Author(s): A. Murat A?DEM?R
Apart from other actors, Nongovernmental organizations or community groups are two important actors with influence and responsibility in international relations and in peace-making in particular. In this context, the Haredim or ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel and the Evangelicals are two of the most important religious groups which affect the Israeli-Palestinian Arabs relations and the peace process. Haredim carry weight in Israeli politics far in excess of their numbers, and can affect decision-making process in government circles and provide a support base for religious militants. On the other hand, since the 1970s, Evangelical Christians have become a dominating pro-Israel force independent of the other Jewish interest groups in the United States. Both groups are hawkish on the question of territorial compromise with the Palestinian Arabs, and strengthen the struggle against territorial withdrawals. This paper examines how these two community groups affect Israel’s relations with Palestinian Arabs, and how they affect the peace process. The argument is that for Israel, it is necessary to balance the effects of these two groups of people if it wants to reach a permanent peace.