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The Implications of the Transition to Peace for Israeli Society

Sammy Smooha
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 555, Israel in Transition (Jan., 1998), pp. 26-45
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1049210
Page Count: 20
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The Implications of the Transition to Peace for Israeli Society
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Abstract

Assuming that the Israeli-Arab conflict is coming to an end, this article spells out the main problem areas in Israeli society and makes projections for the coming 5-15 years. Israel will become a nonwarfare society, less mobilized and nationalistic, and more individualistic and conflict-ridden. More specifically, national security will continue to loom large because conflicts in the Middle East will not recede. Israel's orientation toward the West will increase, making integration into the region unlikely. The state will remain Jewish-Zionist despite the strengthening of certain civic elements. Democratization will accelerate, and continued globalization and economic growth will enable Israel to join the capitalist core. Peace will have mixed effects for internal cleavages: political divisions will decline, tensions between religious and secular Jews will escalate, class disparities will be exacerbated, the situation of non-European Jews will worsen, Arab citizens will improve their status, and women will make headway. It is concluded that while Israel will become more Western, the impediments for its full westernization will remain substantial. Certain policy implications are suggested.

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