Menachem Mautner

in Law and the Culture of Israel

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600564
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729188 | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


Show Summary Details


This chapter offers some principles for the constitution of Israel's regime, political culture, and law given the country's multicultural condition. First, Israeli liberals need to pursue actively the preservation and cultivation of Israel's liberal democratic regime. Second, since so many Israelis (both Jews and Arabs) are religious, of the two variants of liberal political theory, namely comprehensive and political liberalism, Israel should opt for the political rather than the comprehensive. Israel may count on the possibility of collaboration between secular liberals (both Jewish and Arab) and religious Zionists in establishing a Rawlsian overlapping consensus in favor of the preservation and further cultivation of the country's liberal-democratic regime, political culture, and law. Third, Israel should be viewed as a Jewish state in the sense of enabling different groups of Jews to develop their unique Jewish cultures. Israel should be seen as ‘the state of the Jews’ rather than a ‘Jewish state’. Fourth, Israel should cultivate and emphasize Israeliness as an inclusive super-category that encompasses all its citizens, both Jewish and Arab. Fifth, Israel should add to its current definition as a ‘Jewish and democratic state’ a third element of identity, that of a ‘multicultural state’. In the alternative, Israel should find a way to add to the current definition of its identity an element that will express the existence in the country of an Arab national minority. Sixth, Israel should create a new equilibrium between uniformity and diversity in its life. On the one hand, while most of the law of the state should be uniform, some of it will remain differential. On the other hand, Israel should make the republican ideal of the common good an important ideal in its political culture.

Keywords: multiculturalism; liberalism; political liberalism; John Rawls; religious Zionism; traditionalism; religious feminism; Jewish state; decentralization; republicanism

Chapter.  10299 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.