The Legitimation Process of the Hilltop Youth

Tom Levizky, Yuval Benziman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the years, the ‘hilltop youth’ have acted in opposition to both Israeli state authorities and the settler leadership. Israeli society viewed them as a group acting to realize an extremist religious ideology while violating Israeli law and ignoring the state’s decisions. However, after coming to feel that their social position was making it difficult for them to realize their vision, they embarked upon a process of trying to gain political legitimacy. By turning to mass media and by disseminating messages with which the public at large could identify, they have worked to move closer to Israeli consensus opinion. We identify the steps through which this was carried out and trace its success. The process reached a significant point in 2023 when politicians identified with the hilltop youth took up important ministerial positions in government, marking their transition from actors who opposed the state to ones responsible for its decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-178
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael Studies Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© (2024), Association for Israel Studies


  • elections
  • extremism
  • hilltop youth
  • legitimation
  • right-wing
  • settlements


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