Drifting Away from Democracy A Micropolitical Critique of the Relation between the “I“ and the “We“ in Israel

in Israel Studies Review

This article discusses the form in which the “I-We“ relationship is configured in Israel, in terms of its intersection with democracy. It argues that what is usually considered as a sine qua non for a robust democracy, namely, an agonistic tension between the “I,“ that is our individual uniqueness, privacy, and personal liberty, and the “We,“ that is our collective liberty and autonomy, is absent from Israeli society. Moreover, when we examine the distribution, consumption, use, and negotiation of power in the sphere of everyday life in Israel, we find that “the military,“ its discourse, and its practices suffuse precisely those spaces where the social fabric as well as identities are being shaped. The conclusion is that the Israeli society is actually drifting away from democracy in an increasingly oppressive erasure of personal identity claims, as well as of their discourse and praxis.