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Chapter 2: Building An Immigrant Settler State

Chapter 2: Building An Immigrant Settler State

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Chapter 2: Building An Immigrant Settler State

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  1. Chapter 2: Building An Immigrant Settler State By: Taalan Liebermann Daniel Boev Margaret Beck

  2. Two Views Of Israeli Strength • 1). Israel = “strong state”, with tremendous capacity to mobilize citizens (for war, emergency economy etc.) • 2). Israel = “trouble in paradise” as the autonomy of the Israeli state tends to be low.

  3. Dimensions Of The “State” 1: Traditional Websterian Concept • The modern state as a corporate body that has compulsory jurisdiction and a monopoly over legitimate means of violence over a territory and its population. • To do this the state must have an institutionalized organizational structure with at least military and police forces, some kind of tax collection and resource redistribution mechanism, a rule making institution and a judicial body.

  4. Dimension Of The “State” 2: Collective Identity, Collective Memory And Culture • In other words, what makes the state cognitively and culturally different. • This is the core that tends to persist in the event of changes of government or even of the state’s regime. • This determines the basic political culture, “civic religion” civil society, and the implicit and explicit rules of the game.

  5. Dimensions Of The State 3: State’s Logic • The basic codes, traditions and practices that are unaffected by changes of government, administration or even regimes. • Imposed by geographical constraints rooted in the human and material resources possessed by the state, its identity, collective memory, traditions, historiography, and political culture. • The logic is employed mainly in the state’s bureaucracy and in other state agencies.

  6. Two Measure Of State Power • State Autonomy: the ability of the state to prevent unsolicited interventions from, and the imposition of particularistic definitions of collective identity by, one or another segment of civil society. • State Strength: The state's ability to enforce law and order, to mobilize the population for war, and to manage distributive and extractive fiscal policies, as well as its ability to impose its own definition of collective identity on all segments of society.

  7. Checks And Balances • Checks and balances are real and important. • Presumes conflict between and within branches, but regardless of the power per branch the overall state power remains unchanged.

  8. The Colonial State Of Palestine • There were 2 important reasons for Israeli state development: • 1). The Zionist movement. This was a necessary condition for the creation of the state of Israel. • 2). Due to the support of the great powers, especially Britain. British administration also intended to lay the foundations for the establishment of a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine.

  9. Responsibilities Of The Colonial State • Establishment of a judicial system and passage of laws applying to the area within the colony’s territorial boundaries • Creation of a modern Bureaucracy • Issue of coins, stamps, development of monetary and fiscal policies, and systematic tax collection • Funding typical state activities through state revenues • Provision of education, health services, normal civilian life and minimal welfare • Granting concessions

  10. The Colonial State Of Palestine • There were 2 important reasons for Israeli state development: • 1). The Zionist movement. This was a necessary condition for the creation of the state of Israel. • 2). Due to the support of the great powers, especially Britain. British administration also intended to lay the foundations for the establishment of a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine.

  11. Mandatory Palestine As A Typical Colonial State • Its residents (Palestinian Arab majority and growing Jewish minority) did not have the right to determine policies and could only exert influence through negotiating and bargaining (including threats). • Colonial Palestine maintained a regime of law and order through the mechanisms of a local police force and other security agencies.

  12. Mandatory Palestine As A Minimal State • While there was some state intervention, the state preferred to extend wide-ranging authority to the major national communities under its jurisdiction (Arab and Jewish). • Both of these communities operated as their own civil societies and were able to significantly determine the course of state policy.

  13. British Original Objective Of Mandatory Palestine • Original objective was to assist in the establishment of a Jewish national home. • This was based on two shared assumptions: • 1). Creation of necessary political preconditions would bring about massive Jewish migration (hundreds of thousands or even millions) • 2). Palestine’s Arab population would not express firm, organized resistance to the process, or alternatively, that it would lack the ability and skill to mold such resistance into effective political action.

  14. The Two Shared Assumptions Were Wrong • In reality what happened was:1). Zionist movement’s ability to recruit Jewish immigrants was limited. • 2). After learning of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Arabs began to efficiently organize into active and powerful political resistance.

  15. Since Assumptions Were Wrong, New Objective: Political Stability & Continued Control At Lower Cost • Abandoning Palestine became an actual alternative. • Eventually lead to 2 probable scenarios • 1). Transfer of sovereignty to the Arab national majority • 2). Partition of Palestine • Option 2 proposed by the Peel Commission

  16. The Jewish Community In Palestine As A “State In The Making” • Beginning in the mid 1920’s the Jewish immigrant settler community in Palestine became well aware of the possibility that within a relatively short period of time sovereignty over the colonial state would pass into the hands of the territory’s majority population (ie the Palestinian Arabs). • In order to prevent that, the Jewish community had to establish a parallel framework to that of the colonial state, in other words there was a need for a Jewish “state in the making”.

  17. Needs And Goal Of Jewish “State In The Making” • Defense, administrative machinery, education, welfare, health, and employment services were absolute necessities. • The Jewish state’s other goal was to mobilize the exclusive loyalty of the Jewish community’s members without risking a (premature) head-on collision with the colonial state.

  18. The Two Necessary Conditions For Viability of A Jewish Political Entity • 1). The accumulation of institutionalized power and the formation of an organized machinery of violence. • 2). The ability to mobilize Jews in Palestine and in the Diaspora for political ends • As such, the boundaries between “state” and “society” were completely blurred. An example of this being the Histadrut. • The municipalities served as the intermediaries between the state and the Jewish ethnic community.

  19. Groups Excluded From This “State In The Making” • The Orthodox Jewish Community (who only recognized the colonial state as a political authority). • The Yemenite Jewish community. • The position of Revisionist-Zionist was also very controversial.

  20. Conclusion Of A “Jewish State In The Making” • Although the organized Jewish community was not without its internal struggles and tensions, it had evolved unique mechanisms that could serve as safety valves to prevent the intensification of confrontations.

  21. The State – Birth of National Strength • Two main goals of Israel following War of Independence: • Establish a state with power to protect citizens and have authority by creating a boundary from the society and the state • Make alliances with influential groups while strengthening legitimacy and authority of the government

  22. Transition to Statehood • Israeli government had to establish autonomy over masses of new immigrants with varied political conceptions • Cohesion of pre-1948 power coalitions under the state • Many members of those coalitions were included in government roles to encourage cooperativeness. • Mapai was an extremely powerful party during these early stages of statehood. • The Status of the Jewish Agency Act • Created Jewish Agency functions that were in line with the running of state government (assisted by the assignment of former Jewish Agency personnel to fill these roles).

  23. Social Roles in the State • The middle class, as well as the Worker’s Society, were dependent on public funds from the state. • Sephardic immigrants, like all immigrants, required absorption into Israeli life through work placement and social services – but were helped separately, further amplifying the cultural differences between Sephardim and Ashkenazim.

  24. The Collapse of the Party-State Alliance System 1950-60’s • As other groups began to strengthen, the relationship between Mapai and the government weakened, as growing immigrant population blamed Mapai for “insensitive absorption policies.” • Ben-Gurion left Mapai after the Lavon Affair, leaving Mapai to a short reign of power until 1977, when the “party-state” finally fell.

  25. The Influence of the Middle Class During the 1970’s • With the middle class behind the, Herut and Democratic Movement for Change formed a coalition and edged Mapai out of the majority. • The 1967 war introduced controversy over holy land while creating a surge in the economy and the gain of territory. • While the 1973 and 1982 wars with Lebanon damaged the image of the state’s power, the knowledge of the need for cohesiveness prevented emerging parties from engaging in a power struggle during a time of weakness.

  26. Pressures on the Political Climate • Labor and Likud Exchange Through the 90s • Palestinian growth • 800,000 new Russian immigrants and related issues due to the collapse of the Soviet Union • Gulf War and American pressure on the peace process • Internal Changes • Heavy state subsidizing followed by several recessions led to centralized banking system and Ministry of Finance. • The public sector was divided into private and state-owned companies.

  27. The Prime Minister’s and High Court’s Rise to Power • Through largely American influences in the 1980-90’s, the High Court gained more power through establishing a “constitutional court” in the “spirit of democracy,” at the expense of the parliament. • During the 1996 election, the PM was elected directly in American fashion, which only served to destabilize the government. Elections have since returned to the party method of electing a PM.

  28. Conclusion for the Rise of the State • While Israel faced many early challenges in gaining respect and establishing authority, it did so successfully without major disruptions.

  29. The Israeli State and Back

  30. 1967 War • Israel gains de-facto control of new territories • Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula • During the war, Israel’s first Unity Government is established, bringing newfound legitimiacy to the right-leaning Herut faction • Israel’s impressive performance in the Six Day War brought about a renewed perceptual reinforcement of the state, rather than the majority party, Mapai • Bureaucratically speaking, loyalty began to lean more within the institutions, ie. Military-industrial complex, etc. , rather than individual parties

  31. Post-Six Day War Environment • The newly acquired territories, although never formally annexed, remained in a grey zone • These territories consisted of peoples that do not traditionally fall in line, demographically speaking, with the populations that had previously lived under Israeli state authority • Brought about a new problem, that the author describes as a “transition from a unitary nation-state to a de facto binational state” • Contradictions arise, as a state that was once founded on a platform of national identity and symbols, now encompassed a multitude different people

  32. Organization of Newly-Acquired Territories • The author asks the question as to why Israel never declared de-jure control over the territories acquired in the Six Day War • He notes that this never happened even under the Likud government that rose to power in 1977, even though it fell under its political rhetorical platform • The author suggests that this was the most efficient tactic in order to progress Jewish settlements in these areas He notes that several Palestinian intellectuals actually wanted for Israel to formally annex the territories, since this would allow them to mobilize politically under the framework of democratic order

  33. Organization of Newly-Acquired Territories cont. • Thus, Kimmerling argues that formal annexation was a strategy that was intentionally never pursued by the Israeli governing elite, in order to help perpetuate control over minority populations, and to help subsidize and fund settlements in these territories among a chaotic and uncertain environment • The newly acquired territories were divided among two categories: • 1.) Autonomous Territories: Gaza and the West Bank (no Israeli settlements; however, geographically separated Palestinian zones) • 2.) Vital Security Zones: Jordan Valley, East Jerusalem (less densely populated, excluded from autonomy, location of many new Jewish settlements)

  34. Are the newly-acquired territories considered colonies? • Although some scholars relate these new territories as being colonial in nature, Kimmerling argues that this is not the case because colonies in general are areas of control that are outside the boundaries of states, these territories are actually lands within the border of an expanding state • Thus, although some colonial powers tend to let go of colonies once overseeing control over them becomes too burdensome, Kimmerling argues that Israel will never let go of these territories, regardless of the costs, because it views them as en essential part within the Israeli state

  35. Civil v Primordial View of the State • Prior to 1967, the Jewish state had managed to build a state around the periphery of the “promised land” (with the exception of Jerusalem), and not necessarily within the core of its religious and biblical lands • This allowed for the religious factions to be somewhat marginalized and for the rise of a secular state • Now that the Six Day War brought many of the core territories under Israeli control, the mood within the Jewish nation began to change • Many of the religious groups began to move within the biblically-symbolic lands of the West Bank, and this brought about more of an opportunity to seize control of the notion of expansion • The right-leaning parties, who for some time felt excluded from the establishment, saw this as an opportunity to reassert political control, so they aligned themselves with these newly-empowered movements. • The Likud Party wins in 1977, begins to further push for settlement plans • Although it must be noted that many factions of the “secular” movement also began to exercise this view • This is known as “The Land of Israel Movement” • After 1973, this movement was passed along to the nationalist elites and religious movement, but it is important to note how mainstreamit had become within Israel prior to that

  36. According to the author, Israel’s inner logic necessitated permanent definition of the binational situation as a temporary situation • In order to continue defining itself as a Jewish nation-state, Israel had to control these territories without annexing them • Israel controlled land transactions, land management, settlements from “preferred groups”, etc. • Dual Market based on national origin • Palestinians were still seen as consumer and labor markets, but were on a social, political, and economic class of their own.

  37. The State under Cross Pressures • Two dominant Jewish political views have emerged that challenge the binational status quo: • 1.) Formally annex the territories, and set up the environment to expel all Palestinians from those lands, setting them up for Jewish resettlement • Workable as long as cost-benefit ratio is appropriate • Following Palestinian rebellion, the notion is that this idea would be too costly • 2.) World Systems View: Come up with a reasonable solution, that ultimately will lead to improved standard of life for Israeli citizens; compromise in order to advance state interests. • Both notions are consistent in their views of Israeli exclusive Jewish identity, and that Israel will not become a multinational state in formal terms