Critical Issues In Israeli Society / Edition 1

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Overview

Fashioning a working political structure in Israel that will bring together all aspects of society, from Jews to Arabs, ultra-Orthodox to assertively secular, has never been easy. However, two developments have intensified this challenge: demographic changes have sharpened the differences between the groups; and open challenges of legitimacy have undermined the previous de facto acceptance of pluralism. There has been no strong civic framework of Israeliness to replace Zionism as a shared identity that would override more parochial identities and interests. Added to these pressures are the collapse of the peace process in late 2000 and the influence of global developments on the Arab-Israel conflict and on Israeli domestic society.

In this volume, twelve noted scholars of Israel present authoritative and analytic overviews of these important issues. The ability of the Israeli political system to bridge differences through a Jewish tradition of power-sharing has, in the past, managed to overcome enormous divisions, at least within the Jewish sector. Economic progress and globalization have brought Israel closer to other developed societies in many respects, while exposing Israel to pressures associated with these trends. Closer analysis of these critical issues reveals that there are also positive forces at work as the nation seeks a broader synthesis of its Jewish legacy and universal liberal values.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

ALAN DOWTY is Professor of Political Science and Fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Before coming to Notre Dame in 1975, Dowty taught for 12 years, and served as Chairman of the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has published widely on U.S. foreign policy, weapons of mass destruction, international freedom of movement, international enforcement; most of his recent work is on the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israeli politics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Tribalization of Israel? 1
I Trends in the Public Sphere 7
1 Sources of Stability and Instability in the Israeli Polity 9
2 Corruption, Political Finance, and the Rule of Law 33
3 How Far Do Justices Go: The Limits of Judicial Decisions 55
II Social Cleavages 69
4 Changes in the Orthodox Camp and Their Influence on the Deepening Religious-Secular Schism at the Outset of the Twenty-first Century 71
5 The "Russian Revolution" in Israel 95
6 The Status of the Palestinians in Israel: A Double Periphery in an Ethno-National State 109
III Social and Economic Trends 127
7 A Critical Look at Israel's Economic and Social Gaps 129
8 Globalization and Its Impact on Israel 151
IV Security Issues 167
9 A Question That Outweighs All Others: Israel and the Palestinians in Broad Perspective 169
10 Public Opinion and the Peace Process 195
V Zionism and History 221
11 Normalization and Its Discontents: Israel as a Diaspora Jewish Community 223
Index 251
About the Editor and Contributors 259
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