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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Israel: Community, State, and Market in the Shaping of the Political Class

Israel: Community, State, and Market in the Shaping of the Political Class

(p.203) 11 Israel: Community, State, and Market in the Shaping of the Political Class
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Uri Ram

Oxford University Press

The Israeli political system was erected by movement-like political parties, which have been closely meshed with the state administration, the army, and the public sector. This process has created numerous positions, which allow members of the political class to live directly or indirectly off politics. However, a new multiplicity of social and political structures has also gradually changed the composition and the opportunity structure of this political class: the ascent of newly immigrated Mizrachi since the second half of the 1970s through the Likud party and the reduced influence of the Ashkenazi-supported Labour party; changes in the electoral system; and a transformation of the political culture. This has caused an overall commercialization of political campaigns, a rise of identity politics, and a declining role for political parties, all in all radically transforming the nature of the political class.

Keywords:   Ashkenazi, commercialization, electoral campaigns, Israel, Labour, Likud, military, Mizrahim, movements, political class

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