Israel in Transition from Zionism to Post-Zionism


Kelman, Herbert C. 1998. “Israel in Transition from Zionism to Post-Zionism.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Copy at
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Date Published:

Jan 1, 1998


Since the original goals of Zionism have largely been accomplished or are less relevant today, conditions are ripe for Israel’s transition from Zionism to post–Zionism. A post–Zionist Israel – while maintaining its Jewish character and special relationship to world Jewry – would be a state primarily committed to protecting and advancing the interests of its citizens, regardless of ethnicity. In a post–Zionist Israel, the status of non–Jewish Israelis would be upgraded and the status of non–Israeli Jews downgraded. Moreover, Israel would be integrated into the region and engaged in normal, peaceful relations with its neighbors. Many forces are promoting this transition, including the peace process, changes in Israeli–Diaspora relations, and the liberalization of the society. Countervailing forces stem mostly from the ultra–nationalist and orthodox religious sectors in the society. To advance the transition, Israel will have to address four major divisions within the society: the divisions between citizens and noncitizens, Jewish and Palestinian citizens, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, and religious and secular Jews.


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Last updated on 08/12/2016