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Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

From time to time we are reminded that Israel is a paradise for scholars, particularly in the social sciences. It serves, not just as a laboratory with easy access to virtually any research field, but also as a sort of societal particle accelerator within which processes are speeded up and lengthy periods of incubation are not required for researchers to study their development.

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Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

We write this in early February 2019, as the parties in the upcoming Israeli elections (due to take place on 9 April) are still sorting themselves out before the deadline for submission of party lists. Social media and ordinary conversations are full of speculations, such as “will Benny and Bogie run with Yair, and will Gabi join them?” and “will Orly, Tami, Yvet, or even Avi fail to make the threshold?” Of course, the ultimate question is, “will Benny topple Bibi?”

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Editors' Note

The Split that Did Not Happen

Paul L. Scham and Yoram Peri

As all who attended the Association for Israel Studies conference this past June at Kinneret College now know, the only thing that resulted in unbearable heat was the temperature outdoors, not tempers around the tables. The discussion of “Word Crimes,” the title of the summer issue of Israel Studies, our sister publication, did not cause an irreparable split—or any split at all—in the AIS. There was a spirited and quite lengthy airing of the whole issue at the meeting of the Board of Directors on the Sunday before the conference began, at which various differing opinions were presented. But it was clear that it no longer appeared to be a make-or-break time for either the AIS or IS.

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Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

The crisis of liberal democracy affecting a large number of Western countries is, unsurprisingly, also manifesting itself in Israel. Yet it is noteworthy that the extensive literature describing these processes in countries where illiberal regimes have developed and populist leaders now govern, such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and others, does not mention Israel in this unholy list. This is the case even though in Israel in recent years one cannot but notice a relentless battle against ‘elites’, undermining the rule of law and the justice system, taking control of independent media, weakening civil and social rights organizations, narrowing civil society, and developing signs of authoritarian rule.

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Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

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Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

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Yoram Peri, Tamar Hermann, Shlomo Fischer, Asher Cohen, Bernard Susser, Nissim Leon and Yaacov Yadgar

Introduction Yoram Peri

More Jewish than Israeli (and Democratic)? Tamar Hermann

Yes, Israel Is Becoming More Religious Shlomo Fischer

Religious Pressure Will Increase in the Future Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser

Secular Jews: From Proactive Agents to Defensive Players Nissim Leon

The Need for an Epistemological Turn Yaacov Yadgar