The Government and Politics of Israel

By Don Peretz; Gideon Doron | Go to book overview

9
Challenges of the
Israeli Polity

Since independence, Israeli polity has muddled through from one crisis to another at high cost, including human lives, with the help of its powerful Western ally. Although Israel has met many challenges, some serious issues have not yet been addressed satisfactorily; some remain unsolved intentionally and are likely to become critical in the future.


The Challenge of Diaspora Jewry

The relationship between the Jews in Israel and those in the diaspora is highly problematic. Some observers draw a direct, even an inseparable link between the Jews who live inside Israel and those who live outside. Many say the Jews are "one people," with the same identity and interests. The fact that almost all Jews now live in countries from which they are free to leave but that relatively few choose to come to Israel does not seem to affect this unity. Other observers, fewer in number, consider Israeli Jews a distinctive nation. A major challenge for the future will be to determine the nature of Jewish religion and national identities and the kind of relationship that should exist between them--a difficult task.

According to Israeli law, Israel does not belong to its citizens alone but to the entire Jewish people. Many diaspora Jews share a strong spiritual tie with the Jewish community in Israel. They are eager for news of Israel, some support Israel financially, and some send their children to spend time there. Some call themselves Zionists without moving to Israel. Israeli political institutions are structured to perpetuate these ties: The Jewish Agency,

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The Government and Politics of Israel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1- Historical Origins of Israel 1
  • 2- Political Culture 46
  • 3- Political Parties and Ideologies 70
  • 4- The Electoral System 118
  • 5- Interest Groups 146
  • 6- How the Government Works 173
  • 7- Government Administration And Public Policy 208
  • 8- Second Transition of Power 244
  • 9- Challenges of The Israeli Polity 275
  • About the Book and Authors 291
  • Index 292
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