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The Dynamics of Israel's Democratic Tribalism

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This article evaluates Israeli national identity and its core founding tenets of Zionism, democracy, and Judaism. For decades, demographic changes and associated cultural and ideological fluctuations have gradually pushed Israel into a national identity conflict, as multiple ethnic and sectarian identity groups have come to promote competing interpretations of the state's purpose, political nature, and connection to territory. Continued demographic shifts, situated amid the sociopolitical dynamics of what this article will define as Israel's “democratic tribalism,” will further test the compatibility of the constituent parts of Israeli national identity: the respective roles of Zionist ideology, democratic institutions, and the territory of the historic Jewish homeland.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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