Plurality and Citizenship in Israel
Moving Beyond the Jewish/Palestinian Civil Divide
Edited by Dan Avnon, Yotam Benziman
Routledge – 2010 – 272 pages
Israel's political process is too often framed in terms of a dichotomy between Jewish and Arab/Palestinian citizens of the state, a framing which perpetuates political inequality and consequent injustices. This book focuses on the conflict within Israel and the role played by modern states in either mitigating majority-minority conflict or exacerbating it.
This comparative study concentrates on theoretical models and historical, legal or political patterns of development. With an emphasis on alternative approaches to alleviating civic and political inequality in a divided society such as Israel's, the book examines plurality and political pluralism as keys to enhancing Israel's democratic character. The dozen original essays address many of the basic points of contention between Jews and Arab/Palestinians within the Israeli civic body: unequal access to citizenship; unequal access to land; discrimination in access to public services; insufficient defence of minority rights in Israel's legal system; unequal obligations; unequal economic opportunities.
The essays raise a matter of principle that goes beyond the Israeli case: formal legal measures are relatively worthless if they are not preceded by political processes that are oriented to changing conceptions and perceptions of reality. Relevant to those who wish to understand the unobserved dynamics within a divided society, this book will be of particular interest to students of comparative politics, conflict resolution and Middle East studies.
Preface: Plurality and Citizenship in Israel Dan Avnon and Yotam Benziman 1. Effective Plurality despite Categorical Rigidity Dan Avnon and Yotam Benziman 2. Plurality of Self and Pluralism: A View from Jerusalem Dan Avnon 3. Refugee Return: By Right and/or By Law Howard Adelman 4. Citizenship as a Home Yotam Benziman 5. Critical Reflection on Law, Equal Citizenship and Transformation Yousef T. Jabareen 6. The Complexity of Majority-Minority relations in Deeply Divided Democracies – Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives Ayelet Harel-Shalev 7. Inclusion in Administration Proceeding: The Case of the Community Impact Survey Hani Ofek-Ghendler 8. Policing Minorities in a Deeply Divided Society: Police Performance and Presence in Israel Badi Hassisi 9. Liberal Justice vs. Local Norms: On the Importance of Heterogeneity within Illiberal Communities Nahshon Perez 10. Conscription Crises: The Relationship between Citizenship and Military Service in Canada and Israel Andrew Theobald 11. Identity Politics and Women: Struggling for Peace at the Margins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Siobhan Byrne 12. Transnationalism and Diasporas: A Canadian Perspective Frederick Lowy
Dan Avnon teaches political thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Former founder and head of the Hebrew University's Gilo Center for Citizenship, Democracy and Civic Education, he currently heads The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government. Dan Avnon is also an advisor to Israel’s parliament on matters of constitutional and civic education reform.
Yotam Benziman teaches in the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University, where he is a research fellow at the Gilo Center for Citizenship, Democracy and Civic Education. He is the also the co-editor of "Identities – Journal for Jewish Culture and Identity" at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.