Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Awad Halabi (Committee Member), Donna Schlagheck (Committee Chair), Vaughn Shannon (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This research challenges the general claim that religious fundamentalist groups exercise great influence in Israeli policies regarding settlements in the Palestinian disputed territory. It proposes an alternate hypothesis that security considerations, rather, are the driving factors underlying the government's decision process. These two propositions are evaluated by assessing three settlement decisions made under a Likud led government - a common factor purposely chosen given the known symbiotic relation between religious fundamentalist groups and the Likud's right wing political movement. Upon assessing the return of Sinai to Egypt, the annexation of the Golan Heights, and the unilateral disengagement from Gaza Strip, this work concludes that Likud's leaders based their decisions mainly on security considerations, and that the fundamentalist agenda was ignored time and again despite massive protests and threats to the Likud coalition.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded