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אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב
מכון בן-גוריון לחקר ישראל והציונות

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Avi Shilon - The impact of the Six Day War on the awakening of the Canaanite idea

The article traces the changes and the continuation in the worldview of two characters, Hillel Kook and Jonathan Ratosh, which stemmed from the Canaanite concept as it was developed in the 1940’, following the results of the Six Day War. Based on the Canaanite ideas, they renew their attempt to establish a civic nationalism in Israel, and their quest to separate church and state in Israel. The article followed Kook’s and Ratosh arguments, as presented in the third decade of Israel's existence, and describes how they tried to adjust the original principles of the Canaanite worldview to the changes in Israel, both internally and in terms of the status of Israel in the Middle East following the occupation of the territories.

Although Kook and Ratosh shared common source of worldview when it comes to their critic on modern Jewish nationalism, and both offered a radical alternative to the concept of socialist Zionism shaped by the labor movement, the article projects in length the differences between their approaches, as developed after the war. The article concludes with an analysis which explains, from the one hand, why their proposals were rejected by the Israeli establishment and the vast majority of the Israelis, and, on the other hand, sheds light on the various angels in which some of their ideas assimilated into the Israeli discourse, up until the twenty-first century.