Peace in a Divided Society

Hassan A Barari


The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has failed. This paper examines the role of domestic Israeli politics in impeding peacemaking. It argues that changes in the Israeli society over the last three decades have negatively affected the peace process. In addition to these social changes, the nature of coalition-building and the influence of small parties in government formations have bestowed disproportionate power for small, yet radical right-wing political parties. The growth of ethnic and religious subgroups that favor the radical right can also influence Israeli foreign policy. Much of the positions adopted by the right-wing forces in Israel are anchored in a perilous ideological discourse with direct ramifications on the peace process. Therefore, short of a close analysis of Israeli social and political dynamics, observers run the risk of misunderstanding the root causes of the peace process’s current malaise


Peace process, demography, cleavages, Halakha, Israeli right, religious discourse

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