Point of View

The paradoxes of Israeli politics

A short course
Cover of the report

Israel is a developed, prosperous, internationally influential and militarily powerful country. At the same time, however, Israeli political life gives the impression of being constantly in crisis or on the verge of it. Early elections, fragmented parliaments, short-lived coalitions, ephemeral factions, a plethora of leaders, criminal scandals and makeshift legal arrangements are the norm, all present against the backdrop of an almost permanent election campaign that continues to yield fresh impulses for change.

This divergence, as well as the great diversity and peculiarity of Israeli politics, can make it seem difficult to comprehend from the perspective of the outside observer. The exoticism, contrasts and paradoxes attract attention, but also mean it is hard to relate Israeli circumstances to any external context, and thus to interpret, classify, compare or evaluate them.

The study presents the framework in which Israeli politics plays out, its rules and the main players. In conclusion, it tries to answer the questions of how its clearly visible continuity and effectiveness is possible at all, and in which direction it is heading.