This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of contemporary Israel, accounting for changes, developments and contemporary debates. The different chapters offer both a historical background and an updated analysis of politics, economy, society and culture.
Across five sections, a multidisciplinary group of experts, including sociologists, political scientists, historians and social scientists, engage in a wide variety of topics through different perspectives and insights. The book opens with a historical section outlining the formation of Israel and Jewish nationalism. The second section examines contemporary institutions in Israel, their developments and the contemporary challenges they face in light of social, economic, political and cultural changes. The third section explores geopolitics and Israel’s foreign relations, exploring conflicts, alliances and foreign policy with neighbors and powers. The fourth section engages with Israel’s internal divisions and schisms, highlighting questions of identity and inequality while also outlining processes of integration and marginalization between groups. The final section explores matters of culture, through the social and demographic shifts in contemporary music, poetry and cuisine, along with the struggles for inclusion and the impact of globalization on Israeli culture.
The Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Israel is designed for academics along with undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses on Israel, Israeli politics, and culture and society in modern Israel.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Historical Overview
1. Zionism between Despair and Hope
2. Mamlakhtiyut: The Zionist and Israeli version of Republicanism
Avi Bareli and Nir Kedar
3. Melting Pot and Plurality of Cultures in Early Israel
4. The Palestinian National Movement: A Short History
5. Israel's Foreign Policy: The Historical Mound
Part 2: Institutions
6. The Political System and Political Parties
Gideon Rahat and Reuven Y. Hazan
7. Israeli Organized Civil Society: Trends and Challenges of the Nonprofit Sector
8. Major Contemporary Trends in Civil-Military Relations in Israel
9. Israel’s Legal System: Institutions, Principles and Challenges
10. The Israeli Education System
Yariv Feniger, Yossi Shavit and Shir Caller
11. How the people of the book became the people of the media: The Israeli media landscape
Amit M. Schejter
Part 3: Foreign Relations and Policy
12. Israel and the Palestinians
13. Israel and the Arab World – from War to Peacemaking
14. The Special Relationship between the United States and Israel
15. The Rubik’s cube of Israeli-European Union relations
Sharon Pardo and Hila Zahavi
16. Israel-Russia Bilateral Relations: Market Rationality and Political Affinity
17. Better Late than Never: China-Israel Diplomatic Relations in Perspective
Part 4: Divisions and Schisms
18. Leadership Legitimacy, Responsiveness and Representation in Palestinian Society in Israel
19. Religious Zionism – Romantic Religious Nationalism in Israel
20. Religion in Contemporary Israel: Haredi Varieties
Lea Taragin-Zeller and Nurit Stadler
21. Israel: Between Religion and Secularism
22. Haredism vs. Traditionalism: A New Reading of Mizrahi Religious Politics at the Start of the 21st Century
23. The Ethiopian Jews in Israel
24. Acculturation as a two-way process: Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel
25. Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Gender Relations in Contemporary Israel
Tair Karazi-Presler and Orna Sasson-Levy
26. Paradoxes of control: Incorporating precarious migrants in Tel Aviv in times of restrictive migration policies
Adriana Kemp and Nora Meissner
27. Demographic Trends in Israel
28. Israel’s Economic Development – an overview
Benjamin Bental and Avi Weiss
29. The Israeli Labor Market
Tali Kristal and Alina Rozenfeld-Kiner
30. The Startup Nation: Myths and Reality
Erez Maggor and Michal Frenkel
31. Neoliberalization of Welfare and Social Protest
Erez Tzfadia and Moti Gigi
Part 5: Culture
33. Desert, Hill, and Sea: Cinematic Visions and Re-Visions of War
34. Bass and Silsulim: Israeli Music after muzika Mizrahit
35. Who Killed Poetry? An Israeli Perspective
36. Large, Cheap and Mizrahi ("Oriental"): Israeli Cuisine
Guy Ben-Porat is Professor at the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. He is the author of Global Liberalism, Local Populism: Peace and Conflict in Israel/Palestine and Northern Ireland (2006) and Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel (2012). He is also the co-author of Policing Citizens: Minority Policy in Israel (2019).
Yariv Feniger is Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and a fellow in the Education Policy Program at the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel. His areas of research include social and educational inequality, education policy and comparative education. His last co-authored book on education inequality and education policy was published in 2019.
Dani Filc is Professor at the Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University, Israel. His fields of research include Israeli politics, populism and the health care system. Among his publications are Hegemony and Populism in Israel, Circles of Exclusion: The Politics of Health-Care in Israel and The Political Right in Israel: The Many Faces of Israeli Populism.
Paula Kabalo is Associate Professor at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the study of Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. She is the head of the Azrieli Center for Israel Studies. Her most recent book Israeli Community Action: Living Through the War of Independence was awarded the AIS Shapiro Prize for 2020. Her research focus is on the history of citizen associations and civil society in Israel and the interrelations between David Ben-Gurion and the wider public.
Julia Mirsky is Professor at the Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Her research focuses on the psychological aspects of migration. She has published extensively on this subject and supervised numerous MA and PhD students. At Ben-Gurion University, she serves as the Samuel and Miriam L. Hamburger Chair in Integration of Immigrant Communities and heads the Center (in progress) for Research and Education on Migrants’ Lives.