Democracy in Israel: Proven Yet Precarious

Ezra Mendelsohn

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts

Published in print April 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112030
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854608 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Democracy in Israel: Proven Yet Precarious

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This chapter reviews literary works made at the conundrum of Israel's democratic vitality. Israeli democracy has survived two major transfers of power, in 1977 and 1992, and has thereby passed the conventional test of a system's democratic vigor. However, though apparently robust, Israel's democratic system is precarious as tragically revealed by the shock of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in November 1995. The chapter examines the stream of substantial books printed in this period that focus on mechanical aspects of the system and others that are more concerned with the effects of ideological and political polarization related to the shaping of national identity on democracy and the rule of law. With the exception of Whiter Israel?, which is an easily read panoramic survey that can engage the lay reader, the works under review are fairly dense and technical, addressed in the main to political scientists.

Keywords: literary works; Israeli democracy; precarious; Yitzhak Rabin; assassination; ideological and political polarization; political scientists

Chapter.  5162 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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