GOVT 331 - Shafir_Peled - Being_Israeli

GOVT 331 - Shafir_Peled - Being_Israeli - t:_, 230 The...

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t:_, 230 The emergence of civil society Labot Zionist movement. This attests, as well, to the endurance of the republican discourse and the institutional regime that supported it. The republican bastion could not be taken from the outside, even after it had long deteriorated by hypocrisy, atrophy, and corruption; it could only be captured from within. And the forces that would capture it from within, in order to demolish it, were generated by the very economic development that Was the pride and glory of Israeli republicanism. The political agents discussed in this chapter began their activity on the margins of the Labor Zionist movement, but succeeded in remaking that movement in their own image. Their program of peace and socio-economic liberalization· was adopted and implemented, to an extent, by the Labor Party. The likud government of Benjamin Netanyahu, which was in power between 1996 and 1999, did not stray too much from that program either, despite its ethno-nationalist rhetoric. This is the best indication that the program has indeed become hegemonic, at least among the leading strata of Israeli society. The fact that its hegemony has not extended beyond these strata, and that its opponents have rallied around the ethno-national discourse and seek to make it into the hegemonic discourse, explains the political turbulence that Israel is facing as it enters the twenty-first century. 9 Economic liberalization and peacemaking ... In this chapter we examine in detail the nature of the crisis that beset Israeli society and its economy between the mid-1970s and the early 1990s, and ofthe institutional transformation that was consequent upon it, as well as their interaction with, and impact upon, Israeli citizenship. The institutions we chose to examine are the military, the Hi~tadrut, and what we would broadly call the institutions of the capital market and the business community. We will inquire how the decline of the re- publican institutions, foremost among them the Histadrut, reshaped the relationship between the state and the market. Of the various aspects of the deregulation and liberalization of the economy we will focus on one: the gradual but by now decisive liberalization of the capital market. In our view it is this aspect ofliberalization that created, by the early 1990s, the conditions for the emergence, for the first time, of an Israeli business community - a more-or-Iess cohesive social sector made up of profes- sional business executives interested primarily in profit making (and their counterparts in the state a?ministration) and not beholden to the state, the Histadrut, or the values of pioneering republican virtue. Indeed, the very term "business community" is new in Israel, and we date its origins to the past decade. We will trace the emergence of this community by focusing on the shifting fortunes of the largest Israeli corporation: Koor Industries, once the flagship of the Histadrut's Chevrat Haovdim, now Israel's largest multinational holding company.
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GOVT 331 - Shafir_Peled - Being_Israeli - t:_, 230 The...

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