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Wake Up Palestine – Zionism between Conservatism and a Hard Place.

Girls from the religious Zionism trend in the face of religious extremism within the Bani Akiva youth movement.

Jerusalem24 – The end of October of this year coincided with the eighth month on the Hebrew calendar, which is the month in which the final activities of the “Bani Akiva” youth groups are held.

“Bani Akiva” is a youth organization affiliated with the religious Zionism trend that works to educate Israeli youth under the age of 18 on the values ​​of the Torah and the love of settlement expansion. During the graduation ceremonies, a big party is held, with singing and dancing, and the young men and women present a summary of what they have learned during the previous year.

Over the past decades, this organization has been adopting, in addition to the values ​​of the Torah, liberal principles, allowing, for example, mixing between the sexes. But this time, specifically in the Bani Akiva branch of Tel Aviv-Yarkon, the movement’s leaders imposed new and unfamiliar conditions on the young women in this branch.

They asked the girls to dance separately from the young men, and in darkened halls so that their bodies do not stand out, even though the girls meant for this party are from the eighth grade.

In this episode of Wake Up Palestine, we speak with Walid Habbas, a researcher from The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) on the current struggles taking place within the Bani Akiva Religious Zionism Movement.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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