Israeli Politics

Description Israel is a sovereign and legitimate nation state (both de-jure and de- facto); it’s political regime is liberal democracy (yet debated by the essentialists); it’s society is a mosaic in which ethnicity, class, gender, religion, nationality and migration (also foreign labor) play a dynamic part in the intricacies of the political system. The Israeli society has experienced some major socio-political changes during its history: The period until the mid-1970’s, when one political party (MAPAI) dominated the socio-political arena and the second, until the present day when the political system has been through many changes that alter the political characters of the society. Israel has also experienced some crucial changes within its collective identity: from the early 1950s, when the founding fathers and mothers tried to mold a diverse immigrant population into a homogeneous modern secular Jewish society (the melting pot), to the collapse of the hegemonic Ashkenazi culture and the development of post-modern multi- center society with multi-culturalism. In addition, recently there is an impact of globalization and the “Americanization” on Israeli culture. The legacy Israel inherited from the British Mandate at its independence in 1948 included the emerging of welfare state. For a while, the new country led by MAPAI built a broadly inclusive social infrastructure on this base. Today, however, after the processes of global liberalization and privatization, the government is basically limited to providing security, minimal education and health care, and not much else. But the needs of the poor, the vulnerable, the elderly and of the new immigrants can never be adequately met by private means alone, and it turns out that the decay of Israeli welfare state has brought to a broader social and political gaps within Israeli society. The search for peace in the Middle East dates back to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, a war following the invasion of the Jewish state by Arab countries, and the subsequent displacement of many Palestinian Arabs. The breakthrough for peace came in 1993 when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat agreed to a framework for Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza in the Oslo accords. After Rabin’s assassination in 1995, the peace process faltered. Relations between Israelis and Palestinians turned sour as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s slowed down diplomatic momentum after Oslo largely because of security concerns and ideological resistance to withdraw from occupied/disputed territories. Your task: Write a five (5) pages essay that will expand the given above paragraph. Present in your paper the recent debates on the issues of sovereignty, legitimacy, regime-type (Jewish & Democratic), social gaps, cultural divides, gender issues, and peace process. Use at least five (5) academic articles to introduce the problematic of the given issues.

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