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Interest Groups and Political Change in Israel

Marcia Drezon-Tepler

Publication Year: 1990

This book challenges the conventional view of Israeli politics as an ideological, stron party system. Focusing on three important and influential interest groups, the Gush Emunim, the Ihud kibbutz federation, and the Manufacturers’ Association, Drezon-Tepler presents a comprehensive view of Israel’s society and politics. Integrated here are unpublished sources, and material from personal interviews with prominent personalities including Prime Ministers Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and Minister Ariel Sharon. The book illuminates such current controversial topics in Israel as the influence of the volatile Gush Emunim, the country’s chronically unstable economy, and the continued vitality of the kibbutz movement.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies

Front matter

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

While studying three different interest groups was a demanding, sometimes daunting, task, it also afforded me the invaluable opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of Israeli society and to understand the culture's subtleties and even idiosyncracies. Agriculturalists, ...

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Chapter 1. A Theoretical Framework

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pp. 1-13

A typical response of an Israeli to a proposed study of interest group development in Israel is, "But how can you study interest groups? There aren't any." Indeed, the comment reflects the conventional wisdom about Israel that ideological political parties have ...

Part I. The Setting

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Chapter 2. Politics and the Economy

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pp. 17-28

It is impossible to understand how Israel's political system formed and has operated without first understanding its political culture, especially its ideological quality. Ideological attachments, which originated in the pre-state period, have influenced all aspects of the ...

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Chapter 3. The System in Operation

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pp. 29-44

Views have diverged about how to describe Israel's political system and development: (1) whether the party system was a pure multi-party system or rather was a dominant party type and whether the system was evolving into a looser, two-party arrangement, ...

Part II. The Manufacturers' Association

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Chapter 4. The Early Years: Alternatives to Politicization

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pp. 47-60

Organized and operational even before the state was created, the Manufacturers' Association may be considered the new nation's first independent interest group, forming a prototype for later groups choosing an independent path. The group formulated its aims and its ...

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Chapter 5. Dominant Party Politics

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pp. 61-78

Closer examination of the illustrative issues reveals other characteristics of group politics that became more distinct within the dominant party phase. Bargaining through personal politics was a main tactic but one that could be employed successfully only on issues ...

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Chapter 6. A Continuing Spearhead for Change

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pp. 79-100

In the euphoria following the June 1967 war and the end of the recession, the Manufacturers ׳ Association, like the rest of the nation, expected, or believed possible, major transformations at least in the country's economic structure and acted to ensure itself a leading role ...

Part III. Ihud ha־Kvutzot ve-ha-Kibbutzim

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Chapter 7. An Interest Group Emerges

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pp. 103-118

If an Ihud person appears bewildered by the suggestion that interest groups exist in Israel, and moreover, that the Ihud is among them, he more than members of other groups reflects the environment under which the kibbutz movement was established. The kibbutz ...

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Chapter 8. The Ihud in Operation

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pp. 119-140

Perceiving an increasing "insider ״ power-broker nature to Mapai, the Ihud targeted those leaders directly and pressed to enter its members into their club. The Ihud cultivated a double threaded access network to decision-makers. One thread was the Ihud's party tie, and the ...

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Chapter 9. Growing Group Consciousness and Government Relations

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pp. 141-166

Upon losing the Ministry of Agriculture in I960, the Ihud searched for other channels. Meeting to decide upon the Ihud's and Gvati's future after Dayan had refused to return Gvati to the ministry or to appoint any other Ihud member as director-general, the Ihud

Part IV. Gush Emunim

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Chapter 10. Gush Emunim in the Labor Era

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pp. 169-190

The characterization of the settlement movement Gush Emunim, Bloc of the Faithful, as a threat to democracy, a charge usually made by the group's opponents, actually bespeaks how much the group was perceived as challenging not only policy itself but policy-making

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Chapter 11. Elections 1977

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pp. 191-200

Rabin believed the extra-parliamentary nature of the new group was destabilizing to the system and yearned for Gush Emunim to follow the customary and therefore reassuring pattern of establishing a party, but the group chose not to fulfill his wish for the 1977 elections ...

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Chapter 12. Gush Emunim, the Likud, and the Eighties

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pp. 201-222

The Likud formed a coalition with the NRP and Shlomtzion, all parties with which Gush Emunim ostensibly had sympathized.1 Now that the group no longer had to hedge its bets and the Government parties no longer were in an objectively competitive position vis-a-vis ...

Part V. Conclusion

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Chapter 13. System, Groups, and Change

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pp. 225-254

Contrary to the popular perception of attenuated interest group development in Israel, actually groups flourished. The popular view does not reflect mass myopia but reflects the party-group arrangement that stamped its mark upon the country's consciousness. Those commenting ...


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pp. 255-271


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pp. 273-295


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pp. 297-308

E-ISBN-13: 9781438401553
E-ISBN-10: 1438401558
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791402078
Print-ISBN-10: 079140207X

Page Count: 308
Publication Year: 1990

Series Title: SUNY series in Israeli Studies