Israel Election: What's Behind the Rise of the Far Right? LISTEN

Haaretz Weekly
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Smotrich and Ben-Gvir at the Central Elections Committee in September.
-- : --
Haaretz Weekly

If one major story dominated Israel’s 2022 Knesset election, it was the surging popularity of the Religious Zionism Party. The party’s leaders Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, claim to have moderated their extremism, but their party platform reflects their racist, supremacist, homophobic, and theocratic views.

On this episode of Haaretz Weekly, which was recorded hours before Israelis went to the polls on Tuesday, Professor Jonathan Rynhold joins host Allison Kaplan Sommer to explain the reasons behind the rise of the party and why he holds Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for mainstreaming it.

Follow live coverage of Israel's political drama today on

In a wider context, Rynhold does not see believe that the surge in popularity of the far right in Israel means that the country is following behind the trend of strengthening right-wing populist and xenophobic parties in Europe or Christian nationalism and Trumpism in the United States. Instead, he says, “I think the rest of the world has become more like Israel.”



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism