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Over the last quarter century, a radical demographic, economic and political transformation has been taking place from within Israel. Israelis are beginning to ask some fundamental questions about the country they live in and what it means to be an Israeli. This 2008 book, written by five Israeli academics, probes the changing nature of Israeli society over the last twenty-five years. It considers the deep rifts in that society caused by ethnic, cultural, class and religious divide. It looks at political and economic changes and how privatization has undermined the welfare state. It questions the role of the military in the light of the wider social and economic changes. Finally, and crucially, it asks whether new political initiatives can offer a realistic alternative to the inadequacies of recent governments. This is an informative account of Israel's recent past and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.
Introduction; 1. Israeli society: diversity, tensions and governance; 2. Geography and demography: spatial transformations; 3. The political system: government, parliament and the court; 4. Political economy: liberalization and globalization; 5. Military and society; 6. The new politics: interest groups and alternative channels; Conclusion: the state of the state.