Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine under the Mandate

By Dan Horowitz; Moshe Lissak | Go to book overview

2 The Dual Society of Mandatory Palestine

The Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine cannot be considered a full-fledged polity since it formed a part of a larger entity. It was a minority group in a dual political system, binational in population, and ruled by a foreign power in accordance with the Mandate granted by the League of Nations.

Political scientists and sociologists who have studied the emergence of independent political systems in developing countries have developed models for analyzing these societies, but most of them are inadequate for describing the unique characteristics of the dual system in Mandatory Palestine.

There are models which describe societies characterized by tribal, ethnic, religious, or national heterogeneity where the groups composing them are at a similar level of modernization. 1 These models are unsuitable for describing the dual society of Mandatory Palestine because of the significant difference in level of modernization between the Arab majority and the Jewish minority.

There are also models describing heterogeneous societies which emerged as a result of Western colonization in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. 2 For the most part these models too fail to grasp the social and political pattern that developed in Palestine as a result of Jewish settlement. Such models generally describe societies

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