Sociopolitical cleavages in Israel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter sketches the evolution of the cleavages perspective in Israel and offers a sociohistorical overview of four major cleavages in Israeli society: the national one between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, the cultural one between secular and religious Jews, the socioeconomic (or class) one between rich and poor, and the ethnic one between Ashkenazi Jews and Mizrahi Jews (or “Westerners” versus “Orientals”). The discussion highlights the measure of coalescence among the cleavages and their compound political impact. It underscores the role played by the cleavages in the “upheaval” transition of governmental power in 1977, from Left (Labor) to Right (Likud), and in the consolidation of a neoliberal and a neocolonial political culture in Israel since that time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780190675585
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Ashkenazim
  • Classes
  • Cleavages
  • Ethnicity
  • Israeli jews
  • Labor party
  • Likud party
  • Mizrahim
  • Palestinian arabs
  • Religious
  • Secular
  • Stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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