The national-religious movement will have to face the failure of its prophecy that the founding of the State of Israel and the conquest of the West Bank is the onset of the Messianic period. It will have to realize that Israel is part of an international system that has standards of legitimacy that can and must not be disregarded. The problem is that national-religious Messianism will not go quietly. Most of my conversations with national-religious rabbis give little ground for solace: they are deeply convinced of the utter truth of their vision, and completely devoid of any understanding of international relations; they hope that Israel will ultimately become a theocracy. In this, they are no different from all their
ever more Israelis are infected by the symptoms of Messianic thinking: “We are right, and the whole world is wrong; hence we must no longer listen to anybody.” Messianic politics has been instrumental in driving Israel into unprecedented isolation. Unfortunately, many Israelis as yet prefer disregarding the reality that international pressure will soon exact a heavy price that we all want to prevent.