical, cultural, and educational problems, is a well understood notion! It is evident that Israel does not subsist in a political vacuum. Unfortunately, though, there is today no public group within the religious-Zionist camp that asserts such a notion with a loud and clear voice. No religious-Zionist alternative exists today that looks at reality as it is. The great potential inherent in the values of religious Zionism are being wasted presently in a last battle attempt for the sake of holding on to the entire land of Israel.
In view of all that has been stated above, there came to be an urgent need for creating a movement of religious Zionists that would renew the public struggle for the character and makeup of religious Zionism. This movement would challenge the spiritual leadership of the religious Zionist camp and attempt to track a new, but authentic course for religious Zionism. Such a realistic course would lead religious Zionism out of the process of deterioration it is presently immersed in and so help it return to be an autonomous and moral force within Israeli society.
It is important to note that the source of this initiative was not rabbis or public figures, but rather ordinary young men and women. This is undoubtedly an innovation among the ranks of the religious Zionists generally, and it is an indication (to our dismay) of the lack of direction that characterizes today's religious Zionist leadership.
We are hopeful that our efforts will come to fruition and will bring to light the moral potential that, in our opinion, inheres in the religious Zionist camp.
Goals of the Movement
1. Main Goal
The renewal of the public struggle for the character and makeup of religious Zionism, while challenging its spiritual leadership. All this, in an attempt to track a new, but authentic course for religious Zionism. A realistic course leading religious Zionism out of the process of deterioration it is presently immersed.
2. Secondary Goals
- Organizing a religious Zionist group whose activities would promote the above main goal.
- Leading a process by which the religious Zionist public would accept the necessity of relinquishing our rule over the Territories.
- Renewing the interest and participation in issues that have so far been neglected, but that are of great importance to religious Zionism. Among these issues: the character of the Jewish People today, the meaning of Judaism, the role of Halakhah in the State of Israel (relation between religion and state), the education of today's youth, the place of women in Halakhah, the tensions between Halakhah and Modernity.
"Realistic Religious Zionism (a social and religious alternative)" will work by all commendable means for promoting the secondary goals. Among these means are:
- Rallies, Demonstrations, Protests, and Propaganda.
- Appearances and publications via the news media.
- Joint activities with other organizations having similar interests.
- Symposiums, Conferences, and the like.
- Creating as many public arenas by means of which the religious Zionist public will be able to discuss freely the issues and challenges affecting it and its future.