Effects of Religious Identity and Ethnicity on the Israeli-Jewish Electorate

in Israel Studies Review

abstract

Ethnicity and religious identity are two major interrelated cleavages within the Israeli-Jewish electorate. Previously, ethnicity’s effect had a stronger impact on voting patterns, while today religious identity is more influential. Former studies conceived religious identity in terms of levels of observance, such as Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox. We claim that each of these groups has unique characteristics independent of degree of religious identity. To test this hypothesis, we measure religious identity as a nominal variable, applying an interactive model that compares the effects of the pairings of religious identity and ethnicity to a common baseline. Data from before the 2015 elections reveal that religious identity has stronger effects than ethnicity: religious groups support the right more than the secular. However, the ultra-Orthodox tend to support the right to a lesser extent than other religious groups. In closing, we compare the role of religious identity in Israel to its status in today’s world.

Ever since the power shift of the 1977 election, the result of which was Israel’s first legislature ruled by the right, a consistent voting pattern has emerged among Israeli-Jewish voters. Accordingly, with a few short-term exceptions, the majority of this electorate has supported the right for the past four decades.1 Against this backdrop, it was reasonable to expect that the right-wing bloc would have an advantage over both the center and left blocs in the context of the March 2015 elections. Furthermore, the consistency of the right’s dominance suggests that for the foreseeable future it will remain in power—barring major internal or external events whose impact could cause significant shifts in Israeli-Jewish voting patterns.2

Previous studies have found that religious identity and ethnicity have been the most salient socio-demographic variables affecting the political attitudes3 and voting preferences of the Israeli-Jewish electorate. Specifically, the religious and the Mizrahi groups have largely favored the right, whereas the secular and the Ashkenazi groups have preferred the center or the left. This study’s main objective is to re-examine the earlier findings according to the results of research conducted shortly before the March 2015 elections. As discussed below, we adopt an approach that elucidates the influence of ethnicity and religious identity on the continuing dominance of the right among Israeli-Jewish voters.

Research Background

The literature on the political attitudes of Israeli Jews reveals that as early as the 1960s, and especially following the power shift in 1977, the Mizrahi public largely supported the right, while the Ashkenazim were more supportive of the left. Lissak (1972) observed that during the 1950s and 1960s, voting for Mapai in the development towns, where most of the population was Mizrahi, gradually declined, as voting for Herut increased. Peres et al. (1975) found that in the 1973 elections, first- and second-generation Mizrahim supported the Likud while the Ashkenazim supported the Labor Party. In this vein, Arian (1975) noted that since the average age of Mizrahim was lower than that of Ashkenazim,4 if current trends persisted, the Likud would grow stronger at Labor’s expense—a forecast that proved true by 1977 and afterward. In a study of voting patterns in the eight elections between 1969 and 1996, Shamir and Arian (1999) pointed out that in seven of those elections Mizrahim tended to support the right while Ashkenazim largely supported the left. They also found that after the 1996 elections, the effect of ethnicity on voting patterns had weakened, while that of religious identity had strengthened.

Over the years, students of Israeli politics have offered different explanations for the relationship between Mizrahi ethnicity and right-wing voting patterns. Some researchers have attributed that relationship to various types of discrimination and sidelining that Mizrahim had experienced under Ashkenazi hegemony. Smooha (1978) and Swirski (1981) showed that these processes had caused a wide class gap between the two groups, with Mizrahim belonging to the lower socio-economic stratum. Kimmerling (2001: 55) elaborated on that point, asserting that “the Mizrahim were victims of the Zionist hegemony … that tagged them from the outset as being inferior … and therefore, they were channeled into marginal schools, housing, and jobs.”

Swirski (1988) added that it was no wonder that Mizrahim did not support the left since in their eyes it had been elitist, exclusionary, and detached from their socio-economic woes. Similarly, Smooha (1993) argued that the Mizrahim supported the Likud because they perceived it as espousing an ideology that enabled social mobility—in contrast to Labor, which they saw as promoting an ideology of discrimination and oppression. At the same time, Smooha maintained that Mizrahi support for the Likud also expressed a pragmatic outlook in terms of security policy, according to which the Likud could be better trusted in peace negotiations with the Arabs. Gutwein (2000: 38) further contended that the disparity between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim in the labor market led the latter to adopt an ethnocentric stance “that lies at the core of Jewish tenets, and explicitly in religion—alongside the amplification of the antagonism between Israelis and Palestinians and between Jews and non-Jews. This stance manifests politically and culturally on the right in general and in Shas in particular.”

Similarly, Shafir and Peled (2002) claimed that because Labor embraced the universal discourse of equal rights while sidelining the Mizrahim, the latter reacted by adopting the right’s ethno-national discourse. In the same vein, Peres (1971) found that the Mizrahim displayed greater enmity toward Arabs than did Ashkenazim. This propensity reflected the Mizrahim’s desire to distance themselves from the Arabs in order to stress their shared Jewish identity with the Ashkenazim. In this context, Yaar and Shavit (2003) noted that one of the ways by which minority groups can improve their status vis-à-vis the dominant group is by stressing their common ground with them. For example, Arab intellectuals who belonged to the Christian minorities, like expatriate Lebanese George Antonius and Syrian Michel Aflaq, played a key role in shaping a pan-Arab identity shared by Christians and Muslims alike. In the same way, Mizrahim emphasized Jewish nationalism as a shared basis of collective Israeli identity whereby their status was equal to that of Ashkenazim.

Shamir and Arian (1982) found two key factors that explained the right-leaning propensities of Mizrahim. First, their security stances were closer to the Likud’s hawkish policy than to Labor’s dovish policy. Second, while most Ashkenazim were more secular and oriented toward liberal Western values, the mostly traditional and religious Mizrahim leaned toward nationalist Jewish values, as did the Likud. Fischer (2016) put this argument in historical perspective: while the Jewish communities in the Arab countries organized along ethno-religious lines, European Jewish communities adopted liberal Western values.

Following the large Mizrahi immigration to Israel, the oppression and stigma experienced at the hands of the veteran Ashkenazim triggered a backlash that took the form of entrenchment in traditional Mizrahi identity and hostility toward Western liberalism. Similarly, Nissim Mizrachi (2016) maintained that the right-wing tendency of Mizrahim is rooted in their traditional Jewish identity. Thus, Mizrahi opposition to the 2011 social justice protests expressed “an autonomous stance, rooted in a world of meaning that gives precedence to identity, solidarity, and a sense of belonging in the face of liberal values such as social justice and equal opportunities” (ibid.: 56).

Aside from the Mizrahim, another salient group that contributed to the strengthening of the right is represented by the primarily Ashkenazi Religious Zionist movement. Several researchers (e.g., Goldberg and Ben-Zadok 1986; Klar 2014; Shamir and Arian 1999; Yaar and Shavit 2003: 1136) have attributed this contribution to the shift that took place in Religious Zionism’s political stance following Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in 1967. This change manifested itself in the call to implement in the short term the messianic idea of the Greater Land of Israel—a call that gained momentum following the founding of Gush Emunìm in 1974.5 These developments were part of the power transfer in the National Religious Party (NRP), in which the older and more moderate leaders were replaced by a younger and more radical group. Thus, whereas prior to that change the NRP had been a partner to Labor, in 1977 it joined the Likud-led coalition.6

According to Persico (2015), the radicalization of the NRP was also associated with the championing of ethno-nationalism, anti-liberalism, and anti-Arab bigotry. More recently,Persico (2017: 115) argued that, from the standpoint of the Likud, the resurgence of the yearning for the Temple Mount is “not a religious revival but an ethno-national project, grasping the Temple as a symbol for Jewish sovereignty.” In this context, Arian and Keissar-Sugarmen (2012) found that the percentage of non-secular Jews who believe that Halakhah takes precedence over democracy was significantly higher than that of secular Jews. Similarly, Yaar and Shavit (2003: 1136) and Hermann et al. (2015) have pointed out that part of the Religious Zionist camp had undergone a process of fundamentalization nurtured by a messianic spirit. Mendelsohn (2016: 52) summarized the political implications of these processes as follows: “The messianic Right turned from an inconvenient nuisance in the early 1970s into a veto player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a serious burden on Israel’s international standing, and a threat to state authority and the country’s democratic nature.”

Unlike the Orthodox Zionist NRP, the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi Haredim espoused a reserved attitude toward the state, due mostly to their anti-Zionist ideology and the belief that Judaism’s existence is not dependent on Israel as a political entity but rather on the study of Torah (Stern et al. 2015). Accordingly, the leadership of the Ashkenazi Haredim adopted a pragmatic and moderate political stance, sometimes including readiness for territorial compromise (ibid.). According to Friedman (1996), the rightward tendency of the Ashkenazi Haredim derived mainly from their hostility to the left, which they perceived as being detached from Jewish identity and as encouraging secularization and assimilation.

Likewise, Yuchtman-Yaar and Hermann (2000) found that the overwhelming majority of the Mizrahi Haredim, led largely by Shas, subscribed to right-wing views. More recently, Leon (2016) argued that the deterioration in the security situation, as well as the establishment of settlements by Mizrahi ultra-Orthodox in the West Bank, further enhanced the rightward stance among Shas’s leadership and followers alike.

Finally, it is worth recalling that following the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s, over a million immigrants (hereafter, FSU immigrants) arrived in Israel, a population that by 2013 constituted 16 percent of the electorate (Khanin 2015).7 Kimmerling (1999) noted that the FSU immigrants represented the most secular ethnic group. He further argued that “the immigrants from Russia view themselves as a cultural elite, bearing the standard of a ‘great culture’ that was coming to a society characterized as having ‘a low level of culture’” (ibid.: 50). Goldstein and Gitelman (2005) also noted that the large majority (over 80 percent) of these FSU immigrants were Ashkenazim.

In political terms, most of the FSU immigrants have supported the right, particularly since the early 2000s (Epstein 2006), and over time they have moved farther to the right than has the Israeli electorate at large (Konstantinov and Itzkovich-Malka 2017). According to Galili and Bronfman (2013), alongside the FSU immigrants’ rightward shift, which occurred against the backdrop of the deterioration in the security situation at the beginning of the 2000s, their acclimation to Israeli society increased. Accordingly, they have become more adept at using their skills and political clout to influence Israeli domestic and foreign policy.

A number of researchers have attributed the FSU immigrants’ right-leaning views to their pre-immigration experience. Thus, Philippov and Knafelman (2011) argued that having experienced failed democracy in the post-Soviet era, the FSU immigrants preferred strong leadership—such as that of Vladimir Putin—in order to maintain public order, efficiency, and personal safety. Shumsky (2004) proposed another explanation for the FSU immigrants’ voting patterns, according to which Soviet Orientalism and segregationist attitudes toward Central Asian minorities translated into anti-Arab bigotry upon their arrival in Israel. Earlier, Shumsky (2002) also claimed that the FSU immigrants’ ethno-national worldview stemmed from the rigid ethnic categorizing of the Soviet regime—except that there the Jews were an ethnic minority whereas in Israel they became part of the majority, taking pride in their ethno-nationalism and contributing to its strengthening.

Galili and Bronfman (2013) drew connections between the FSU immigrants’ experience in the Soviet Union and their lack of affinity for the 2011 social justice protests. They proposed two reasons for this stance. First, FSU immigrants tend to distrust power changes due to their experience under Soviet totalitarianism, where the individual had negligible influence on the regime. Second, the FSU immigrants perceived the social justice protests negatively because they linked them to the veteran Ashkenazi elite, who wished to return Israel to its socialist roots. Similarly, Khanin (2015) asserted that the FSU immigrants found it difficult to identify with the hardships of the veteran middle class because, in their view, the latter had ignored their hardships during their initial years in Israel. Overall, the research on the FSU immigrants supports Kimmerling’s (1999) contention that they constitute a unique ethno-cultural group in Israeli society.

The studies we have reviewed offer a wide range of explanations for the pronounced influence of religious identity and ethnicity on the political identities and voting preferences of Israeli Jews. However, we believe that the research on the effects of these two variables suffers from a flaw in its measurement of religious identity, thus compromising the validity of its findings. This research typically measures religious identity on a scale that reflects levels of religious observance as per the conventional ranking, namely, ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, traditional, and secular.8 Yet does full congruity necessarily exist between religious identity and political stance or voting propensities? We argue that over and beyond the degree of religious observance, each of these groups has unique qualities, such that their attitudes toward Zionism and the state’s institutions constitute an important element of their identities. Therefore, religious identity should be addressed as a nominal variable, similar to variables such as gender and ethnicity, so that we can test simultaneously the effects of the groups’ identities and their levels of piety.

Method

In accordance with this objective, we adopted a multivariate model based on a series of structural equation models (SEM) that include three types of variables: independent variables (religious identity and ethnicity), a mediating variable (political attitudes), and a dependent variable (voting preferences shortly before the 2015 elections).9 For control purposes, we added to the model the following variables: education, income, and age.10 Due to the large number of figures, the coefficients of the control variables are reported only in the discussion section of the model’s findings.

Political attitudes are used in the model as a mediating variable under the assumption that they are affected by ethnicity and religious identity, yet they exert their own influence on voting preferences. Thus, our approach diverges from previous studies like that of Shamir and Arian (1999), in which the category of independent variables includes both socio-demographic characteristics and attitudinal variables such as political attitudes.

In light of the fact that both independent variables (religious identity and ethnicity) are nominal, we opted for an interactive model that, unlike an additive model, enables comparing the coefficients of each of the pairings of religious identity and ethnicity to a common baseline. The pairing selected for this purpose consists of secular third-generation Israelis (hereafter, comparison group). See figure 1.

The data for this study are drawn from the monthly Peace Index surveys11 conducted in December 2014 and January and February 2015—the three months preceding the 2015 elections. Political attitudes are assessed in the Peace Index polls on the basis of the following question: “In terms of foreign and security policy, how would you define yourself: right, moderate right, center, moderate left, or left?” Regarding voting preferences (right versus center-left), the interviewees were asked to indicate whether they preferred the government to be formed by the right bloc or by the center-left bloc. A comparison of the answers for the two questions in the aforementioned months reveals a consistent pattern that allows merging them into a single sample.

Analysis of Findings

Direct Effects of Religious Identity and Ethnicity on Political Attitudes

An examination of the coefficients related to the Ashkenazim shows that the political attitudes of the three non-secular groups lies farther to the right than the comparison group. Note that the Orthodox group is located farthest to the right (β = -0.23), closely followed by the traditional group (β = -0.21), while the ultra-Orthodox group (β = -0.14) lags far behind. The difference between the secular Ashkenazi (β = 0.03) and the comparison group is not significant. The two FSU immigrant groups, almost all of whom (98 percent) are either secular (73 percent) or traditional (25 percent),

Figure 1
Figure 1

Effects of the interactions between religious identity and ethnicity on political attitudes and voting preferences

Figure 1 Legend

EA (Ashkenazim) First-generation immigrants of European ancestry, or Israeli-born

whose fathers are of European ancestry AA (Mizrahim) First-generation immigrants of Middle Eastern ancestry, or Israeli-born whose fathers are of Middle Eastern ancestry

FSU First-generation FSU immigrants ISR Third-generation Israelis (fathers born in Israel) Religious identity Self-defined: ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, traditional, secular Political attitudes A 5-point scale: right (1), moderate right (2), center (3), moderate

left (4), left (5) Voting preferences Dichotomous variable: right (1), center-left (2)

Note: This figure shows the coefficients of each of the religious identity–ethnicity pairings in comparison to the base group. Significant coefficients (α = 0.05) are denoted by asterisks. The model reveals good fit indices: c2 (62)/df=3.37, CFI=0.954; NFI=.937; RMSEA=.048. The data in this figure pertain to fathers only.

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS 2017).

Citation: Israel Studies Review 33, 3; 10.3167/isr.2018.330302

are conspicuous in their right-wing identities, with respective coefficients of β = -0.33 and β = -0.23. The political attitudes of all of the Mizrahi groups is farther to the right than the comparison group, wherein farthest to the right are the traditional (β = -0.29) and Orthodox (β = -0.27), with the ultra-Orthodox (β = -0.14) and the secular (β = -0.09) lagging far behind. In addition, all of the non-secular third-generation Israelis are farther to the right than the comparison group. The highest coefficient is that of the Orthodox (β = -0.21), followed in descending order by the traditional (β = -0.19) and the ultra-Orthodox (β = -0.16).

Direct Effects of the Control Variables on Political Attitudes

The coefficients of education (β = 0.09), income (β = 0.07), and age (β = -0.07) are significant and positive: the higher the education level, income, and age, the less the tendency to identify with the right. The control variables were measured dichotomously as follows: high education—academic; high income—above monthly average; young age—less than 45.

Direct Effects of Religious Identity and Ethnicity on Voting Preferences

Overall, the pattern of effects on voting preferences is similar to that obtained for political attitudes. Thus, among Ashkenazim, all of the nonsecular groups prefer the right, with practically the same coefficients: Orthodox (β = 0.06), traditional (β = 0.05), ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.06). There is no significant difference between the secular Ashkenazi (β = -0.03) and the comparison group. Similarly, all of the non-secular Mizrahim prefer the right, although not to the same degree. The most right-wing Mizrahi group is represented by the Orthodox (β = 0.10), followed by the traditional (β = 0.07) and the ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.05). The difference between the secular Mizrahi (β = 0.01) and the comparison group is not significant. The two FSU immigrant groups are conspicuous in their preferences for the right, similarly to their effects on political attitudes, as indicated by the following coefficients: secular (β = 0.12) and traditional (β = 0.08). As to the third-generation Israelis, all three non-secular groups also prefer the right more than the comparison group, with no notable differences between ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.08), Orthodox (β = 0.06), and traditional (β = 0.06).

Effects of the Control Variables on Voting Preferences

Of the three control variables, the coefficients of education (β = -0.01) and age (β = 0.03) are not significant: both of them have no direct effect on voting preferences. The marginally significant effect of income (β = -0.07) suggests that the lower-income group tends to support the right somewhat more than the higher-income group.12

Indirect Effects of Religious Identity and Ethnicity on Voting Preferences

The results obtained by the model reveal that the three non-secular Ashkenazi groups tend to prefer the right over the center-left, with coefficients ordered as follows: Orthodox (β = 0.15), traditional (β = 0.14), ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.09). The secular Ashkenazi coefficient (β = -0.02) is not significant. Similarly, among the Mizrahim, the traditional (β = 0.19) and the Orthodox (β = 0.18) are farther to the right than the ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.09), followed closely by the secular (β = 0.06). The two FSU immigrant groups—the secular and the traditional—likewise tend to prefer the right, with coefficients of β =0.21 and β =0.15, respectively. Among the third-generation Israelis, the three non-secular groups tend to support the right, with no significant difference among their coefficients: ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.11), traditional (β = 0.12), Orthodox (β = 0.13).

Indirect Effects of the Control Variables on Voting Preferences

The results indicate that the groups having higher education (β = -0.06), higher income (β = -0.04), and lower age (β = 0.04) tend to prefer the right, with no differences among the coefficients associated with them. Note that the coefficients are significant, although very small.

Effect of Political Attitudes on Voting Preferences

The pronounced coefficient (β = -0.64) of political attitudes indicates its importance as a mediating variable, with those who identify with the right strongly preferring to vote for the right bloc rather than the center-left bloc.13

Table 1 sums up the direct and indirect effects of ethnicity and religious identity on voting preferences. The figures show that overall, the secular FSU immigrants represent the group having the strongest preference for the right (β = 0.33), while the secular Ashkenazim are at the opposite end of the scale (β = 0.05). Note, however, that the traditional FSU immigrants (β = 0.23) are ranked in the fourth to fifth place.

Second and third rankings are occupied by the Orthodox Mizrahi (β = 0.28) and traditional Mizrahi (β = 0.26). Compared to these groups, the ultra-Orthodox Mizrahim (ranked eleventh) and the secular Mizrahim (ranked twelfth) lag far behind in their preference for the right, with coefficients of β = 0.14 and β = 0.07, respectively. In other words, among the Mizrahim, the ultra-Orthodox group leans to the right much less than the traditional and Orthodox groups. Note that the coefficient of the secular Mizrahim (β = 0.07) is not statistically significant compared to that of the secular Ashkenazim (β = 0.05).

Table 1Total effects (direct and indirect) of ethnicity and religious identity on voting preferences
GroupTotal EffectGroup Ranking
Note: The common baseline category consists of the pairing between secular and third-generation Israelis.
Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodoxβ=0.1510
Orthodox Ashkenaziβ=0.234–5
Traditional Ashkenaziβ=0.196
Secular Ashkenaziβ=0.0513
Ultra-Orthodox Mizrahiβ=0.1411
Orthodox Mizrahiβ=0.282
Traditional Mizrahiβ=0.263
Secular Mizrahiβ=0.0712
Traditional FSU immigrantsβ=0.234–5
Secular FSU immigrantsβ=0.331
Ultra-Orthodox third-generation Israeliβ=0.197–8
Orthodox third-generation Israeliβ=0.197–8
Traditional third-generation Israeliβ=0.189

A similar pattern of right-wing preferences emerges in the pairings of religious identity and Ashkenazi origin: while the Orthodox rank fourth to fifth (β = 0.23), and the traditional sixth (β = 0.19), the ultra-Orthodox rank tenth (β = 0.15). As mentioned, the secular Ashkenazim are located at the bottom, ranked thirteenth (β = 0.05).

A different picture emerges for the overall effects of the pairings between religious identity and third-generation Israelis. As table 1 shows, the three non-secular groups prefer the right far more than the comparison group. Note that the coefficients of the non-secular are practically identical, with the ultra-Orthodox (β = 0.19), Orthodox (β = 0.19), and traditional (β = 0.18) ranking seventh, eighth, and ninth, respectively. These results imply that in terms of religious identity, the third-generation Israelis are essentially divided between secular and non-secular.

Summary and Discussion

This study’s main objective was to re-examine the effects of ethnicity and religious identity on political attitudes and voting preferences of the Israeli-Jewish electorate as reflected shortly before the 2015 elections. Our analysis departs from former studies in three main respects: first, it measures religious identity as a nominal variable rather than a hierarchical variable. Second, it adopts an interactive model that enables comparing the effects of the various pairs of ethnic and religious groupings to a common baseline. Third, it conceives political attitudes as an intervening variable that mediates the effects of ethnicity and religious identity on voting preferences.

As in previous research, the results of this study show that over time both ethnicity and religious identity have had pronounced effects on political attitudes and voting preferences. Likewise, they reveal that in recent decades religious identity has been more influential than ethnicity and that the three non-secular groups lean farther to the right than the secular, with the exception of the FSU immigrants. However, unlike former studies, the results of the interactive model indicate that both the Ashkenazi and Mizrahi ultra-Orthodox tend to be less right-wing than the Orthodox and traditional. Still, among the third-generation Israelis, the ultra-Orthodox do not differ from the Orthodox and traditional, with all three non-secular groups leaning more to the right than the secular group to the same degree.

These results support our argument that each of the groups comprising the religious identity variable has a distinctive characteristic beyond the level of religious identity. Relating to religious identity just as a hierarchical variable may lead to errant conclusions about its effect on political attitudes and voting preferences.14

As to the FSU immigrants, our findings are consistent with the claim that they constitute a unique ethno-cultural group wherein both the secular and non-secular lean strongly to the right. Thus, the main variable affecting the political attitudes and voting preferences of the FSU immigrants is ethnicity rather than religious identity. Note that of the two FSU groups, the secular leans farther to the right than the traditional. In fact, the secular group, which constitutes the majority of the FSU immigrants, represents the far-right edge of the Israeli-Jewish electorate.

Regarding the ethnic factor, it appears that there are relatively small gaps between the effects of the Ashkenazim and Mizrahim on political attitudes and voting preferences. This finding is consistent with those of previous studies that pointed to the weakening effect of ethnicity on voting tendencies among Israeli-Jewish voters (Bagno-Moldavski 2015). At the same time, it seems that the gap remaining between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim reflects the continued existence of a political distance between them, even if it is much smaller than in the past. Interestingly, the smallest gap obtains between secular Mizrahim and secular Ashkenazim. This finding might indicate that secularity ‘neutralizes’ the effect of ethnicity on political attitudes and voting preferences (see appendix A).

In sum, the political stances of the Orthodox public have been more hawkish than those of the secular public, particularly since the Six-Day War. Furthermore, with the rise in support of the right among the Jewish public overall, the religious presence in the main spheres of the public space has increased, such as the entry of Orthodox discourse into the public schools (Kashti 2015; Pinson 2013) and various instances of the sidelining of women in the Israel Defense Forces (Haber and Sharvit Baruch 2013). Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that, except for relations between Jewish and Palestinian Israelis, the Orthodox-secular schism is the widest in Israeli society, as Yaar and Shavit (2003) have shown. Moreover, they claim: “As is the case of relations between the Jews and the Arabs, here too, we see structural schism, as it is rooted in fundamental contradictions between the two groups’ respective worldviews, contradictions that are irresolvable on the ideological level, even if they could be bridged on a practical level” (ibid.: 1130–1131).

Perhaps more importantly, according to predictions based on Central Bureau of Statistics data (Ben-Moshe 2011), the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox populations are increasing faster than those of other Israeli Jews because of differences in fertility rates. Consequently, the influence of religion and its presence in politics and in the Israeli public space are expected to grow, at least in the foreseeable future.

Concluding Remarks: From Local to Global

The growing influence of religiosity on the Israeli-Jewish public raises the question as to what extent this phenomenon is unique to Israeli society. Alongside the increase in fundamentalism in the Muslim world,15 similar trends are afoot in many parts of the West. A few researchers (e.g., Pollack 2008) have noted that until a few decades ago, it was widely assumed that modernization would lead to a weakening of religion. As C. Wright Mills (1959: 32–33) put it: “Once the world was filled with the sacred—in thought, practice, and institutional form. After the Reformation and the Renaissance, the forces of modernization swept across the globe, and secularization, a corollary historical process, loosened the dominance of the sacred. In due course, the sacred shall disappear altogether except, possibly, in the particular realm.”

Yet in recent decades, many researchers (e.g., Berger 1999, 2004;Bruce 1992; Casanova 2008; Lilla 2007;Norris and Inglehart 2005) have challenged the theory of secularization, arguing that religion has not only maintained its position in the modern era, but has managed to awaken new spiritual and social sources of vitality and power. Costopoulos (2005: x), a noted researcher of religion, expressed this view in its essence: “The old linear narrative of ‘modernization up, religion down’ is far too simple and does not begin to capture the complexity of religion’s varied circumstances in the contemporary world.”

Generally, the opinion shared by most researchers of religion’s role in the modern era is that while religion is weakening in certain locales, such as Western Europe, in others, such as the United States, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Muslim world, religion has not only maintained its hold, but has grown even stronger, attracting new followers. It therefore appears that religion’s revival and growing influence are not unique to Israel, although the circumstances surrounding these phenomena are not necessarily the same as those obtaining elsewhere.

acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Olivestone Trust. The funding source was not involved in the research.

Appendix APercentage distribution of voting preferences by ethnicity and religious identity (N = 1,057)
ReligiosityEthnicityEAAAFSUIsrael
OrthodoxPreference for the right71759184
 Preference for center-left2925916
Total 100100100100
SecularPreference for the right19406932
 Preference for center-left81603168
Total 100100100100
notes
1

In 34 of the 41 years that have passed since the power shift, right-wing parties have headed Israel’s governments; left-wing prime ministers have served at various intervals for two- to three-year periods.

2

For possible circumstances that could generate such events, see Yuchtman-Yaar and Alkalay (2017).

3

Political identity reflects respondents’ self-definition (e.g., right, moderate right, center, moderate left, left) with respect to security policy.

4

As noted by Okun and Khait-Marelly (2008), at the time of their arrival in Israel, the Mizrahim experienced higher fertility than the Ashkenazim. Although fertility among the former has declined over time, a small gap between the two groups was still apparent with regard to the second and third generations.

5

Friedman (1984) and Don-Yehiya (2014) have indicated that Religious Zionism’s messianism existed already during the pre-state era.

6

Since 1977 the NRP underwent various incarnations brought about by schisms and reconciliations, until it changed its name to HaBayit HaYehudì (Jewish Home) in 2008 (Cohen 2015).

7

The 1970s had also seen immigration from the Soviet Union, but since the number was relatively small—about 161,000, according to Leshem and Sicron (2004)—its effect on Israeli society was limited.

8

For example, a study by Shamir and Arian (1999: 275) measured religious identity by means of the following question: “To what extent do you observe religious traditions? Observe all/Observe most/Observe some/Observe none.” High value: secular. Bagno-Moldavski (2015) measured religious identity similarly.

9

The public discourse surrounding the 2015 elections centered on the distinction between the right-wing and left-wing parties where the struggle was between two political blocs: the right and the center-left.

10

Since the coefficients of gender were not statistically significant, they were excluded from the analysis. Additionally, the analysis does not include the second generation of FSU immigrants, as the sample representing this group was too small.

11

The Peace Index (http://www.peaceindex.org/defaultEng.aspx) is an ongoing project that was launched in June 1994, following the Oslo Accords of September 1993. Its major aim is to monitor the Israeli public’s attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of monthly surveys. The surveys that this article references included 600 respondents who constituted a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over, and they were conducted in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent. Note that the present study concerns the Israeli-Jewish public only. Statistical processing was conducted by Yasmin Alkalay.

12

In previous research (see Shamir and Arian 1999), it was found that the effects of income on voting preferences are unstable.

13

Logistics analysis shows that the model explains 76 percent of the variance of the dependent variable, divided as follows: control variables (age, income, education)—5 percent; religious identity and ethnicity—34 percent; political identity—37 percent (data available upon request).

14

Note also that each of this variable’s categories is not homogeneous but contains various shades and sub-groups such as Hasidim and Mitnagdim among the ultra-Orthodox, or traditional Orthodox and traditional secular among the traditional.

15

For a discussion of the influence of religion on the Muslim world, see Yuchtman-Yaar and Alkalay (2010).

references

  • ArianAlan.1975. “Were the 1973 Elections in Israel Critical?Comparative Politics 8 (1): 152165. doi:10.2307/421456.

  • ArianAsher and Ayala Keissar-Sugarmen eds. 2012. A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs Observance and Values of Israeli Jews 2009. Jerusalem: Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute for the AVI CHAI–Israel Foundation. https://en.idi.org.il/media/5439/guttmanavichaireport2012_engfinal.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bagno-MoldavskiOlena.2015. “The Effect of Religious Identity on Political Attitudes in Israel.” Politics and Religion 8 (3): 514543. doi:10.1017/s1755048315000516.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ben-MosheElyahu. 2011. Changes in the Structure and Composition of the Israeli Population in the Next Two Decades by Religious-Cultural Sector. [In Hebrew.] Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry, Research and Economy Department. http://economy.gov.il/Research/Documents/X11605.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BergerPeter L. ed. 1999. The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BergerPeter L. 2004.“The Global Picture.” Journal of Democracy 15 (2): 7680. doi.org/10.1353/jod.2004.0022.

  • BruceSteve ed. 1992. Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CasanovaJosé. 2008.“The Problem of Religion and the Anxieties of European Secular Democracy.” In Religion and Democracy in Contemporary Europe ed. Yochi Fischer and Gabriel Motzkin6374. London: Alliance Publishing Trust.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics). 2017. Population of Israel on the Eve of 2018—8.8 Million. 31 December. http://www.cbs.gov.il/www/hodaot2017n/11_17_387e.docx.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CohenAsher. 2015.“‘Something New Is Starting’: Jewish Home as an ‘Open Camp Party’ in the 2013 Elections.” In The Elections in Israel 2013 ed. Michal Shamir205231. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CostopoulosPhilip J. 2005.“Introduction.” In World Religions and Democracy ed. Larry DiamondMarc F. Plattner and Philip. J. Costopoulosixxxvi. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Don-YehiyaEliezer. 2014.“Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation of Religious Zionism.” Israel Studies 19 (2): 239263. doi:10.2979/israelstudies.19.2.239.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EpsteinAlek D. 2006.“The Impact of the Arab-Israeli Conflict on the Political Behavior of the ‘Russian’ Israelis.” [In Hebrew.] Social Issues in Israel 2: 94115. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23388685.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FischerShlomo. 2016.“Two Patterns of Modernization: An Analysis of the Ethnic Issue in Israel.” In Mizrachi and Mautner 20166685. doi.org/10.3167/isr.2016.310105.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FriedmanMenachem. 1984. “The NRP Transition: Behind the Party’s Electoral Decline.” In The Roots of Begin’s Success: The 1981 Elections ed. Dan CaspiAbraham Diskin and Emanuel Gutmann141168. London: Croom Helm.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FriedmanMenachem. 1996.“The First Religious Right-Wing: The 1996 General Election and Haredi Society.” [In Hebrew.] Meimad 7: 1216.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GaliliLili and Roman Bronfman. 2013. The Million That Changed the Middle East:Russian Immigration to Israel. [In Hebrew.] Tel Aviv: Matar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GoldbergGiora and Efraim Ben-Zadok. 1986.“Gush Emunim in the West Bank.” Middle Eastern Studies 22 (1): 5273. doi:10.1080/00263208608700650.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GoldsteinKen and Zvi Gitelman. 2005.“From ‘Russians’ to Israelis?” In The Elections in Israel 2003 ed. Asher Arian and Michal Shamir245260. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GutweinDaniel. 2000.“The Dialectic of the Equality Failure: The Israeli Left between Neo-liberalism and Social Democracy.” [In Hebrew.] Mikaróv 3: 3057.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HaberKarmit and Pnina Sharvit Baruch. 2013.“Women’s Service in the IDF: A Step in Which Direction?” [In Hebrew.] Israel Democracy Institute and the Institute for National Security Studies. https://www.idi.org.il/media/4608/women_service_in_the_idf.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HermannTamarGilad BeeryElla HellerChanan CohenYuval LebelHanan Mozes and Kalman Neuman. 2015. The National Religious Sector in Israel 2014:Research Report. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute. https://www.idi.org.il/media/6197/the_national_religious_sector_book.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KashtiOr. 2015. “The Education Ministry Rewrites Civic Education: More Judaism, Less Democracy.” [In Hebrew.] Ha’aretz13 November. https://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/.premium-1.2775452.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KhaninVladimir. 2015. “The Political Transformation of the Israeli ‘Russian’ Street in the 2013 Elections.” Israel Affairs 21 (2): 245261. doi:10.1080/13537121.2015.1008244.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KimmerlingBaruch. 1999. “Elections as a Battleground over Collective Identity.” [In Hebrew.] In The Elections in Israel 1996 ed. Asher Arian and Michal Shamir3556. Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KimmerlingBaruch. 2001. The End of Ashkenazi Hegemony. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Keter.

  • KlarYechiel. 2014. “From ‘Do Not Arouse Love or Awaken Love until It So Desires’ through ‘Return to Zion’ to ‘Conquest of the Land’: Paradigm Shifts and Sanctified Reenactments in Building the Jewish State.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 43: 8799. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.08.007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KonstantinovViacheslav and Reut Itzkovich-Malka. 2017. “Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Israeli Politics: At a Crossroads.” In The Elections in Israel 2015 ed. Michal Shamir and Gideon Rahat115139. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeonNissim. 2016. “The Turban and the Flag: Nationalism versus Mizrahi Ultra-Orthodoxy.” [In Hebrew.] In From National Anxiety to Haredi Nationalism81108. Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeshemElazar and Moshe Sicron. 2004. “The Soviet Immigrant Community in Israel.” In Jews in Israel: Contemporary Social and Cultural Patterns ed. Uzi Rebhun and Chaim I. Waxman81117. Lebanon, NH: Brandeis University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LillaMark. 2007. “The Politics of God.” New York Times Magazine19 August. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/magazine/19Religion-t.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LissakMoshe. 1972. “Continuity and Change in the Voting Patterns of Oriental Jews.” In The Elections in Israel 1969 ed. Asher Arian264277. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MendelsohnBarak. 2016. “Israel and Its Messianic Right: Path-Dependency and State Authority in International Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly 60 (1): 4758. doi:10.1093/isq/sqv015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MillsC. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • MizrachiNissim. 2016. “Sociology in the Garden: Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology.” In Mizrachi and Mautner 20163665. doi:10.3167/isr.2016.310104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MizrachiNissim and Menachem Mautner eds. 2016. Revisiting Liberalism in Israel. Special issue of Israel Studies Review 31 (1): 1128.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NorrisPippa and Ronald Inglehart. 2005. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • OkunBarbara S. and Orna Khait-Marelly. 2008. “Demographic Behaviour of Adults of Mixed Ethnic Ancestry: Jews in Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 31 (8): 13571380. doi:10.1080/01419870701719071.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PeresYochanan. 1971. “Ethnic Relations in Israel.” American Journal of Sociology 76 (6): 10211047.

  • PeresYochananEphraim Yuchtman and Rivka Shafat. 1975. “Predicting and Explaining Voters’ Behavior in Israel.” In The Elections in Israel 1973 ed. Asher Arian189202. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PersicoTomer. 2015. “The Privatization of Religion and the Sanctification of the State.” [In Hebrew.] Akdamút Milìn 30: 1528.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PersicoTomer. 2017. “The End Point of Zionism: Ethnocentrism and the Temple Mount.” Israel Studies Review 32 (1): 104122. doi:10.3167/isr.2017.320107.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PhilippovMichael and Anna Knafelman. 2011. “Old Values in the New Homeland: Political Attitudes of FSU Immigrants in Israel.” Israel Affairs 17 (1): 3854. doi:10.1080/13537121.2011.522069.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PinsonHalleli. 2013. From a Jewish and Democratic State to a Jewish State Period. [In Hebrew.] Report for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Dirasat Arab Center for Law and Policy. https://law.acri.org.il//he/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Pinson-Report.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PollackDetlef. 2008. “Religious Change in Europe: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings.” Social Compass 55 (2): 168186. doi:10.1177/0037768607089737.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShafirGershon and Yoav Peled. 2002. Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • ShamirMichal and Asher Arian. 1982. “The Ethnic Vote in Israel’s 1981 Elections.” Electoral Studies 1 (3): 315331.

  • ShamirMichal and Asher Arian. 1999. “Collective Identity and Electoral Competition in Israel.” American Political Science Review 93 (2): 265277. doi:10.2307/2585395.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShumskyDimitri. 2002. “Ethnicity and Citizenship in the Perception of Russian Israelis.” In Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration ed. Daniel Levy and Yfaat Weiss154181. New York: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShumskyDimitri. 2004. “Post-Zionist Orientalism? Orientalist Discourse and Islamophobia among the Russian-Speaking Intelligentsia in Israel.” Social Identities 10 (1): 8399. doi:10.1080/1350463042000191001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmoohaSammy. 1978. Israel: Pluralism and Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • SmoohaSammy. 1993. “Class, Ethnic, and National Cleavages and Democracy in Israel.” In Israeli Democracy under Stress ed. Ehud Sprinzak and Larry Diamond309342. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SternYedidiaBenjamin Z. BrownKalman NeumanGideon Katz and Nir Kedar. 2015. When Judaism Meets the State. [In Hebrew.] Tel Aviv: Yediot Books; Jerusalem: Israeli Democracy Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SwirskiShlomo. 1981. Orientals and Ashkenazi in Israel: The Ethnic Division of Labor. [In Hebrew.] Haifa: Notebooks for Research and Critique.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SwirskiShlomo. 1988. “Their Heart’s Not in the East: Why Israel’s Left Is Ashkenazi.” [In Hebrew.] Politika 22: 4346.

  • YaarEphraim. 2003. “On the Verge of the Third Era in Israeli Democracy.” [In Hebrew.] Academia 12: 4855.

  • YaarEphraim and Ze’ev Shavit. 2003. “The Ethnic Cleavage in Israel.” [In Hebrew.] In Trends in the Israeli Society Vol. B ed. Ephraim Yaar and Ze’ev Shavit11301141. Tel Aviv: Open University of Israel.

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  • Yuchtman-YaarEphraim and Yasmin Alkalay. 2010. “Political Attitudes in the Muslim World.” Journal of Democracy 21 (3): 120134. doi:10.1353/jod.0.0183.

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  • Yuchtman-YaarEphraim and Yasmin Alkalay. 2017. “The Role of Trust in the Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” In The Role of Trust in Conflict Resolution: The Israeli-Palestinian Case and Beyond ed. Ilai Alon and Daniel Bar-Tal149167. New York: Peace Psychology Book Series. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43355-4_9.

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If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Contributor Notes

ephraim yuchtman-yaar is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Social Psychology and Head of the Evans International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University. E-mail: eppie@tauex.tau.ac.il

yasmin alkalay holds a master’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University, where she serves as the Chief Statistical and Computer Consultant of Social Sciences. E-mail: yasmin@post.tau.ac.il

tom aival holds a master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology from Tel Aviv University, where he serves as a Research Assistant in the Evens Program of Conflict Resolution and Mediation. E-mail: xthoreaux@gmail.com

  • View in gallery

    Effects of the interactions between religious identity and ethnicity on political attitudes and voting preferences

    Figure 1 Legend

    EA (Ashkenazim) First-generation immigrants of European ancestry, or Israeli-born

    whose fathers are of European ancestry AA (Mizrahim) First-generation immigrants of Middle Eastern ancestry, or Israeli-born whose fathers are of Middle Eastern ancestry

    FSU First-generation FSU immigrants ISR Third-generation Israelis (fathers born in Israel) Religious identity Self-defined: ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, traditional, secular Political attitudes A 5-point scale: right (1), moderate right (2), center (3), moderate

    left (4), left (5) Voting preferences Dichotomous variable: right (1), center-left (2)

    Note: This figure shows the coefficients of each of the religious identity–ethnicity pairings in comparison to the base group. Significant coefficients (α = 0.05) are denoted by asterisks. The model reveals good fit indices: c2 (62)/df=3.37, CFI=0.954; NFI=.937; RMSEA=.048. The data in this figure pertain to fathers only.

    Source: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS 2017).

  • ArianAlan.1975. “Were the 1973 Elections in Israel Critical?Comparative Politics 8 (1): 152165. doi:10.2307/421456.

  • ArianAsher and Ayala Keissar-Sugarmen eds. 2012. A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs Observance and Values of Israeli Jews 2009. Jerusalem: Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute for the AVI CHAI–Israel Foundation. https://en.idi.org.il/media/5439/guttmanavichaireport2012_engfinal.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bagno-MoldavskiOlena.2015. “The Effect of Religious Identity on Political Attitudes in Israel.” Politics and Religion 8 (3): 514543. doi:10.1017/s1755048315000516.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ben-MosheElyahu. 2011. Changes in the Structure and Composition of the Israeli Population in the Next Two Decades by Religious-Cultural Sector. [In Hebrew.] Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry, Research and Economy Department. http://economy.gov.il/Research/Documents/X11605.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BergerPeter L. ed. 1999. The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BergerPeter L. 2004.“The Global Picture.” Journal of Democracy 15 (2): 7680. doi.org/10.1353/jod.2004.0022.

  • BruceSteve ed. 1992. Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CasanovaJosé. 2008.“The Problem of Religion and the Anxieties of European Secular Democracy.” In Religion and Democracy in Contemporary Europe ed. Yochi Fischer and Gabriel Motzkin6374. London: Alliance Publishing Trust.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics). 2017. Population of Israel on the Eve of 2018—8.8 Million. 31 December. http://www.cbs.gov.il/www/hodaot2017n/11_17_387e.docx.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CohenAsher. 2015.“‘Something New Is Starting’: Jewish Home as an ‘Open Camp Party’ in the 2013 Elections.” In The Elections in Israel 2013 ed. Michal Shamir205231. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CostopoulosPhilip J. 2005.“Introduction.” In World Religions and Democracy ed. Larry DiamondMarc F. Plattner and Philip. J. Costopoulosixxxvi. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Don-YehiyaEliezer. 2014.“Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation of Religious Zionism.” Israel Studies 19 (2): 239263. doi:10.2979/israelstudies.19.2.239.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EpsteinAlek D. 2006.“The Impact of the Arab-Israeli Conflict on the Political Behavior of the ‘Russian’ Israelis.” [In Hebrew.] Social Issues in Israel 2: 94115. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23388685.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FischerShlomo. 2016.“Two Patterns of Modernization: An Analysis of the Ethnic Issue in Israel.” In Mizrachi and Mautner 20166685. doi.org/10.3167/isr.2016.310105.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FriedmanMenachem. 1984. “The NRP Transition: Behind the Party’s Electoral Decline.” In The Roots of Begin’s Success: The 1981 Elections ed. Dan CaspiAbraham Diskin and Emanuel Gutmann141168. London: Croom Helm.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FriedmanMenachem. 1996.“The First Religious Right-Wing: The 1996 General Election and Haredi Society.” [In Hebrew.] Meimad 7: 1216.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GaliliLili and Roman Bronfman. 2013. The Million That Changed the Middle East:Russian Immigration to Israel. [In Hebrew.] Tel Aviv: Matar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GoldbergGiora and Efraim Ben-Zadok. 1986.“Gush Emunim in the West Bank.” Middle Eastern Studies 22 (1): 5273. doi:10.1080/00263208608700650.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GoldsteinKen and Zvi Gitelman. 2005.“From ‘Russians’ to Israelis?” In The Elections in Israel 2003 ed. Asher Arian and Michal Shamir245260. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GutweinDaniel. 2000.“The Dialectic of the Equality Failure: The Israeli Left between Neo-liberalism and Social Democracy.” [In Hebrew.] Mikaróv 3: 3057.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HaberKarmit and Pnina Sharvit Baruch. 2013.“Women’s Service in the IDF: A Step in Which Direction?” [In Hebrew.] Israel Democracy Institute and the Institute for National Security Studies. https://www.idi.org.il/media/4608/women_service_in_the_idf.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HermannTamarGilad BeeryElla HellerChanan CohenYuval LebelHanan Mozes and Kalman Neuman. 2015. The National Religious Sector in Israel 2014:Research Report. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute. https://www.idi.org.il/media/6197/the_national_religious_sector_book.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KashtiOr. 2015. “The Education Ministry Rewrites Civic Education: More Judaism, Less Democracy.” [In Hebrew.] Ha’aretz13 November. https://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/.premium-1.2775452.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KhaninVladimir. 2015. “The Political Transformation of the Israeli ‘Russian’ Street in the 2013 Elections.” Israel Affairs 21 (2): 245261. doi:10.1080/13537121.2015.1008244.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KimmerlingBaruch. 1999. “Elections as a Battleground over Collective Identity.” [In Hebrew.] In The Elections in Israel 1996 ed. Asher Arian and Michal Shamir3556. Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KimmerlingBaruch. 2001. The End of Ashkenazi Hegemony. [In Hebrew.] Jerusalem: Keter.

  • KlarYechiel. 2014. “From ‘Do Not Arouse Love or Awaken Love until It So Desires’ through ‘Return to Zion’ to ‘Conquest of the Land’: Paradigm Shifts and Sanctified Reenactments in Building the Jewish State.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 43: 8799. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.08.007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KonstantinovViacheslav and Reut Itzkovich-Malka. 2017. “Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Israeli Politics: At a Crossroads.” In The Elections in Israel 2015 ed. Michal Shamir and Gideon Rahat115139. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeonNissim. 2016. “The Turban and the Flag: Nationalism versus Mizrahi Ultra-Orthodoxy.” [In Hebrew.] In From National Anxiety to Haredi Nationalism81108. Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeshemElazar and Moshe Sicron. 2004. “The Soviet Immigrant Community in Israel.” In Jews in Israel: Contemporary Social and Cultural Patterns ed. Uzi Rebhun and Chaim I. Waxman81117. Lebanon, NH: Brandeis University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LillaMark. 2007. “The Politics of God.” New York Times Magazine19 August. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/magazine/19Religion-t.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LissakMoshe. 1972. “Continuity and Change in the Voting Patterns of Oriental Jews.” In The Elections in Israel 1969 ed. Asher Arian264277. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MendelsohnBarak. 2016. “Israel and Its Messianic Right: Path-Dependency and State Authority in International Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly 60 (1): 4758. doi:10.1093/isq/sqv015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MillsC. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • MizrachiNissim. 2016. “Sociology in the Garden: Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology.” In Mizrachi and Mautner 20163665. doi:10.3167/isr.2016.310104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MizrachiNissim and Menachem Mautner eds. 2016. Revisiting Liberalism in Israel. Special issue of Israel Studies Review 31 (1): 1128.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NorrisPippa and Ronald Inglehart. 2005. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • OkunBarbara S. and Orna Khait-Marelly. 2008. “Demographic Behaviour of Adults of Mixed Ethnic Ancestry: Jews in Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 31 (8): 13571380. doi:10.1080/01419870701719071.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PeresYochanan. 1971. “Ethnic Relations in Israel.” American Journal of Sociology 76 (6): 10211047.

  • PeresYochananEphraim Yuchtman and Rivka Shafat. 1975. “Predicting and Explaining Voters’ Behavior in Israel.” In The Elections in Israel 1973 ed. Asher Arian189202. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PersicoTomer. 2015. “The Privatization of Religion and the Sanctification of the State.” [In Hebrew.] Akdamút Milìn 30: 1528.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PersicoTomer. 2017. “The End Point of Zionism: Ethnocentrism and the Temple Mount.” Israel Studies Review 32 (1): 104122. doi:10.3167/isr.2017.320107.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PhilippovMichael and Anna Knafelman. 2011. “Old Values in the New Homeland: Political Attitudes of FSU Immigrants in Israel.” Israel Affairs 17 (1): 3854. doi:10.1080/13537121.2011.522069.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PinsonHalleli. 2013. From a Jewish and Democratic State to a Jewish State Period. [In Hebrew.] Report for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Dirasat Arab Center for Law and Policy. https://law.acri.org.il//he/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Pinson-Report.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PollackDetlef. 2008. “Religious Change in Europe: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings.” Social Compass 55 (2): 168186. doi:10.1177/0037768607089737.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShafirGershon and Yoav Peled. 2002. Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • ShamirMichal and Asher Arian. 1982. “The Ethnic Vote in Israel’s 1981 Elections.” Electoral Studies 1 (3): 315331.

  • ShamirMichal and Asher Arian. 1999. “Collective Identity and Electoral Competition in Israel.” American Political Science Review 93 (2): 265277. doi:10.2307/2585395.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShumskyDimitri. 2002. “Ethnicity and Citizenship in the Perception of Russian Israelis.” In Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration ed. Daniel Levy and Yfaat Weiss154181. New York: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShumskyDimitri. 2004. “Post-Zionist Orientalism? Orientalist Discourse and Islamophobia among the Russian-Speaking Intelligentsia in Israel.” Social Identities 10 (1): 8399. doi:10.1080/1350463042000191001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmoohaSammy. 1978. Israel: Pluralism and Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • SmoohaSammy. 1993. “Class, Ethnic, and National Cleavages and Democracy in Israel.” In Israeli Democracy under Stress ed. Ehud Sprinzak and Larry Diamond309342. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SternYedidiaBenjamin Z. BrownKalman NeumanGideon Katz and Nir Kedar. 2015. When Judaism Meets the State. [In Hebrew.] Tel Aviv: Yediot Books; Jerusalem: Israeli Democracy Institute.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SwirskiShlomo. 1981. Orientals and Ashkenazi in Israel: The Ethnic Division of Labor. [In Hebrew.] Haifa: Notebooks for Research and Critique.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SwirskiShlomo. 1988. “Their Heart’s Not in the East: Why Israel’s Left Is Ashkenazi.” [In Hebrew.] Politika 22: 4346.

  • YaarEphraim. 2003. “On the Verge of the Third Era in Israeli Democracy.” [In Hebrew.] Academia 12: 4855.

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