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Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts$
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Ezra Mendelsohn

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195112030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112030.001.0001

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Democracy in Israel: Proven Yet Precarious

Democracy in Israel: Proven Yet Precarious

(p.234) Democracy in Israel: Proven Yet Precarious
Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts

Ezra Mendelsohn

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews literary works made at the conundrum of Israel's democratic vitality. Israeli democracy has survived two major transfers of power, in 1977 and 1992, and has thereby passed the conventional test of a system's democratic vigor. However, though apparently robust, Israel's democratic system is precarious as tragically revealed by the shock of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in November 1995. The chapter examines the stream of substantial books printed in this period that focus on mechanical aspects of the system and others that are more concerned with the effects of ideological and political polarization related to the shaping of national identity on democracy and the rule of law. With the exception of Whiter Israel?, which is an easily read panoramic survey that can engage the lay reader, the works under review are fairly dense and technical, addressed in the main to political scientists.

Keywords:   literary works, Israeli democracy, precarious, Yitzhak Rabin, assassination, ideological and political polarization, political scientists

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