Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine under the Mandate

By Dan Horowitz; Moshe Lissak | Go to book overview

3
The Growth and Consolidation of the Jewish Political Center

Center, Subcenter, and Periphery in the Jewish Community

The development of the political institutions of the Yishuv to the point where they could serve as the foundation for an independent state occurred simultaneously with the crystallization of its social structure. Unlike many developing countries, the political organization of the Yishuv was not the culmination of social and economic processes spanning generations; the development of the political system was linked to the growth of other institutional spheres in a set of interrelations that in turn produced the foundation of a new society striving for autonomy. The Yishuv, therefore, was to a considerable extent free of the tensions and pressures which generally accompany the transition from traditional and posttraditional societies to what are referred to as "modern" societies. 1 In other words, because the Yishuv was essentially a new society, there was considerable synchronization between the various spheres of development, and the serious gaps or lags between these spheres that have impaired the political stability of many new states did not develop. 2 Moreover, as a new society the Yishuv did not experience the collapse of an indigenous political system following colonial conquest. On the contrary, British Mandatory rule, at least in

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