The mental cleavage of Israeli politics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In societies marked by numerous diversities, like the Jewish-Israeli one, understanding social cleavages might show a larger picture of the group and form a broader comprehension of its characteristics. Most studies concentrate on somewhat conventional cleavages, such as the socioeconomic cleavage, the ethnic cleavage, the religious or the political one; this article, by contrast, suggests a different point of view for the mapping of social cleavages within Israeli society. It claims that the Jewish population in Israel is split into two competing groups: stakeholders versus deprived. These categories of social identity are psychological states of mind in which no matter how the national resources are distributed, the stakeholders will always act as superiors, even if they are in inferior positions, while the deprived will always take the role of eternal underdog even if all of the major political ranks come under their control. This article brings about a review of over a century of ideological debates within the Zionist movement; it reveals how understanding the logic of the Israeli political discourse as a competition between the two newly defined social groups enables a better comprehension of the inherent tension between them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-378
Number of pages24
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016


  • Israeli society
  • Social cleavage
  • Zionist discourse
  • political sociology
  • social psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The mental cleavage of Israeli politics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this